English author Justine Picardi lost a sister this same week some years ago and writes - in her usual lucid and meditative way - about living with the loss in a post titled: What to read in memorium. The 'what to read' is Philip Larkin's poem 'An Arundel Tomb' which ends with: 'what will survive of us is love.'
And there are these lines which Picardi quotes:
....LightWhich is apposite. For here we are in spring again, light thronging the glass, yellow kowhai littering the ground, blossom frothing the trees, tui crazy with chortling, and I remember driving to the hospital where my friend the sculptor was dying, and stopping to steal a branch of blossom to take with me. Outside his hospital window a line of birds perched shiny in the sun waiting for him to feed them - as he did on a daily basis wherever he was. I put my stolen blossom in a vase. I sat with him awhile and said good-bye. The birds stared at me implacably.
Each Summer thronged the glass. A bright
Litter of birdcalls strewed the same
Bone-riddled ground. And up the paths
The endless altered people came...
For my other friend it was autumn. We heard he'd kissed his family, picked up his briefcase and stepped into their leafy London street. He would have felt the nip in the air. Perhaps he was already wearing his winter coat. It was spring here, of course. The day was bright and hot when the call came, and the birds were singing at full throttle.