Love, the unbreakable bond

7It's been a heart melter of a week for me. Last weekend, our year group from school met to honour Ian, one of our group - and a dear friend - who had been killed in a car accident a week or so after we left. Many of us hadn't seen each other since that time.Ian and I had had a unique bond. We called each other 'hibou' - don't ask me why, but it's French for owl - and used the word like a mantra, sometimes calling it out as a greeting to each other or simply when the other was in need. Unusual, I know, but it kind of soothed us both.The week he died, I was so 'out of my body' that my mother had instructed everyone not to leave me on my own - she was concerned that I might walk out in front of a car. But in the event, she needn't have worried, because something happened to me that week that healed all the anguish that had been created by his death.Ian appeared to me in the middle of the night, sitting at the bottom of my bed in radiant white light. ‘Don't worry about me, Tonya’, he said, or kind of beamed at me, 'I'm fine - in fact I'm happy here!' And it was clear that he was. Ian had always had an unhurried openness about him - a quality that had made him very well loved at school - but his presence now exuded a sense of calm radiance and joy.That experience affected me so profoundly that I went on to the funeral/ memorial (I can't remember which) feeling relaxed and serene.And so as I sat in the circle last Saturday and remembered Ian - it was a Quaker school and so the tradition was to sit in silence until 'the spirit moved us' (or not) to speak  - a gentle tear or two formed in my eyes, remembering all this. I felt to reach across and squeeze the hand of the man next to me -  the teacher who was driving the car at the time of the accident - our French teacher of back then. But I didn't. It felt that he, like me, was being held in the circle's tender embrace. It was almost visceral the love in that room right then. And that was enough.And as I looked up at that moment, tears welling in my eyes, I caught the eye of a dear friend from school, who kind of twinkled at me with infinite tenderness from across the room - and I realised that everything was just as it needed to be.Death does not separate us; sometimes it brings us together (as it had this group, 'bonded forever' (as a dear school friend had said at the ceremony on Saturday) by Ian's death. It's the connection between us that matters. And that connection is felt with the heart.Thanks go to all the dear souls that made it to the ceremony on Saturday - and to all those that made it possible. Seeing them all again and being at this special event meant more to me than I would ever have imagined.