First of all, my heartfelt thanks to all of you who sent your condolences in response to my posting "1944-2014". May I please share with you the following extraordinary occurrence that happened on the Thursday morning as I was carrying my wife's things (and mine because the excellent hospital had given me a bed in Roisin's room all the time she was there) to the car park. I was speaking to her, saying that we will be together again etc. Then I added " but it would be helpful if you could give me a sign that there actually is something to look forward to after we are finished here." Roisin being an agnostic (I think but it is impossible to be sure) this was said with as much humour as I could muster. Later that morning I was sitting in our dining room with two old friends from England who were staying with us for a few days - what a godsend that was! - when I heard a rustling sound behind me. Tony said "Look, there's a bird on the threshold." It was a robin that had come in via the front door, crossed the hall and was standing, looking at us at the dining room table. Tony's wife Penny and I got up to usher it out of the house the way it had come but it walked and hopped down the hall and then flew up the stairs which bend back on themselves at a landing halway up, then along the first floor corridor to Roisin's and my bedroom where it sat on a wardrobe and looked at me. I crossed the room and opened the windows wider so that it would be attracted by the sunlight to fly out. It circled the room twice before flying out and perching on a branch about fifteen feet away.
If I had not been able to tell you that my two friends witnessed all this, you might think that I had flipped. As it is, that robin redbreast - Roisin's favourite bird because robins had a habit of perching on her spade when she was gardening - makes me think. I have a theory to explain what happened but i leave it to you to decide for yourselves.
Thank you for reading this.