I guess this is the part when life goes back to "normal." This is the part where everyone gets back on their planes or back in their cars and gets on with their lives.
It just feels too weird to go back to telling cute stories about what Niall did yesterday or things we're looking forward to in the coming weeks. It's very strange the way life keeps going, regardless of how much the world seems to stop.
Meanwhile, this family's life story has ended to a certain extent. They'll always have the memories, but no new stories of Pat to tell. No more happy occasions to look forward to. I can't help but put myself in their position and think about how difficult it would be to face each day without Niall.
And yet I'm completely amazed and inspired by people's strength and compassion. The way his sister, brother and parents smiled at each person who came to pay tribute; how they mustered up the courage to get up and speak in front of all those people; how his best friends were able to push themselves to reflect on their favorite moments with Pat; about how he had so deeply touched their lives.
Almost even more amazed at how human emotions can be so tangible. No verbal communication; no exact understanding of what was going on-- and yet Niall somehow knew that something was different with me. He knew that I needed a hug, so he ran up and gave one to me without any initiation on my part. He saw the way my body language had changed, so he perked up his eyebrows with concern and confusion.
He didn't sleep well, skipping naps and staying up past his bedtime. He went from giddy excitement to sheer horror at the site of a bath. Something he loved so much his whole life has been totally compromised by the shift in emotional atmosphere.
I really believe that there is a special connection between all of us that doesn't involve any particular language or knowledge; just the beauty that we are all human. That we all need love and we all come from love. It's a pretty amazing thing.