Walking past our local supermarket I watch a boy approaching on his bicycle, anxiously calling for his mom. Out of breath he stops next to a lady who is busy packing her groceries into her cycle bags, and shouts: "Grandma is dead!"
The woman looks bewildered. Bystanders turn their heads, startled. The boy, ten or eleven years old, is clearly upset.
"Your grandma? That can't be. I saw her an hour ago. Grandma is dead? My god! What happened!?"
His voice falters when he claims he doesn't know. Just that dad sent him to find her and tell about grandma. Tears start to trickle down his cheeks.
She suddenly seems to realize what he is saying, and pushes the shopping trolley aside; bread, crackers and milk still in there. There is panic in her eyes as she yells to the boy that he should return home and tell his dad that she will go to the football field to pick up Matty.
I watch him leave and race across the parking lot, his left arm wiping away tears. I don't want to judge and I understand it must be the shock that caused her to react this way, but I wish she'd given her son a hug before sending him off.
followed by a cross