We stood around in small groups telling each person who entered the room what had happened.
Last week the class had been cancelled,a mixture of thick snow on the ground and the class teacher being ill. Within the two weeks between classes one of our ladies had simply gone.
At first I couldn't remember who she was. I felt terrible,but in a large group of people there are always some you will know better than others. Gradually a face came to mind and my brain refused to accept that this was the same lady. Sadly it was.
There was no big announcement,we all just got on with the class but I knew everyone was aware of the empty space once occupied by a living, breathing vibrant being.
We were all sad,shocked and speechless.
It had all happened so quickly. The lady was attending another class and became ill. Maybe we have all said that when our time comes we would like to go quickly,no long illness to fight against,no lingering.
I thought of her family and close friends. Did they get a chance to say goodbye, to tell her they loved her? I hope they did and I hope she did too.
I have a sadness inside me for someone I didn't really know. She has occupied my thoughts and my prayers.
Every week we will now look at that empty space even if it becomes filled with someone else's body,we will still see it. The emptiness of it will stay as a reminder of how swift death can be and how very precious every minute we spend with our family and friends is. We should treasure the minutes.
So goodbye to the lady I might have got to know better if I had known her for longer. Condolences to the people who loved her. May she rest in peace.