Yesterday I went back to Symonds Street cemetery; this time with two wonderful women friends who also wanted to remember and honour Emily Keeling (and all the other victims of domestic violence) on the 127th anniversary of her murder.
We brought flowers to lay on her grave; we took photos to share with our networks. We left our tokens of love and remembrance and an unspoken promise to remember not only Emily, but all of the victims of domestic violence.
Most of what I have left to say about the experience of remembering Emily is not really family history, so I’ve blogged about it elsewhere. But I do want to add a final thought.
Writing about Emily Keeling has reminded me how fundamentally good people are. Since my first post about her, so many people – men and women – have told me how moved they have been by her story. So it was really special for me to be able to share the anniversary with two such dear friends.
As I grow older I treasure friendships more and realise that, particularly in our modern world where we may be physically and emotionally estranged from family, friendships often provide the bedrock of our existence. For family historians of the future, really understanding the lives we are leading now will involve mapping not only the ties of blood and kinship, but those of friendship too.
A challenge indeed!