She'll never see the cards that arrived after she died. More than a hundred of them, in every shape and size, some beautifully hand-crafted, others still with a "59p" label stuck to the back. Cards from neighbours, cards from the family, cards from folk she met umpteen holidays ago, cards from acquaintances across the village, cards from far-flung relatives not seen in years, cards from everywhere. She'd have enjoyed reading them, and she'd have flushed red with embarrassment at the lovely words contained therein. Your cards will be the same, I'll bet, but you'll never see them.
She'll never see the size of the crowd that turned up at the church. Striding across the snow-white village green in wellies and walking boots. Parked up outside the churchyard having driven long distances along untreated roads. Warmly-wrapped well-wishers giving up an hour of their time to pay their last respects. Filling every pew in the church in dignified silence. People she knew and people she touched. People she respected and loved, and people who respected and loved her back. Your funeral will be the same, I hope, but you'll never get the opportunity to marvel at the turnout.
She'll never experience the atmosphere at her memorial service. The tear-jerking poems read out in her honour. The laughter from the congregation as the vicar recounted some of the happy times in her life. The emotional faces in the front row that nobody sitting behind could see. The joyful singing to celebrate, not to commiserate. The same hymn that was sung at her wedding, completely messed up because nobody realised that some of the lines had to be sung twice. A community coming together to say 'job well done'. Your funeral will be similarly memorable, I'm sure, but you'll never remember it yourself.
She'll never see life continue. After the hymnsheets are closed and the collection is taken. After the tea urns are emptied and the trestle tables of food are cleared. After the final curtains close and the family say their farewells. After the villagers walk home and the last black suit is hung back in the wardrobe. After the healing process has begun and the last tear has been shed. After days, and weeks, and years, life goes on. We're never around to see it happen, but it always does. Look back and smile, look forward and hope, and take comfort in the future.