Sig­nif­i­cant Drag­on­flies

Fortean Times - - Letters - Catharine Gaskell By email

My fa­ther-in-law died five years ago. Dur­ing his in­ter­ment I was stand­ing some dis­tance away from his wife and their adult kids largely be­cause I had the hee­by­jee­bies about look­ing into the big dark hole that had been dug. It was in­tended even­tu­ally to be a dou­ble grave so it was even deeper than nor­mal and in the dark and the pour­ing rain it wasn’t a com­fort­ing sight.

I be­came aware that there was a very large, turquoise drag­on­fly fly­ing around my fa­therin-law’s im­me­di­ate fam­ily group. It was there for quite some time while the ser­vice con­tin­ued and flew in amongst them, but they seemed com­pletely obliv­i­ous, as did the rest of the fu­neral party. I didn’t men­tion it be­cause, while I felt very strongly that it was in some way a sign from my fa­therin-law, they are staunch left foot­ers and prob­a­bly would not have liked the idea.

He was a man who had loved the sea­side. Three years later, when we moved to live near the sea, we made a lit­tle pil­grim­age down to the water­front to cel­e­brate. It was Novem­ber and not, I should think, the sea­son for drag­on­flies, but a large turquoise one turned up hov­er­ing around my hus­band. Once again, my hus­band was obliv­i­ous – but this may just be be­cause he is al­ways spec­tac­u­larly un­ob­ser­vant. What­ever the rea­son, I didn’t men­tion it – he doesn’t have much in­ter­est in strange­ness.

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