This week marks the fifth anniversary of my father-in-law’s passing, and this particular angel watches over the cemetery in Cheltenham where he rests. He was a joyful, vibrant, optimistic man: the most jovial, kind soul one could ever hope to meet. He made us laugh until tears flowed freely, he offered his hands and heart to anyone in need, and he welcomed me into his family from the first day we met. This sculpture, although present long before his death, seems a particularly appropriate figure to reside near his grave. Most cemetery statuary is mournful, pensive, sorrowful: while the event of dad’s death was one which exemplified heartbreak, his legacy is one of joy. This angel, with her upward gaze and hopeful nature, reminds me not of what our family lost, but of all the joy that still remains as a result of his influence and love.

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