It was the young boys who broke my heart most. Age nine and 11 years, standing there in their best shirt and ties. God knows what was going on in their minds. And I couldn’t help thinking about my own situation at the age of 19.

I was older maybe, but still the confusion and shock of surrounded by aunties and uncles and grandparents and well-wishers, with me feeling utterly bemused. Because, like me 36 years earlier, these boys were at the funeral of their mom.

She had died suddenly at the age of 39, leaving them and their dad one their own. As I read the eulogy the sadness deepened. She was by all accounts an amazing mom; lived for her family and the boys. Loved seaside holidays and days out; with a lovely smile and a lot of laughter.

And the bit that choked me up was when her sons gave me a sentence about her making the best homemade lasagne in the world. It struck me that these boys’ lives will be changed forever. Their mom won’t be there to see them grow up into adults, or welcome their children into the world.

She won’t get to see them succeed (as I am sure they will) in life. Losing your mom is such a big loss, even as an adult, so to lose her at such a young age, well…

So how do we make sense of it all? I don’t know. In fact, at the end of the funeral one of the relatives asked me what I was thinking, and I said: “Why does it all happen? What’s the point of taking someone so young?”

I suppose the family will have memories that they treasure; things that are precious to them; stories that they can tell; photos they can get out from time to time. That’s one thing at least.

And I suppose it is true that the people that these boys will turn out to be will be influenced by their mom; her values, views and love.

None of it seems satisfying, but there it is. And if, like me, you are a praying person, then spare a prayer for these two youngsters and their family.