A met a stranger recently who on hearing my name asked me if the Frank Tubridy who took photographs was any relation of mine.
I responded, with a smile, that he was my father and she said that she had always loved his work and then asked me if he was still alive. I told her that he had died in 2010 and she said that she was sorry to learn that.
I know that people can be feel very uneasy about mentioning someone who may have died, in case they upset the person they are asking or somehow remind them of the the fact that they have died ~ as if it would be something they might have forgotten about!
I am always chuffed when people talk to me about my late parents and say things like: I always think about your mother when I see the snowdrops blooming; or I have a photograph that your father took hanging in my sitting-room and every time I look at it, I remember how he loved a good joke.
It’s so good to know that people who mattered to us are remembered fondly, especially as the years pass since their deaths.
So, I give thanks to the stranger (now friendly acquaintance) who clearly knew that speaking kindly of those who have died can be extremely comforting. I guess she had learned this from personal experience.
I expect that there may be divided opinion on this topic but I also suspect that more people than we realise are warmed by hearing their loved ones being remembered with fondness.