snakypoet: (with Chamuel)
We are having a summer day, at last! My internal weather has shifted as well. I sit in the warmth of our small, enclosed, green back yard which I love, and which he did too; and my heart swells with all the richness and beauty of our lives together, which brought me here. I feel it expanding in my breast with those many memories — years of memories which go much farther back than his final decline. I would not change places with anyone.
snakypoet: (with Chamuel)
I have just finished reading a book about death, a beautiful book called The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. It is narrated by Death — who, in the book, is quite a decent bloke.  At one point he remarks that a difference between humans and himself is that humans have the good sense to die.

Today would have been my dearest's 84th birthday. But he died when he was still 83. Eight and three make eleven, the number of mastery. And he had mastered his life by its end. He had mellowed considerably from the lovable but exasperating little dynamo he so often used to be. He had absolutely entered into unconditional love. Sometimes, from dementia, he was like a child. But it was a light dementia, and even at his most confused moments he knew how to be loving, and was most concerned that I should know I was loved. (I did know. I do know.) He was like that in his many lucid moments, too.

He had the good sense to die just at the point when his body stopped working. Up until then, although he had pain and frailty, limitations and frustrations, his quality of life outweighed its drawbacks. He died just at the point where it was going to become the other way about

He was a great communicator during his life, and since his death he has been in communication with those who are able to perceive it. So we know that he is busy and happy, interested and engaged as always. Resting in peace? Not exactly. But his earthly troubles are over. He lived a long life, experienced joy and adventure, and contributed a lot to the wellbeing of others

I miss him like hell, remember him well, and cannot wish that he had lingered longer. I was very lucky to be with him for those 20 brilliant years.
snakypoet: (with Chamuel)

(see previous post)

This is what I think the dream was telling me — and I must say I don't much like the message, but I know I'd better not ignore it

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snakypoet: (with Chamuel)
Or perhaps it is that several pennies drop, one by one. At any rate, I come to various realisations, rather slowly. Old ways of thinking, I suppose, take a while to clear.
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snakypoet: (with Chamuel)


Propped up on pillows on top of the made bed, legs stretched out, I look across at two white wardrobes opposite. We bought them in 1995 from that funny little furniture shop in Boyd Street, which is long gone.

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snakypoet: (with Chamuel)
So, here's outdoor writing spot number two. Its a very small space, just room for one small, straight-backed chair.Read more... )


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Bit by bit this place becomes right for my needs. I could have sat here on the old chair if Andrew was still alive, but I probably would have wondered if I was preventing him from doing so. Or he would have been watching TV just inside the door, and I wouldn't have had this peace. I certainly would not have had this more comfortable chair, nor this iPad!

Yes, I would swap all that to get him back — but back in health and clarity. More and more I understand that he could not have gone on. The deterioration was continuing and escalating, no matter how we tried to keep it at bay. His quality of life would have been rat-shit had he lingered; more and more so. And so I have my bouts of fierce sobs, and also my increasing pleasure in my home and my solitude.
snakypoet: (Default)

1:

Hebe has put me in a bower of green and purple, the colours of feminism — in gentle tonings, leavened with white and accented with wood. There are plain, thin frames of dark wood around the windows and the built-in wardrobe. The bedside tables and the small semi-circular shelf in the corner are of blonder wood. The ceiling, the ceiling fan, and the wardrobe doors are white. So is the background material of doona cover and curtain. But the predominant hues are the soft green walls; the green leafy pot plants, their leaves ranging from dark to almost transparent; the pretty purple flowers on curtain and doona; the blown-up colour photo on the wall, of a spreading bush of mauve bougainevillea. The whole effect is of light and softness. I feel sheltered and expanded at once. I begin to imagine I can smell lavender.



2:

This bed I have never shared with Andrew. Nor this bedroom. It is a place where I can just be me without the memories, just for a few days. I would not want it to be like that all the time — I would not wish to be cut off from the memories — but it's good to have a short space in which they do not HAVE to be there. In my bed at home they are unavoidably ever-present. It's good to get away these few days. I do remember things while I'm here, too, of course, but only as they arise; they are not inevitable. Here I am predominantly myself, not first and foremost Andrew's widow. I am the self I have always been, underneath all the vagaries and vicissitudes of life. I like the experience. It's like a renewal. And I like this me.

from 'Stones for the River'.

snakypoet: (Default)
Final sequence. (It could go on and on, but I think this is enough.)

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snakypoet: (Default)
I've been observing what goes on with me during this time, and I find myself saying 'There's only me' quite often, in various ways, with various implications. So I've been playing with some little verses on the subject.  

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snakypoet: (Default)
A new friend on facebook just started a chat with me to invite me to a Scandinavian festival in a city two hours from where I live. I was surprised because she lives in Denmark, so I asked if she was visiting here. No, but she knew people who were going and would love to go herself.

She knows my husband died only five days ago and thinks it would cheer me up.
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