memories

">

Sunday, March 27, 2011

He'll get his viking funeral after all




If you've read Cliff's Eulogy, you'll know that we played the Viking Horns at the end of the funeral ... when everyone stood in silence for one minute. And at the time, I didn't really see his coffin move out of view, not only because tears obliterated my sight, but mostly because, in my mind,





"I AM ON A BEACH WATCHING HIM SAIL AWAY ON A VIKING SHIP AND NOW I CAN SEE ALL THE PALLBEARERS LIGHTING THEIR ARROWS. NOW THEY ARE PULLING THE ARROWS BACK AND POINTING THEM UP BUT TOWARDS THE SHIP. THEY RELEASE THE FLAMING ARROWS, ONE BY ONE. FLAMES START TO DANCE RANDOMLY AROUND THE SHIP. THE SUN IS SETTING … JUST LIKE THOSE BEAUTIFUL CARIBBEAN SUNSETS THAT WE SHARED TOGETHER. HE IS SAFE. HE HAS HIS PIECE OF EIGHT, PHOTOS, OTHER TREASURES THAT HE WILL NEED TO CROSS THAT FINAL RIVER. AND I KNOW BEYOND DOUBT THAT HE WILL FIND HIS WAY OVER. WHO THE HELL IS GOING TO STOP HIM … HIS SHEER SIZE AND POWER, NEVER MIND THE FACT HE IS WIELDING TWO MO-FO SWORDS."


Thanks to a widow friend of mine, I found this site (which incidentally is a really good site and includes a wonderful blog about remembering and memorializing) that included this link:


http://www.scattering-ashes.co.uk/where-to-scatter/cremated-ashes-scattered-viking-boat-pagan/


I've written to the company asking for prices.


Perhaps it might be appropriate to visit Kathy in Sweden and let him have his viking funeral there ...



p.s. I also liked this idea which can turn a favourite item of clothing into a laptop or iphone cover (on the same site).

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The second firework


and so, the three of us watched my beautiful strong husband shoot up up up so high in the night sky. No fuss, no words ... for there are none that can adequately describe him or our feelings. (I had kissed him/the firework 'goodbye' whilst walking from my car to Roy's house, much to the confusion of a teenage boy. I wonder why I have done this "when peeps that I know are not watching" with both the first and this firework.)
Roy watched his friend's ashes scattered by this fiercesomely powerful firework. Power with beauty. A little like my love, who had two sides - the strong and the soft. We knew both sides of him. Few truly knew Cliff.
It was good to watch him go together. It was good that Roy got to say goodbye to his friend as he had missed the funeral due to being thousands and thousands of miles away at the time.
I walked ever so slowly back indoors, eyes remaining on the sky ... with Shirley gently encouraging me back indoors, to be wrapped up in an enormous bear hug by Roy. The moment was over ... as we giggled that the enormous explosion hadn't woken up Roy's snoozing mum.
Thank you R & S for being there for me always ... and for "getting it". I love you both.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Take another piece of my heart



The pain remains the same. No less than when I watched him take his last breath. I've learned to incorporate much of my grief into my very being, so that I can function "normally" at work. At home, I release it. Grief tires like nothing else. It debilitates. I have spent this weekend in my PJ's not wanting to speak to or see anyone ... I need the solitude, I crave this time with him, remembering ... and with my grief. Otherwise it spills, making a mess and rendering others helpless along with myself.

Clearly I couldn't cope with scattering more of Cliff's ashes with the second firework ... not so close to his birthday. I should have realized ... but Shirley and I did release some Chinese Lanterns on the 16th. It was cathartic to write and draw on them, then release them, filled with warm air and love ... taking our messages of love and some of our pain away with them. I also felt a strong connection to Jackie and Kim as I knew they were hurting ... missing their loves on the day that they shared birthdays with Cliff on. Three men. So much love ... and pain that compelled me to light lanterns for them too. Here is Cliff's lantern from me.

My heart, upon realizing that three birthdays have passed since he did, breaks into smaller pieces still ... when I believed it could not. And I wonder ... each time I lose another piece of my heart ... does it get sent to Cliff? Does he get to hold it? Make it better and send it back to me, so that love eventually replaces pain, in that great big Cliff-shaped hole that is carved out of my heart? I like to think so. He always knew me better than I know myself, enabling him to heal me from any hurt ... why would that change? Death is the end of a corporeal life, not a relationship ... it cannot end the twinning of two souls that love each other so. So, baby, take yet another piece of my heart now. It's yours anyway. When I'm ready, send it back as love. I know that one day ... my heart will be filled with your love, my love ... us and our love ... powerful enough to fight this pain that resides there now. For love is stronger than death.

Cliff used to love love love me singing this to him. And it now takes on a different meaning in loss, as many songs do.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy Birthday



a day for remembering the life that filled a room wherever he went - Jayde Mayhew



I had no fear despite the fact that I was miles above the earth, because I was safe in his arms. In fact, fear was never a consideration.
All I felt was happiness and a sense of normalcy because I was close to him and it was so natural to slip back into "us" ... the way we were.
He was behind me and holding me in his arms, just the way he did the first time we went on holiday together. I remember feeling completely safe then too as he gently swayed and swished me around in the warm Caribbean sea ... I remember letting go and feeling the warmth and security that a child does when they absolutely trust their parent not to let go. Blissfully unaware. "Is that nice, baby? Are you happy?"
He was holding me just like that. Except this time we were miles and miles above the Earth. "Look, baby ... see?" as he pointed out where the sun was warming the Earth, bathing a continent or country in the warmest bronze you ever saw.
I turned around, wrapping my arms around his neck. All I could feel was love, happiness and knowing that I was where I was supposed to be. Where I belonged. Home. With him.
The huge firey sun was nearby, flame-throwing right behind us. But I didn't care. I saw it as a thing of beauty alone.
When I woke up this morning, the dream was so vivid still and I don't think I shall ever forget it, or the feelings that accompanied it. How could I? They were all that I felt for 15 solid years. Yet, recently I have felt as though I'd forgotten what it really felt like ... and I kept telling him so ... (yes, I still speak to him).
So on the morning of his 55th birthday, he gave me the gift of remembering ... how we were ... how it felt ... and he reaffirmed my faith that he is waiting for me. I guess the line in the song that we got married to (Van Morrison's "Someone Like You") is right ...
"Baby, the best is yet to come" ...
Thanks to Naz for lighting a candle in the place of his birth - Malta - for the light that lit up so many rooms and lives, just as his daughter's words describes above.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dedicated to womanNshadows a.k.a. Susan

The Ambassador of Grief and Whimsy visits London
or
The Bun hangs out with Boo for a coupla weeks

I created this little book over the weekend, and dedicate it to wNs. Of course it is for anyone to enjoy, however all credit goes to Susan and I wanted to thank her publicly (much to her chagrin I am sure) for turning her idea into reality.

Thank you so much Susan for arranging all the logistics, for all the little details of love and care that went into Bun's around-the-world-trip to meet widows, right down to making her a rucksack and enclosing a journal for us to share whatever we want to, for every little stitch that you embroidered onto her jeans and t-shirt, for making me laugh when I saw her silk knickers with the hole in them for her white cotton-tail to peep through. Tears smarted my eyes when I saw your CR loves SR signature because I could visualize you sitting there, doubtless crying when you had to sew those particular stitches.

Thank you for reaching out in such an innovative, fun yet touching way.

Thank you for my gift (which I am not allowed to talk about).

I enjoyed her visit and was stunned when I realized that I had made a decision about my future because of it! I'd had to think about where I'd take her, what people I wanted her to meet ... and simply taking a moment each day to stop and think ... was a catalyst that kicked off a thought process, which in turn dictated that some research be completed ... with a fairly well rounded plan being the end result.

It's a particularly stressful time for me right now, not to mention Cliff's 55th birthday (16th March) hanging over me like the Sword of Damocles.

So thank you for providing me with some silliness, laughter and giggles. Thank you for the respite.

oh and BTW I told her about that rabbit-proof fence in Australia and she said to let you know to be sure to ring ahead and let the lady know that she'd like to walk her along its entire length while she's there. She's not really interested in any other tourist attractions.

and finally (and seriously), please know that I will not be offended in the least if you completely change these pages when you write about Bun's Visit to London ... because I want you to write the world-trip book the way you want to .... ok?

This is just about thanking you.