Monday, April 20, 2015

I must go down to the seas again.

"I never hear the west wind but tears are in my eyes,
For it comes from the west lands,
the old brown hills,
And April's in the west wind, and daffodils"
John Masefield 1878-1966
 Easter Sunday at Porlock Weir - a perfect day.
 Everybody loves Porlock Weir - the perfect place to stand and stare.
 Right across the water is Wales and my ship mate Dylan.
 I'm afraid w took a couple of stones for my fountain.
 Children were mesmerised by the potter and he let them have a go.
Alice made a new friend and ended with a hairy anorak.
Our French son gave me Julian Barnes's book 'Levels of life' which is ultimately about his grief at losing his wife.  I was startled on opening the book to see the dedication; 'For Pat'.
Pat was his late wife and her name - Pat Barnes was my maiden name.  We both married in 1979
I found myself relating to many of the feelings and experiences he has had since his bereavement. One instance was when he was dining with three friends who had been close friends of his wife for many years.  When he mentioned her name no one picked it up.  He mentioned her twice more and still they did not continue the conversation.  He reckoned they had denied her thrice.
This has happened to me a number of times.
I was talking about this to a friend and she said,
"Oh they probably didn't want to remind you of him and upset you.'
I found this astonishing.    Remind me?  Do they think I could possibly ever forget him? Don't they realise that the lost loved one is always with one - certainly with me - two and a half years on. When I hear a noise when I'm typing I automatically think 'Oh that's Al  in the bedroom.  It's a positive presence and a great comfort. Perhaps because I still live in the home we made together - every room - every part of the garden is still full of his presence and I wonder if I would lose that if ever I moved?
Tell me what you think.


Exile on Pain Street said...

I can't account for how other people feel but I'm never sure what, or how much, to say about a loved one who has passed away. You're never sure what kind of reaction you're going to get. It's the touchiest of subjects. There are potential landmines.

A beautiful post, Pat. Nicely done.

maurcheen said...

I think you are absolutely right. I often feel Da's presence, and he died 29 years ago, and yes, it is very comforting. I still ask my sister for advice, like I used to do when she was alive. :-)

We went down to the sea yesterday, Mrs. M and meself, it's great to feel the sea air in one's hair, as it were. :-)


Ms Scarlet said...

I don't think you would lose it if you moved... you would see him in the new place because you would be imagining how he would interact with it.
He will always be with you, wherever.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Scarlet. You never lose the presence of a loved one, regardless of circumstance! xxx

savannah said...

It is difficult to know what to say, but I've found that following the lead of the one left behind works for me. I agree with Scarlet, you'll never lose the memory no matter where you go. <3 xoxoxo

angryparsnip said...

First of all so happy your post finely opened. Your one from a day ago could not load on my reader.
Wonderful photos.
It must be lovely to remember him and feel his presence all around you.
But since you parted once and then found each other again I am sure if you moved his presence will be always with you.

cheers, parsnip

Kim Ayres said...

I never used to know what to say to someone who was grieving. My fear was if I said the wrong thing I would remind them of their hurt and make them feel worse, so it was better to say nothing.

Then one day I read an article - unfortunately I can't remember who it was by, other than it was the wife of someone well known who had died - where she was writing about how people were avoiding her since her husband died - or avoiding mentioning him. And it made things so much worse.

Her advice was not to be scared to mention the one who was loved and gone, but rather to share stories.

I remembered this again when my mother died, and the comfort I gained when people would tell me of experiences they had with my mum - some I knew and some I didn't - but the sharing helped validate my feelings.

Since then I've done my best not to ignore or shy away from it.

As for if you moved - I think I agree with the other comments here - Al would be with you wherever you go - he's in your heart, mind and thoughts, and that won't change.


Meanwhile, your blog title reminded me...

I must go down to the sea again,
to the lonely sea and the sky;
I left my shoes and socks there -
I wonder if they're dry?
- Spike Milligan

OldLady Of The Hills said...

I don't understand people ignoring you mentioning Al's name---Ignoring it and you, as if they didn't hear you. I think it's so important to talk with people about your loved one(s) who have passed on----it keeps them alive and present and it is so very comforting!
I cannot imagine you moving Pat----your home and Garden is such a reflection of you and your life with your beloved....And that is so comforting, too.
Will he be with you if you move? In my humble opinion, Absolutely! Because he will always be in your heart...But the comfort of staying in the home you shared with him has to be so very very meaningful....You made a life together there and even if you paint some walls and change some curtains---he is still there in every nook and cranny.....And that too, has to be such a great great comfort. I cannot believe it is two and a half years that he is gone. As always, my dear Pat, you are an inspiration.

Such a lovely day in Porlock! I LOVE the pictures, my dear.

Anonymous said...

I very often chat to my mother in law about father in law, at first hubby said I shouldn't bring up dad because it might upset mom, but we always end up laughing about the things he used to get up too.

As far as moving goes I know that mom now regrets moving away from the house they lived in to be nearer her children


Pat said...

Exile: I think Savannah's solution is a good one.
"It is difficult to know what to say, but I've found that following the lead of the one left behind works for me."
It's also great to hear the odd memory - pleasant or funny that you may have of the departed and if there is a moistening of the eyes- what's a few tears between friends?

Pat said...

Maurcheen: that's good to hear and made me smile:)

Pat said...

Scarlet: yes I think you are right unless I completely lose my marbles- and then it wouldn't matter.

Guyana-Gyal said...

It's a strange thing about here too...the more 'up' we move in life here, the more we avoid talking about certain things. Like death, for example. Yet the 'ordinary' folk will talk, will let you talk, will listen.

Pat said...

John: thanks John.

Savannah: I think that is the best solution. Thank you:)

Parsnip: comforting words and the same had thought occurred to me. Thank you:)

Kim: yes sharing experiences is really lovely for the bereaved - with a little judicious editing- if necessary.
Love the pome:)

Pat said...

Naomi: again those are really comforting words Naomi - especially if I feel I can no longer manage here.
Thank you for our constant support.

Helen: thank you for that. I don't think I would move to be nearer my children. Interesting the experience of your MIL. I would only consider it if it would be helpful to them.

Anonymous said...

I think it had more to do with her daughter than hubby. I know she kept on at her about who would look after her if she became ill and ow much better it would be if she was nearer family. So she gave in and moved.

rashbre said...

It's clear to us reading here that you have the strong and positive memories. It can be tricky to discuss - with friends of mine who have suffered losses the first conversations seem to be best as 1:1.

Mage said...

No matter where you go, he will be with you.

Nea said...

Beautiful photos Pat.
I agree with all of the above. He'll always be a part of you wherever you are, but you also have a lovely home and garden. Perhaps start doing a little scouting out on the net and see how you feel if you find something you like?
I also understand the awkwardness of not knowing what to say to someone who has lost a loved one. Last year a young person, who had recently lost a parent, told me about the reactions of the people around, people not saying anything was worse than people "saying the wrong thing", you can't say the "wrong thing" when the worst thing has already happened. So now I too try to listen and then follow their lead.

Vagabonde said...

I read your post and all the comments – some very good comments there. It’s hard to know what to say sometimes. My neighbor’s husband killed himself and their only child was my daughter’s best friend. She died in a car crash a couple of years ago – when I meet my neighbor (she moved a couple of miles away) I just don’t know what to say – same thing with my daughter as if I mention her friend, she starts being very sad and upset. I think one never forgets.

Sounds are funny as you mention. When we moved away from Paris to another house in suburban Paris, my bedroom was above the main room where my parents stayed until late. I would go to bed and hear noises downstairs and knew it was my parents. Sometimes when I am half asleep and hear noises downstairs (I think from the cats) I still think I am in France and my parents are downstairs – and that was so many years ago. That happened again a couple of days ago.

Pat said...

Helen: It is and age old problem-
Pardon the pun:)

Rashbre: yes listening is a great gift and can be a solace to the bereaved as viz Samaritans.

Mage: I do hope so.

Nea: that is a wise young person. I agree with her.

Vagabonde: those are truly awful circumstances and I'm not sure how I would handle it except just follow their lead and be blotting paper if that is indicated.
Sometimes a silent hug suffices.

Interesting you hear the noises too.