Saturday, 4 May 2013

Threadbare feelings...

a shirt.
In shirt years it was older than Simon.

The threadbare feel of cloth on my skin

I wear my clothes until they fall apart

The dying of fabric feels strangely comforting

Gently the warp and weft drift...

On gossamer wings they fly

With ne'er a care my body slowly exposes itself

I love my clothes until they decay and fall away

At five something in the morning, I could see he was going to die.  Gently I sponged his lips with water.  'You know Simon we've had some glorious times, remember the winter we walked in the woods, it was truly magical with the trees shrouded in snow.'   As I recounted the happy and good times of our five years together, he opened his eyes and took his final journey with happy memories to accompany him.  He was at peace, no more suffering.  Lettice I lifted up to him, she knew and never looked for him again.  For hours we waited the dog and I, for the nurses to come.  I didn't phone them, I didn't see the need.  Our time together had come to an end, I was savouring having him to myself before he was truly gone.

Grief takes you in so many different ways,  Christmas that year, Lettice and I spent a quiet time; I declined all offers, and was strangely happy walking in the woods opposite our cottage.  Lettice my constant companion was happy to walk and play.  The woods were empty, families were home having fun.  We were oddly content in our quietly grieving way.  

Carefully in the wood-quiet world I removed my
shirt; I hung it on a tree, in a form of worship

Back in my fleece, I hugged the shirt anointed tree

My heartache eased

Every day I walked and watched the vestment blow and
grow into its surroundings  

The decaying cotton slowly returning to the land
was oddly comforting, freeing me with every fibre fading

Fast forward thirteen years; Lettice and I are still soldiering on.  Both of us are greyer and more decrepit; we have Ted in our lives, who we love dearly.

My worry now is, can I be as brave and strong with Lettice, as I was that August morning in 2000?  I hope for her sake I can.

Threads of feeling


  1. this is beautiful xx

  2. The moment when you removed your shirt and then left it, bundled back into your fleece, was truly moving. And surprising! Death allows us to show rare courage, prompts us to do things we'd probably not otherwise do.

    Once, after a death, I threw away a bunch of ragged cotton socks that I used for odd cleaning jobs, and its was marvelously freeing.

    1. The memory had sunk in mind and time.

      Sitting under the magnolia tree in full bloom, I was reflecting on your magical picture of the Night Dress nestled in the flowers. My thoughts flirted with the idea you were going to chart its progress into decay. The memories of that day in the wood came flooding back. With the passing of time, it, like the dress in spring flowers have taken on a magical quality... Thank you.


  3. I think you personify that much used phrase, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger".
    You'll do your very best by her.

    1. Because we have such a close bond, my fear is that my pain will transmit itself to her. Tears flow for both Ted and I, just talking about it. God knows how we will be when the day comes.

      As Simon used to say 'She's just a dog!' and she is, but one hell of a special one for all that!


  4. Emotions are peculiar things, they're all that separates us from machinery. They are incredibly powerful. Time and the passage of time frustrate me - I want to be able to move about it as easily as I move to left and right, and not be limited to just memories and hopes. Of all of the creatures on the planet, people and dogs are the two that most make me want to conquer time once and for all.

    1. And you will my dear chum, you most definitely will. Whether it's in the body you now possess I can't say!

      Simon was a true Christian who just believed. Without cracking on about it, he quietly did what he thought right in his church-going way. Me I need proof. The closest I got to thinking there is something more, was the morning he died. I just knew he choose the time, and I had the very powerful feeling he was going on to better things.


  5. An incredibly moving piece
    Thank you

    1. John, it's a funny old life and you've got to celebrate the good, the bad and the ugly.

      Reading your blog is always a joy. My motto is 'Always look on the bright side' which is what I suspect you do. Life's a bitch sometimes, and bouncing back is the only way, otherwise what's the alternative?