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