Sunday, February 14, 2016

At Peace

Two weeks have passed.

Your kind and lovely comments have poured in, and I want to thank you all so very very much.  FL would have raised an eyebrow and smiled a wry smile to read them all.


I found this photograph of him from the late 1960's while I was excavating his desk, in search of vital documents.  Although I did not know him then, it captures him perfectly.
I have framed it and put it by my bedside so I can see him first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

It is so hard, this business of missing him.

You might remember his grand plan to leave his body to medical science?
Unfortunately, when the time came, he was assessed to be "too thin and ill" to be of benefit to students of anatomy.
We did not have another plan.  There had been no need to think about a funeral or a memorial service, as he believed adamantly that The End was The End and he did not want a fuss.  However, he had drawn me a map for his final resting place, for some point in the future, after he had served his educational purpose.
This was rather sooner than expected.

Last Saturday I collected his ashes.
The Boy, a friend from golf (who visited him every evening while FL was in the hospice), the dog and I walked to the highest point on the hill, with a view towards Bennachie.
We buried most of his ashes and planted a tree at the spot.
Hero stood guard.  I know he knew what was happening.


The friend took the remaining ashes to scatter in the woods at the golf club.
At first I was reluctant to allow this, but I thought it through and had to acknowledge that FL did not belong only to me, or to the farm.  He was loved by many and they had just as much right as me to mark his passing, in their own way.
I expect a few drams were drunk in his memory.  He would have liked that.

And now?

I need to gather myself.

I have spent the past two weeks on an archaeological dig to uncover essential paperwork in the two rooms he kept as "studies".  It has been exhausting work, both physically and mentally.  He kept everything... but not in an ordered way.

The Book must have been written a hundred times over the years:  on the backs of envelopes, in a myriad of notebooks, and in no identifiable sequence.  I have no idea if I can salvage it.  I have no idea if I want to.  For now, it is all together in one place.  And that is all I can bear to do.

Today I shut the door of the downstairs study, satisfied that at least I now know what is in there.
There is a diary for every year since 1963.  Oh my.
Some day I might read the letters I wrote to him over the years:  he kept them all.
I need to shelve the books and sort the photographs.
But not right now.

I have started spinning again.
Still knitting Vivid blanket squares.
I am reading and drawing.  I was thinking I might sew something sometime soon.
I need to come back to the present.
I have spent the past two weeks immersed in the past.

I was thinking that I might need to start a new blog.  It feels wrong to carry on in this space without him.  I'll let you know, I promise.

In his own words, I need to be at peace now.

67 comments:

Knitlass said...

Dearest, dearest. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been wondering how you are. It's good to hear you have managed a parting ritual for FL'S ashes.

I hope you are getting plenty of love and support from your nearest and dearest. Keep spinning, keep knitting and keep yourself well. Take care xx

Summer Flies said...

I'm sorry for your loss. It must be so difficult going through the remnants of a life well documented. Take your time... there is no hurry.

Donna Hensley said...

Thanks for the update :) I think knitting and spinning are probably rather therapeutical right about now

Sadie said...

I was just wondering how you were doing - thank you for the update. Take care of yourself xx

seamedstraightforward said...

I think of you often, and am glad to hear you are bearing up. Don't rush things and, above all, be good to yourself, and Hero.

Emma said...

You have been in my thoughts, dear Roo. I hope you can find a new path at this turning point in your life. Sending you much love.
Onwards and upwards! Or, in other words, Knit (and spin) on!

Mapmaker said...

I've thought of you often these last two weeks. Thank you for the update. Soul work moves at its own pace. You'll know what to do when it's time.

Lynn said...

My condolences. The tree and the photo are beautiful. Be gentle with yourself.

Lizzi said...

So kind to take the time to write - you have had a difficult time so just concentrate on you and getting through each day.

Athene said...

Have been wondering how you were. That looks a very fitting resting-place for FL's ashes. Although it was clearly his wish that there be no ceremony, you've not had the chance to say a formal farewell and to see how many people would have turned up to pay their respects to him - it's hard for you.

It's still so early, Roo - life goes on, and in some ways that is the hardest part because for you it stopped still on 31st January and will take a while to gather momentum again. I hope that you will keep blogging, although perhaps in a different space. Look after yourself, you have had a hard few months and yet again, I wish I could offer something more than words.

opakowana said...

Good to have you back - I have been a bit anxious...
so you're back - with a plan. Good. A new blog is a very sound idea.
And take it easy.

5arahel said...

So good to hear from you, though I did wonder if you would post here again.

I can only imagine the immeasurable hardness of the constant missing. Hoping the rhythm of the spinning and the repetition of the stitches may soothe.

Jodie said...

It is good to hear from you - I wondered and worried. I can't imagine and hope that you have physical support in the form of friends and family. I have no more than words. Keep us posted and take care,

lilysgrannie said...

I've been checking your blog and hoping to find you've posted and here on this quiet Sunday morning you have. Going through the paperwork of another's life is so exhausting both physically and emotionally. As someone else said, there is no rush so be gentle on yourself. You need time to heal and be at peace yourself and with the help of knitting and spinning that day will come again.

Jenny Larking said...

So glad to hear from you again after what must have been a horrible 2 weeks. I have been thinking of you every day and checking for a post. A new blog sounds good when you are ready - full of your knitting, weaving, spinning I hope and your plans for a new life when they emerge. Don't rush into anything. X

Jennifer Hill said...

Of course I was very sad to hear finally of FL's passing, but relieved, too, for both of you. A new blog sounds such a good idea. Looking forward to reading it and seeing your sewing, as and when. Warmest wishes, Jen.

Melissa said...

Roo, I was glad to read this post to see how you are doing. It sounds like you've done everything you can, and well organized at that. Now it's time for you to re-bloom. A new blog sounds like a good plan! Looking forward to hearing from you next.

Jenni said...

Grief is so all encompassing that I was glad to see your post and know that you are managing x glad your crafts are sustaining you, keep taking care xx

Wakeymakes said...

Thank you for thinking of us who need to know that you are as OK as you can be at this time. FLs resting place seems very fitting. Look after yourself. Yorkshire hugs K xXx

Mog said...

It's good to hear from you. I've been thinking of you too. As unplanned as it was, your rite of passage will hopefully help with the next stage.

Love to you and Hero. Take care,and go lightly. Xx

blue hands said...

Glad to see you back and to hear that you are doing such positive things that will contribute to your gradual healing. I love that his golf pals wanted a bit of him too, but yes it is hard to remember that other people feel the loss as well. Looking forward to hearing whatever you want to share of the journey from here. Godspeed xxx

andsewtoknit said...

Dearest Roo, so good to hear from you, thinking of you as you sort through everything you have to do, I look forward to seeing what you create in the future, whenever you are ready. Take care of yourself, love and hugs

Miss Norm said...

Roo, FL is not in any pain now, but you are, look after yourself. xxxx

lemon said...

Anything you do, do not get lost from our lives, please, Roo. Today I found your instagram while searching to see hou you are doing, and I was relieved to know that you are well (as can be).
I will not say time heals and sutch, you already know this and if not, you will see.
Hugs.

Jane Neave said...

Roo I've been thinking of you everyday this is such a difficult time for you. Look after yourself, keep strong and remember to eat. Much love Jane x

Helen said...

Thinking of you. I'm sorry, I don't know what else to say. But Miss Norm is right. Look after yourself. X

Violet said...

I've been thinking of you. Hope the next few months can bring you some peace.

nettypoole said...

I hope you find the peace you truly deserve.

verykerryberry said...

It is all so deeply moving to read Roo, grief is a personal issue - I won't offer advice, I can never think of any, but I know how shocking, without end and how sad grief can be, but also that there are moments of discovery and joy. Sending you love and thoughts xxx

Adele Terrill said...

I'm glad to see you back, I was feeling concerned for you. It is vey hard going through the remnants of someone's life and knowing what to do with it all. I feel for you. That is a lovely photo, I'm glad you found it and it gives you something to look at and remember your darling. It crossed my mind earlier that perhaps you would start a new blog, it must feel odd coming back here now, but we are all so invested in your whole story, and have felt blessed that you shared it with us. I doubt anyone just reads only for the craft inspiration, even if that is how we first found you. Take it slowly, be kind to yourself and know you are loved.

annieloveslinen said...

Thank you for the update, it is a most difficult time, a time for reflection and a time to regroup. You've poured your heart out on this blog and I'm sure it was therapeutic to some degree, it's fortunate that you had this outlet and were understood by others. Whatever decision you make about blogging will be the right one for you. Take a sabbatical, have a little think, there's no rush or expectation. And. Keep knitting.

Marjorie said...

Hugs, hugs, hugs.

Miss said...

Dear Roo,
thank you for letting us know how you are going, and for sharing with us the tree planting, the scattering and Hero's devotion.
Your devotion to your FL is beautiful.
I feel for you very much, and am shedding a tear for your loss.
Peace be with you.
x Jenny

Cartervater said...

Glad to hear your voice again, I have been thinking of you these past two weeks and wondering how you were doing. xxx

goodbloodbadblood said...

Roobeedoo;

My most heartfelt condolences are sent your way from my home in Oregon.

Sincerely,

John

K.Line said...

So pleased to hear your voice. Keep writing (whatever the platform). It'll pull you through this. xo

Sabs said...

I hope you find peace Roo. Take your time and it will come xx

Kate Babbitt said...

You've accomplished so much in just two weeks! I know when my turn comes, it will take me much longer than a mere two weeks to work myself around to the archaeological dig. You're so wise to focus on yourself right now and think about new beginnings. I'm thinking of you every day and sending you positive healing thoughts from upstate New York.

Minigranny said...

Take care Roo X

Redhedhels said...

It is so good to hear from you. Planting FL's ashes this way seems to fulfill the needs of you both. No pomp and ceremony but enough of a marker to help you.
As others have already said take time, take care, there is no rush. Do what you feel you want or need to do, at a pace that suits you.
Sending hugs and thoughts. xx

Mairead Hardy said...

A perfect resting place for FL. You are doing the right thing by taking your time over FL's affairs and also making time for you. Thinking of you lots - and sending love.

Carmel said...

So glad to hear from you. I've thought of you many times and wondered how you were. Take care. X

Mags said...

So, so glad that you have posted here. I think about you every day. Looking forward to hearing your news about your creative pursuits..... there's the Knitting And Stitching Show at Olympia in two weeks. A trip south perhaps? Hugs xxx

Louise Perry said...

What a lovely idea to plant a tree with his ashes. Take care of yourself and know that so many of us are thinking of you. Xxx

Suzie said...

Hugs from Richmond, VA, USA. This is not an easy thing you are facing. Spinning, knitting and sewing would be wonderful things for you to do because they bring you joy. Your heart needs to heal.
Thank you for sharing your love for your husband. You faced his illness and even his death with such dignity and grace. I so admire that strength in you. You will think of him everyday for the rest of your life. Please don't let anyone tell you how to grieve. Like so many things in life, it's a personal journey. Don't rush that journey. Take time for reflection. I do hope you start another blog. I feel like I know you so well and want to see how your life unfolds for the second half.
Wishing you peace, prayers and hugs,
Suzie (from Richmond, VA, USA

Nina Waters said...

So pleased to hear an update - the comments above show how you have been taken to people's hearts. I hope you get strength from all of this community, in these difficult times.

MaryinTN said...

Roo, very glad to see you've come up for air. Take it easy, dear. The path forward will show itself when you are ready. The hill looking towards his beloved Bennachie and the golf woods is perfect. Spinning and knitting and sewing are good for you. Many hugs and much love.

Linda C said...

I have a new read for you, THE FORGOTTEN SEAMSTRESS. I can only imagine how hard the past two weeks has been. Now take a rest, can you splurge and get food to eat. you love? I hope your place is warm. Spinning and knitting sound like nice relaxing tasks. Do you have to go back to work right away? Much love to you and the dog. My prayers for your future and your everydays.

LindaC

Janine said...

Sometimes it feels so wrong that life goes on . But it does. Sounds like you are taking your first baby steps in grief to healing even though it will not feel like it. Look after yourself. Janine.

loop and bar said...

So glad that you are back and that you and Hero are coping ok, the tree was a lovely idea indeed, it's important to make your own ceremonies in order to deal with and process things, isn't it?. I bet this is a great help to you and Hero :) Good to hear you've had someone to share things with too, a sturdy old friend who was dedicated to the end.

I think it is very important to sort through your space now, another way of processing stuff, very therapeutic I should think. Sounds like you've made a very good start. A new blog space sounds like a really good idea, to sow a new seed and let it grow, like the tree :) and we'll all be there with you along the way :)

looking forward to seeing some of your spinning, I'm thinking of trying it too, just need to get my hands on a wheel!

Anne said...

Thinking of you ~ time is a great healer.

kalimak said...

I would like to wish you all the best in this difficult journey. Thank you for your openness, your questions, and your writing in general. My warmest wishes.

LinB said...

Glad to see that you have your head up again, at least for a little while. As others have written above, thank you for your kindness in writing to us, so that we know you are beginning to cope. There will always be an FL-shaped hole in your life. Don't try to fill it in. Don't try to walk away and ignore the hole. Don't let yourself fall into it and drown in the pain it holds, though.
Learning to live your new life without FL will always involve learning to live with that hole. It's like having a huge stone in your garden, that you can't shift, but that you can plant around, and walk around, and maybe build a bench to sit next to the stone when you need a quiet moment. You'll never be able to look out into the distance without seeing the stone, but you can come to rely on it as a landmark. Don't let it completely block your perspective.
And travel slowly in the days ahead when you need to. Each of us takes the time to grieve that it takes to grieve. No one else's journey through the dark valley will be the same as yours. Remember that you are loved. Take care of yourself.

deborah said...

You have been much in my thoughts these last couple of weeks. Be gentle and kind to yourself and I am sending you much love x

CarolS said...

I can only echo the love above. Everything in its' own time.
It took me 2 solid weeks to sort and act on my mother's papers too. I intended to order her letters and diaries too but haven't been able to face them - years later. And more years on I still look at my younger brother's photos every day, and am moved in differing ways by them. Photos are so important.
I so applaud tree planting, ash scattering in nature, and knitting, stitching, any hand work that works for you, and music
XXXXXXXXXXX

Kristine said...

My thoughts also echo those already expressed. Wishing you peace, restoration and happiness in all that the future holds.

Lynda said...

such a beautiful post. I can feel the sadness, but also the peace in your writing.

I came to your blog from Christine's (Writing from Scotland) and will continue to visit you.

I think of that lovely Eva Cassidy song...Time Is A Healer...

xx

Sarah said...

Thank you so much for sharing your and FL's journey with us. I have been wondering how you were, and my heart is with you and Hero. sarah@forrussia.org

Unknown said...

The missing him seems like it would be impossibly hard. What a charming photo - I'm so glad you have it right now. As others have said, everything in its own time, in chunks that seem manageable and then laid aside until the time is right again (if ever) to resume. Wishing you peace and the activity of whatever feels right at the moment - the spinning I've spotted on IG looks gorgeous, those blanket squares sumptuous, sewing might just be the thing (have been sewing panties recently and relishing how that tiny wardrobe refresh is enough, for now - try stretch silk charmeuse! A quarter yard gets you a Watson bikini brief and almost an entire Watson soft bra!) The sketching looks lovely, a pile of books seems tasty. Sending you love and warm thoughts. -Jessica, written from my "professional" account

vintagerockchick said...

I've often thought of you in the last couple of weeks (not least because I ordered the same cosy Seasalt coat on your recommendation, and I wear it everyday - thank you!)
It's going to be tough, but getting on with the practical stuff helps, I find. Take care, and I look forward to hearing about your new makes when you are good and ready x

Susie Hemingway said...

So very sorry to read that you have lost FL. My heartfelt condolences to you and to your family. Another twinkling star has joined our sky. May you find the solace you so deserve in the coming months. It will be hard but it will arrive. You were such a great support to FL with your continuous love. I send my very best wishes to you. �� Susie Hemingway.

Tineke said...

Always thinking of you.

colleen said...

Just wanted to drop by to offer a hello and best hopes that you are finding your way through these days with friends and family, walks with Hero and as much comfort and kindness as you can find in good things, past, present and future.

Helene said...

Thank you so much for sharing your journey. You're in my thoughts and I hope for the best for you.

Nessie said...

Thank you for sharing so much of your lives -take things slowly, take care, thinking of you.

motherof5 said...

I am so very sorry for your loss.
Nicole

Elizabeth Sampson said...

I have been away for a while. A friend told me what had happened and I came back to touch bases with you. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. I know you are 6 months into the grief now...not a pretty place to be. I hope you are well and that somehow you are getting through everything. Blessings to you.