Monday, February 01, 2016

The End

August 2010

My First Love died last night at 6.15pm.

I woke yesterday morning knowing that I had one last task to perform for him, before the end.

So I settled down beside him and I told him our story.
I started at the beginning. A very good place to start.
We drifted in and out of each other’s lives for over 20 years before I came here.
It was a mess.  I was a mess.
I reminded him that 12 years ago, almost to the day, he had written to me that we must end our connection.  That unless I broke free of him I would never be happy.  That I owed it to my children to stay with their father.  That I should move forward, instead of trying to rewrite the past.


I was so weary, so worn down by the emotional turmoil of the preceding weeks, months, years that I agreed.  I let him end it, finally.  Again.
Except... a few days later he wrote to me.  He was angry, he was bereft:  did he mean so little to me that I would give him up so easily? 
There were tears.  Of course.
We made a plan to be together.
And I gave up all that was good and safe and secure for the madness that was my First Love.

And here we were, 12 years later.
Against all odds we made a go of it and we have been happy together, so very very happy... but now he was dying...
I told him that it was time for him to go and for me to move on.  
I told him about my plans for the future:  about the little terraced house in Yorkshire with the cat and the chickens.
That there would never be another man for me, because he was The One.
That now it was time for him to let me go, time for him to let go of life and leave me.
That I would be fine.
And he must be at peace now.

And then I played him a recording of Stephane Grapelli and McCoy Tyner:  “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess. 

It was a song that meant a lot to him.  He had told me many times of a farewell party held in honour of a jazz pianist friend who was dying of cancer, and how he had persuaded his friend to play one last time for those he loved.  This was the song that was played that night.

FL had been lying all this while with eyes closed, breathing unevenly.  As soon as the music began to play, he jerked his eyes open and he seemed to be trying to speak.
I held him and stroked his forehead and told him to be at peace now, be at peace.

He seemed to fall asleep.

The day passed.
It was time for me to head home.
I decided to play the song one more time, as I gathered my things ready to go.
Almost at once his breathing pattern changed.  He was breathing so hard and fast the bed was vibrating.  I called a nurse and she confirmed that it would not be long now.
And it wasn’t.

That was yesterday.

Today I began the hideous process of administration and sifting through his things.
Slowly uncovering the past and realising that I was terribly terribly naive all those years ago, thinking I was the only one.
Ha!
But you know what?  It doesn’t matter anymore.
We had 12 good years together and now... now he is gone.

Let’s remember the good times.  Because what else can we do now?


Be at peace, FL.

247 comments:

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Mindo said...

I hope you have support at this very difficult time. Thinking of you.

Sigrid said...

I'm so sorry you had to lose your One. What a gift you gave him, and he you.

Sigrid said...

I'm so sorry you had to lose your One. What a gift you gave him, and he you.

Probably Jane said...

You let him leave with your blessing knowing that he is loved. I can think of no greater act of love xx

Berta said...

Goodbye FL, rest in peace.

lynne said...

No words just a great big virtual hug X

Justine of SewCountryChick said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I followed a link here and have been reading through your beautifully written posts. This is such a strange coincidence as I was feeling down tonight because my uncle is expected to pass away either tonight or tomorrow. He has myeloma, too. May your first love rest in peace.

andsewtoknit said...

Dear Roo, I'm so deeply sorry for your loss, thank you for sharing your story, sending you hugs and good wishes

Lorna A said...

I too would like to express my condolences. Such a difficult time with even more baggage than usual, I wish you all the strength in the world.
One day, when you have had time to grieve, I would love to hear the whole story, maybe you could write under a pseudonym and change the names etc. Love to you at this hardest of times xxx

Tamsin said...

So sorry to hear this Roo. Thank you for sharing your life and love with us all. Your writing is incredible, particularly these last few days. There will be things that have to be done, but you must take time to look after yourself. Much love and best wishes xxxx

Suzie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. He's at peace now. I have kept up with your journey for a while now. For you to share such an intimate part of your life is remarkable, but to do it with such love and care for your FL is such a statement of who you are. I wish you peace in the following weeks and months. Please take care of your physical person. She's been through a lot these past few months and that will take it's toll.

Hugs and prayers from Richmond, VA (USA)

Lorna A said...

I too would like to express my condolences. Such a difficult time with even more baggage than usual, I wish you all the strength in the world.
One day, when you have had time to grieve, I would love to hear the whole story, maybe you could write under a pseudonym and change the names etc. Love to you at this hardest of times xxx

CarolS said...

My condolences too Roo. You have done so so well for your FL, I'm FULL of admiration for your strength and am thinking of you and all you're going through. Walk, knit, breathe, sort. Then REST and cry as much as you like and need too for as long as you need to.. Howl too.
More love and hugs to you

Lynne said...

I have followed your story and have be so touched by your love for a very special man. You both fought a very brave fight with such courage, may he rest in peace sincere condolences xx

Donna Hensley said...

I wish you light in this world. We are all holding your hand via the internet!

happycreative said...

In the end, all that is left is love. That feeling stays even when the loved has left us. Thank you for sharing this part of your life. You will have no regrets for having captured these moments in words. Your words, whilst expressing the depth of your own experience have resonated with us who have experienced similar, and opened the door to death and grief to those who have not. From across the other side of the world, I send you love and strength to navigate these first days and weeks without FL. I hope you have some close friends who you can reach out to as you need. And your creativity to support you. Please come back when you are ready. xxx

Philippa said...

Sad to read. You have been through so much...I wish you peace and happiness, in time, too xx

karen ball said...

I am thinking of you, Roo. So sorry.

Emily said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us - it brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful. Peace to you and your beloved.

JoAnne Witt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JoAnne Witt said...

My condolences for your loss. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

Cynthia Tozcirc said...

Dear Roo,

Thank you for sharing your and FL's story. Though we knew what was coming, it was still very sad to read the last post. I hope you are doing okay and that you'll continue with your wonderful writing.

Cynthia

thornberry said...

So sad. I wish you peace, and many memories of the good times. Thank you for sharing your journey - you have given a great deal.

Mela R. said...

So sorry for your lost.

Mary in Mo said...

I will continue to hold you in my thoughts and admire your courage, bravery and grace. My heart aches for your loss.

Rosemary said...

Thank you for sharing this time with us. You've helped me look at my own experience in a different, more positive way. Thinking of you.

Unknown said...

So very sad to hear this news. No words can make this time any easier but wanted you to know that you are in my thoughts xx Claire

Clare said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. There are no words really, but know that you are in my thoughts.

jessica said...

Oh Roo, my deepest condolences. Heartbreaking. May he rest in peace; may you find comfort and peace. Thinking of you. And absolutely, from everything we have seen of you and FL through the years, absolutely The One.

Anne said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Sølvi said...

I am so, so sorry for your loss, and I want to say thank you for writing so beautifully about your experience. Thinking about you.

Nicole said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I've read your blog for many months now and never commented, but always thought of you both as if you were people I once knew. Your care for him has been a lesson and an inspiration to me.

Katherine Nagl said...

Very sorry to read this, take care and hope you find peace too.

KC said...

Roo, you are so brave and wise and I am so sorry. The inevitability of sadness does nothing to make it any less sad.

tingledfangers said...

Sincere condolences from Down Under. And thank you for sharing this special journey with all of us.

sophie o. said...

I am so very sorry for you. thank you for sharing this story with us, it was very moving. I am glad in a way you managed to say so much to him and made him feel able to leave you

Marie said...

Sending you lots of love and strength so you can move on when the time is right...so sorry for your loss!xx

Star speckles said...

Just wanted to let you know I was thinking of you. Take care Roo

xx

TempestKnits said...

Just reaching out to you again Ruth to say that I hope you are OK and that both myself and Rosemary are very much thinking of you. Please take care - much love.

acharmofmagpies said...

Roo, I sit here with tears pouring down my face as I have caught up on a backlog of your posts. I am just one of many internet strangers, but I am deeply moved by your story, your exceptionally beautiful way with words, and your heartbreak. I am so very very sorry for your loss.

Linda Cosgrove said...

My deepest condolences to you and all who love FL. You have been such a source of inspiration to me as I care for my husband through his battle with Multiple Myeloma. You are in my heart and prayers. Thank you for being so authentic. Your love story is definitely one for the books. Linda Cosgrove

Trudy said...

I'm sorry for your loss, Roo, wishing you lots of strength.

Miss said...

Thinking of you, Roo. Hope things are going as best they can right now

Toni Ladd said...

I am so sorry for your loss. FL is at peace now. May you find peace and strength in the days ahead. You are a very loving wife and mother. Wishing you the best.

Me said...

I'm so sorry to hear about what happened. I hope you are and your family are holding up ok.

Myrna said...

I'm just catching up on blogs after months of inactivity. HUGS - I know it's hard. I know you'll be okay. The journey in-between is just that, a journey. Take care of yourself.

Elizabeth Sampson said...

I am so very very sorry.

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