Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A year in the death: November

It has been an intense few days. For once not on my own account.

A good friend is possibly - probably (who knows?) - on the verge of leaving her husband. It isn't my story to tell, so I shall leave it at that, but she has been staying for a while in a little holiday cottage that just happens to be very near R's burial field. So I took the slight detour to go and say hello on my way home yesterday.

Talking to R at his grave still helps me to clear my head better than almost anything. The grass was too wet yesterday to sit down so I couldn't settle for a long chat, but a few minutes was long enough to off-load it all.

It was also an opportunity to look back at how far I have come.
A year ago I would have found this situation too difficult to cope with. There was a time when I simply couldn't bear to be in the same room as a bickering couple. Watching two people who are supposed to love one another causing pain instead was too unfair, too much to handle.

If I'm honest, it still hurts to see, but I can now look beyond the unpleasantness and be thankful to have had the life I did with R. We argued from time to time, of course we did, but rarely allowed the sun to go down on our anger. I cannot imagine how it feels to be trapped in a life with someone who makes me unhappy.

I guess even our relationships are subject to the entropy that rules the universe, and it takes both parties working hard to prevent them moving inexorably towards disorder.

This field where I come to think and talk also paints a picture of the changing seasons.

I can tell as I walk up the hill who has had a visitor recently. Some graves have a few flowers marking the spot, at others it is the beaten-down grass that reveals the footfall. It is also an automatic reaction to clear away any overgrown grass or fallen leaves from the stone marker, and it makes me a little sad to see that R's immediate neighbours have 'disappeared'.

The young trees that were little more than sticks in August 2008 are now healthy-looking saplings, and there are more chairs and benches around the periphery of the field, sponsored by families who want their loved one's name to be visible to the world as well as just a number.
It was a dull November afternoon yesterday, and I only had my phone with me so the pictures are not great.
I don't understand why, but I still feel a need to record the passage of time without R, and this place would appear to be the ideal place to do it.

November is perhaps an odd month to start, but I guess it is as good as any.


  1. beautiful photographs. i understand about recording the passing of time. i have full moon photographs from each month that my Dragon has been "away."

    i am also sorry your friend is having marital trouble. i know about those, too. but my Dragon and i found each other and for a brief moment in time, we knew about a true meeting to of minds and hearts. i wish peace for both you and your friend.

  2. Thanks for sharing the photos J. It's always tough when friends go through this sort of thing but, as you said yourself, you're coping with this. Take care.