Today is the anniversary of Paul’s death. He was twenty-three when he died; it has now been dead for twenty-four years. I find it intolerable that he has now been dead longer than he has been alive. This anniversary has joined other hideous memories from the first year after his death; he died yesterday, last week, last month, last year (a particularly nasty milestone), a year ago.
The Relay Race of Life
With his dying, he confiscated my talisman for the future. Watching my friend’s lives, I see them like a relay race. They are passing the baton onwards to their children and grand children. I received the baton from my grandparents and have splendid memories; I know the name of the plant Solomon’s seal. from following my grandmother around her garden when I was four; when I was fifteen and she was in her late eighties I remember taking her for walks. She carried an umbrella even on the brightest of days, not against the weather but so she could hide inside it little cuttings of plants she had nicked from peoples’ front gardens. She was an inveterate gardener. I’d say to her; “what will you do if it rains?” and she’d giggle. I remember my grandfather shaving with his braces hanging down his legs or playing patience at the desk I now own. So I certainly received the baton but I have no one to pass it on to. I will reach the finishing tape of death on my own.
A Grief Time Will Never Heal
Obviously I don’t sit here dwelling on this but, nevertheless, it is an aching grief that time will never take away.