A Farewell

And now my dear it is time to say goodbye.

When I try to count the many ways you enriched my life, I am struck by the pervasiveness of your influence on the fabric of my existence. When we met I was a person of no substance, less than a person even, I was an idea that only existed in my own head. At the time I was living an approximation of life that seemed to be perfect, it is only in the context of now that I see how empty and meaningless it really was.

You took me and made me into a person, supervising my development with an iron hand. The birth of our first child broke my shell and made me malleable, the growth curve was exponential.

As you said to me, we were always busy, there was always something to do and then one day we just stopped. There was a moment that I clearly recall, after we had just moved into the new house. There was the conservatory in the back garden, I was sitting watching our youngest child playing in the sunshine, and something released. At that moment I relaxed.

That was the time when I quit running, figuratively and literally. Running was a metaphor, it seemed, and I had run out of road. With that calm came a clearer view of my life, I was with you and couldn’t see why. When the frantic paddling stopped, the meaning of our time together got lost.

All the things that had allowed me to avoid our lack of common purpose were finished. The hand to mouth existence seemed a thing of the past, and then my sister became ill, signalling a change.

When I left you I thought it was my decision, but I never left. Every day I was there with you and the children, we were married and that couldn’t be broken so easily. It is true that I never honoured you as you deserved, you tolerated my rudeness and stuck with me. When you knew the end was coming you tried to tell me and I didn’t want to hear. It’s hard for me to admit, you were right again.

So, my dear one, we came to say goodbye to you this morning. The weather was cold, grey, misty, as befits the occasion. You, the warm weather creature, an exotic animal in this dreary country. I remember how you radiated heat when we first slept together, as if your years in the overheated country of your birth had made you a receptacle of sunshine. This morning when I kissed your forehead in farewell it was cool, your face was impassive because you were no longer in residence. The spark was gone.

Now we are alone. Sporadic weeping, numbing emptiness permeates the silence between bouts of loud distress. Where do we go now that our leader has died? Fortunately, the years of hard work you put into me have made me into a man with some substance. Certainly, you were aware when you knew the end was coming that I could be trusted with the care of our three monkeys. You told me about your plans for our lives after you were gone, I said that I would be gone before you, but I heard you and now I recall those directions.

Thank you, my darling Dany, for the last fifteen years of my life. Your gift was immense and my appreciation was negligible, but I will live up to your ideals and grow your legacy.

RIP Dany Donald 1979 – 2022

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