I'm in the cemetery a lot. If it isn't to bury someone it's to visit people I already have. Uncle David is there too. I miss him. Uncle David was the epitome of life in another era. Everything was either black or white, there was little room for much else. Uncle David spent the majority of his life at the same address. When his parents died he purchased his sister's shares in the house. This way there wouldn't be the need for any changes for him. And when he and Auntie Mary were married they continued on in the same house as well.
There's something comforting about continuity. I remember so vividly when I'd step off a flight at Heathrow and head towards their home. All the hustle and bustle of having travelled many thousands of miles, of having dealt with different cultures, customs, ideologies, smells, and foods; all would quickly drain from my mind as I travelled down the road to their home.
And I'd enter another world. Their world. Nothing changed, nothing new. Two apples, one banana, and an orange would be in the basket on top the small bookshelf in the sitting room. Kitchen cabinets emptied and vigorously scrubbed each week, everything returned to its appropriate place. Always.
And no matter where I had been, no matter what I had done, no matter how exotic the destination, the conversations would be the same. First, weather. After all we are British.
Next, how did I travel? Not the flight mind you, but the road to get to the house. Was it the M4 to the M25 and then the B22whatever, or was it the A123oh my goodness connecting to the Z1 Dead Head B Road and on to the circular counter-clockwise roundabout jugular dual carriageway? And no matter what I'd say, I had to repeat it. Uncle David was so deaf. Bless him.
This walking talking comprehensive map storage facility for the AA was deaf as a door knob. It was a constant irritant for Auntie Mary. But she adored him and when you adore someone you accept these small inconsequential matters, don't you?
I find myself chatting to Uncle David a lot. I know he can't hear me. Gawd knows he can't hear me! But chat away I do. And my conversations are still today just as simple as they always were.
But now I find that I add a few words that I never used when he was alive. I miss you. I love you. I wish you were here.
But then, after all, we are British.
Labels: anniversary of a death, bereavement, Big World Small Boat, caring for the dying, comforting words for someone dying, family, Father Bill, prayers for dying, words of comfort