Saturday, December 31, 2011

31st December

So I live only a ten minute walk from Allestree Woods and that was my only excursion of the day. I’d left it a little late and the sun was starting to go down but I enjoyed a couple of miles in the open air before the rain came again. It’s been quite a while since I last went for a woodland walk and I miss it. Maybe the weather will stay mild and dry so I can get back to Kedleston in the New Year. There are always folk walking their dogs in Allestree and though they are always friendly, it just feels a little too busy when all I want is to be alone to think.  I have over 32 years of memories of walking these woods and they’re all good ones, if a little sad. I still have one of Jane’s oil paintings hanging on my wall, where she’s walking through the woods with grand-daughter holding one hand and a carrier filled with leaves in the other. I expect the leaves got glued to a large piece of paper and then painted in some way or other but I can’t remember the detail. For a couple of years, whilst on her Creative Expressive Arts degree course, she joined her student year in creating outdoor art installations using whatever natural materials came to hand. The woods were then left with all manner of imaginative creations scattered here and there, and they lasted some weeks before being eaten or battered by stormy weather. Yes happy days.

And as I watch the sun going down I’m thinking of how much I really need to find some sort of closure on this most challenging of years. The pain of bereavement after losing one’s true love is impossible to imagine. Only those who experience it can truly understand, and no words can begin to portray the utter and complete sense of loss. Though I saw the possibility coming over several years I still chose to live in the light of life rather than in the shadow of pending death. I would do the same again. And maybe if I hadn’t chosen to love Jane and share life with her so completely, it would not be as painful today. Given that opportunity I would do the same again. Love has it’s own rewards and is not dependent upon simple attraction. It’s a choice thing. I gave myself totally and exclusively to Jane and she to me, we had a very special marriage… as I’m sure all marriages can be. But we worked on our love, our unity, our care for one another. We rarely let the sun go down with niggles or annoyance with one another. If we did neither of us could sleep and in the early hours we’d make our peace again. I loved the rib crushing cuddles as we both apologised for our wrong doing and each of us ‘fought’ to take the blame! Our love was greater than any disagreement, which is a good job as we are both quite stubborn and strong-minded. For me there is no other way, I cannot half love someone. It really is all or nothing so, yes, despite the pain of loss I would do it all again.

My conclusion upon looking back over this most horrible of years is that there has been no disorder, I have no regrets and as regards my actions I would change very little. I’m sort of doing alright. A bit messed up in my head at times, but that’s understandable. I’m not perfect. Who Is? The main thing is that I’m on a journey, a journey into a new life. The past was wonderful and I’m so grateful to God for the gift of Jane over so many years. I did not deserve such a good woman and yet he joined us together. Tomorrow is a new year so I’m believing for a new start. The blessing upon my life is not dependent upon Jane; it’s in the Lord’s hands. And he is good all the time. So maybe he would let me do life again, in some way or totally different other…

Isaiah 43:18-19 ‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.’ (NIV)


Linda Jeffrey said...

Your post helped me to think about the good in grief. To be loved completely as you describe is worth all the pain of grief. I am a blogger on the subject of grief as well. A few years past your experience, and needing to be reminded by your fresh wounds--
Linda J.

tariq mian said...


David Paine said...

Thankyou for your perception and kind words Linda and yes... Happy New Year to one and all.