Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Unwrapping my husband


On Sunday evening I unwrapped my husband.

He’d been in a green cardboard box and I’ve kept him beside my bed (on his side) since 7th January. But now it was time to decant him and scatter some of his ashes on the Carrick Roads. For those of you unused to Cornish ways, this is actually a river where he used to fish for oysters.

I have to say I hadn’t been looking forward to this outing, but after a delicious lunch provided by two friends, Molls and I went with them on their boat, up the river. The sky was a deep dark blue, there was just enough wind for a sail, and so many other boats out there also enjoying the Bank Holiday weather.

We halted just near the boundary between Truro Harbour and Falmouth Harbour (marked by a granite post) and Michael read Masefield’s “Sea Fever” as well as Brian Patten’s “How long does a man live?” (I knew I couldn’t speak I’d be gulping too much.) Then, checking the direction of the wind, I said, “Goodbye darling,” and emptied a tin full of Pip into the river. Andrea had bought two bunches of flowers which we threw onto the water, and with each one I shouted one of Pip’s favourite sayings – including “shoot the bastards” and his made-up German swear words.

Just then a wind caught the sails and the boat sped forwards. It was as if Pip was saying, “Come on, enough of that. Let’s go for a sail for God’s sake!”

I laughed then – it was so typical him. And as the boat gathered speed, I felt the wind in my hair, the salt on my lips and a thrill ran through me. “I see what you mean, darling,” I thought. “This is what sailing’s all about!”

So two unexpectedly good things came from that day. One – my Pip is where he should be – out on the water. And two – I can now really understand his passion for sailing. And maybe, one day, do more of it myself?

Wherever I go, it seems, Pip will be there, somewhere. Just keeping an eye on me.

33 comments:

Jane Lovering said...

Lovely. Just lovely. What a wonderful way to say goodbye...

Shirley Wells said...

What a beautiful, moving tribute to your Pip. I can picture you shouting "shoot the bastards".

So pleased you managed to see so much good on such a difficult day.

Flowerpot said...

Thanks Jane - actually I'm going to scatter some more of his ashes at our favourite beach. We just need a beautiful day and to take a picnic. Then he'll be really happy and where he should be!

Chris Stovell said...

Oh berlimey, now you've done it! I went off to read Brian Patten's wonderful poem then had a lot of trouble seeing to read the rest of your post! You're certainly carrying the harvest of Pip's dreams now. Well done to you, what a wonderful unwrapping.

(And thanks for your lovely comment on my post today.)

Flowerpot said...

Shirley - he always used to shout "shoot the bastards" while watching breakfast news! Breakfast is much quieter now...

Flowerpot said...

Sorry Chris - a friend sent me the Brian Patten poem just after Pip died and while I find it very moving I also found it very comforting. And still do. Hope life turns a few corners foryou very soon xx

AndrewSmith said...

A beautiful tribute to Uncle Jonny!

AndrewSmith said...

A beautiful tribute to Uncle Jonny! Thanks for posting!

Flowerpot said...

Thanks Andrew - good to hear from you! How are you doing? xx

Crystal Jigsaw said...

He sure will. Beautiful post.

CJ xx

Flowerpot said...

Thanks CJ. Oh lordy you've all got me crying now!

Henriette said...

Thank you, Sue, for sharing a very moving blog post.

Flowerpot said...

Thanks Henriette - and good to meet you.

Akelamalu said...

Aw that brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye m'deario.


Goodbye Pip. x

Flowerpot said...

Thanks, Ak. Though it's all your lovely comments that have got me blubbing....

Jenny Beattie said...

Oh Flowerpot, how lovely - especially the unexpected laughter.
JJx

Flowerpot said...

JJ - glad you enjoyed it. He would have done! Or perhaps did... and he always had time for a laugh.

Melissa Marsh said...

I loved this. Beautiful.

Flowerpot said...

Thank you, Melissa.

Sally said...

Another beautiful piece of writing that has me both in tears and laughing out loud. Your Pip would be so proud of you.
Much love
Sally

Morton S Gray said...

I had one cry tonight at "Who do you Think you are" and now I've just had another. Enjoy your scattering tributes. Mx

Debs Carr said...

What a perfect send off. I'm glad it went so well.

Great picture too.

Flowerpot said...

Thanks Debs - the picture was taken the day we got engaged. Happy memories.

Flowerpot said...

Morton - I am really touched at all your responses. I really am. Gulp. Thank you.

Flowerpot said...

Sally - it's all your responses that get me weeping. I just write the stuff as it happens.

avi said...

How lovely to see J's face again. I can just picture you shouting those words with each flower, you have such spirit! Goodbye darling Jacko from Doxie 2.

Flowerpot said...

Avi - thanks love, a send off wouldn't be the same without a message from Doxie 1!xxxx

Trubes said...

SO toching FP, it made me sad it made me glad. I'm so happy Pip is on his favourite place,'the sea'.God bless his happy memories and god bless you for loving such a lovely man...'shoot the bastards', that's just what my dearest shouts at the TV, at the mention of daily atrocities paraded before us, just when one is about to enjoy her sugar puffs!
Di.xx

Flowerpot said...

Di - thank you for that. And glad to hear another husband shouts at the telly!

Jane Gray said...

Sue... although I never met your Pip, I do feel I know him from your lovely posts about him that make the screen light up with his vibrant personality. I just wanted to say how moving I found these words about the way you scattered his ashes and celebrated his life. His love for you will always surround you and protect you, I'm sure. Take care, Jane Gray

Flowerpot said...

Jane - thank you so much for your kind words. Very comforting.

Denise said...

I am just blog jumping by and found your post to be moving enough for tears to stream down my face. Reading your post made me see that you are a person who will be alright. Although saying goodbye, you are experiencing the thrill of sailing, of living. Seems fitting as I'm sure that's what Pip would want you to do. Be happy, my friend. Thanks for sharing.

Flowerpot said...

Denise - good to meet you and thank you for such kind comments. Widowhood is not an option any of us would wish for and at times it is so tough. But there is a life out there waiting to be lived.