Sunday, October 08, 2006


The days immediately after Iris died, were virtually unbearable. At the funeral were just six of her family present, yet over fifty of our friends attended. A select few of us went from the crematorium to a nearby pub for a quiet drink. I went to see Iris’ sister later that evening to arrange the scattering of the ashes. Her sister hadn’t given the undertakers any instructions about this so I asked if I could scatter them. At first all she wanted to do with them was to have them scattered in the crematory gardens but I persuaded her to allow me to take them. I told her what I was going to do with them but she didn’t appear to be interested whatsoever. That was the very last time I spoke to any member of the family. I went to the undertakers and informed them I wanted the deceased’s ashes to scatter. Surprisingly enough, they said they were at the crematorium awaiting general disposal. I found out that ashes weren’t scattered in the gardens at all, apart from a token few. Unless requested otherwise, they were usually kept for a month before disposal at a local land-fill site. This, I discovered, is common practise. I had no difficulty in getting the ashes but had to pay £10 for the plastic container. (They said it was not returnable!)
A few days later, I made a lonely journey up to Berwick; the place that held so many memories. I scattered her ashes from the cliff-top to the beach below where we had walked and lain together in the sun. After that, I never went to Berwick again.
On my return, I wrote a poem I thought would be the last one I was ever going to write. Indeed, for 25 years, it was. Only recently have I started writing again.
This poem tells of my despair and loneliness.

On Friday October 3rd 1980, at 11am, my beloved Iris died in my arms at Weston Park Hospital.

Once, once in a thousand years,
A love like hers comes fleeting by
And steals my heart and disappears
For all eternity.

I taste the sweetness of her lips,
I smell the fragrance of her hair,
But suddenly, she from me slips
And leaves me in despair.

Each endless day on endless day
Does naught to help me to forget
Those few brief years of ecstasy,
And still I love her yet.

Through sleepless nights I walk alone,
And, gazing at the stars above,
I know that she’s forever gone.
Goodbye, goodbye, my love!

Later, I shall return to happier times and continue with our story. Meanwhile, I would appreciate a kind comment or two.

1 comment:

snowfairy said...

That is such a moving poem it sums up your feelings in one... if anyone has ever lost a love so dear, that poem just speaks into their heart aswell. You are so blessed to be able to express such feelings in written language...