Tuesday, 11 October 2016
David went off to return books to the library when I suddenly remembered I had wanted to blog a bit more about Paul Kalanithi from his book WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR. Quickly hobbled to the telephone and left David a slow message which I was assured by the recording would be relayed to him as a text. "Bring back the Doctor book!" And brought it back he did.
My little torn paper bookmarks were still in the book so here's the first one. I'll do the other one another day.
His wife writing the poscript to the book.
"I expected to feel only empty and heartbroken after Paul died. It never occurred to me that you could love someone the same way after he was gone, that I would continue to feel such love and gratitude alongside the terrible sorrow, the grief so heavy that at times I shiver and moan under the weight of it. Paul is gone, and I miss him acutely nearly every moment, but I somehow feel I'm still taking part in the life we created together. "Bereavement is not the truncation of married love," C.S. Lewis wrote, "but one of its regular phases - like the honeymoon. What we want is to live our marriage well and faithfully through that phase too." Caring for our daughter, nurturing relationships with family, publishing this book, pursuing meaningful work, visiting Paul's grave, grieving and honoring him, persisting...my love goes on - lives on - in a way I'd never expected."
And the beautiful quilt above? It's me reading with dear old Dougal beside me. The little girl, bottom left is my earliest memory, standing at the gate telling everyone who passed that I was going to start school soon, Scottish background top left. Summerfield barn and red bench which we scattered everywhere we lived after a visit to Switzerland, Glasgow University where I started and didn't finish an MA - but developed a strong interest in Scottish Literature and Economic History, the beautiful MacIntosh chair made by David, the roses he has given me, each of the past forty seven years, the gum tree, symbolizing my new home which I love and the bluebird representing David, always at my shoulder and always full of love.
And the quilter? My dear friend Robyn who is, at this time travelling the same road as Paul's wife.