Julia (10) 1.4.13

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Don’t swim against the tide as you tend to stand still or struggle all the time. If you get washed down stream don’t worry as the tide always turns, and you’ll head up stream again. When it turns again, find a small eddy or rest on a rock whilst it flows out again; forever returning.


I am at the airport awaiting the flight that will return me to your home country.

We had met in a disco in North London thirty something years ago; you were stunningly beautiful, energetic, full of a life and a vulnerability I recognised.

We loved and lived a complicated, passionate and painful three years together.

We danced and embraced life that had given us an early mistrust of emotional intimacy, but without the crippling inability to let love in.

I knew you lived life on the edge; I recognised the precipice you walked and slipped down, and I shared the thrill of being the driver of one’s own destiny.

Though at times you let the cliff face stop your fall, I could only wish to be so reckless, knowing that this abandonment was not for me.

I was too scared that there would be no one there to catch me.

You, without voicing it, always knew that there would be someone.

From the day we met I was one of the few who broke your falls…

My guitar that I promised you I would play at your funeral is on my back; your land lady has her clarinet and we shall make music.

It is the first visit back since I had you in my hand luggage, and was so worried that your family would not have prepared for your return in a manner that was enough for me.

I thought that there would be no noticeable emotional changes on this trip but in the last couple of week I have found that I am returning to your home, two minutes down the road, and the silence is heaver and more thought provoking than I imagined it would be.

I sat in your chair and looked towards the garden with the same view your eyes had over two years ago; the branches are bare and remnants of snow lies on the ground. Look closely though and there are tiny buds, tips of green leaves between the snow, evident signs that this very long and dull winter is drawing to an end.

Consciously I don’t think of you so much now but am aware that you are with me as if in my shadow.

Going to your family and particularly your tomb, although unnecessary, is another defining reminder of your death. I am now the age you were when you died and I certainly would not be ready for it.

I do wonder what it will be like to see where we placed your ashes and I was going to bring a stone with me from England to place on your tomb but I haven’t so will let what will happen, do so naturally.




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