Downstream – Anzac Day, 1995

You are stuck there in my pastlike a fly in amber:
visible,
precious,
protected.
Dead.

The world changed when you left it seven years ago;
and with every day that passes
you are one day farther away from
the reaching fingertips of my remembering mind.

Like a train departing the station
or a river tumbling inevitably down hill,
I am leaving you behind
held fast by a point in time.

All I have to do is lead my life:
I work,
I eat,
I sleep;
and with every task,
with every mouthful,
with every dream
you are farther away from me.

And still I change.

I am no longer the person
who sat beside you as you died,
as you slipped gently into my past,
while I held your hand in mine
and wept
for a time.

9th March 2003

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6 responses to “Downstream – Anzac Day, 1995

  1. I love this, Aphra. The lines that speak to my heart are “the reaching fingertips of my remembering mind” and “as you slipped gently into my past”. Such very acute sadness in both.

  2. This is very moving, Aphra. Who wrote it?

    I shall be going before very long, and I only hope that the one I leave behind will be as philosophical as this.

  3. Thank you both. I wrote it about my father. Now that I look at it again, I want to completely re-write it of course.

    Anticant, I am sure that anyone as passionate and thoughtful as you are will be remembered by equally passionate and thoughtful people.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Aphra.

  4. That’s extremely kind of you, Aphra. For us, it will be the end of a 47-year partnership. Not easy in any circumstances, but with both in poor health and under stress, painful to contemplate without deep dismay.

    I’ve been fairly OK so far this year, and have first-rate consultants, but with no clear picture beyond the next outpatients’ appointment, everything is short-term these days. I can’t go out much, and blog for therapy.

    I very much enjoy your postings.

  5. There’s the missing the person, and there’s unfinished business. I am sure that you and your parner will have said everything that should be said, and asked and answered everything that should be asked and answered when the time comes.

    One thing that made my father’s passing easier for us all was that we had spent two weeks or so going through my parents things when they moved out of their home which was a couple of months before he died. We could ask him who the pretty girl in the photo was, what the impressive building had been, why he’d bought that particular postcard, and it was intense but ultimately much easier.

    I cannot imagine the complexities of starting that process of gentle disentangling and closure in a partnership of 47 years though.

    Take care anticant. Internet wierdos are fond of you.

    Aphra.

  6. Many thanks, Aphra. The “process” has been going on for more than two years now – ever since I was diagnosed as chronically ill. Life consists of little else these days. By no means easy!

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