Why do you have to die to get out of a successful marriage? Why do we label a marriage as failed when both people survive?

Mum and dad almost made it to their 60th Wedding anniversary. That is some achievement. Hubby and I have been married 28 years and I can’t imagine how it feels to be in a marriage thats twice as long. I don’t like leaving mum to lock up the house and go to bed on her own.

During dads illness I carried a little notebook with me every where. Each appointment had a neat heading and a brief summary of all that happens during the appointment. The book contains details of the ever changing medicines and the dose of each. I also have lists of contact details from doctors to pharmacies and cancer research help line. The book is my most precious possession.

I look at this book that has been on my kitchen table since I arrived home two days ago.

The book needs to go…..now. I take it down the garden with a box of matches in my other hand. Since dad passed away I seem to be doing things that are almost ritualistic. Bird feathers, talking to rainbows that seem to disappear into my home….now burning a manuscript of an illness.

I decide to carry on with whatever I feel needs to be done to get through this grief. I know dad would want me to be positive , wear bright colours and smile when I can.

During the small fire, a number of pages escape and dance around the garden. I watch the paper mingle with falling leaves. I stand up and focus on a beautiful copper beech leaf falling, twisting and changing its path. I begin a merry shuffle and manage to catch it mid air. I look up at the house and my son is watching me.

I smile and shout “caught it” with the leaf held aloft of my head. A reassurance to my darling son that its ok to carry on and live like his grandad would want us to.

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