There’s a poem I’ve read over and over. I’m thinking I will include it in the book. The book I may never write. The book that will include recipes for Carrot Cake, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Tiramisu, Banoffee Pie and Chocolate Torte, his favourite puddings. Alongside my favourite poems – that is if I ever write the book; the book I may never write.
The poem I’ve read over and over is one of Philip Larkin’s and it is a poem about death. A year ago today. He died.
And I wake at four to soundless dark. And I think of Rich and how horrifying the dread of dying and being dead was to him…. the anaesthetic from which none come round. And I worry that I couldn’t halt unresting death.
Most things will never happen, this one will. Death is no different whined at than withstood.
The words echo in my head, in my heart, Aubade – dawn serenade. And last night I dreamt of him.
Aubade by Philip Larkin
And last night I dreamt of him. Such a vivid dream. So bright. So bizarre. I have never seen him so clearly or had such a lucid conversation with him in a dream. He looked his old self, not the emaciated shadow of a year ago. He was in his pink fleece, his Timberland boots, his faded denim jeans. He was grinning from ear to ear, on the doorstep, rosy cheeks glowing in the morning light and he said – “I’m back, I’m here again”. It was as if to say you can leave the torture of this year behind now and feel my presence with you as you move forward. I asked him where he’d been, he said – “I didn’t die, I just had to go away to get better, and now I’m back, I’m here again”. My response was – what shall I tell the others; your Dad, your kids, your colleagues – those 700+ people who came to your memorial service….but he just grinned that cheeky, mischievous, contagious, loving grin of his and all of a sudden everything was alright.
It will be alright. The light will strengthen, the room will take shape and work will be done. There must surely be more to life, more to death than