– life after (a) death


When Maureen was alive, three of our favourite films (which for us meant being watchable over and over again infinitely, and such a thing does exist, they are called classics) were SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, TRULY MADLY DEEPLY, and DAN IN REAL LIFE.  But what I didn’t realise at the time was the common theme linking them, bereavement.  Strange but true.  Somehow it was possible to enjoy it as much for everything else.  Then she died and I saw for the first time how important that part was to the whole.  It seems until we personally experience death then we haven’t the slightest idea how it will affect us thereafter.

Watching TMD was especially wonderful in the weeks/ months/ then slowly years after she left.  As it allowed me to believe in the possibility that at some point she would feel my distress, come back (along with a complete orchestra of new friends, though please not to play Bach, Haydn instead, far more soulful), and together work on finding a new partner/ life.  But she didn’t.  And there weren’t any other (of the expected) signs that she had gone to another place.  Except that is, against all the odds, I survived.  In a totally foreign country.  Not being able to speak a word of the language (after 13 years!).  No job (no benefits either).  Two bad falls off my mountain bike (which still hurt).  Being bitten twice by a Staffordshire bull terrier.  Alone in a house in the middle of a forest, two kilometres from the nearest other inhabitant.  And no connection to any of the usual services.

Only Maureen could have kept me safe through all that.  Guided Pauline to find her way here, all the way from Shetland.

Anyway, to get to the nub (I currently have a backlog of ideas for blogs), since then two even stranger things have happened, to convince me that yes we do live on after death.

The first concerns how we soon forget our partner after they have gone.  For despite photos going back 35 years, a recent video, and a radio interview, within weeks I could no longer summon up how it used to feel with her being here.  Then recently she re-appeared.  In my dreams.  Maureen as she is now (not a memory), and where I can be with her as in real life.  Albeit only when asleep and when she is there.  Proving that people do live on after they die, at least as long as those who remember them remain, and hopefully to stay as long as you want.

The other one is more spooky.  People who have known me a long time will understand that when I say I used to be a recluse/ sociopath, this is no understatement.  When we lived in North Yorkshire whole months could pass when I never felt the need to leave the village.  Employers always found me impossible to work with (in one I lasted only an hour before being escorted from the premises).  Then after Maureen died I suddenly had this feeling that vast parts of my personality had never had the chance to develop.  And gradually, bit by bit came out of my shell, metamorphosed, becoming the person I am now, a completely new version.  One with all the good bits added that Maureen left for me to adopt.  A love of learning the new language.  Enjoying being with people.  Writing blogs.  Assertive with shopkeepers/ petty officials/ tradespeople.  Persevering until something is resolved.  All in all, being a lot happier about things.  Yet at the same time a lot more confident to take on things that aren’t fair/ just.

That’s it.  Short, but I hope will help anyone who is currently experiencing the same event.


1 comment
  1. I particularly liked the paragraph of “part of my personality that never had the chance to develop”. Having being with the same person for almost 30 years, I feel that some parts of me are somewhat undeveloped because of the symbiosis: either the partner blocks that development with their attitude (and we try to comply and follow out of love, compassion, etc.) or we are the ones who allow our partners to do certain things that would otherwise makes us be out of our comfort zone.
    Difficult is when only one of the two people develops a different interest or even way to see life and the other doesn’t follow and stays behind or develops in an opposite way.

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