Friday, 30 March 2007

remembering barbara





There was an old man on the train today, dishevelled and dirty, he wasn't travelling anywhere in particular, he just seemed to like trains. Without pausing for oxygen he recounted a stream of tales from his past, about weird uncles, bad tempered camels and trips to Skeg. Eventually he told the strangers in the carriage that his wife, Barbara, had died just 6 weeks earlier of cancer - at home in their bed. For a reason that I can't quite work out, she had asked him not to call and tell anyone she'd passed until rigor mortis had set in. When the time came and he knew her last breath was spent, he dutifully went to watch films in the other room, waiting for the cold stiffness of death so he could tell someone. His birthday was on the 3rd of March. He sent himself a card and signed it with love from Barbara as she'd told him to.

3 comments:

Robin Cracknell said...

One of your finest. Ever.
This will stay with me for a long time.
How fortunate that man was to have you beside him listening so sympathetically.

vivityviv said...

Heartwrenching stuff. I bet he wasn't dirty & dishevelled when Barbara was here either :(

channelfur said...

well honestly - i didn't do anything except doodle n listen - we were compelled to, there was one guy there who was really great with him tho'-