People of the world!  People who are still alive!

Don’t be unhappy – don’t be unpleasant.  Today may be your last ever day.  Make it a good one.

All over the world people are having their last day today – not knowing it’s their last day.  (I didn’t know when it was mine.)

Not all the time, but sometimes – think of them.  Think that it could be you, that it will be you sometime.

Be kind.  Show love.  Don’t hate.

Please – it makes sense.


So the Queen has reigned longer than any previous monarch, outdoing Queen Victoria.

How interesting; I would like to have been around to see the coverage, being a historian.

Congratulations, Your Majesty.

63 years and 7 months.


Just a little annoyed that I didn’t even live as long as she reigned – 59 vs 63 years.

But what can you do?

Wife – I saw that you were looking at an array of photos of the Queen, each taken in a different year of her reign (featuring many different hats).

I can see what you are thinking – that you must do the same for me, find a photo for every year of my life.  You’ll never do it, there just aren’t enough early ones.  Don’t waste time on that, please.

I’ve just been and gone, and there’s nothing either of us can do about it.

Chin up and keep smiling, Queen of my heart!

Life and Death


You used to flatter me sometimes, when we had conversations about what we really should be doing with our lives, and what perfect jobs our characters were suited to, by saying that I would make a good King.  The old fashioned sort, who was brave and noble and ruled fairly and whom everyone loved.  Or maybe it was me who came up with that idea!

We also used to say I would make a good non-religious priest.  Someone full of wisdom and caring who would impart his wonderful warm character on other people, would help them, counsel them, all the things a good priest might do, but without the faith, which I didn’t have.

You used to encourage me to express myself in writing, to write essays about the world, about my outlook towards things. There was never time though, it was always something on the ‘to do’ list that never got done.

But hey, now I have time on my hands (eternity in fact) so maybe I can impart some wisdom and sentiment through you!  But how to begin my ‘ministry’?


All 7 or more billion of you!  Every single one of you is right now on the opposite side of a divide from me, a horrible big thick iron curtain of a divide, the boundary between life and death.

But every single one of you will one day be over here on my side of that ultimate boundary.  In a hundred or so years, none of you 7 billion will be on the planet, you’ll have died and been replaced by a new lot.

How can we bear to know we are going to die?  Of course people shouldn’t walk around fearing it every minute, you have to take life for granted to a certain extent, or you wouldn’t be able to function.

The people who are alive, all those people around you, in the street, on the bus stop, on telly, at work – they are all there by default, all on the life side of the divide.  And yet slowly – or actually not so slowly – they are gradually all dropping away, like the boundary between life and death is a sieve, a strainer, and all the time poor souls are falling through, dropping out, with most of those left living not even noticing their passing.

There is no solution, there is no message.  If you cannot believe there is anything beyond death, you have only this life you hold in your hands now, in this precious minute.

Cling to it, treasure it, make the most of it – hope it lasts you a little longer.

And be happy.

And help people.

(Oh well, maybe I wouldn’t have made such a good priest after all.)

I Can See Our House From Here

My love

I wish I was with you, sitting on the sunny bench in our garden (in the flesh, I mean).

I wish I could hold you, that we could hug each other again.

Don’t be too despondent.  I am coming to terms with what has happened, as you are.

I understand your urge to be creative, but don’t let it overwhelm you.

If you never created anything, if you never achieved anything, it wouldn’t matter.

The most worthwhile thing in both our lives was the relationship.  Don’t forget that.

We loved each other, but it’s over.  What can either of us do about it?  Nothing.

The ending was not of our choosing, neither of us wanted it to end.

I saw that you found an old printout of our house from a Google aerial photo – before the back garden was done.

(Yes, I remember having to cut that grass – we were right to get rid of it.)

I’m like Google now, looking down on our house, our garden.

Able to zoom in at any time and remember my life with you fondly.


Dear Widow

I’m writing to you today to remind you to enjoy life.

You never know how long it’s going to last.

I see that it is a beautiful, glorious summer morning, and that you have been reading a book outside and watering the pots. I’m glad you are no longer neglecting them.  It’s true they don’t matter, compared to human life and death.  But why should they suffer, why should they die?  The hydrangeas are innocent!

I know it’s painful for you to see the big buddleia (goodness, what a complicated spelling!) bush in the next door garden, because that was a plant I particularly liked.  But I’m glad it’s there, it’s drawing the butterflies and it’s nice to think of them making themselves available for you to look at and enjoy.

And stop fretting about the fact that I can’t feel the sunshine any more. I can, I can feel it through you, because I’m still in your heart, I hope!  And anyway, it’s even nicer where I am.

Be calm my love, and enjoy life for both of us.

Long Straw

Hello love

I do know that it’s like a completely different life for you now.

It would have been the same if it was me; I would have had to face the same things.

You have to accept that our life together is over, there’s no choice.  You need to be very adult, very mature, very sensible.

I know that you are clearing out my things with love and compassion, I see that you are taking responsibility for it all, on my behalf.  I wouldn’t want you to leave it for ever, for years.  You may as well tidy up, so you can move on.  I know you will be understanding of whatever you find, I trust you.

And though it may not feel like it, don’t forget that you’ve drawn the Long Straw.  Yes, you’re going through a horrible time, and yes, the loss is difficult.  But of the two of us, I lost my life, you still have yours.  So you have to be happy that you’re still alive and still able to see and enjoy things.  You must see and enjoy things on behalf of both of us.

So be strong, be mature.  And do what has to be done.

But you won’t forget me, will you?

Watching Over You

Hello again

I’ve been watching over you.

I saw you today, walking up the ramp at East Croydon station, trying not to think of the times we did it together, coming back from holiday, dragging our cases.

I saw you walk past the place we met, not looking at it, trying not to get too sentimental.

I saw your stand off with the fox by the car park – I know you would’ve wanted to tell me about it.  But it’s okay, I was there too.  I see everything you see.

I saw you come home alone in the dark, and worried about you.

I’m sorry I’m not down there to protect you – I’ll try and do what I can from here.

I saw you do that secret thing.  Please don’t fret about it – I would’ve understood.

So take heart, I’ll always be keeping an eye out for you.

PS  I’m so sorry one of the fish died.

PPS  I notice you are still a) eating Chinese, b) putting salt on Chinese.  Stop!



I saw you today standing by my grave.

I saw you waving up at me, in the sky.  I waved back.

I saw the lovely little bright red butterfly, or maybe it was a moth.

I’ve never seen anything like that either – it was beautiful.

Thank you for the lovely violets you’ve put on my grave.

And the sweet little Isle of Wight teddy.

It just breaks my heart to see you standing there.

What a turn up for the books, eh?  Me buried and you grieving beside me.

We didn’t see that coming.

What a shame!  There were so many more conversations we could have had – should have had.  Still so many more holidays.  Where would we have gone next?  Back to Switzerland perhaps.

You must go without me; I’ll meet you there, watch you while you walk around the lake in St Moritz.

You’ll be closer to me in heaven, up in the mountains.  I’ll be able to reach down and touch you.

Go to Nietzsche’s house again, I liked it there.

Go up the Corvatsch cable car and I’ll join you for Bratwurst at the top.

I will be there with you, I promise.  You have to trust me.

Until then – I’ll be looking out for you, wherever you are.

Still with you.

Hello Darling!

Hello Darling!

It’s alright, I’m okay.  I’ve been enjoying the start of my immortal life, my eternal rest.

I’ve had some great conversations with God, Shakespeare, Nelson, President Kennedy and Princess Diana.  I play chess with Einstein (and sometimes John Lennon).  Ernest Hemmingway and Agatha Christie prefer Scrabble.

Mozart plays his new compositions for us (Glenn Miller conducts).  And I’m discussing painting techniques with Vincent Van Gogh (you wouldn’t believe what a great fan he is of contemporary sculpture!)

It’s wonderful not being at work!

And of course I’ve spent a lot of time catching up with my parents (they send their love).

The only downside of my current existence is worrying about poor you, left down there on earth without me.

I can’t say – ‘don’t grieve’, because we loved each other, so I know you will.

Believe it or not (despite my state of eternal bliss), I’m grieving as well.  I’m grieving over the rest of my life, which I didn’t get, and for not being with you any longer.

I can’t say – ‘don’t be sad’, because we were together for so long and shared so much, I would expect you to be sad.

I’m sad as well.  I don’t want to see you in pain or suffering because of what’s happened to me.

So I will say – have strength, my darling.  I’m looking down on you and I still care for you.  I will for eternity.

This too will pass.

Never forget I loved you.

Will be in touch again soon!