I regretted the decision to see you again, two weeks after you died.
It wasn’t a good experience. The less said about it the better.
I had chosen two most precious things to go in your coffin with you.
One was the ‘I Love You’ mug which you had used for years and years, and which you always favoured for making yourself a nice cup of tea. It was black with pink hearts on it. I spent years fearing I would break it accidentally and never even put it in the dishwasher – it always got rinsed out separately. When you died it became the most poignant and precious object, and I decided to give it to you, so you could make yourself a nice cup of tea in heaven.
I also gave you our most precious cuddly toy – the cute little dog ‘Souvlaki’ (kebab!) which we bought years ago on one of our first Greek island holidays (I don’t remember which; you would have).
I hope Souvlaki will keep you company and guard you on your journeys in the afterlife.
I also brought in on that day another white teddy bear holding a red heart that said ‘I love you’, and he went in with you as well.
And then a few of my most favourite photos of you, as prints, and also a computer storage stick with a copy of the 600 or so photos of you I had accumulated while you were in hospital. This is in case the archaeologists of the future want to see what someone looked like, though I suppose I doubt anyone will ever find or look at them.
I also put in a nice card saying I love you (a Valentine’s Card as it was close to Valentine’s Day) and a letter with some key sentiments. I read this letter out loud when I went to see you in the chapel. This is what it said:
Dearest, darling John
I can’t believe you have been taken from me, so unexpectedly.
I am distraught without you.
Everything will always remind me of you.
You were so special and precious to me.
Thank you for 29 wonderful years.
I wish there could have been a few more.
I am so sorry you didn’t pull through, I wanted it so much.
I’m so sorry you didn’t get your retirement.
It was a privilege to have shared my life with you.
It was a privilege to have been loved by you for so long.
I will miss you so much.
I will always remember you with such fondness and sorrow.
Without you I am half a conversation.
I love you.
Rest In Peace.
Your loving wife