Dear John

Happy Valentine’s Day.

(Well, obviously it’s not happy for either of us.)

By chance earlier today I found a lovely Valentine’s card you once sent me, no date in it.  It says something very beautiful about how, whatever happens in the future, you will be happy as long as you are with me.

Well poor John, you’re not with me.  Not really, though I will try to keep you with me, take you forward into the future in my heart.

I took you a lovely card I bought recently, which says ‘Husband Love you Always and Forever’.  I thought it would be a nice thing to put on your grave, and I actually went back and bought several copies (the assistant must have thought I was weird), in case it gets stolen or blows away at the cemetery.  In fact I intend to frame one and attach it properly somehow to some sort of temporary memorial.  But since I have several, today I just signed it and left it there inside the plastic packaging, to keep the rain off.

It said something like ‘You mean so much to me’, and I resisted adding a ‘to’ so it said ‘You meant so much to me’.

I think you still do mean ever so much to me.  You were the most significant thing in my life, I will never have a relationship that long again.  I will never find anyone who was such a good fit with me and such a good friend.

I’m sure no-one else will ever love me for as long, and as constantly, as you did.

That is always going to mean a lot to me – present tense.

I also took you twelve red roses and left them on your grave.  They are not in water and will die too soon (like you did), but it only matters to have left them today.  Another time I will sort out a vase and put water in it.

Poor John, you will never see my roses.  I stood there and though, how can I just change my religion at will, so that I can believe that you are up in heaven, looking down on me standing by your grave?

I wish, wish it were true, that you could see me, that you were still ‘aware’ somewhere.  That you could share the moment with me, see the card and see the flowers.

I will try to believe it.

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