Dear John

When you were taken into hospital on that horrible day, you had left a half finished bottle of red wine – Beaujolais Villages – on the table at home.

I was so upset about it, it was one of the things that bothered me immediately, the possibility that you had been snatched away unexpectedly and would never drink the rest of that bottle of wine.

Then of course there were weeks of hope, when I kept it for you and imagined saying to you one day (maybe months later), this is the half finished bottle of wine you left on that day.

Of course it wouldn’t have been any good by then, probably, but it would have been a poignant thing, for you to have come home again and at least seen it, if not drunk it.

It was exactly half finished as well, which formed its own poignancy – the thing about whether something is half empty or half full, which we so often talked and ruminated about.

Sometimes I would look at it and think it was half empty, because you were gone and might not come back.

Sometimes I would try to think of it as half full, that you were still alive, that there was still hope.

And even once you had died, darling.  I have tried to think that having had 29 years with you was a ‘half full’ thing, rather than dwelling on things being ‘half empty’, in that I have lost so many years we might still have spent together.

Anyway, today I did something silly and sentimental – I took the remaining half bottle of wine and tipped it out on your grave.

I know you won’t taste it, but it’s sort of like you finishing it.  Maybe some molecules of wine will reach you down below, mingle with you, giving you a last ‘taste’ of red wine to enjoy.

What a sad, sad thing John.  I so wish you had come back and finished your wine.

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