Friday, 27 July 2012

I hope this does not seem too self indulgent but I feel I must in order to help me carry on after the death of my dear wife and provide a catharsis for me.
It is my farewell message to Susan which my brother read out in church for me.

We had 24 years together, 20 as man and wife.
We did make it to 20 and I am so glad we had our party even though at the time you did not feel up to it. We have records of thehappy occasion which I will always treasure with our other precious mementoes of our great times together.

It was my good fortune to meet you and get to love you and as time went on I came to love you more.

From the start we clicked, had the same opinions and outlook.
We seemed to have an almost telepathic knack of knowing what each other was going to say.
We were lucky to have very good friends but even when we were alone we could be happy with just each other's company.

You once asked me what annoyed me about you and I could think of nothing.
Yes you sometimes irritated me by standing in the doorway talking when I wanted to get past, and rearanging things so that I could not find them.

I could never find a pen as you had them all in the pockets of your body warmer which you wore for the purpose but these were only minor details and I can honestly say you never annoyed me.

You always gave a running commentary of what you were doing, "I'm just putting the kettle on" or I'm just going to have a cup of tea", and your habit of asking me what I was doing "why are you going upstairs" etc.

But these little feminine foibles are what made you interesting as a person and gave you your individuality which I will miss for ever.

Occasionally I DID have to tell you to hold your tongue when you went out as you tended to say things as they seemed to you.
You would never have made a diplomat, but, with you what you saw was what you got, the truth as you saw it and this honesty gained you many friends

They also liked your sense of fun and intelligent wit and personality. You were tidy whereas I was not and we complemented each other. You were good with paper work while I was not and I don't know how I will manage without your help.

HOWEVER you would never have held a job down in a museum. You would have dropped all the priceless exhibits.
We used to say you would have dropped a priceless Ming vase and indeed when almost daily you knocked something over we referred to it as a "Ming".
You would have kept a glass factory in business as you broke so many glasses.

BUT you put my house in order.
I have to admit it was a bit run down to say the least when you moved in. You agreed to do so if I painted the bathroom which I did.

Since then with your persuasion we have had a new bathroom,house roof,wash house, workshop, kitchen, porch, conservatory, car port and the much mocked "cess pit" as well as tidying the garden.

You put your stamp on our house and made it a HOME, one I was proud to show my friends.

Although a "townie" from Beech Hill you adapted to farming and, wearing your cowboy hat accompanied me to the auction.


You got to be a good cattle judge and when I was selling I always had to have the OK from you before I let them go.

Good as you were at that you were no sheepdog and useless at herding cattle as you were always in the wrong place. We even forgot to bring some home which we had bought because of the muddle we got in.

But with your office training you could do the books. Everything had to be in order and labelled.
Your good advice was invaluable to me in my practice and farming business.

I was lucky. Every farmer needs a good wife and you were that farmer's wife for me
You never jubbed when I aksed for your assistance in the farmyard and later you supported me with my politics where you made even more friends.

From a business point of view I would have been, and now am lost without your talent.

BUT my darling Susan I did not expect you to leave me so soon.
As it happened fortunately we had just made our 20th anniversary and I can be thankful we went ahead with the party at which you looked so lively that I cant yet comprehend that you have left me.

You always spoiled me, brought me little presents and thought of me when you went out.
You were too good for me but I hope you knew how much I loved you and still do, and I regret not having told you so more often.

I used to joke that "my wife bosses me mercilessly". How I wish you were still here to "boss me mercilessly" now.

You have suffered so much in the past 20 years, your body mutilated with 8 operations with the discomfort that entailed. You did not complain although you were often and even usually in pain, few peopleknew.
You were the life and soul of any gathering we attended in spite of your medical history and I was proud to have you at my side.

In spite of my efforts you suffered so much over the years with fortitude. I tried my best, but in the end it was not enough. I wish I could have and had done more to prolong our time together which for me was much too short.

You were my soulmate, never in 20 years apart for more than 6 hours. We went everywhere like lovesick teenagers, holding hands

When I see the rich and famous breaking up and parting I realise that however much money and fame they have they do not have a fraction of what we had.
I wouldn't have changed you in a million years.

On holiday we never met anybody. We did not need them. We were a partnership, content with each other.We only needed each other as I still need you but alas that can not now be.

I will miss you more than anyone can imagine.

BUT you have suffered too much and I don't think your system could have taken much more.

Hard as it is for the family we take comfort that your death was quick. You did not linger.
Two minutes after giving me instructions you were gone, a terrible shock for me but for you a good way out of this world, a journey we must all take.


Few knew how much you went through with stoicism.
You are free from all your troubles and we, although sad are left with the joy of our many happy memories and the good fortune at having met and loved you

I will try to carry on for the sake of the children but whatever happens---