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and its clothing makes a hushed sound, like a tree

I read this to my husband this morning. He had read it and heard it many times before. I read it to him this morning because last night he had news of the death of a great man. A man who was his dear friend and a man who it can truly be said lived a worthwhile life, leaves a great legacy and above all things was a decent man of integrity. Patrick Thaddeus will be remembered with pride and joy by many, mourned with aching hearts by those that love him and his death reduced my cool and considered husband to cascades of forlorn, muted globular tears. Death does that. There follows what I wrote just over two years ago of the way that perhaps life can warm us when struggling in the cold shadow of death close-by.

Half Baked In Paradise

Last Tuesday was Mardi Gras – the last day of eating fatly before the Lenton fast.  It’s an important day in the calender here, as it is in all Catholic countries – the children dress up and in many towns there is a carnival atmosphere with costumes and fire-works aplenty as well as a healthy dollop of unhealthy gluttony.  Mercredi des Cendres (Ash Wednesday) follows and it too is well marked.  People attend Church and the Priest marks foreheads or forearms with crosses of blessed ash that come from burning the palms left over from Palm Sunday. The ashen marks should be left to fade naturally rather than washed off.  The bells in all the churches ring peels and peels and peels all day long.  This is a reminder that they are being ‘cleaned’ in readiness for their journey to Rome to be blessed.IMG_2512  The bells (yup every single…

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  1. Condolences to your husband on losing his good friend. It must be a strange feeling, one that cannot even be put into words. And that Neruda poem is overwhelmingly beautiful and so intense.

    “Instead of skulking at home I am out and smiling. Because I can, you see. And one day I won’t be able to. That’s the only sure fire certainty in this life.” Beautifully written, Osyth, because if that is the one thing I shall take away, I shall do it to the hilt.

    Liked by 3 people

    May 2, 2017
    • Thank you so much. I will pass your kind words to my husband. Pat was really very much a father to him (my father never knew his father) so it has hit him terribly hard. Neruda never fails me because he was so unafraid to express with unfettered passion. Your are generous about my words, dear Dotty … I am humbled that you find them of merit.

      Liked by 2 people

      May 2, 2017
      • I do. I would love to read about your time in the mountains too. A father-like figure makes the loss even harder to bear I am sure. He has you by his side in these difficult times and that is something to hold onto and carry him through.

        Liked by 2 people

        May 2, 2017
  2. Heartfelt condolences on losing a great friend of your husband. Read that old post and enjoyed the read. Missed many of your older posts, as I was bit away from blogging. Will catch them all. Thanks Osyth.

    Liked by 2 people

    May 2, 2017
    • This one was very old – from the days when I maybe had 3 followers! Thank you for your kind words …. I will pass them to my husband who is quite bereft since Pat was really like a father to him (my father never knew his father). Take your time and only read what you want to …. blogging can be a time bandit and you must devote your energy to your enticing and spectacular recipes which feed my soul through the eyes!

      Liked by 3 people

      May 2, 2017
  3. You have it absolutely right. it is easy to slip into the sadness, and melancholy (i had a visit from them last week), but oh, so much better to live, to be happy, to contribute something glorious to the world by just breathing contentment. I struggle on the see-saw, but I am learning to balance much better, and to take pleasure in being here to do so.

    Condolences to your Hubby, it is very hard to lose a friend.

    Liked by 3 people

    May 2, 2017
    • Thank you Claudette. My husband never knew his father and Patrick, as I said to him last night was one of his fathers. It is hard not to see-saw if you are of a particular make-up (I am too) but a reminder that we need to try and breath contentment whilst we can draw breath helps, perhaps.

      Liked by 3 people

      May 2, 2017
      • It does indeed, Osyth. I am much better at it these days, knowing that what goes down (see-saw wise) will eventually rise to the light again.

        Liked by 2 people

        May 3, 2017
      • I am glad you are. You are one who I know understands the depths that life can delve to and you are one who deserves to know the bright warmth of the sun far more than the dank interior of the cave.

        Liked by 1 person

        May 3, 2017
      • Thank you, thank you for your always kind words. I am very happy not to dwell in the dank cave anymore 🙂 and any little weak moments of cave-memories are soon soothed by the sun.

        Liked by 2 people

        May 3, 2017
  4. Sincere condolences to your husband. It is hard to lose a parent, including an honorary one.

    Liked by 3 people

    May 2, 2017
    • Thank you. It is always hard. Ironically we spent Sunday with friends in Cantal, he having lost his father a month ago. Walking side by side I heard my husband say to him ‘losing a parent is terribly hard and the pain will never leave you’. He was right. But as I said to him this morning, the pain exists because of the deep love you felt and the relationship you had shaped who you are and will continue to support the man you are going forward.

      Liked by 3 people

      May 2, 2017
  5. My sincerest condolences to your hubby. I lost my best friend to pancreatic cancer at 44 and know that feeling. Loved the reread of the beautiful post.

    Liked by 2 people

    May 2, 2017
    • I remember this tragic fact from an earlier conversation with you. Those that we really love never leave us, sadly the pain of their loss never goes either. My heartfelt thanks for your kindness and I will pass your words to my husband for the kindness of others means even more in grief, I think.

      Liked by 2 people

      May 2, 2017
  6. Something like a devastating loss such as this has a strange way of putting the rest of life’s little trials into crisp perspective.
    That won’t help right now, but it may later.

    We are all leaves in the wind and our only power is to care and to choose how we live this life.
    If we can care deeply and move forward courageously, then we are truly living.

    Liked by 3 people

    May 2, 2017
    • Gill, that is the most beautiful commentary. And wise. And you are so right …. death, devastating death, serves to sharpen our perspective and that is often a very good thing in this life of ours which can so easily become laden with trivial trials that really should be crisply despatched to la poubelle.

      Liked by 1 person

      May 2, 2017
  7. Condolences to your husband, Osyth. I am very sorry to hear of the loss of his beloved friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    May 2, 2017
    • Thank you Tonya. He is heartbroken today but today will turn to tomorrow and in time the pain will lessen and the delight that their friendship brought will make a special nest to keep Pat close in his heart.

      Liked by 2 people

      May 2, 2017
  8. j’en suis profondément attristée… I do understand your beloved hubby must be heartbroken, will you please convey him my sincere condolences, courage, strength and serenity… ❤

    pain is a journey of grief for everyone, like a wake-up call… a natural process, and there is a certain common human experience which we've been through… we're are all emotional beings and we need to find a path for this in our everyday life – with whatever tools we have, the only chance to heal, to go on living… warm-hearted thoughts and, as you speak French:

    La mort n’est rien… – Charles Péguy

    La mort n’est rien, je suis simplement passé dans la pièce à côté.
    Je suis moi, vous êtes vous.
    Ce que nous étions les uns pour les autres, nous le sommes toujours.
    Donnez-moi le nom que vous m’avez toujours donné,
    Parlez-moi comme vous l’avez toujours fait,
    N’employez pas un ton solennel ou triste,
    Continuez à rire de ce qui nous faisait rire ensemble,
    Priez, souriez, pensez à moi,
    Que mon nom soit prononcé comme il l’a toujours été,
    Sans emphase d’aucune sorte, sans trace d’ombre,
    La vie signifie tout ce qu’elle a toujours signifié,
    Elle est ce qu’elle a toujours été.
    Le fil n’est pas coupé,
    Simplement parce que je suis hors de votre vue.
    Je vous attends. Je ne suis pas loin.
    Juste de l’autre côté du chemin.
    Vous voyez: tout est bien…

    Liked by 3 people

    May 2, 2017
    • Thank you Mélanie. I will certainly convey your warm and heartfelt condolences to my husband. I will also read him the words of Charles Péguy. They will comfort him and I thank you for that also.

      Liked by 2 people

      May 2, 2017
  9. I feel for your husband in his sense of loss – not only a colleague, a mentor, but a man who cared for him.

    Liked by 2 people

    May 2, 2017
    • That’s it exactly. The void is great. Time will shore it up but he will carry the loss with him because this was a man who played a vast part in his life.

      Liked by 1 person

      May 2, 2017
  10. All is understood. My condolences to your husband during this difficult time. How lucky he is to have you by his side.

    Liked by 2 people

    May 2, 2017
    • Thank you Andrew … in fact this was quite a shock and has shaken off my recent malaise. My husband certainly needs strong arms and gentle hands today.

      Liked by 2 people

      May 2, 2017
  11. I am so sorry to read this, how devastated he must be. Strangely, I posted on this topic myself today. There are no words when one loses a father, biological or otherwise, to describe the everlasting void where they should be, always wanting to show them, tell them, ask them… I am sorry he and you are having to go through this. 💜

    Liked by 2 people

    May 2, 2017
    • Thank you. He is devastated … grief in all its barbed rawness. I will read your post in the morning and in the meantime I send you our heartfelt thanks for your sincere and truthful words

      Liked by 2 people

      May 2, 2017
  12. I am very sorry to learn about this loss, my condolences.

    Liked by 2 people

    May 2, 2017
    • Thank you Terry. My husband has taken great comfort from the kindness of strangers leaving thoughtful remarks. Since he doesn’t think of you as a stranger but rather as my very dear friend he will be very touched by your note.

      Liked by 1 person

      May 3, 2017
  13. To lose a fine person and a good friend leaves an empty space in your soul. The best the soul can do is gives thanks for the company of the loved one while alive.

    Liked by 2 people

    May 2, 2017
    • Bernadette, that is a fine truth beautifully rendered. Thank you. ❤️

      Like

      May 3, 2017
  14. I understand.

    Liked by 2 people

    May 2, 2017
  15. lindywhitton #

    Heartfelt gratitude for a life well lived and friendship shared is a salve for the sorrow that death brings. I hope your husband finds this in the coming days, weeks, months and years. I enjoyed your insightful post as usual Osyth – it seems to me we must live life with joy if we are to honour those who have left it.

    Like

    May 3, 2017
  16. My commiserations to your husband, Osyth

    Liked by 1 person

    May 3, 2017
  17. my condolences to you and your husband..my prayers go out to the family as well….losing someone so great. ..and someone who have been our constant companion in life: be it a friend, a love one, or a relative is never easy. .I, too just remembered my dad who died years ago but it seemed just like yesterday. we will never ever probably forget them. .and they will forever be a part of our lives…and though they say time heals all wounds but I beli even time may never help us forget them..because I personally would want to remember them..

    Thanks for sharing again the previous post you had in there. .it such a beautiful poem by Neruda.

    I will be reading back your old posts as soon as I get a descent internet connection. .

    Liked by 2 people

    May 5, 2017
    • Thank you Mich. Your kind thoughts are appreciated greatly. Patrick was my husband’s friend. I only really knew him a tiny bit. The grief is felt by others who are close to me and who it is my job to support and comfort. My father, too, died many years ago. The pain never lessens, the pain never leaves. It finds a place and in that place, if we let it, we can find comfort that through the great love we have, we never truly lose those that are closest to us. I am a huge admirer of Neruda. He seemed appropriate ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

      May 5, 2017
      • Neruda indeed seemed to enunciate perfectly our thoughts. ..Thanks for sharing it with us..

        Liked by 1 person

        May 5, 2017
  18. Great work! Your blogs inspired me to write something!

    Looking forward for read your next blog! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    May 5, 2017
    • Thank you so much Kielstradamus … that is honestly the most lovely comment and makes me very happy. Welcome aboard!

      Like

      May 5, 2017
  19. Very sorry to hear of your husband’s friend, and of the losses from two years ago. Knowing your ability with words, I’m sure that the letter you wrote to your friend will have been very welcome, and all the more so for being tangible, rather than just being words on a screen. As you say, life is for living, and we shouldn’t leave it too late to realise that.

    Liked by 2 people

    May 6, 2017
    • I think it is the most important thing to stay mindful of. That we have a life and that it is a gift to be lived. I know that often that is hard. I understand depression only too well but I do try to kick myself in the derrière when the blues descend. And the death of Patrick nicely did that to me and outed the Black Dog on his most recent excursion round my shoulders.

      Liked by 2 people

      May 6, 2017
  20. So beautiful, Fiona. And so timely. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    May 6, 2017
    • Thank you Janet. I hope all is well in your world and that your trip has been beautiful

      Liked by 1 person

      May 6, 2017
  21. I am so sorry that your husband has lost a wonderful friend…please pass along to him my sincere condolences …no matter the age or if one has lived a long fruitful life, or a youngin….it all hurts and deeply….I read your words twice, well said my friend….I have saved them to a safe spot to have when I will need to hear them for myself in my time of need…..great poem……xxkat

    Liked by 2 people

    May 6, 2017
    • Thank you dearest Kat. He has been very sad these past few days but Pat will find his place within and my husband will walk with him forever. That’s the way of it when a close and dear one passes. He was 85 years old but as I said to my husband, sometimes it is always too soon. I’m glad my words touched you. The poem is a treasure. Neruda was one of those that richly deserved his noble and I will never tire of his intellect and agility with words and his ability to cut to the heart of the most joyous and most painful events in life. Xx

      Liked by 2 people

      May 7, 2017
      • I have found that time does heal, however its so wonderful that we never forget those who have left….we can cherish whom and what we had with them, et them live on in out heats and actions….and if your incredibly lucky they will visit you in your dreams….I often dream of my family that has left this earth, my father never stops helping me out….grief is stifling and grips your soul, and everyone of us go through at a different pace…I could feel his anguish through your blog….. hope the sun is shinning down upon him today…..xxkat

        Liked by 2 people

        May 7, 2017
      • This comment made me inordinately happy xx

        Liked by 1 person

        May 7, 2017
  22. There is True Said “To lose a fine person and a good friend leaves an empty space in your soul.”

    Liked by 2 people

    May 10, 2017
    • Yes, it does Excellence. In the end though, the footprints on your heart become a welcome part of you fabric. Because you were fortunate to have that person in your life for a while. Thank you so much for dropping by and for taking the time to comment. It is very kind of you.

      Liked by 1 person

      May 10, 2017
  23. I feel your husband’s pain in my heart as I peel yet another layer of grief’s onion for dear ones long departed and still mourned in my own life – though more easily managed now than when their loss was fresh.

    The thought that comforts me is how much worse it would be if those we love so dearly passed on and were mourned no more than the fallen leaves of autumn when their time has passed.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

    May 17, 2017
  24. my deepest sympathy xx

    Liked by 1 person

    May 31, 2017
    • Thank you so much – life and death live hand in hand xx

      Like

      May 31, 2017

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