To Brenda

Dearest, lovely, beautiful Brenda

I love you so much. I miss you so much. I am so lost without you.

My beloved Mrs Bradypus, three months ago today – April 11th 2018 – you  died after suffering a major brain haemorrhage. I remember so clearly when we met 56 years ago; our wedding day more than 54 years ago is as detailed in my mind as on the day it happened. But I remember you most when I think of our four so wonderful children, who love you dearly; and our 11  granddaughters and grandsons, who also love and miss you. We are shocked and numbed at your sudden death, and three months on the shock and numbness has not diminished in any way.

Brenda, aged about 14, in her Red Maids School, Bristol, best uniform

You know, I often told you that I love you, but that was never often enough. How I wish that you were here now, so that I could take you in my arms again, kiss you over and over and never stop saying “I love you!”

To my regret, I don’t think I ever told you that you were the total centre of my life. That you were the only thing that kept me going during the dark times. That you were my refuge when I was afraid, my protection when I was at my most self-destructive, and my sole raison d’être. With you, my life made sense. Sharing a life with you, raising our children together, gave my existence meaning, purpose and joy.

Brenda, about to enjoy a Tequila Sunrise, just a few days before she died.

Before you, I was nothing much to consider. With you I was at my best; with you I became a mensch; with you I drank of life fully and joyously. Now, without you again, I am nothing much to consider. Just older, and much less able to manage. Oh, how I miss you, how I want you back, how I would welcome you even if you were telling me off for some domestic forgetfulness or the other.

Also, were you here, I would apologise from the bottom of my heart that, when you became ill that last time, I was not more aware of how serious it was, how different it was from the times before, how in need of immediate action you were, how much your life was under threat. I delayed too long, expecting you to bounce back like earlier. For that neglect, and for not being able to save you, please forgive me.

Finally, Brenda dearest, in case you might forget, I remind you of the two most important promises I made you, promises I am so happy to have kept. The first, given when you made me propose to you, was that I would never leave you, no matter what. You know that I never left you – right up to your last breath, I was with you, holding your hand as you went away. The second, at the start of this year, was that you would go home to England in 2018. This promise too was kept, but, tragically, not in a way either of us would have chosen.

You are at peace now my love. I remain behind, lost, desolate, and with more than half of me amputated. But, I have this to cling to: the memory of the 56 amazing years I spend with you, the most wonderful and beloved person I have ever known or will ever know.

Dearest, I love you forever.



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