Losing Kath

Love lost, read and found

Tying up loose ends

The need to tie up loose ends never feels more pressing than reaching the turn in the path you know will lead you to staring the big bad wolf right in its face. Whether you’re alone or even together, you can find yourself sat in its mouth, long before you feel its breath on your necks. Kath and I guess were at this turn in our path where it was time to turn to the other and talk of the way that lay ahead.

You never know when a moment’s your last but you know you’ll regret when its gone and in that knowledge you don’t care if the timing is wrong or its right so long as you took the time to talk of what’s right. But how do you choose what is right or wrong for the living when you can’t even decide what is best for the dead?

Life is really nothing more than a load of loose ends and as many as we think we tie up, so many more remain unravelled, frayed or left in knots. There is no perfect start, middle and end where every loose end is perfectly tied up, real life is nothing like the movies, instead every loose end is a mess and for every strand you pick up and hope to tie up, leaves you feeling only distress!

I have written a lot about a lot of things and as much as I do, I find I can’t really do my feelings any justice. If I was honest enough I would write things sure and simple and just as they are and not feel the need to dress it all up in ribbons. Why I have ended up writing this way I am not really sure but I worry I might feel like my writing of Losing Kath has come in a way to own me. I don’t know where the story telling will go or if the story even ends and if this is just another loose end and perhaps this thought has me in a kind of crisis.

I don’t want to get to the stage where I fear I am writing for the sake of just writing, especially when I am simultaneously searching my soul and asking myself; ‘am I just clinging on for fear of ever letting go?’

But the process of both have become so intertwined that at times I am losing the sight of which is feeding the other. Having identified this feeling and knowing I would not solve it soon, I have sought to embrace Katherine in every part of my life going forward on whatever path I was sent on to walk up alone, rather than achingly leave her behind in a place with only memories.

You never see your life going forward and on without your loved one and its not something that time lets you plan for.

I speak solely for myself here but I am sure what I am going to say is much the same for just about everyone who feels like in loss they are broken. But I don’t feel like I am really broken, I just feel like part of me has been broken away revealing a part of me that was never exposed to the sun and since in its rawness it can now only burn.

This turn in the path that we were about to now face, first started off, both the pain of the burn and the ‘yearn’. I did not choose to live a life without my wife! I was one in most things with her, so hate the feeling that I might be only half as much now! She did not choose to be stopped in her tracks and not be allowed to follow on in our path, so how do you walk away from someone when neither one of you were willing to wave? I can’t get her off my mind, since her parting or even now and at least that is something that hasn’t left me! Leaving her behind is not something I need to do let alone want to, getting over her would feel callous and empty and you can’t tell yourself to get over someone you spent your whole life loving if they didn’t choose in fact to first leave you.

In loving Katherine I felt that I had found my feet and solid ground and she was all that made me stand proud. I am not trying to say she was more special than anyone else of course, but to me she was all that made me happy and really, really complete. I always felt accomplished somehow in introducing her to family, friends or colleagues especially when they came to visit us at home. It made me feel like I already had it all and the rest was just to enjoy the journey and to savour everyone of life’s tastes together. In life she made me feel like in fact we had it all and whatever that was, it was something you couldn’t really ever measure and it makes me scared in a way wondering what if that part of my life, was the pinnacle of things and if in that time, was a phase of me that was golden? What if the best I’ll ever be is in the times being left behind me! What other things in losing Kath would also be stripped of me? What if I am all I will ever be? I think I am frightened of me!

But that fear is a double edged thing and it cuts no matter which side I turn to. What if I choose to go on in my path and become more than I was and embrace all that will be, and then make it better me? What if happier or golden times lay ahead or I grow twice as much instead, will I demote what I once wed? I don’t want to diminish what Kath was to me nor to better it or forget our ‘us’ knowing what was taken from me was also taken from her, but I got to go on, on the path, not knowing if and where she might be waiting for me, and if I one day find out this loose end, will she want to once again take my hand, and will I need to drop others hands that pulled me through, once I had journey past the turn in the path that made me burn?

How does it work in heaven, because when you’re facing the big bad wolf and this turn, there is only the hell of loose ends in your head?

This was some of what I know I was feeling, at the stage of our ‘together’ that I now call ‘the turn’.

I am not sure exactly of the date that Kath and I had our hardest heart to heart talk but I know it was during one of the days of her last hospital stay at the Royal Marsden, not too long before she was finally discharged from their care, and any further help she might have she would only find in the hands of those who helped her father slip peacefully away just a year before. The hospice was to be our last whistle-stop on the way to wherever it was that we were going, the fork in the path were only one of us would go on, and the other would turn back alone having found that route to be their dead end.

But this was still to come and in our hope of hopes 2012 would come to an end having spent one last family Christmas together where we did not think of who the Angel on top of the tree might actually turn to be.

I think we tie ourselves up in knots, trying hard to tie up loose ends, and this is never more so than when the end is about to sever your ties.

Katherine was still hoping to get through to Christmas but for whatever reason she felt the timing was right and we had one of the conversations in life when you know you are staring into each other’s soul.

You are never prepared for these moments in life and it doesn’t matter whether you knew the moments would come, they still hit you right in the heart. But tying up loose ends is something we feel we just need to do.

“Kevin, I want you to bury me” she said, “with the ashes of Jessica and my Dad!”

This was just the start of my loose ends…….

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