Another year has passed since my beloved Paul died. And so, another year has been spent making the journey to lay flowers on his grave. I’d like to say that it gets easier with each passing year but it doesn’t. I’m just used to it now; I’m just (mostly) prepared for the waves of emotion that take over.
On a day as hard as the anniversary of my true love’s passing, I like to enjoy as many little smiles and moments of laughter as I can. And it seems that one of those (often mischievous) moments is when I inevitably leave flowers at his grave. Mostly because the flowers I tend to leave are my favourite flowers, and I can almost see Paul’s smile as I struggle with wanting to do something for him, even though he’s getting what I want to give him.
And so Paul gets tulips. Lots and lots of tulips. That’s what he had at his funeral and that’s what I take to his grave whenever I can. Not because I’m trying to impose my favourites on Paul, but because I don’t honestly know what his favourite flowers were. And I suppose it’s possible that he didn’t have a favourite flower. But I do know that the one-and-a-half times* he got me flowers, they were tulips. And we planted loads of tulips in the flowerbeds at home.
I also know that the day before Paul died, we were admiring the not-yet-bloomed tulips in our garden. And I will never forget him remarking that he couldn’t wait to see them bloom; that they would look so lovely as we walked up the path to our home. But he never got to see them bloom. Instead, he got to have them adorn his grave a couple of weeks later when they finally showed their colours.
So another year has passed with Paul getting lovely tulips and a wee dram of Talisker tipped out over his grave. Wherever has the time gone? It feels like yesterday, yet it feels like a lifetime of pain has passed through my soul.
But despite today’s sadness and pain, I am mostly at peace most days. It’s a hard journey that never seems to end, but I travel with the love of a good man forever in my heart, until we meet again in the Heavens above.
* The first time was a proper flower delivery of a massive bouquet of tulips in a (very funny and slightly romantic) passive-aggressive act towards one of my co-workers who suggested that our marriage was one of convenience (international couple and all). The second (half-time) was when he bought nearly dead potted tulips (on Valentine’s Day!) specifically so that we could re-plant the bulbs in our yard. They were 75% off; it was a bargain! (Other than that, neither of us were flower-giving/wanting people. So this was a good thing.)