Monday, 5 March 2012

He is gone.

This man:



this, most wonderful, loving man, is dead. This girl, safe against her Dada's heart, has lost her father. These typing hands will never hold my husband's again. He is gone.

I thought I would wait until I knew what to say. That day may not come and I find myself averse to hesitation of all kinds. Life is now, and that may be all. Life is now, and it is beautiful.

The pounding silence of NO THOMAS reverberates through every nerve, every minute. I think I have calmed, then in an unguarded moment I am folded by pain. So often it comes silently, even tearlessly. Tears can only encompass so much.

Or something beautiful happens and the tears flow until I wonder if they will ever stop. The days after Thomas died there was a rainbow every morning. I've never known that happen before. And then snow, on the hill where we married.


The beauty brings solace, but not enough to smooth the spike of, 'He would have loved this.' My consolation is that his corneas live on. Two people saw the snow in his stead. Two people can see their loved ones in his stead.

Some things keep moving on. Pickle learns new tricks daily. For all Thomas's devoted parenting, he missed hearing her say thanks (well, 'shanks') by a couple of days. And he never heard her say 'I love you', at least, not in words.


We're still out stomping. In fact, there's more running now, which feels right. The sun warms us and the wind inspires us. I look at this land and am flooded with gratitude. Nowhere else could I be the warrior Mama I need to be.


And not just the land. The florist gives Pickle her fallen blooms and buds. The newsagent wouldn't accept payment for chocolate. The Courtyard Cafe closed for Thomas's memorial. I had to put the word out that there was no more room in my freezer for soup. Every day, flowers, food, cards, money even, little toys for Pickle, arrived on our doorstep. So many offers of help, childcare particularly, but I couldn't bear to part Pickle from her Mama. I still can't for long. My neighbours have been amazing. My family have been endlessly loving. My friends have been everything I could wish for. Gratitude just doesn't cover it. This land, this community, have made happiness possible for me and my girl. We still have great times. Dozens of people have stopped me in the street to say, 'I'm so sorry for your loss. I didn't know Thomas well, but he seemed such a kind man...' and I am thinking, 'I am so sorry for your loss. I had five years with him. He was 1 in 8 billion and you've missed your chance.'

Pickle's birthday was one of the hardest days of my life, but not for her. Surrounded by grandparental love all weekend and swamped in presents, she had a lovely time. Her Gappy (who raised Thomas alternate weeks with his dad and has always been his staunchest supporter) and I took turns to make salty tea in the kitchen while the other faked delight as she opened yet another gift.

Pickle herself is the colour in my future. She shapes my days and nights, gives everything purpose and hope. I am working so hard to save her, but in reality it is quite the other way around.

I will tell something of the celebrations another day, when I have the pictures and my keyboard has dried off.
A thousand thanks to you who have sent love to me. Miles matter little to hearts - death has no hold on love, so geography doesn't stand a chance.

I am grateful it is spring. As I say goodbye to my beautiful little family as it was,


something new and wonderful is always beginning,


and we just keep on swinging.


Postscript: If your tea is still warm, or you have warmth enough without, Rima has written a most beautiful, most true, most heartful tale of The Elf with the Upside-Down Heart.
Terri Windling has discussed Thomas's many talents and contributions to folklore and mythic arts In Memorium.
Rachel has written a lovely piece For Thomas and one about his journey into the Earth.
and our good friend from everywhere, Manjree Khajanchi, has written a poetic Eulogy: For T.H.

115 comments:

  1. I have no words, Lunar, but big love from us three here. You & Pickle are in our thoughts xxx

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  2. Lunar ...
    I am sending you the deepest, you strong strong woman.

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  3. Oh, Lunar, I'm sitting here with tears rolling down my cheeks. I am so so so sorry for your loss. There are no words. I am just so sorry.

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    1. MSB, you have done that to me so many times with your powerful words. Thank you.

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  4. wow, shivers down my spine....what a woman you are and what a man Thomas was/is in spirit. thanks for sharing sister...xxxxxxxx

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  5. I'm at a loss for words.
    My thoughts and wishes and hugs go out to you and Pickle.
    I am awed by what a strong and wise woman you are.

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    1. Thank you Lynn. Not sure I've ever awed anyone before. xx

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    2. Ella SprungMarch 17, 2012

      Me too, you awe me too. xxx

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  6. Feeling your sadness. You will have good days and bad days. That Thomas shaped space will always be there, as I have a Colin shaped space, but it is good to think of him and talk of him and talk to him too.
    Blessings be to you and yours.

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    1. gz I have a confession. You commented on an earlier post and shared that you lost your man (in May?) The reality of that possibility for me, at that time, was too much, so I didn't respond to you, but I have thought of you. As you walk this road ahead of me, may blessings lie ahead of you xx

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    2. just ((hug)).
      xx

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  7. Beautiful: you, your words, your daughter, Thomas, the past, the present and increasingly the future. xx

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    1. Eye of the beholder, Ang. Thank you xx

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  8. I don't know what to say other than that was beautiful. Your words made me weep, not only for your pain and your loss but because you allowed us a brief glimpse of a beautiful life. My thoughts are with you xx

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  9. I've been thinking of you off and on since Terri wrote about the passing of Thomas on her blog. Sending prayers now and again when I'm sitting with a hemlock tree. For me, they are deep healers with their sweeping boughs and delicate needles. I remember when I lost a dear friend many years ago that I realized that the loss was allowing me to feel the depth of my capacity to love. I can feel that beauty in your words - the heart that is broken open - and so can feel everything with extraordinary passion. Blessings to you, dear Lunar, and your little one and the strong warrior in you and the humble woman whose freezer is stuffed with soup and love. May you recieve it all and may the richness of love and life continue to flow to you and from you to bless the world with authenticity, as it has in your words here.

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    1. Yes, you are exactly right - it is a breaking open, rather than a breaking down, and extraordinary passion is right too. The size of the sky gives me freedom and the depth of the earth gives me roots, while so many hearts dance a web around me. It is a beautiful world. Thank you.

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  10. Oh Lunar! I feel for you. :( Hugs and hope and love to you and pickle from my corner of the world. Luna

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    1. Thinking of you Lunar. Hugs.

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  11. Wishing you so much love dearest Lunar, you are an incredible woman,i am sure that there are keyboards being dried off everywhere from your words.I am glad you are part of this community, there are so many people ready to hold you when you stumble.I wish you strength and send you love from the bottom of the hill.xxx

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    1. Ah, Rachel. I expect stumbling and am reassured that if I roll down the hill I will land in love (or the river). Get ready to catch me. Thank you xx

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  12. What lovely things you write.

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  13. So incredibly sorry to hear of your loss. My very deepest sympathies.

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    1. Thank you Thomas (great name, by the way). xx

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    2. Thank you also; your reply made me smile, I hope it did you too. xx

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  14. Dear Lunar,reading the beauty and love spilling through your words and images and pain is so touching and healing ,even to know you are where you are, may they and your surroundings and loves be there for you and your daughter when you are most in need,love and blessings.....

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    1. Thank you grace. I find, to my surprise, I still have all I need to go on. The blessings keep coming... xx

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  15. Dear Lunar, I only know you from his blog, and I didn't realise that Thomas was the friend Rima and Tom spoke of when we met in Hampshire in January. Your loss is unfathomable to me. May the strength you gain from your openness to the world, the community around you and from the beauty that is - still - here always hold you. You're in my thoughts. Much much love, Daniela

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    1. Thank you Daniela. I am held to tight and so sweetly. I would share that part with the world if I could just show you it is true for us all. xx

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  16. I have only every known you from your Blog, Lunar, just as I have only ever known Thomas from his blogs, but despite this my deep gratitude for those opportunities is no less real for the virtual way in which it finds it source. Equally the tears in my eyes on reading your post are no less real, because ultimately all these 1s and 0s are merely a conduit for the emotions and thoughts that are the centre of our being.

    Your own broken open, as Valerianna put it, is writ so clearly within this post that I cannot help but be very deeply moved by the expression of such deep love and with that comes my own regret that I lack the skill to weave words together in a way that may offer even some tiny comfort to that broken open. What I do have is gratitude, deep gratitude that I have been able to share in glimpses of yours and Thomas's life and creativity and beauty through these blogs and in doing so have learned more about love and life then I could ever quantify.

    I am sorry that you have been broken open. Yours with love, hope and gratitude.

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    1. Periannath, your words weave perfectly. And, yes, connection is connection; love is love. Sometimes it is easier for our hearts to sing to one another in digitally-typed form than it is to find love in a hug. Sometimes. I would swap all this grand learning to have my husband alive and with us again, but I cannot say I am sorry I have been broken open. I am a stubborn lass, and tough as old boots when it comes to letting go of some things. Now death and life together have uncurled my fingers until I can hold all this. It is no less than a gift; I'm trying to accept graciously. Love to you too. Pickle and I have many great adventures ahead of us. See you there. xx

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  17. Oh Luna, my heart goes out to you. I know I don't know you but I hope one day it will bring you a small comfort to know that strangers are feeling for you right now, and sending you love and light in this awful time. I am thinking of you and your daughter xx

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    1. Ronnie, this day it comforts me. I could not do this alone. Thank you. xx

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  18. Like others, I only know you and your family through this blogging medium we all choose to hook up on, yet your words, and that of Thomas when he was writing, have deeply affected me over the time I've been following you both online. I can't begin to imagine how you're feeling right now, but I hope you find some comfort in the fact that Thomas lives on in the minds and hearts of people such as myself who never had the good fortune to meet him. Much continued love and light to you and Pickle..

    Kate x

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    1. Kate, thank you. I love that people I have never met ( and many I will never hear from) have learned from Thomas and think well of him. xx

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  19. Wishing you and your little one the very best.

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  20. You are a brave, brave warrior mama Lunar. To find such beautiful words to write about your beautiful man, when your heart is broken wide open.
    xxx Christina

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    1. This is the beauty way. I am more sensitive to beauty than before, so I am magpie for those words. And it takes one to know one. xx

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  21. Lunar, I love your blog and send you from France my best wishes for you and your lovely daughter! How sad I feel about your loss! All my sympathy, Dominique xx

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  22. Dear lunar,
    So moved by your words, their lyricism and your strength. What you write will be the most precious warming therapy for your gorgeous little girl. Imogen x

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    1. Imogen, thank you. I do hope I can catch enough of life with Thomas with this world wide butterfly net, so she can one day taste the love he gave her every day. xx

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  23. Lunar,
    I dreamt that I came to the funeral last night. I saw you and you gave me a huge hug then a tour of your GInormous house. Other friends you possibly couldn't know were there to support you too. All the girls were dressed up goth as there was only dark green and purple eyeliner around for us to wear. I even saw Thomas there! Chris couldn't control his tears and I saw Thomas' wild bundle of hair holding him tight. I couldn't see his face, but it felt like he had a mixed expression of laughter and tears on his face :)
    It's my version, but I finally felt like I was able to pay my respects and it was wonderful...and I couldn't not share!
    Love you always,
    Manjree XXX

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    1. Manjree, I miss you. So glad you had your own funeral for Thomas. It sounds grand. My house is far from ginormous, but I struggle to clean even this, so that's just as well, and I'd advise against eyeliner at funerals, or you'll end up looking like I did at our wedding. I love that wild bundle of hair - remember when Martin thought Thomas's phone message said, 'Hello, this is Thomas. I live in a hedge'? And the belly dancing... :o). Yes, he would have many tears for losing us all, but I'm sure some smiles for all this love. Love to you. xx

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  24. Lunar,
    I have been following your blog for several months now and heard of Thomas' passing on Terri Windling's blog. I have shed tears for you.
    My words are hopelessly inadequate, but I wanted to say just be. Just continue to be. You are a generous soul and an inspiration and I send my love to you.
    ~Therese

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  25. Thank you Therese. Your words do an important job. xx

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  26. I'm so saddened to hear this tragic news. I only met Thomas a few times, when he visited Ty'n Cornel with Bill. I'm not sure I ever met you, Lunar. I know you followed me there soon after those horses were shot a few years back. His writings will always be there in the hostel nature logbooks.

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  27. Oh, forgot to put my name on that last post. Roger. (Ask Bill)

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    1. Thank you Roger. There are many ways Thomas has left a mark, and each of them quite wonderful. I had forgotten all those years of nature notes (and drawings) up on that mountain. Makes me smile.

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  28. Lunar, I'm so touched by your Beautiful Words, I knew of Thomas though his Folklore Blog, & I send my Blessings & love to you & your beautiful Daughter Pickle .
    Sue xx

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  29. I heard of Thomas's passing from Terri Windling's blog and then again from Rima Staines and I wanted to let you know how very sorry I am for your loss. It sounds like your man was magical and wonderful and full of heart and is a great loss to us all. Although I didn't know him, I know that we of the earth were fortunate to have him walking amongst us, even for so short a time.

    My thoughts are with you & your daughter and may blessings be yours in the days and years ahead.

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    1. He was all of that, Em, and more. Thank you xx

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  30. oh Lunar! How can this be! I am heart broken for you. Bless you and your sweet girl.

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    1. I ask myself this and many other questions repeatedly. Still no answers. Thank you xx

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  31. I've come over from Rima's place, and I wish you continued love, light and peace.

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  32. Your words: "though his heart did not last many years, it seemed wiser to measure a heart in love rather than in time" on Rima's blog will stay with me. There are no words, but I am moved to see how you have been embraced by your community and hope they continue to hold you both tight x

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    1. Yeah, I stand by that. And we are held so beautifully. Thank you xx

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  33. Lunar, my deepest sadness at the passing of your husband. I am so sorry, and hope that the days ahead bear lightness from time to time, while you learn to relive and heal. Your friend, Amy.

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    1. Amy, friends - however we speak - bring lightness. Thank you xx

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  34. Hi Lunar, this is my first visit to your beautiful blog. Rima's loving words led me here and even though I don't know you personally, I bring with me my heartfelt love to you and to your little one.x
    Jess xx

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  35. I also came here from The Hermitage site. Your words are beautiful, and you're all beautiful. I'm so sorry for your loss, and for the loss to the world. Good kind people are treasures. Sending you a virtual hug via blog comment post; I wish you and your daughter continued strength and support.

    These words in particular resonated with me: Life is now, and that may be all. Life is now, and it is beautiful.

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  36. Rima's tribute & your deep strong heart words touch & move our souls worldwide
    Fly Free Thomas and Fair Well to all you have left behind...

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  38. Your story is floating all about the world now and I am so grateful to have been allowed to read here, and at Rima's, about Thomas and You and Pickle ... and Death and Life and Mystery ... Sorrow and Love and Now. Thank you.

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  39. Lunar,
    I have been here and back, here and back, unable to formulate the words. There are no words. To be in the thick of it as you must be, no I cannot imagine the strength you have, the strength it takes.
    I send you love across the oceans, across the universe, across the pain and the sorrow, love that will find you with your heart cracked, a place that lets the light in.
    And now Pickle and you have a warrior guardian angel to guide you, to keep you.
    Love.
    XOXO
    Lyra

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    1. Lyra, your words spark as ever. The thick of it is an awful and awesome place to be. I am changed for good. I wish Thomas could see how strong I am now. I wish I could show him we're doing okay; we're making it. Thank you xx

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  40. I read about your Thomas on Rima's site and knew from her words what a special person he was. I have read your words and know now what extra-special people you all are. I am so sorry for your loss and hope you don't feel I am intruding by reading your words and sharing your photos and looking into your life. I do so with the deepest empathy and send you my love - and it is good love. Your lives have moved me and I thank you.
    Annie
    xxx

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    1. Annie, welcome. This is an open blog and anything here is for sharing in the expectation of loving eyes like yours. Thank you xx

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  41. I use to read your blog and I like so much the way you write, that's why I never dare to comment anything because I wasn't gifted with such talent. But today, there's a few things I want to tell you. I lose my father recently, I feel like it was yesterday. At the beginning I didn't know who to blame or how should I feel. Life has mysterious ways. Then I feel like a very little girl. To lose a father at any age leaves you defenseless, exposed, weak. I can't tell you what others feel when they lose their couples for example but I can tell you that losing a father hurts in a slow way and it doesn't make you grow up. Is not a lesson, is not something you could learn of. It is something odd, unexpected, and deep.

    Take care of your child. There is more in the silence of her eyes, than in her words. Love her, and take care of her.


    Lunar, I send you blessings from my heart.

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    1. Victoria, thank you. So precious to hear how a daughter feels... and trusting of you to share (beautifully).
      Odd, unexpected and deep covers some of my experience now, but the one thing I know more surely than I know my own mind is that I will love and care for my child. If it took my death, or my happiness, or my sanity... truly, there is no price I would not pay to give that girl a good life. And it's working.
      xx

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  42. I too, have found you through The Hermitage. I have cried buckets at your story and would like to send you and your little one a warm, squishy hug each and lots of strength and love for the times ahead.
    I lost my husband Kevin on April 15th last year, very suddenly to pancreatic cancer and am learning to look at our time together as blessed and to smile and be grateful for the love and laughter he gave to me and everyone who knew him. You sound as though you are doing that already and I know that that will help.
    Take courage and take care of yourself and your little girl. Much love,
    Nia

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    1. Nia, I can feel a physical swell in my heart for you. Thank you so much for sharing your story with Kevin. I take courage, and your love, and send some back to you. Be in touch if you need to - you can email me direct. Love xx

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  43. I am also one of those who found your words through Rima, and even though I have the luck of not having lost anyone important yet, I feel fragments of your pain seeping through every singe sentence. I'm sorry for your loss, and your daughter's, too. I'm in awe of your strength while I taste those salty tears I've cried, even though I never knew Thomas, and I'm sad I never did, he must have been all that I read about him and much more.
    I send both of you all my blessings, and I thank you for your words.

    Love,
    Hedge.

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    1. Hedge, thank you. It is a symptom of one of my favourite aspects of humanity that we can cry for the loss of someone we never met. It is purifying and liberating, brings us back to our hearts. xx

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  44. Your honesty has cracked my core.
    I send your hearts an ocean of comfort.

    deepest love from a woman to a warrior.
    Janina x

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    1. Thank you Janina, I'm swimming. Stay cracked. xx

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  45. Ella SprungMarch 17, 2012

    Hi Lunar,

    I think what you've written is great too.

    But hmm, what to say to you, rather than just sit and read and wet the keyboard? I can tell you I saw a beautiful rainbow after Thomas died. I dreamt about him a few nights ago - he just walked into a room I was in, oh so natural. I missed his brilliant mind this evening in a conversation about the worth of people. I'm going to find you some more recipes.

    And was it you that said: love is alive and well? Yes, it is. More clearly with the spring and every tear, for me.

    Ella

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    1. Yes, I said that - maybe in a text to you. I love to hear other people think of him at random times too. Love is most certainly alive and well, busting out of primroses, swirling off cliffs and warming our skins. Thanks, Ella xx

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  46. Dear Lunar,
    I've never met you, or your daughter and I never met Thomas. But Rima told me about you and him and Pickle. And I wanted to say sorry too, though the word is too little, and that I am grateful to be reminded of how brief it all is. But mostly, of how strong Love is.

    I hope we meet in Devon sometime, or at Dark Mountain.

    Nomi xx

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  47. Nomi, yes, I hope we meet some day. Sorry is a tardis word, but not as much as love and, daily, the strength of love is what keeps my life working. Ish. Thank you xx

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  48. I do keep coming back to this post over and over again, and send you quiet and loud strength for your upcoming months. Your life has touched mine from across the ocean, somehow, Lois.

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    1. Lois, thank you. I need the strength, and I need these connections. May your world be beautiful in our eyes. xx

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  49. I have come here after reading Rima's post about your dear Thomas. From reading her words I felt the brightness of a truly beautiful soul.
    Wishing you strength, love and peace for the road ahead. x

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    1. Thank you Karen. Yes - truly beautiful, and his brightness still shines in so many places, but most of all our wonderful girl. Thank all the heavens for her. And for good wishes form far-fingertip friends like yourself. xx

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  50. So much love, so much sadness and then again so much love. Reading your post, I can feel every word. I hope that you find a lot of happiness in the future and that your sorrows will become bearable in time. Your Thomas was a wonderful person it will not be easy for you, but I know that you and your lovely daughter will find a way to fill the void with love, art and adventure that will make Thomas proud. My best wishes to you both. xxx

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    1. That's exactly my plan, Sigrid. Thank you. xx

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  51. Your words are so beautiful and contain so much love, making me smile through the tears. I'm in awe of your strength.

    I'm so proud to be able to call you my sister.

    Love to you and Ember,

    Jake xx

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    1. Jake you are a wonderful brother. I am very proud of you too; was boasting about you just yesterday :o). Would be good to see you soon and get a hug from my Little Man. Much love always, xx

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  52. I am honored to read your words and share a peek into your heart. Warrior Mama...mama of sweet Pickle...may your journey be filled with all the love that you are. I want you to know that I bow in gratitude to you...for sharing the depth of true love...for showing and sharing what that is. I am so sad to read of Thomas leaving too early...I wish for ease and comfort for you both.

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    1. Thank you, Linden. There is certainly a comfort in all this wash of kindness coming our way. xx

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  53. Dear Lunar, you have never met me but I was deeply saddened to read of your loss and moved by the way you articulated it. I wish you and your beautiful daughter all the love and support you may need. I am glad to think that you have dear friends around you. I wish you joy in your life again. I wish you something bright every day. You don't need me to wish you strength and wisdom; you already have that.

    With lots of love, Helen

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  54. Thank you, Helen. Pickle is the something bright every day. She beams out the warmth I need and helps me find fun. And there is joy. This world is still a beautiful place and I am still honoured to be here. Love to you too. xx

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  55. Dearest Lunar, I am so sorry for your loss. There are no words! Sending love and light. ~♥

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  56. Oh Lunar .. I only just saw this and am so so sad. I did not know Thomas and I don't really know you .. but felt our blog connection was a real connection, and it hurts to know that you are grieving. I know you are an incredibly strong woman and a wise one too, I also know that being strong and wise doesn't make loss any less painful. All I can wish for you is much comfort and support from those around you, faith that you will get through (you will). And I know that you will, even in the midst of your pain, be able to see life's beauty.
    Grieving with you, and for you .. Nazu.

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  57. Hey Nazu, thanks. Life is still astonishingly beautiful, not least in the support of my friends far and near. We are finding new ways to live, even to rejoice in living and the adventure continues. Love to you xx

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  58. It's funny .. I go to the news or the newspaper and I think "This world is full of idiots!" Then I come to the net and the blogs and I'm in awe of how many amazing human beings are out there ..

    I think of you often and wonder how you are, out on your lovely moors with that little Pickle :-) What a lovely person you are .. I hope we get to meet one day.

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  59. Thanks. I'm finding ways to be okay, taking it slow. The land holds me steady and Pickle keeps me smiling. I will write another post soon, honest. Honest.

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  60. I just wanted to drop by again and to let you know that I am still thinking about you and your lovely daughter, hoping that you are both coping ok, wishing you both soothing wishes

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  61. My thanks, Ronnie. We are doing okay, although the road is bumpy. Will write a post this month for definite. Honest. Laundry be damned!

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