10 Years On

by barbznz

I woke up this morning determined i wouldn’t cry today, but it didn’t work . Today is the tenth anniversary of Suzanne’s death and since we don’t live in Rotorua now I can’t go up to the cemetery to vsit her grave  and lay flowers. it is the first year I haven’t been able to do it, and it’s sad. Instead,  I am off to do CAB duty. I will smile and say all the right things and get on with my day despite the hole in my heart. It will never heal, but admittedly it isn’t as big as it use to be. Someone said that it stops being the first thing you think of when you wake up and so it is with me.

The thing about Suzanne though, was we always knew we weren’t going to have her for a long time. Doctors had no idea what her life expectancy would be, it was more of a wait and see and in the end I believe she chose her own time.

It was Simon’s birthday and he had moved down to Taranaki to be with his girlfriend who was pregnant with our second grandchild. We came down to visit. We had a lovely time, and I renewed my acquaintance with the mountain.  it dominates the landscape. I had secret desires to move down here. Marty certainly wasn’t keen and  I knew that Suzanne wouldn’t be happy about us leaving her so I put that thought on the back burner.

On  Saturday morning we were leaving and Simon was at work. I don’t remember why we went to see him before we left, it was out of our way. I left my walking frame in the car, we were only going to be a minute and the phone rang. It was Dot and she told me that Suzanne had died in the night. Marty and Simon could tell something was wrong. I was just numb. Simon cleared things with his boss and we left. We dropped him off and home and they said  they would follow us down soon.

We drove home, we didn’t stop. The only thing I remember about the trip was, the classical music on the stereo. The trip across the north island is isolated and every time I got cell phone reception my phone would beep with a new message. One said the police wanted to speak with me, Another said to go straight to the funeral directors

Back in Rotorua, we dropped off the dog and went to the funeral directors around the corner, The police were waiting for us, it freaked me out a little but it turned out, all they wanted was for me to identify the body. They gently explained that Suzanne would be taken to the hospital to be sent to Hamilton for a post-mortem the next day. They would send her back as soon as it was done.

One the formality was over, the funeral director took me into the next room. Choose a coffin he said. I looked around, it seemed such a stupid thing to ask someone to do. I picked the first one I saw. Then he asked if I wanted burial or cremation. Burial I said. Would you like to go to the cemetery and pick out a plot he said. I couldn’t think of anything worse, you choose one I said and please make sure it is easy to get to. I pointed to my walking frame.

We had dinner at Suz’s house, it was weird being there without her. And then we went home, it had been a long day and need to sleep.

I knew the next few days were going to hard. And they were.

Now ten years on, I think of her every day.  Simon’s daughter Ivy arrived the following February. Sometimes when she smiles I see a bit of Suz,

She would have loved being an aunty, she knew about Caleb, and had of photo of him on her bedroom, but she would have loved them all and they would have loved her.

Miss you Suz.

© Barbara Hart 2014