Unto this Last.

IMG_0180On the eight of March this year, after visiting dear friends for an idyllic Sunday lunch at their house in the countryside, we returned to London.  My husband James went to sleep feeling unwell and never woke up. What played out in the following four days was like something from a film. Surreal and shocking in equal measure. I was left alone, my children fatherless and Angela, my beloved mother-in-law was left childless.

James’ name for our family was The Pod. One of the purposes of this blog is to chart my progress from incompetent human being to averagely productive human. And I do this with so much help from the new Pod, my teachers. Each post therefore is dedicated to them in some way but the entire blog is for Angela.

The blog aims to capture my children’s father, celebrate and remember him. It also has the hopeful purpose of helping those in any kind of similar position. It is a way of seeing what I am really made of and if I do indeed have any True Grit.

  • Apologies for the homage to The Smiths, but needs must.

14 thoughts on “Unto this Last.

  1. This is unbelievably beautifully written. My thoughts go out to you. Had the pleasure of working with James at M&C Saatchi. Wishing you well and sending love to the family. Sarah x

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  2. You have true grit, I can’t read any more it just makes me cry, Everyday you put one foot infront of the other deserves a bloody medal or an announcement on the news. I hope in someway surviving turns into a habit that has some enjoyment, it will be a different joy, but one I hope you experience with via your children, they are amazing at viewing things from a different angle and making your lips curl to smile through the pain. I wish you all the best, people say the stupidest things, many don’t know what empathy is, and you don’t want sympathy or pitying looks. I am very sorry you are going through this. I read someone said, grief doesn’t disappear it just changes shape, and I think that is very true. xxx (friend of Guy Martins)

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  3. a friend of my mothers saw her randomly driving, and followed her home in their car, (scaring her) 2 weeks after we lost dad, the two of them pulled up in their car behind her, jumped out as she was rushing to get the key in the door to the empty darkness, walked up to her, she realised it was her oldest best friend, who said ‘we just wanted to say, its our 35th wedding anniversary, and because of what has happened to you, we went out for a celebration, we were talking about you and were saying you have to enjoy what you’ve got don’t you.’ – I still want to punch them. your one liners are true no kind person ever says the things people have said to you, or understands why they are not in anyway comforting, good on you for listing the rubbish you have to listen to.

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  4. Your pain is immeasurable but your words so perfectly illustrate the void your are floating through that is your world today. It has been 15 years since I last saw Gumby I remember so clearly our uni days, he was one of the first people I met and was a close friend throughout. Shortly after uni I moved to Brazil and lost contact with so many people. Your words so brilliantly written have brought back so many memories of Gumby, his kindness, his huge heart, his cheeky smile and the twinkle in his eyes. This is turn has made the pain you are feeling in his absence so tangible. Everything you describe here is so vivid I can literally see him do all the things you talk about as if I was there in the room. This is a priceless gift to your children. I lost my mum when I was Flynn’s age but it totally paralysed my dad emotionally and to this day he still can’t talk about her so I never knew her. Well done for so perfectly capturing and timelessly preserving Gumby so that your children will know their father and you and all of us who knew him can both mourn and celebrate him. Wishing you all the strength and courage to continue your journey, I’m so glad you’ve got so many friends and family around you to help keep The pod together. This is another tribute to the uniquely special person that Gumby was. God bless you and your beautiful children xx Lou Townshend da Paixão (lots of friends in commonxx)

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  5. Your writing is beautiful. You probably have but there is a book called The Year of Magical thinking in which you might find some solace as she says such similar things to you. Lots of love xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Clara.

    Funny enough my friend Lexa sent me this book a few weeks after James died and I threw it in some corner. After your comment I dug it out and it is helping me so thank you. xx


  7. I was reading your incredibly beautiful blog and wanted to say I am so very sorry for your devastating loss. The way you manage to describe your deep love for James and your children as well and the searing pain caused by James’s death is astonishing. You manage to put into words feelings that are incredibly difficult to describe. All those who have suffered loss of a loved one will draw comfort from feeling less isolated as a result of reading your blog. Thank you for this.

    I’m A fellow mum living in Clapham with my family, including ten year old boy and four year old girl. The kids and I often go to Chiswick House for a run around and tree climbing and would love to meet you there if you ever feel like meeting new friends and grabbing coffee together.

    Liked by 1 person

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