18 May 2014

Half a year without my sweetheart

Six months ago today, Allen died. Sometimes it's as fresh as if it were yesterday. At other times, I can't remember having him near. But I do often hear him reminding me of the power of music. And this morning the ABC played a wonderful version of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. What better reminder that hope and beauty can transcend loss and sadness.


This was Allen's last book - that is, the last one he never stopped trying to read. It's a notebook he built up during his final 10 or so years, when music became his greatest consolation. In it, he had pasted translations of the lieder he listened to over and over again. Like this one (Maiden's song), from a Brahms song cycle:

On Judgment Day I will rise again,
and immediately look for my sweetheart
and if I cannot find him,
I will lie down again and sleep.

Heartache, you Eternity!
Only with another comes happiness!
And if my sweetheart comes not in,
then I don't wish to be in Paradise!

11 comments:

Snowbrush said...

What a lovely post. I only stopped reading to look up the music you mentioned because my familiarity with classical music is such that I couldn't remember how the first went, and I didn't know the second.

Gin G said...

What a marvelous coincidence...or are there any? I wonder more and more as I age. Impossible to think it has been 6 months! This is a beautiful poem/song, and so meaningful. Good to see you here, but I know that you are very busy. Good to know. Love, Gin

Gin G said...

The words to this song remind me of you and Allen. Full Moon and Empty Arms coming out in August. Listen to the lyrics. Bless you sweet friend.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNy4CPyFbIs

Red said...

It's good to stop and remember on any anniversary of a loss. One of my young friends, who lost her husband, says, "Phil talks to me everyday." It's the same for you as Allen is there in many things you do as you once did.

Annabel Candy said...

Hi Chartreuse,

Sorry I am so late to get here and say how sorry I am to hear your husband has died. I know that he was ill for a long time and you've been a wonderful loving carer. I'm sure you'll grieve him for a long time but I really hope that things look brighter for you soon. Sending love and hugs across the Internet :)

Stafford Ray said...

It is rare to find such beautiful poetry in a song and it is appropriate for your feeling of loss. But I see by the previous post that you are 'moving in and on' as I knew a person of your strength and practicality would. XX

Chartreuse said...

Thank you all for your kind words. I had expected it would be easier, having told myself so many times that I lost the best part of my husband gradually over several years. I thought there was little left to mourn. But I was so wrong.

Snowbrush said...

Golly, your last post is from May! It's a very powerful post indeed, but updates are nice too. I hope you're not losing interest in your blog.

Chartreuse said...

I guess I have lost interest in this in the past year. But I have been keeping busy - which is essential to me at the moment. I think I will return soon, though maybe I need to give this a bit of a makeover to renew my interest. Thank you for visiting, Snowbrush.

Stafford Ray said...

I note you have not posted in a while. Why not!! :-)

Chartreuse said...

I had written a longish answer here, Stafford Ray, but Blogger swallowed it. I'll just say I'm well, moving on (at last) and thinking about future activities. Not sure these will include coming back to this blog. Something about it feels like the past. But we shall see. Thank you for asking. How about you?

About me

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I started this blog in 2009 when I became a full-time caregiver. My husband had been diagnosed a few years earlier with primary progressive aphasia. Over the next four years until his death in 2013, we went on a journey of discovery about this rare condition. My blog is about what I learned, how we both coped and how the journey deepened our love and appreciation of each other. Allen’s journey is over, but mine goes on.