2007 — 22 November: Thursday — one day to go

Forty four years since JFK; wow!

I simply miss Christa so very much,1 as does our son, Peter. I miss the sound of Her laughter. I miss Her gentle singing to Herself. The giggles that were a frequent feature of Her phone calls to Her friends even as the majority of the German chatter passed over my head. I miss the sound of Her calling my name from elsewhere in the house. I miss Her kisses, Her caresses, Her touch, Her warmth, Her scent. I miss being able to see Her from where I'm sitting right now (09:30) in the study, reading the latest batch of cards of sympathy to arrive, and the letter from Her bank about the mundane business of wills and death certificates. It seems life of a sort does indeed go on.

I find it helps calm me if I simply gaze quietly at some of the photos I have of Her, but I have to admit it's a very very poor substitute. I know, and She would often remind me, that lots of people love, and lose, lots of people every day. I know She was absolutely right about this. But there's a scared, lonely little boy deep inside me that selfishly takes precisely zero comfort from this sad reality. That little boy is quite near the surface at the moment. And all he seems to say is I want my Christa! I don't blame him, because that's pretty much how I feel, too.

Reminder: Funeral service for Christa — Friday 23rd November

At 2:15 p.m. in the West Chapel of Southampton Crematorium, Bassett Green Road.

Followed by tea and a biscuit at Frith Hall, United Reformed Church, Kings Road, Chandlers Ford from around 3 p.m. Nigel Guilder is the funeral director. Donations to the Countess Mountbatten hospice would be a lovely gesture, rather than flowers.

I've sorted out — I hope I've sorted out — a reasonable set of words, music, and "running" order for tomorrow's service. I have a brief letter to read you from my German brother-in-law Georg; a potted biography of Christa as seen from the New Zealand end of our little family; a set of snippets for Peter to read that I've gratefully extracted from the host of cards and emails that have been arriving, and just a few heart-felt words of my own to draw things to a close. The Pink Floyd track (if it can be got) is "Grantchester meadows" from the under-rated Umma Gumma album. The beautiful track from Jim Croce is "Time in a bottle". And there's a soothing instrumental track from Brian Eno that I expect people will recognise when they hear it: "An ending (ascent)" from his Apollo (soundtracks) album. The Jim Croce piece was a late substitution for Stravinsky's finale from "Petrushka" which, although marvellous, might have felt somehow out of context.

There are literally thousands of other music tracks I could have chosen; Christa liked pretty much the same things I did, with the strange exception2 of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. But I've been told that nobody's perfect...



1  It's already been five weeks since She left our home to go on the final stage of Her journey. <Sigh>
2  And some of my more modern jazz, come to think of it.