Marjorie joined the “Let’s Talk Death” group after last year’s conference and is taking an active role in planning next year’s event. Here, she shares her own perspective on loss, coping, and enduring bonds. She wishes to tell her truth here.
My parents died within 2 years of each other in 1983 and 1985. I am an only child who was brought up to recognise my family as the primary source of support and the default place. I had friends and am pleased I didn’t buy in to the default position completely. I’ve now lived longer without them than with them. It took until after my husband died in 2013 to let go or get over the loss of my parents. I am now working to coping with the single life once again. I have a lot of wonderful friends. My friends are helping too with the heritage of keeping or hoarding as our house became the place things came to. It was a mixture of books and papers from academic lives and ‘things from family back to the 1800’s.
Now I have been streamlining the possessions but also find I have no focus on why. I can live with things around because this has been so all through my life. I feel it is all salami slicing and made harder by me wanting things to be cherished and used if I do part with them. I have kept memories and items from my married life and am working on a purposeful weekly schedule.
I was my husband’s carer and we fulfilled his wish to die at home and not in hospital. It was a privilege to look after him. Even in the dark days he had his routine and he cherished life. I would like to feel that way but I see very little purpose any more. I don’t want to be a burden to my friends and I’m used to my own company, so I partition off the general world.