Friday, 26 October 2012

The plaque is now on his grave

I haven't written anything here for some time. I've thought about it a lot but, given the way my life was, it seemed wrong somehow - but that's another story entirely.

Anyway, several months ago, after much cajoling from the solicitor, I finally got my act together and provided all the information necessary to enable them to complete the claim against Al’s killer’s insurers. The cheque arrived in late August and I wondered what on earth I was supposed to spend it on. Al’s dad didn’t have that dilemma. Within a few days of receiving his ‘compensation’, he announced on Facebook that he was off to collect his new car! Poetic justice reigns however – he’s now discovered it’s a dud and will cost a small fortune to repair. I sound bitter – I don’t care - some things are just unforgiveable.

Anyway, I couldn’t decide what to do with Al’s money. Al’s grandparents provided just under half of the cost of the funeral on his dad's behalf. I knew he wouldn’t have repaid any of it so I dispatched a cheque. It felt right to do that – cleansing somehow.
I’ve not yet managed to do anything with the garden and the weeds are almost waist height because I struggle to do a job that he was supposed to do. Nonetheless, it doesn’t stop me feeling completely embarrassed every time someone walks past the house and I catch the look of distaste on their face so I’ve decided to have the garden tidied. The weeds will be removed, and weed control fabric will be laid which will be covered in slate or gravel. The rotting fence will be replaced by a wall – that was what we discussed that he would do on the day that he died. He was just learning to build walls and was quite excited about his first project on our home so it seems fitting somehow.
I’ve also ordered two rather nice lockets – one for each of the girls. I’ll put photos of him in them then they’ll always have that reminder – that way of feeling close to him. I know they’ll love them and again, it seems like a fitting way to spend his money.

I finally sorted his plaque for his grave. It’s a little larger than the other plaques in the woodland but I wanted to include what the girls wanted so there was rather a lot.

26 NOV. 1991  ~  30 MAY 2009
I blanched when we arrived to see it prior to it being placed on his grave. The stonemason had shortened ‘NOVEMBER’ to ‘NOV.’ It took me a few seconds to recover and realise that it was a perfectly sensible thing to do as each month now contained three letters so it balanced nicely.

However, for a few seconds it transported me back to Al’s dad saying, “Well we’d better not have too many letters then” in response to the news that it would cost £2 per letter. I think that also influenced me agreeing to so much writing on the plaque. It felt wrong – tacky  and mean – to limit the number of letters to save a few quid.

Anyway, it’s now on his grave. We plan to return soon to plant more bulbs. Maybe I’ll find it easier to visit then.