Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The jigsaw

It's three years today since my dearest friend Mary died. It's like having an important and irreplaceable piece missing from the jigsaw of my life. No other piece will fit in her place, and the gap spoils the picture. It's no longer complete. 

Lying in bed this morning, thinking about this image, I developed it and thought about my parents, who were like the corners of the jigsaw, maybe most of the edges, giving the puzzle stability, protecting it from the edge of the table. But they are both dead, so there's no longer anything to stop me falling over the edge, except perhaps my brothers and sisters, who are vital parts of the picture - the lighthouse or the beach, the cafe or the cliffs. 

There are other missing pieces besides Mary - my grandmother, other good friends who have died - and the gaps spoil the jigsaw too, but they were lost some time ago and the gaps feel almost part of the picture now.

My friends are there in the picture - the flag, the clump of seathrift, the lone oystercatcher, the sandcastle, the rowing boat.

Towards the centre are my immediate family - Dave, Zoe, Isaac and the family member who declines to be named. Then there are their partners and my grandchildren. Every one of these pieces are those very, very, favourite bits of the jigsaw - the vivid red scarf, the seagull sitting on the pirate's hat, the child's small hand resting on the mother's knee.

I don't know if this image works or if it sounds silly. But I do know I miss Mary, and that I'm dedicating my new novel to her. 


Phoebe said...

Yes, by now we've all experienced un-fillable voids. Sometimes those voids get bigger, not smaller, as events occur that you wish you could discuss with the lost one, A lifetime ago I worked as the PA to a wonderful, brilliant psychiatrist. My father died when I was a young newlywed and I said to him, "now I'll have a baby and everything will be all right," and he responded, "no person ever takes the place of another." Of course that was true, which I realized immediately, and those words have continued to reverberate down the decades.

Christine said...

I'm sorry and I know all too well how you feel. A lot of people have gone from my life.

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you Phoebe and Chrissie for your comments.