Today I went to the graveyard to bring flowers. I usually go there twice a week. A cycle-trip from 20 minutes. It is a very calming and healing place to go. I go there to talk to him and to be silent with him. To think and to cry. Just to be with him.
Sometimes the day starts well, but it can change in a second.
This morning I went to the market to buy flowers and vegetables. My favourite stall is from a Chinese family. You buy your veg and fruit and they always give you some extra for free. Some apples, a basket of strawberries...a melon..
The "mother" asked me: How are you and how is the other Mister? I answered that Bram passed away in April, and in a split second there was emotion on both sides. It usually happens once a week that I am asked how Bram is doing (last night too, while in the open air cinema on the square) and that I have to tell what has happened. it is very logical because we have been living togehter here in the centre all these years. We have been a well know couple here in town. That is why it is not strange that people ask me, and in a way it is nice that we "have been seen" all these years of our relation.
So, it might have been a bit too much, because from this morning on, I feel out of balance.
Every week I buy flowers..for him and for me as we used to do. Always flowers on the table in the hall. The table we used to have diner at together, but a -no sit- place now for me. Too emotional to sit there alone. My place is now at the table in his former workroom behind the kitchen. The new dining-room. My safe haven to go.
Today I bought red Dahlia's for me and him. I always buy them at the same stall we used to buy,and before I met Bram he also bought his flowers there. Huub, the owner also organised for me 130 red tulips to be used at the funeral. 30 for each year of our relation, and the rest to be thrown on the coffin instead of sand.
A week before the funeral I went to him to ask if he could buy them for me, and if I could pick them up the next saturday. He assured me that he would pick the most beautiful for me and him, and that he could see that Bram wasn't well a few weeks before. His twinkle in his eyes was gone. So true, so wel seen and observed. That twinkle was his signature. A
We picked them up the next saturday, and after he gave me his condolences he told me that the name of the tulips was: "Strong Love". How appropriate and touching I thought.
And there are a few reasons why tulips...
Bram was born in a poor family in the far North above Amsterdam. His family worked in the bulbfields during season. Peeling bulbs. He has been surrounded by tulips during his youth.
Reason Two was the color red. We both are left wing in politics and red is the color for that.
And Reason Three:
We both have always loved to have red tulips at home. In the Christmas season you can buy them and for us that was always a tradition to have them than at home. As simple as that. And always tulips during the season.
A few years ago I have organised a school project with the name "Red Thread".
Today I found some information about the color Red:
Red is the color of blood, and as such has strong symbolism as life and vitality. It brings focus to the essence of life and living with emphasis on survival. Red is also the color of passion and lust.
There is an ancient Chinese belief which states that there is an invisible red thread that connects each of us to all of the individuals who have been, currently are, and will in the future be important to us in our lives.The color Red is often used in embroidery. A few years ago I got for my birthday 2 beautiful pillowcases with this text embroided -by dear friend Tiny- on it.
This red thread can stretch, twist, and bend… but will never break.
Bram got his one with him and I kept mine. He is surrounded by Our Love.
And we used red embroidery-thread for the word Silence (Stilte) on the handkerchief that everyone at the funeral got when entering the building at the graveyard.
A memento for everyone to cherish and keep. When I visit friends I often see it somewhere in their room.
In the week after the funeral I decided to make a little sign on his grave. I didn't like the text: A.D. Borgo number so and so.
That is why I stitched - with red thread ofcourse- a handkerchief around it.
Now, after 5 months, the sun and rain have bleached it out, and the red stitches at the front have become sort of pink.
The stitches on the back are still bright red.
In a way everything comes together with this bleaching.
Bram loved to wear his Ralph Lauren -always Ralph Lauren...Nothing else, because they had such great colors in the collection..and always Button-Down- shirts even more when they were bleached out a little. That they were worn and used and that life had came into them.
Since he passed away I wear his faded shirts at night. His second skin on my second skin.
It reminds me of a scene in the movie: "Brokeback Mountain". . the two shirts hanging over each other in his wardrobe.
Writing for me can bring me back in balance.
I think it has worked now...