The day before your funeral I read this to our friends, who knew & loved us as a couple. We knew the funeral would exclude me from your life, I was ready…but Simon – our friend – suggested I write my own eulogy & read it to them all the night before. So I did.
I am yet to decide whether I will read this at your memorial as I am painfully aware of how emotional it is. But I’m sharing it here…to remember all the beautiful pieces of a beautiful love story ❤️
MY EULOGY TO CARL
When you love someone, and you’re with them every day, you know them in ways that others don’t. And when you lose them, those million little things that made up the person you love, play over in your mind like an old-fashioned slide show, frame by frame. Carl hated cucumber, he liked the milk in his coffee first. He always ordered a gingerbread latte, extra hot. He loved anything with chorizo and he’d be the one to eat the coffee chocolates. He made an exceptional Sunday roast. He slept on the right-hand side of the bed – thought it was always up for debate when he was at my house. And when he fell asleep he would slip away, his mouth falling open as he went. He liked all things familiar… like the same restaurants and going to the same pubs, supping a pint of real ale while the kids climbed trees or scooted outside. He was the reliable fixer of bikes, of gardens, of anything really. There was nothing he couldn’t do. Except maybe technology, but even that was just his lack of confidence in himself, because he could have, if he didn’t hate it so much.
He was tactile and I loved that. He always held my hand, no matter how short the walk. He was the one who remembered our anniversary was the 20th of the month and he drew me in to counting them month by month until it became unacceptable and we agreed to count quarterly…then half year, then full years. I loved that he celebrated loving me and I definitely celebrated loving him. He never let a day go by when he didn’t tell me he loved me, even up to the day he left. If we were still awake as the clock turned midnight (which we usually were) he’d say – or if we weren’t together he’d text me. ‘New day, loves ya..’ He bought me red roses on Valentine’s Day and I kept a single rose each time and dried it. They still hang up on my wall. My reminders.
I am incredibly proud of him. So proud. When I heard his voice on the radio I would always get that that electricity. There were many occasions my heart would be beating a bit too hard in my chest when he went to jobs alone. He never wore his stab vest and complained about the heaviness of the ballistics vest when he & Cairo became firearms trained. He hated feeling restricted. But he loved what he did. The tension in the control room would become electric whenever he started a pursuit or a track with his dogs. Everyone would follow, always willing to assist him. Ears would prick up around the room. He had bobbies coming out of everywhere willing to help him, all the time. Nobody had ever and could ever say anything bad about him because there was nothing bad to say. In my eyes, he was perfect, and I know in many others eyes he was their hero. It’s been said many times over to me in the past few weeks and every time it brings tears to my eyes. I know he didn’t truly realise how loved and admired and respected he was and I hope wherever he is now he can see it and appreciate it fully.
Out of work, my lovely man was a walking adventure. We have so many wonderful memories as a family. We swam in Swiss lakes, dived off pedalos in Annecy, climbed old castle walls in Luxembourg, and almost got arrested on a tram in Milan (which his trusty warrant card got us out of!) Accompanied by the littlest three, we were happy, secure and safe. The games & takeaway nights were the kids favourites. Playing cards when camping. Sledging until our bums were numb with cold. Barbeques in the sunshine at slippery stones. Riding 14 miles with the someone as fit as him, trying to keep up. Paddling on Bridlington beach and eating fish and chips. In the latter days I’d started running and he was my willing bandy legged running partner, though he joked that I ran too slow and it made his muscles ache. But he’d never run past me, just round me in circles til I got going again. He would never leave me behind. He proofread my essays, championed me, encouraged me, inspired me and made me believe I could do anything.
Carl gave the best cuddle in the whole world. He used to say we ‘fitted’ like jigsaw pieces. ‘Our song’ was Biblical by Biffy Clyro.. it had the line ‘You gave me magical, I gave you wonderful’. And he did give me magical, and wonderful. And all the possible feelings in between.
The peace I am taking with me is that a love like his will always be safe in my heart. It doesn’t yet soothe the ache I feel when I am desperate to hold him again. When I want to touch his face, or see his beautiful eyes, that were always so kind and always full of love. He had time and a big enough heart for everyone, but I will always treasure the time and piece of his heart that he gave me. I will always and forever be grateful that even though his illness took his life, it didn’t take away the love. There will never be another man like Carl. Never. Someone like him comes along once in a lifetime. And some people don’t ever get to experience that feeling of completeness he gave me. So, despite losing him, I am taking with me that I was so lucky to have been his girl.
I love you beautiful boy. Always ❤️