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Dear Carl 

It’s freezing. I don’t even know how it happened, the day you left it was mild. It’s like you were taken & the world went dark & grew cold.  My heart is the same. It’s as if you stayed in the summer time. Like you’re still where the sunshine is and we’ve all had to move on into winter.

The week before you left it had been so sunny….we went for lunch at the Grouse with Dukey & it was glorious – I wore a sundress. My toe nails were still painted blue from our holiday.  We ate our usual lunch – the same lunch EVERY TIME we went there, that we joked about, because we just never wanted anything else. A brie, apple & walnut baguette each & a bowl of ‘soup of the day’ to share.  Things weren’t normal – you were off work by then & we’d had long discussions about stuff but on the way home we’d gone to look at a house & we’d talked about you taking the bull by the horns & putting your house on the market.  It was progress talk.  But I don’t want to think about that right now because it hurts too much to think I was so close to losing you & I didn’t know. 
You took me to the Grouse on our first Valentine’s Day.  You bought me a card & signed it mysteriously & posted a gingerbread man & lady through my letterbox.  I got up off nights after just a couple of hours sleep & you picked me up & we spent a few hours just wrapped up in each other, eating lunch & talking.  You’d been worried whether I’d like the pub as the average age within was about 65, but I loved it & continued to love it for the next 3 years.  

We visited there many times. Usually with dogs in tow, taking them for a run down into the field behind the pub afterwards.  We sat cosy in the corner when it was cold near the real fire. Or with the sun baking on our backs in summer.  I remember one time we had laid in the grass in the field, kissing & talking.  You’d whipped off your t-shirt….’shirts off weather’ you’d say at the first hint of sunshine.  Remember how we savoured each other, savoured every minute.  You’d say ‘I wonder if it’s right & then I see you & I remember why..’.  I remember sometimes you used to kiss me & when I pulled back & opened my eyes you’d stay with your eyes shut looking blissful like you were in heaven.  I loved that. 

I went through photographs today to use for your memorial & amongst them is a picture you’ve taken of me at the Grouse. Our usual dinner is on the table & i still have long hair.  Everything is normal. There are so many pictures of ‘normal’.  You cooking dinner.  Sitting in your garden with a beer watching stars.  Walking the dogs. So many pictures.  At the moment they hurt too much to appreciate.  My heart aches with the injustice of it & pain of losing you is so hard to carry around with me. 

So for now, the seasons move forward & the winter cold is seeping into my bones. Then it will give way to Springtime.  My heart & soul will stay in the warm summer fields of the Grouse with you.  Or cocooned with you under the duvet like two connecting jigsaw pieces.  The heart I must carry with me is as cold as this cruel winter. Like carrying a lump of coal in my chest.  It won’t ever be whole or warm again. 

I love you so much beautiful boy. Please give me a sign. 

Caroline xxx 

One of our summer BBQ’s at slippery stones. I don’t think we’ll ever go back now. Not without you.