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Trip away part 2: Tears in Cornwall

24 August 2011

After the music festival, I drove down to Cornwall to learn how to surf. It was awesome. The best 4 hours since Jane died as I was simply too busy concentrating to think about her. I surfed for 2 days and then hurt my Achills tendons and could surf no more. So instead I went on a kind of pilgrimage around the places we went to in 2007.

Maybe I should been better prepared.  Or less naive. In any case, the trip to St Ives was like having my guts ripped out with a pointy hook. Why put myself through it, you might wonder. The answer is: I don't really know.  Maybe I just wanted to try and catch a glimpse of our happy past.

The streets were full of loud tourists and screaming kids. I wondered around aimlessly. Or so I thought. Suddenly I found the spot.



I used this picture of Jane on the funeral cards and the order of service and it has become a very important image for me. Symbolising when she was still free and happy. And how, in a sense, she is now free again.

I thought I might as well face it head on so I walked up and found a quiet place to sit. No sooner had I sat down on a rock, when a sledgehammer hit me in the face. Seeing the same spot but now empty, no Jane, no kite flying, no happiness.


It started as a bit of tears but as the hour went on, it turned in to a full on crying session, complete with snot, heaving, wailing and more tears. Every time I tried to leave, tears came back. For over an hour I sat there, crying, sometimes quietly, sometimes loudly. I did not even cry like that when Jane died. Not at the funeral. Not afterwards. Never.

The longer it went on, the less able I felt to leave. I wanted to go, but every time I stood up, my heart ruptured further. It wasn't busy so I was relatively alone but the few people who walked past could not have missed my crying. Nobody spoke. I did not really want anybody to speak to me. When a dog ran up to me, I tried talking to it but all the came out was a loud sob and I was off again.

I wish I could explain to people that I really am not pathetic and suicidal and crying all the time. I have genuinely good moments. But the pain is so deep, it is like nothing else anyone can ever imagine, no matter how kindly people try.

And so a photo that did not have much meaning beyond it just being a pretty picture, has now created an attachement to a place in Cornwall that will forever be linked with Jane and the emptyness her death has left me with.

It is strange how these things go. We had fun in Cornwall but it was certainly not the holiday I have the fondest memories of. And yet, because of a simple photograph, it feels like the place closest to Jane. I feel I will be back there again.


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