My father passed away a few weeks ago, just short of the anniversary of my mother’s death, which is today.
Dad was a scientist – an electronics engineer. He specialised in sound engineering and held patents, working at the Westrex labs in London in the 1950s among other things.
On a day in late July, just gone, I carried my father’s ashes back to his home – the family home which Dad shared with my mother until her death, and where he then lived until his last weeks. I found myself standing in the yard. I left when I was 18 and moved to a city 300 km distant, but it was still a place filled with memories, where I had grown up with my brother and sister and where I was always welcomed back. Last summer – the summer after Mum died – her garden bloomed in the last flourish of the hollyhocks and flowers she had planted. Now the place was forlorn, the colours leached by a bleak winter. My father’s Volkswagen camper van, its paint faded, was parked beside the house.
Only the wind chimes remained to tell me of the colour and life that had once been. I remembered the tower-hut I once built against the shed so I could sit writing sci-fi novels. I remembered the summer of 1979-80 when Dad – who had been brought up in the jazz age – still insisted on playing Pink Floyd’s The Wall at monolithic volume, crystal clear and distortion-free, on the incredible home sound system he’d built.
As I stood there, these and many other moments became the monochrome winter palette around me. It fitted my mood. On top of the loss of both parents in less than a year I’ve fielded a huge personal life-blow at the same time. As a friend remarked of the combination, ‘that’s not a crisis – it’s an apocalypse.’
That’s why this blog and my social media in general have been neglected of late. I’ll get back to it soon. Watch this space.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2016