Monday, 27 August 2018

DEATH, GRIEF, AND ART - PEDYR PRIOR AND MARY FLETCHER

Around three months ago, in May this year, I was canvassing on behalf of Pedyr Prior, our Labour candidate in a St Ives town council by-election. In the end, the Conservative vote was too strong. But we in the Labour Party locally gave it our best shot and Pedyr came close. Pedyr was our man - respected and seasoned and tough. Chair of the Cornwall Labour Forum. He had just been diagnosed with prostate cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy, even as he led his team of canvassers. The medical prognosis looked good.

Suddenly, the word came that Pedyr had taken a turn for the worse. He had had an adverse reaction to his fifth session of chemotherapy. Three weeks later, Pedyr passed away. On 25 June, we attended with many others his funeral at Treswithian Downs crematorium.




This blog-post is my tribute to Pedyr through the paintings and poetry of his wife, the St Ives artist Mary Fletcher. Mary has expressed her grieving through these images created on her iPad and in the words of her poems. I hold these images and word in high regard and am so pleased to play my part in helping them reach a wider audience.

                                     
                                     I  wake alone



                                     heart thumping



                                     pain through all my veins



                                     wobbly



                                     uncertain



                                     likely to pitch over



                                     can't drive



                                     can't survive

                                     can't see a way



                                     without you and don't want to



                                     Grief won't kill me though




                                     I asked it to.





                                                                                   Bagatelle.





                                    In love for so long, two sides of a calm quiet arch all held together, all happy and dancing.

                                    Balanced and sure, sweet and strong 

                                    Aware of this fragile fortune.

                                    And

                                    Now 

                                    He is dead so quickly, three weeks of suffering and hope and longing

                                    I'm left,  a loose marble shot out in a moment to rattle around so painfully

                                    Ricocheting stupidly, salted with crying
                                    Lost and lonely

                                    Afraid of everything 

                                    on my own.






                                    The palliative care team, the death squad

                                    invite you to choose a day to die.

                                    But we hung on to hope two more weeks.







                                                 Yes I hear you talking
                                                 something about plants
                                                 watering
                                                 or something else
                                                 Its like a film in the next room
                                                 Its like I'm behind glass
                                                 screaming
                                                 and you go on talking
                                                 about your happy life
                                                 about how life goes on
                                                 and I am behind glass
                                                 stuck in grief
                                                 drowning
                                                 hating it.





                                                    We made a circle

                                                    a strong fortress

                                                    and now its broken

                                                    and I am toppling.



                                                   A ruined broken circle

                                                   demolished

                                                   salt soaked

                                                   bombed

                                                   perilous

                                                   terror.





                                                       Tell Richard Gere I'm free

                                                       My husband died quite recently

                                                       I need someone to dance with me

                                                       I need someone to love me who I love

                                                       So much it makes me want to die

                                                       To whom I cannot say goodbye.

                                                       But if Richard should call by

                                                       One short waltz will do

                                                       I can pretend it's you.








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