• Bekky May

Birthday, Ashes and Bluebells

Yesterday was Rich’s birthday, his first since he left this world nearly 8 months ago. He would have been 43, but instead he will forever be 42 years young. The sun was shining bright and the birds were singing, the world is waking from the winter slumber. Some have even decided to rename the day St Richards Day!


Yesterday we scattered Rich’s ashes in a small family humanist ceremony in the wedding field, just as he had asked us to. He didn’t want us to plant a tree or put a plaque on a bench, he simply wanted us to scatter his ashes, to set him free. So we did. It was just his Mum and Dad, his brother and his wife, and myself. We each read poems and each scattered some ashes into the ground among beautiful yellow flowers. The view from the field was clear and beautiful. I read the lyrics to the beautiful Spell Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyL-ZLn3omY We then went back to the house, we ate birthday cake, we remembered him, we missed him and we loved him. It was an emotional day.


Today I am going for a woodland walk with friends, to go and see if we can find some bluebells. When Rich was given weeks to live back in December 2019, he said that he wanted to make it until the bluebells that spring. He managed that and more! So here’s to the beautiful bluebells that will forever be a special time of year.


Its nearly 5 years now since Rich was first diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer, just after his 38th birthday. I remember the time well and what a crushing appointment that was. We had had such a magical holiday in Sri Lanka that February and we were happier than we had ever been. We were trying for a baby and had our lives and our future ahead of us. It was all so bright and happy.


Life without Rich is hard, its lonely and quiet, eerily quiet. I get through each day, one day at a time, but miss him more than words can say. I miss his laugh, his hugs, his love, his presence… The emptiness is loud and big. I’m glad to have my work to keep me focused, both when teaching and in the studio. It has been helpful to have the studio to escape to, to potter and to create. And Lola the dog has been a little star, but the emptiness is always there. I still hear him in the house sometimes or still expect him to walk through the door. Apparently this takes a while for that to fade.


I am lucky to have so many wonderful loving people around me, supporting me through this heart breaking journey. Thank you for standing by me.


With love,

Bekky x

In 2016 in the Hut on our wedding anniversary, shortly after he escaped from hospital

The flowers for Rich's ash scattering ceremony, bright and sunny yellows

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