Claire’s husband Hugo was cared for by Trinity. Following his death, she found a letter in his handwriting that hadn’t been re-read for over 50 years.

This inspired her memoir that she wrote in Trinity’s Creative Writing Workshops.

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"She carried on with the task of sorting out a drawer that had not been opened for years. She tipped the contents out on her bed.

 

An envelope in his handwriting, addressed to her in Canada, sent from England. A letter which had not been re-read for over 50 years. A reminder that her engagement to him had not been a happy time for her and that she had destroyed all the other letters he had written over those months. Why had she kept this particular one?

 

In the end their marriage had been a strong one. They had loved, and they had laughed and they had mainly weathered the bad times. They had cared for each other and she was thankful that she had been well enough to look after him at the end. And together they had known the joy of caring for others.

 

There was no joy in her heart as she approached this first Easter without him. Today was one of those days she wanted only to die. But she had promised him that she would carry on what they had begun together. So she got on with the job she had started, and took the letter out of its envelope.

 

He had dated it April 10, 1960. Easter this year was April 16th. Today was April 13th.

 

“Darling a very happy Easter to you. I hope it’ll be a wonderful one – what a glorious day Easter Day is, full of love and victory, so confident and stupendous after the anguish of Holy Week and the way to sacrifice and death. The miracle re-enacts itself every year …”

 

The birdsong came in through her window. The blackbirds were back, singing joyously, and bringing hope."

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Claire is one of the inspirational family members who shared her work at Trinity's Creative Writing Showcase.

Read our e-book to hear from more Trinity patients, families and staff who wrote of their experiences of death, dying and bereavement as part of Dying Matters Week.