Back again…

So, here I am, back for the first time since July 2022.

Am I done with grieving Martin, partner of fifty-four years, father of three children that made it and two who didn’t, brilliant storyteller, superb photographer and best of beta readers?

I don’t think I will stop grieving. Ever.

I can’t talk about being a widow. As I write, widow seems to mean more looking back, than it describes how I am trying to be, now, how I must try to be, now. Widow says I once was in the world in a way that I no longer am. But, willy-nilly, the focus has to be on the way of now, with me alone, not the way of then, with me and Martin. For only the second time in decades, I breathe Jamaican air and he is nowhere nearby. He will not ever be near me in this island space ever again. Nor in any other space. Anywhere.

At home in Toronto, where I have not been for the last six weeks, I talk to him in his carved bamboo box of ashes every day. Or I just talk to him, since I can’t always see the bamboo box. I quarrelled with him for a year or so, but I don’t any more. Not much, anyway. Now, it is just the occasional rant, in which I hate him and love him and rage at him—and then settle down, since it changes nothing.

When I ask him for my poem, it still isn’t there… Rant Flash Point!

So it might be wise to veer off into another rant… Today I went to collect my new Canadian passport. Having landed six weeks ago with a passport that I needed to renew in order to stay here in Jamaica as long as I planned to, I went online and did as I was told. I filled in and printed off my application forms, and I paid the required fee. Then I went to the High Commission to take in my still current ‘old’ passport, and was alarmed to find that I handed in the envelope in which it was contained, along with the relevant forms, my photos and a receipt for the fee, by putting it into a box in the security post. I didn’t even get a piece of paper saying that I am a citizen of Canada who has given up her passport to be renewed. Today I collected the new passport. I went beyond the security post and into the High Commission proper to collect this crucial document. Before that could happen, I went through the kind of security check one does before flying. In addition, my phone and Fitbit had to be left in the security post.

I am told this is the new MO in embassies and high commissions all over the world and I know there may be “good reasons” for this. However, it still disturbs me deeply. The same babyfather whom I mourn warned me, when he was a diplomat, that a citizen ought never to surrender their passport.

I plan to write some letters when I go home to Toronto.