This was written at the request of a friend, a woman who has shared part of my journey. She asked if I could write a farewell to be posted on the Facebook poetry page I had shared with the man I once loved and who I lost to his own inner demons. It’s been almost a year since I last heard from Peter. I’ve struggled with a goodbye I didn’t want but had to make, with grief and rage as secrets and not-so-secrets were revealed or confirmed. Having had the opportunity to share with his last partner and to hear from her, his words for me; I feel I can at last put this to rest. Not in the murk of those last days but in the sunshine that was once what he brought to my life.
Once upon a time…
There was a man who loved me. We were friends. We were colleagues. We spent almost two years together planning a life, writing books, creating this page and my own. We planned to marry, to open a writer’s retreat in upstate New York and to have a pied-à-terre here in Canada.
Some of my acquaintances here will remember those happy, creative times. Some will remember when it began to fall apart. None will ever know the full story or how the end was never really the end nor ever will be. The story is Peter’s and mine and it lives still in our words – the good and the bad chapters – and in the life that I live now.
So, the time passes and slowly I begin to realize…. Time does heal. It does not unbreak, it does not erase but it does soften the edges of the wound and it does replace the aching, the tears and sleepless nights with calm and grace. Time fades the hurt, it answers the questions and sometimes, it brings you a gift you couldn’t have imagined…
There aren’t words for the gratitude that I feel for meeting Anna, for her understanding, her belief and her kindness in asking me to say some words here.
Dear Peter, I will never understand the demons in your head. I will never understand how things went so wrong. At the end, I had to let you go. I couldn’t stay to watch your destruction become mine.
You did leave me a gift though; words that you spoke to Anna. A woman of grace and courage, a woman whom I am proud to call my friend. The healing began for me once I heard from her that yes, you had loved me.
I think that is all I needed to know…
Some of you may recall how Peter and I wrote back and forth. Two poems, one thought, one heart, he’d say. One of the first poems he wrote for me follows. I wrote my response, slightly different from the 2011 version, on my blog just short days ago and I share it below Peter’s. The words are raw; you may wish to stop reading now. The words at the end of mine come from one of our last conversations. Fitting I thought as it echoes the last line of his poem to me short years before. Our relationship was emotional, fiery, and incendiary at times – the words reflect that. I smiled as I read his poem, for the first time in so long, I left the spelling exactly as he wrote it, he’d relied on me to do the editing for the books we wrote together. We had many laughs over this, many good times before outside influences and Peter’s own demons began to prey on him. It’s important that people know that.
I’m sharing both these pieces in the spirit of healing, in the spirit of forgiveness and in the spirit of grace. For Peter, for myself, for our families and for what might have been.
by Peter Fifield on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 at 16:05
Look at me Karin
as you look upon the night sky.
Look at me my love
and we’ll watch time pass us by.
Sing with me my green eyed angel
as we sing our own love song.
Sing with me Karin
and let the the world sing along.
Kiss me my love
and let us mould into one.
Kiss me my darling
until our last breath is gone.
Look at me my love
when you steal my lonely heart.
Look at me
as you tear my soul apart.
Look at me Karin
and don’t ever forget me.
By Karin Bole Tupper, 7 January 2015
I miss you so much sometimes…
You know, I can hardly write here anymore. You’ve spoiled me for any other man. I can’t – no – don’t want to write what is not. The irony isn’t lost on me. Nor you I suppose. Wherever it is that you are now.
Funny how anger can lose its razor-sharp edges over time. Almost a year now Baby.
That name slips off my tongue so easily. I hear it in your voice though. Bourbon and Marlboros, whispering over golden wheat fields. You loved my description of your voice.
And oh God – if there is such a thing – how I miss you when I hear the kiss of your voice against my ear. “Baby”, growled soft and low as you stand behind me, running your huge hands down my arms, stooped to reach the shell of my ear. I’ve never felt so safe and yet so bereft in my life as I do now.
I feel you everywhere.
You tattooed yourself onto my skin. Words, kisses, sweat, spit, cum… You wrote yourself onto my body, into my heart and soul. Wrenched out by the madness in your own and yet… here I am now.
Craving yet the smoothness of your skin, the long sinewy muscles of your thighs, thrumming under my fingertips, my lips, my tongue. Aching for those huge hands to run down my back, cup my ass and pull me close to you.
Whisper please… whisper again how much you love me. Tell me everything will be okay again someday.
For my desire is nothing but winter. My body cold and frozen, ice in my veins and a howling blizzard in my heart. All that remains of you, me, the fire of we.
Is this tiny spark.
This contained flame, this tip of your cigarette as you stub it out and once again pull me to you.
“You’re mine Kiddo. Always. Don’t forget me. Promise me Karin. Don’t ever forget me.”
7 January 2015
I would say “Rest In Peace” but you aren’t gone, merely slipped out of sight as Dylan Thomas said. I choose to let the good memories reign. Whatever and whoever came during the period of your darkness is irrelevant and certainly cannot erase you and I.
Hyd nes ddiwrnod arall my Bleddyn.
18 January 2015