A Death in the Family

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madeline
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A Death in the Family

Postby madeline » Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:59 pm

My friends,

The love of my life, Michael Crawley (aka Felix Baron, also an author of erotica) died on December 22, 2013, in the heart of and at the height of the great ice storm that struck the Greater Toronto Area over the holiday season.

There's no bad time to listen to Leonard Cohen but during times of agony his voice is the one I need to fall into. Sometimes the pain has to be forced to the surface before it rips my guts to ugly ribbons. A good cry is absolutely necessary and who better to help me weep in helpless isolation and yet be comforted and connected to everyone? Oh Leonard, there is, there is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.

Here's Michael:
He was born April 4, 1937 in London, England, and died December 22, 2013. Michael served his country in Cyprus with the Royal Army Service Corp.
He moved to Canada in 1968. Michael was a writer, teacher and mentor to new authors. He is survived by his 4 children and his lover, Madeline Moore; he will be missed by many. In deference to Michael's fierce atheism, no funeral was held.
His exemplary clarity was with him to the end.
Michael's final words were, "I've had enough. I'm going now."
***
When we fell in love, he said, "Realistically, I can offer you 10 good years." We started living together in 2003. He was a man of his word, as those who knew him will attest.
He was my great oak tree, firmly rooted to the ground. I was the critter that hid in the many little places he kept just for me. Had I known I'd be sharing this image with the world, I'd have made it more original. But there it is, that's the way I saw him.
His death was not related to the ice storm. However, as I sat with his body for a few moments, the branches of a magnificent, ice laden tree at the main entrance of the hospital cracked and crashed to the sparkling crust that covered the earth.
You can't make this stuff up.

Like Leonard Cohen, Michael knew the simple answer to the question that seems to befuddle so many men: What do women want? Perhaps the answer isn't to their liking, so many choose not to hear it. But Leonard knows it and he's shared it with the world. Michael knew it, too: Women want to be adored.

Here is one of the poems Michael wrote for me.

I am the grey
That edges the black of your shadow
I am the heat in the rock
That warms your back when you take the sun.

I am the salt that makes your tears salty
I am the red that makes your blood red

I am the blue
That flickers in the fire you ignite
I am the deliciousness
In the chills that run up your spine.

Even if I weren't here anymore,
Even if I were gone
I would be the flecks of gold in your eyes,
Whenever they shone.

The pain will never leave me. I know that. I don't suppose I want it to. Time will smooth the edges so I can move forward. But there'll always be those days when I'll be, we'll all be, jabbed straight to the heart with a jagged pain. That's the price we pay for the luxury of love.

xoxo Mad
writer of contemporary women's erotica, 3 novels with Black Lace, numerous short stories published in anthologies. Screenwriter with short film and TV credits.
Cate
Posts: 3461
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:27 am

Re: A Death in the Family

Postby Cate » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:26 pm

I am the grey
That edges the black of your shadow
I am the heat in the rock
That warms your back when you take the sun.

I am the salt that makes your tears salty
I am the red that makes your blood red

I am the blue
That flickers in the fire you ignite
I am the deliciousness
In the chills that run up your spine.

Even if I weren't here anymore,
Even if I were gone
I would be the flecks of gold in your eyes,
Whenever they shone.
absolutely beautiful

I'm so sorry for you loss Madeline. Ten years can be a lifetime but it is no way enough time. Your partner sounds like he was strong and loving man, I'm so glad that you have the words and music of Leonard Cohen to be with you in this grief. I'm also in Toronto - the ice storm was surrealistic; it was still, beautiful and destructive. The slightest breeze spitting huge trees in two. I can easily imagine how that tree fell in front of the hospital - somehow it seems right. There are so many interesting people in this world that we will never have an opportunity to meet, thank you for sharing Michael's poem with us and little about his life.

That is a book that I recently ordered myself called - To that Mythic Country Called Closure here that you might connect with you. I'll post one of her poems in the other peoples poetry section so that you can check it out if you wish.
sereneava
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:06 am

Re: A Death in the Family

Postby sereneava » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:48 pm

Please accept my condolences Madeline. Your sharing of Michael's life and your love was touching and beautiful. I hope that love will console you through the grief.
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Boss
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Location: Treblinka

Re: A Death in the Family

Postby Boss » Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:13 am

Madeline,

I wish you strength, and I wish you peace.

You carry his light,
Adam
imaginary friend
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Location: Vancouver, Canada

Re: A Death in the Family

Postby imaginary friend » Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:19 am

Madeline,

Your tribute to Michael was beautiful. What a partner. What a loss.

I remember you on the forum from a few years back. Stay awhile, this time.

xo
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madeline
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Location: near Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Re: A Death in the Family

Postby madeline » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:24 am

My gratitude and thanks to Cate, Sereneava, Adam (Boss) and of course, my imaginary friend. It helps to know that fans of Leonard (our common interest) have taken the time to read and respond to my message.

Michael's colleagues and editors, students and fellow tutors, have all expressed their sorrow at the loss of this generous, talented writer. My friends, many of whom I haven't met (writers across the pond and in the US) have been very kind.

At the end of the day, I'm alone. Sometimes it's okay and sometimes it isn't. Sometimes I need to know that others have felt this pain and survived. Who, after all, expresses that better than the gentle, gracious, brilliant man known as Leonard Cohen. Music helps heal. So do comments by good people. Thank you again.
mad
writer of contemporary women's erotica, 3 novels with Black Lace, numerous short stories published in anthologies. Screenwriter with short film and TV credits.
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mat james
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Joined: Sat May 27, 2006 8:06 am
Location: Australia

Re: A Death in the Family

Postby mat james » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:02 am

he sounds like a great bloke, Mad

hard to get over
or
easy to remember

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173536

"stay golden"
Mat xo
"Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart." San Juan de la Cruz.
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lizzytysh
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Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Florida, U.S.A.

Re: A Death in the Family

Postby lizzytysh » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:23 pm

Dear madeline ~

Your account, remembrances, and poem are so crushingly real and moving and beautiful that I've read them several times and couldn't gather whatever it took to respond, so decided I'd do later, only to repeat that very process several more times. Now, I comment, but not enough to do justice to what you've written. My heart is with you in your immense loss. Your great love will clearly never go away... and your grief will always be close at hand. The iced tree crashing seems to me testament from the Universe of those moments surrounding your loss. My hope is that time will give you the reprieve of being truly able to enjoy life as you once did. My heart is with you now and through that process.


~ Lizzie
"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."
~ Oscar Wilde

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