Thursday, March 22, 2007

Behind closed curtains

"I remember very clearly the day my father died. I was six years old. A neighbour collected me from school and took me to her house. I remember the curtains being closed in our front room and asking why. I don't think I got an answer."

"When I was five years old my mother attempted to commit suicide. I don't feel upset when I remember it. I remember the jumper I was wearing was blue with a white stripe and that Asterix and Cleopatra was on the TV, and that it was a sunny day but the curtains were drawn."

A great-aunt was dying, everyone was up in the bedroom with her. Sitting alone in a highly ornamented room, heavy silk curtains looped with sashes, thick lace curtains underneath them, a huge apidistra, gilt-framed pictures, oval photographs of old people. I knew she would be off to heaven and sat wondering if I might catch a glimpse of her through the curtains, ascending."

My maternal grandmother died from cancer a month after my third birthday. I don't remember her death. I used to go into her room and open the curtains for her."

Source: BBC Radio 4 Memory Experience


Blogger Arielle said...

I remember visiting my maternal grand-mother when I was six years old. She was dying of cancer and she was always lying in her bed, the curtains drawn. The room was therefore in semi-darkness, a place in-between life and death. My mother wanted me to sing for her, but I would stay on the threshold, immobile and mute ...

3:51 pm  

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