wings and things

Imagined conversation 76: the wording on your headstone

on November 4, 2018

Me: The red speckled granite for your headstone has arrived and now Ming and I just have to finalise the wording and….

Anthony: Just keep it simple, Jules, don’t exaggerate.

Me: So do you want me to get rid of the header – The most beautiful man in the world ?

Anthony: No, that’s pretty accurate – keep that in.

Me: Noted. Okay, so then I want the inscription to say, succinctly, what you meant/mean to Ming and me, so I am tossing up between words like beloved, cherished, adored.

Anthony: All very apt but….

Me: Yes, I know you would really like the word worshipped in there but that doesn’t sit comfortably with me because I think it was you who worshipped me first and not the other way around.

Anthony: I beg to differ. You worshipped me first, Jules.

Me: Shut up! I thought we agreed that it was mutual years ago and anyway I don’t like the idea of worship because it implies godliness and you are the most ungodly person I have ever met.

Anthony: You keep forgetting where I am, Jules, so please refrain from the ungodly references.

Me: Okay so this is what I have so far: The Most Beautiful Man in the World/ Anthony Barr Goyder 1936 – 2017/ Admired and Respected by all who knew him/ Adored husband of Julie/Beloved father of Menzies. All of these little phrases are on separate lines on the headstone of course. What do you think?

Anthony: You do me proud, Jules.

Me: I still want to have a sort of punchline, like Unforgotten or Unforgettable but the first one has horror movie connotations and the second implies comedy. Plus I have been advised to leave room on the headstone for a few words about me for when I die.

Anthony: Oh … yes, I didn’t think of that.

Me: Ants, we never, ever had any sort of conversations about death, dementia, funerals because you always, always thought you were getting better and I let you believe that.

Anthony: You are a great liar…

Me: I loved you too much to tell you the truth. And anyway, why didn’t you tell me you were about to die? You never gave me a hint; you were in one of your slumps.

Anthony: I didn’t know I was going to die either, Jules.

Me: I thought you would overcome the slump, do another Lazarus, return to our ever-evolving new normal….

Anthony: It was a shock to me too, Jules.

Me: I am so glad that I nearly have your headstone done and dusted because it has been sort of haunting me in an unfinished business sort of way.

Anthony: It doesn’t matter, Jules….

Me: Yes it does, Ants.

Anthony: I am gone, Jules.

Me: No, you are not gone, Ants – you are here.


Ants and Gutsy 2013?



20 responses to “Imagined conversation 76: the wording on your headstone

  1. susanpoozan says:

    Splendid, you have got there.

  2. Judy says:

    Yes! He is there with you always, Julie. Beautiful conversations and you will hear him in your mind whenever you choose to. He is part of you.

    • jmgoyder says:

      Surreal sometimes how his voice in my imagination is so accurate!

      • Judy says:

        That is the beauty of healing. I feel like my emptiness inside – my grief, was eased when my son returned to me in a different way. That’s what is happening for you. In this way, Anthony lives on and will always be with you. It really is a comfort to have that!
        If I listen, I can hear my mother and father talking to me. Their essence is also alive in that way!

      • jmgoyder says:

        Thank you so much for helping me to re-believe in magic, Judy

  3. tersiaburger says:

    Lovely post! I remember this photo, What was the bird’s name again?? Much love my friend

  4. I love this Julie. And I love thinking of Anthony with humor. And honestly, I love that he lives so well within you that you can have these conversations and I forget it is you writing them.

  5. angelasommers says:

    Hello dear,Just wanted you to know that this is one of my most favorite pictures of Anthony.  The gentle giant.  How beautiful!  And yes I remember your story of the little peacock. Thanks for the imagined conversations, and yes, I too did those, but with my mother when she very unexpectedly went to heaven.Thanks for all you do!Angela Sommers, from Medford, Oregon 🙂

  6. tootlepedal says:

    The inscription reads well.

  7. I like the words you have chosen for his headstone, he is gone but never forgotten

  8. That’s a beautiful inscription. I think “Unforgettable” would be just fine to add.

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