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2 April 2019
Ben Pentreath
80 Comments

It’s been six or seven weeks since I’ve written. Those that follow me over on instagram will already know that Mum died suddenly, of a heart attack, on the evening of Sunday, 24th February.

I would have been writing about the beautiful, beautiful weather that weekend. Do you remember that extraordinary heatwave?  We’d had Bridie staying, for such a lovely weekend in Dorset – a long overdue catchup. A very quiet weekend. How prescient, in retrospect, that the first photo I took on one of our morning walks was a view of the little church, glowing in the sunshine. 

The air was still, and hot, and spring was bursting out of every pore in the ground. 

Sitting on the cricket pitch, that morning, throwing a ball for the dogs, we heard an extraordinary distant rumble that I have to confess I’d never really noticed before – the sound of the waves slowly crashing on Chesil beach, softly floating across two valleys from the coast, to where we were sitting, spellbound. 

Everything gleamed. 

We’d popped into see Mum and Dad a couple of times – Mum had been a bit under the weather, with a cold, so had decided to go to bed.  On the Sunday, a sparkling hot day, they were due over for lunch. Mum was better but didn’t want to rush it, so she stayed at home to rest up. Dad came and we had a glorious lunch, outside, under blue skies in hot sunshine, wondering about the extraordinary weather, missing Mum – I suppose, in retrospect, that’s my only real regret – how much she would have loved that lunch on the terrace, with the dogs and the birdsong. 

I took Bridie to the station and on the way back, called Dad, asking if they wanted a quick visit for a cup of tea. They did – one of those tiny moments in life for which one is eternally grateful.  Mum was up and about and feeling so much better, and we had a lovely hour chatting about this, that and the other, about nothing at all, really, but making plans for the week ahead. I got home as the sun was setting. Charlie and I had a drink in the garden and soaked in the sunshine and the view, and felt glad and grateful, as we so often do on evenings like that in Dorset. 

Well, later, just as we had gone to bed, I got a terrible call from Dad, that Mum had collapsed. I was over there in ten minutes.  I am afraid we both realised very quickly what had happened, and despite the best efforts of the ambulance crew, that awful, awful shock of such a sudden loss began to gently sink in.

The new few days were a blur; life held in suspension, a bit like that strange, beautiful, haunting few days of the heatwave, that felt as if they would never end. The consolation of walks, of Charlie, of the dogs, of my bothers and sisters-in-lawand also, of the countryside, extraordinarily beautiful, almost the most beautiful I have ever seen it, veiled in mistswas profound.

On the second evening, Charlie, my brother Tim and I took Dad down to the sea. 

The weather changed abruptly, and the morning walks became freezing, rain lashed, but still the hills and beech hangers were beautiful.  Cows huddled against the storm. 

As always, rain and wind gives way to sunshine. 

Mum is buried in the church next door to us now.  She had planned her funeral service to the last detail, years and years ago – every reading, every hymn. May I give advice to everyone – this is a really, really kind thing to do for the people who you will be leaving.  She was placed in a wicker coffin, ‘strewn with seasonal flowers’, at her request, which Charlie did beautifully, picking only from the garden, that morning.

The day of Mum’s funeral was bitterly sad, of course; but we had hundreds of people back to the Parsonage afterwards. That evening, supper in the dining room with our family – sad, and happy, celebrating the good times, by turn. That night, I slept the deepest sleep I had had in weeks.

We woke the next morning to sunshine. Here were Charlie’s magnolia and blossom branches on the altar, sunshine streaming in. 

In the afternoon, alone at last, Charlie and I decided we needed a complete change of scene. We had friends over from New York, who were up in Somerset. We made a plan to meet at Forde Abbey. The garden sparkled in stormy sunshine – rain lashed in from time to time.

We went down to Lyme together. The Cobb was glowing in the last of the sun. 

And we came home, and were having the quietest evening, reflecting on how sad we had been, but how we felt as if we were gently turning a corner… when Charlie received the most awful call from New Zealand. His dear young cousin Billie had tragically died – she was aged just 17.

I honestly cannot tell you how horrific it is to be plunged back on the roller-coaster of grief.  For three weeks, we’d quietly, carefully, peacefully mourned Mum.  Time is a healer, as anyone who reads this, who has experienced such loss will know; time does not mean you forget, but it does soften and comfort and provide balm to raw pain. That, after all, is the human condition – we have a remarkable ability to remember; and an equally powerful ability to forget.  But to transcend this delicate cycle, navigating one’s way painfully and slowing from grief to solace, is one thing. To have reached a powerful staging post on the journey, and then to be plunged back into despair, was almost too much to bear.

That following day, Charlie and I just sat and cried for most of the day, in silence.  I took him and the dogs for a walk on the beach. The colour of the steel sky and leaden grey sea perfectly matched our mood. 

It has been nearly impossible to write at all, as I’m sure you’ll understand.  But then the rhythms of daily life must somehow return. For a moment, I began to get some tiny feeling of what it must have been like to live during the Great War, when grief piled upon grief; when families would mourn not just one son, but two, or three. But with each day life becomes more normal.  A client came in for a meeting, horrified, in a sense, that we were having a sit down to make a rather urgent decision about her shower tiles. “Please don’t feel you have to”, she said – “make sure you concentrate on the important things in life”.  But sometimes, the important things in life are too sad or too bleak to think about, all-consumingly. It was a weird relief to start thinking about normal things, like kitchen cabinet knobs, or planning a new house for someone. Charlie started work in the garden. Tonight, he’s down in Dorset, planting seeds.  We’re beginning to make serious plans for the little bothy in Scotland. And so on.

And so, ultimately, I feel a sense of optimism. Here is Mum, resting now, as my brother Tim read in the service, “in one of the most beautiful churchyards in England, surrounded by trees, and by the sound of birdsong by day and owls calling by night, in a place she loved, so close to David, and with Ben and Charlie next door…” 

Our morning walk with the doggies now takes a little detour.

And on these beautiful spring evenings we’ve been having, despite the craziness of the world around us, unfolding now by the hour, I can’t help but feel that of the things that really matter, it’ll be okay. Life goes on; and, as spring bursts into flower, and with Easter almost upon us, that is the most powerful message of all.

80 comments on this post

Jill Rowesays:

Ben ~ It’s early October now in the Hudson Valley, an unusually warm day with the sky filled with rain clouds and the ground laden with fallen leaves and horse chestnuts. I then thought ~ I need to see how Ben Pentreath and Charlie and Dorset, et. al. are doing as it’s been so long since I’ve read your posts and then this…you have distance on it now, I can imagine, but how beautiful your experience was to read when it was so raw. Thank you for sharing that with us. Those of us who have aging parents know the time will inevitably come and how beautiful that you have her with you so close by. What a gift.

PPsays:

A very late comment, probably too late to make much sense, but I’ve just read about your mother and it would feel strange to read such an open and honest and quite beautiful post without saying something. I’m so sorry about your mother, Ben, and about Charlie’s cousin Billie. I am feeling especially for your father. It will have been a couple of months now, and I’m sure your feelings will have been shifting and modulating in that time. I think it took me a good couple of years before I really believed my mother had died. It is the strangest thing, the death of a mother.

I used to read your blog every week, and often commented, and then I stopped. As they say, it wasn’t you, it was me! I’d been living in Australia and would feel so terribly homesick every week in a sort of ecstatically painful way when I read what you’d written. And then we moved back to the UK, and eventually bought a poor old institutionalised place which has almost lost the will to live, in Devon, and I needed to stop missing West Dorset, where I never lived, and get to grips with Devon (which turns out to have many unexpected delights). And tonight I was googling F&B’s Setting Plaster with yellow, and your room came up. And from there I have been catching up on what you’ve been doing. It seems the proper time to start reading your blog again, so hello.

Adriennesays:

Dear Ben, I am so sorry that you have lost two loved ones. My father, who was 99, died in January. Not unexpected of course but still it was such a shock. I went over from Italy to attend his funeral in a beautiful old church in Somerset never thinking that exactly two months later I would be back for the funeral of my dearly beloved brother-in-law who looked after my father as if he was his own for nine years. He, like your dear mother, died of a heart attack. One is bad enough; two is terrible. My two loved ones are also in a beautiful little country cemetery full of flowers and blossom. That is a consolation. I wish you all the best.
Ciao.
Adrienne from Italy

Deby (in Canada)says:

The most heartfelt hugs to you and Charlie… to many tears to write properly
all love Deby

Ashsays:

Such tragic losses. God bless you all.
On a lighter note, I think these are your most beautiful photos ever. Xxx

Mrs Hsays:

How brave you are to write this. I am so very sorry, Ben and Charlie. Thinking of you, your father, Billie’s family and of everyone writing here who is still living through the desolation of recent grief xxx

G. Haydensays:

I forgot to say that I liked the hint of “Persuasion”

G. Haydensays:

A lovely and heart-breaking narrative. I had been wondering why the huge gap between posts. The accompanying photographs are beautiful.

Deborahsays:

Dear Ben and Charlie:

“Condolences” seems to be such an inadequate word. I am not a religious person, but I believe we will all be together again, and indeed it is all that gets me through this life, knowing that my people who have gone on ahead will call me to them, including my beautiful mother whom we lost when she was 57. The day after she died, I was incredulous that the sun came up. I had honestly thought that the world would end. But rise it did, again and again, and seasons passed, and I finally understood that it is Mother Nature who soothes and heals us with her rhythms and blessings.

Charlie, there are no words for losing someone so young that Ben and the other commenters have not already said. All I can do is cry for you and your family, and for Ben and his.

With love,

Deborah in Cambridge US

Mikesays:

My deepest condolences to you & Charlie;life presents seemingly intractable grief sometimes and you two have not only persevered but grown stronger. It also brings what truly matters into sharp relief and renders the rest just so much noise to be ignored. Your resilience is a template for us all. May time lessen your sorrow and your tears turn to a smile at happy memories.

Joan Gordonsays:

Such a beautiful post. Blessings to you, Charlie and your families.

Joyce Morrissays:

My heart leapt seeing there was, at last, a post from you, but, of course, took a nose dive when I read about what has been happening.
Those of us who have lost parents seem to be bound together in shared grief each time another poor soul has to be bruised by their loss.
I live in the north of Scotland now so will be eagerly following what you choose to show and tell us about the bothy. It will be very special. Take heart in it’s planning and development as being busy helps so much. Your mum must have been incredibly proud .

Alan Frasersays:

To lose your mother will have been very hard although I hope her last afternoon being such a lovely one with you will give some comfort… Mrs Pentreath was obviously a lovely lady but in a sense people like her never die as their values are eternal and live on after them. For poor Billie to die so soon afterwards is just senseless and your & Charlie’s grief is a sincere tribute to what a wonderful person she was too.
Our world really needs people like Mrs Pentreath & Billie but I am sure their mission will continue in your & Charlie’s lives.
Than-you so much for the inspiration your writings & photos bring to so many of us & let us all try to live out the values they, your mother & Billie encapsulated.

Sarahsays:

So very sorry for the loss you have both suffered, sending love and thanks for a beautiful post. Without loss, but with feeling overwhelmed by the global chaos, I too have started to feel a sense that it will be alright. Your blog is beauty in a sometimes overwhelming world. Thank you.

Juliesays:

So very sorry to read about your sad news. Condolences to both you and Charlie. X

Anna-Fee Bongaertssays:

Very touching, Im sorry for your losses. Ive just lost my Father last week. Nature and Spring is such a comfort albeit a heartbreaking one.
I am looking forward to the garden as it blooms, yours and Charlies, and mine too!
kindest regards,
Anna-Fee Bongaerts

Suzysays:

Brave and beautiful xxx

mary a perley-martinsays:

Dear Ben and Charlie, so sorry to hear about your losses. How very sad. May love and light surround you and all the family. with much sympathy Mary

Diane Keanesays:

Dear Ben and Charlie,

Tears were streaming by the time I finished your post. I knew about your Mum, but not about Charlie’s niece. I am so very sorry for both your losses.

Tomorrow, April 5, would have been my son’s 48th birthday. He died in August of last year. There is nothing to prepare you for burying one of your children, no matter their age at passing. I still mourn him deeply, so believe me, I know what you are writing about.

You mentioned the Great War, and how your personal loss made you think of the horrific losses that took place then. My son Joe’s death made me grateful that he died peacefully, here at home, in his sleep, all unknowing of what was coming. It also made me grateful that his death, from natural causes, spared me from further horrors such as losing a child to violence, suicide, or drugs. But nevertheless, the loss cuts deep. I still miss him terribly.

Your photos are so beautiful, your sentiments so heartfelt and wise, I know I will come back to this post again and again. Thank you, dear Ben, and I will keep you and Charlie in my prayers.

With love,

Diane Keane

Silsays:

Sad and beautiful and heartbreaking. Just like life is. Thank you for taking the time to write such heartfelt words. My condolences to you, Charlie and families both in England and New Zealand.

Rebeccasays:

I was wondering why you hadn’t posted on your blog, with a foreboding sense that something must be wrong. You’ve been missed here. Such a lovely, touching tribute you’ve created for your mother–truly ethereal. I am so sorry for the loss and sadness you and Charlie are enduring. As a mother myself, into my own twilight years, it brings tears to my eyes to know how fortunate she was to have her loved ones nearby, knowing how deeply loved she must have felt.

Junesays:

Ben and Charlie
I’m so sorry for you both. Thanks for sharing this beautiful tribute.
June

Junesays:

Dear Ben and Charlie,
I waited to read this post knowing I would find it just so sad. But as always, Ben, your words and photographs express your life so beautifully and I appreciate you sharing this. I’m sorry. I wish you well.
June

Cathysays:

je ne comprenais pas pourquoi vous ne publiiez plus… je croyais que vous étiez tout bonnement occupés avec votre petite maison en Écosse.
J’aurais tellement préféré que votre silence soit dû à cette plaisante occupation…
Je suis profondément touchée par la perte de votre maman et vous présente mes sincères condoléances.
Elle est rayonnante sur les photos, on ressent de suite que c’etait une belle personne.
Je vous remercie pour ce nouvel article : quelle générosité de prendre le temps de partager avec nous, lecteurs, votre peine et tous ces sentiments qui s’entremelent étrangement et que l’on ressent avec une acuité décuplée dans ce temps suspendu de l’après qui dure quelques semaines.
Je l’ai ressenti comme vous lorsque j’ai perdu mon père il y a une quinzaine d’ années maintenant.
Je m’excuse de vous écrire en français mais je ne maîtrise pas suffisamment votre langue pour m’exprimer. J’espere que vous pourrez me lire.
Je vous embrasse vous et votre papa
Cathy de Bordeaux, France

Laura Eiglsays:

Dear Ben and Charlie,

I am so very sorry to hear of your recent losses. Life is very fragile and unexpected. Ben, your post was so touching and lovely. Your Mum must have been so very proud of you and your kind soul. Every post I read makes me think what a wonderful, thoughtful person you are. It seems you and Charlie ooze beauty out of your very pores. He with his lovely gardens and flowers, you with your stunning photographs and architectural creations. I visit London often and am determined that next time I come I will visit your shop. I hope I might find you there to tell you in person how I admire and am inspired by you both. What a blessing to have had that last visit and cup of tea with your Mum. Sometimes unexpected things do go right in the world. Wishing you both peace and comfort during the rest of the soft days of spring and into a glorious (hopefully) summer. Take care of one another and be as kind to yourselves as you are to others as you adjust and start to become accustomed to the void that has been left with your losses. Blessing to you and your family.

Joan Rosascosays:

As a reader of your inspiring blog, I feel that I know you and your family. So it was with great sadness that I read of your two recent losses. I send my heartfelt condolences to you, Charlie and your father.

Robyn Hillmansays:

My heartfelt love to you at this sad time. I have followed you for years and you have brought great love in your writing. You inspired us to visit your glorious part of Britain Thank you from Adelaide Australia.

Annsays:

Dear Ben and Charlie,

Such a beautifully written post, Ben. Ever so sorry for your losses. TIm’s reading at Mrs. Pentreath’s service about her burial place “with Ben and Charlie next door…” set me right weeping.

Janey Pughsays:

One of your loveliest posts. It expressed so much about your life and family. Much love to all two and four-legged ones. You had a wonderful mother.

southern galsays:

sending condolences to you and Charlie.. whom I feel close to from your wonderful posts … even tho never met… one can feel the love and pain and shock from your words of both of your sudden losses.

no words from any one stranger or friend can console you and Charlie.. however reading the love and outpouring of sympathy from all of us who are posting comments may help a bit during those times when despair and grief overwhelm you … surely we all hope that.

its a wonderful gift from you to spend such time on this long post full of the gorgeous beauty of your home and Dorset and the coast. (and isnt that the long walk of the French Lieutenants Woman?)

surely the joys and unfolding beauty of spring will help in these weeks and months of healing.. you are blessed to have surroundings such as these to revel in.

condolences from one across the pond to you both

Nicola Lawrencesays:

Lots of love, Ben, Charlie, Mr Pentreath and your family as well as Billie’s. I’m so sorry to read about Billie, too. Beautifully written Ben. xx

Karensays:

Ben
thank you for your words, as usual. They made me cry, as their beauty often does. But this time I cried for you and for me as I lost my own mum in August and due to the bizarre-ness of grief, had not yet really found my tears. But reading you describe the events of your loss, my tears came and I am so better off for the generosity of you sharing your experience. Yes time helps, yes it is a comfort to know what those we have lost would have wanted (we knew to play ‘My Way’ to send my mum off and such a simple thing was a joy of sorts) and yes it is healing to look around us and appreciate and see the beauty in all that we have. Your mum produced a beautiful human and you must know how proud she would have been of you. I am very sorry for your loss and condolences also to Charlie. Karen xx

Meggiesays:

Ah no. I am so incredibly sorry. To you, Charlie and your families, our family sends love, support and strong shoulders to lean on.

Kathie Johnsonsays:

I’ve been a beneficiary of your blog for some time now. I’ve never commented. There is much gratefulness in my heart. The pictures of the lands you love that you share. The eloquent writings of your family’s life. So much love, so much beauty. Inside and outside. Thank you. Love from Texas.

Jacqui Reithsays:

I recently had the first anniversary of my mum’s death, an especially poignant moment, as my dad died several years ago also. And yet there is rarely a day go by that I don’t think of them, remember them, talk of them with my husband and our children. They are still with us; in our hearts, memories and words they live on. They are never forgotten, and are always loved. And so it will be with you and Charlie. Keep watch on your dad, he will find it especially hard, and take care. Blessings and good wishes to you both!

Stephanie Murraysays:

Hello Ben, I recently almost lost my mum but she made it through. We are jsut getting over my little brother’s death a year ago so it’s been a similar story. What can anyone say, the unconditional love of a mother goes beyond their passing, it our legacy. God bless Stephanie xx

Whitsays:

A couple of days ago I thought to myself that you must be getting that house up in Scotland done up and that was a good reason not to be posting. Sorry to hear about your very bad time of it this last few weeks.

Valeriesays:

Tears are rolling down my cheeks as I read this. I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my Mum suddenly a few years ago and had no idea how grief suddenly hits you. Hug Charlie. Hug your Dad. Talk lots. Take time to heal xoxo

Clay McCleerysays:

Tears are cleansing.
It’s always difficult for me to express my feelings in words. But I give very good hugs, and I send them now. To you, to Charlie, and especially to your father.
Let the tears flow.
And hug your dad.

Millerballsays:

Oh guys I’m so sorry to hear your news. Big, gentle hugs to you all. I was in England during that glorious heatwave and on February 23 was sitting on the beach at Abbotsbury, deserted except for us, taking in the great, rolling waves, the bright watery light and the quiet joys of being with people who are much loved.

Ann Rowleysays:

This is the dearest tribute to your Mother. Your photos and words are lovely.

Dana Mooreheadsays:

I cried reading your gentle, stunning journey of losing your darling Mum. Every detail, every image, adding layers of emotion to your experience of loss and life. You are such a special, talented soul. How very kind of you to let us in on your most private world, a precious gift of experience. Thinking of you and Charlie moving through this new loss. If I had to pick a flower to share, it would be a rose. For its dewey petals representing the layers of life and emotion, it’s inspiring perfume, it’s spikes of grief, and it’s withering that turns into new growth. Than you again, lovely writer. Sincere condolences.

AnnKsays:

Your words are such a beautiful memorial to your mother, and accompanied by lovely photos.
You brought tears to my eyes.

Carol Ann Rosesays:

Thank you for writing your Inspiration during this time of sorrow. I just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading and seeing your beautiful images. I had been checking lately for it and so delighted to see it arrive today. You have my deepest respect as you carry on keeping things beautiful whether in sorrow and joy. God bless

Carolyn Haeberlisays:

I am very sorry that both you and Charlie had sudden losses of loved ones. I was widowed a little over 1 year ago. My husband died of terminal cancer at the age of 89. We met at the university when I was 20 and he was 30 and we shared 59 years together. I want to make a very sincere suggestion based on all my many emotions since my husband died. I grieve for your father. He has lost his life companion. His loss is enormous. You and Charlie have each other and your dogs for companionship. Your father is now alone. Please make arrangements so that he will not be alone. I am very worried about him. Loneliness is a killer.

Allisonsays:

Dear Ben,

Thank you for your blog today. I’m so sorry as it seems she was taken away from you all much too soon. I loved the photo of her with your new pup and thought she looked like a really lovely person. I was balling my eyes out reading your blog as my Mum had a minor stroke 3 years ago and she’s 75 and in Australia whereas I’m in London. We’ve had some very rocky times especially when I was a teen but I am dreading getting the news that will come one day. My Dad will live to 100 like his own Mum and Dad!

Allison xx

Philippa Lloydsays:

So sorry for both your tragic losses and thank you for sharing your grief with us, and of course, those magnificent photographs. As a Dorset girl, you are blessed to be living in such stunning surroundings.
Take one day at a time and God bless you and all your family
Philippa Lloyd

Bo Parrishsays:

What a lovely message of sadness and joy to a life well lived.

Annasays:

Thank you for taking the time to write so beautifully and so movingly of your loss, and Charlie’s; and for your strength in picking up the threads of life. Bon courage!

Sarahsays:

Oh Ben. I had only been saying to my family that I had not heard from you for so long and worried that you were maybe not well. I am so sorry to hear your news. My dear lovely Daddy also died at this time – on Monday 25th Feb after a short stay in hospital, but this was unexpected and therefore also a shock. He was 90 and had had a very good long and healthy life, together with my lovely Mummy, also aged 90, who is still living and finding it difficult without the person she has spent almost 60 years with. I am grieving with you and with Charlie at his terrible loss as well, but thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us all, and too for the wonderful photos. When we visit Dorset next week I will think of you all.

Meg Fieldingsays:

My condolences to you and Charlie. Thinking of you both, and your families and sending love and light.

carolyn morgansays:

Surely we have been given the burden of awareness of death’s eventual call, but nothing, in fact, equips us for the crippling, bitter sting when fate befalls. Our lst earthly companion, our mother ! For so many years we can’t fathom this separation even when we grow into independence

What we have available in the just presented void is a great earthly hoop of companions who gather to weep – in common spirit, that loss we are wont to face. Time softens. Busyness distracts. We always will remember. Relief eventually washes over us with the balm of certainty that we were, and are, forever enlarged with that life we were blessed to know and love.

Melaniesays:

I’m so very sorry for your losses. Your mother must have been a very special lady.. what a beautiful tribute to her.

Judith Haxtonsays:

A beautiful tribute in both pictures and words.My sincere sympathy.
Judy

Tomsays:

So sorry to hear of your loss men. Sending good vibes.

Jagnansays:

Beautifully written, Ben. Thank you so much for sharing.

Libby Kindsays:

Am so very sorry to hear your sad news. I can totally sympathise as have lost my dear mother too. It is a happy and sad time of celebration and grief. It feels all too raw now but you do find a little space to park the grief and continue with happy lovely memories of the years you had together from day one!! My sympathies are with you and poor Charlie’s with his shock news too at this time! Your posts were missed but now I know why. Sad times for you all.

Julianna Vaughansays:

Thank you for sharing this very personal experience. I was moved by your words. I’m so sorry for your loss, but know the relationship will live on. She was lovely.

Isla Simpsonsays:

How very brave you are to write so eloquently on grief. Your mum looked the most amazing lady, with the kind of joie de vivre that would go on forever. It must be a huge comfort she is so close by.

When my Grandparents house was bombed during the war they lived with a lady who wrote a cheque out for a new spitfire, each time she lost one of her three sons To think of her grief is almost too much to bear.

I’m sure you and Charlie are looking after each other and your Dad. Sometimes, it’s wonderful just to spend more time together, even at these moments.

Jane Leonardsays:

Dear Ben and Charlie – I just want to add my own condolences to the kind words of all those who have already written. Thank you for still taking the trouble to send out some wonderful pictures.

Eve Chasesays:

So sad. Heartfelt condolences.

David Tomansays:

Ben, so sorry to hear your news…thoughts are with you

D

David Sanderssays:

Sorry for your loss, Ben. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you, however, you are surrounded by love and that is what sustains life. It’s good to have you back and needless to say, you have been missed.

I’m really taken with your ethereal landscape shots by the way.

Jonathansays:

I’m so terribly sorry to read this. I would normally read and of course enjoy your updates, but alas somewhat selfishly not find the time to comment. But today your beautiful words have really touched me and made me stop in the middle of a busy day and I just wanted to send my thoughts and love to you and all your family.

Ursula Bustonsays:

Your beautiful pictures are a fitting tribute to your mother. We are never prepared for such things but as you say life must go on.
I know Dorset well as my cousin lives in Long Bredy and have paid many trips to Lyme Regis where I always think of Thomas Hardy. I realise it should be Jane Austen!
Thanks for sharing.
With best wishes
Ursula

Josays:

I’m very sorry to hear about your mother – Mother’s Day must have been particularly poignant for you all. It’s very touching to see you spending time with your father. And thank you for the beautiful photos of the countryside – much needed calming, especially at the moment.

Charlie Buddsays:

Oh Ben and Charlie, I can only send hugs. x

Lesliesays:

Sending you so much love, Leslie

Sarahsays:

Dear Ben – deeply sorry to hear your news and huge condolences. As you hadn’t blogged like another keen reader noticed, I did wonder, Im very sorry.
I also thought of you as – I know this sounds random! – there’s an Dukes auction of the contents of Moigne Combe and theres a few local pictures and paintings you might be interested in, viewings at the house from Saturday, a little bit of retail therapy perhaps

Sarah Sandersonsays:

Such Beautiful words and pictures, and feeling that you could share this at such a hard time for you all . It reminds us all to take that time and space and remember what is in the end the most important thing of all – those we love

lynnesays:

so sorry to hear that, two losses so quickly is especially hard. Love n’ hugs to you both, Lynne xxx

Pamelasays:

Thank you. As one of your readers I feel humbled at being allowed into this time and space of heartache for you and Charlie. Much comfort and support to you both.

Birgitsays:

Thank you for your words and photos !
God bless you both dear Ben & Charlie !

Yours Birgit from Germany

Lee Ernstsays:

Ben, I had this sense that something was up. So sorry to hear what you, Charlie, your Dad and families have been going through. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and beautiful photos. We’re sending our love from state side. Lee

Debrasays:

Bravely written at such a painful time l have thought about you often and Charlie and your family and friends.Love and blessings in the days ahead.One consolation is that l don’t think you could live anywhere more beautiful than Dorset it is though the beauty of the are heal and soothe like giving you a big welcome hug God Bless.

Teresasays:

My most heartfelt condolences to you and yours. I may be a stranger from across the ocean but I am sending you all of my love.

Pamela Watsonsays:

My deepest sympathy and support for you both.

Erica Walchsays:

Dear Ben – I’ve been reading this blog for years and feel like I sort of know you and your family. I’ve always loved reading about your folks and especially remember a trip you all made to the Isle of Wight and seeing your little corner of the world. You parents both seemed like such lovely people and they raised wonderful sons. I am so sorry that you have lost your mother and had another tragic young death follow. RIP Mrs. Pentreath and cousin Billie. God bless you all.

Ellen Spencersays:

No comment, except you have said it all. Thank you.

Patricia Cartersays:

My heart is broken for you and rejuvenated by your strength. Thank you for sharing all of this with us.

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