Just Frances

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Stopping for the (Mel)roses

This entry was posted on Sunday, April 27th, 2014 by Frances Ryan.
Tags: widowhood, travel, scotland, paul, happy, gallery, england

On my way to England yesterday, I made a stop at Melrose Abbey in the Scottish borders. It had been about a dozen years since my last visit but as that was part of a bus tour stopping at three abbeys in a day, I hadn’t been able to fully explore the ancient building and its grounds.

This visit was made on my way to lay flowers at my husband’s grave on the anniversary of his death and was meant to give me something to look forward to on the drive—and it worked! And I enjoyed it! I admit that I was a bit more contemplative than normal, and there may have been a few moments of near-tears, but it was a nice way to find some peace in an otherwise stressful day.

The abbey was beautiful and as there weren’t too many people milling around I was able to take my time and really enjoy the space. I really enjoyed the gargoyle carvings at the top of the tower and even tried my hand at some artsy photos of flowers and the abbey.

After leaving the abbey, I made my way to the cemetery in England to bring Paul some flowers and a wee bit of whisky. It was, again, a very peaceful visit—though I admit that I allowed the tears to fall by this point.

I know that it may seem strange to turn a sad “pilgrimage” to my husband’s grave into a day’s site-seeing, but I’ve found that it helps to keep me going. And I know that my Paul would want me to enjoy the day as much as possible—even though I think he’d forgive me for finding it difficult.

But that’s enough wittering on! It’s time for photos now!

1) All but the last three are from Melrose Abbey. The others are the church where Paul is buried, his grave marker, and me on my way back to Scotland this morning.
2) If you’re confused about the location of Paul’s grave, that’s OK. His cremated remains were split with half being buried in my hometown next to my grandparents—where I will end up a long, long time from now—and the rest were placed with his parents in his hometown. This means that whichever side of the pond I’m on, he will be nearby.

Stopping for the (Mel)roses - Gallery


wow! what a beautiful building. i am glad you found some peace there.

thinking of you always,
m&ms; candy man

by mm at 8:16am (GMT) on April 28th, 2014

Absolutely stunning! I love the gargoyles too, especially the screaming monkey. (I’ll get you, my pretty…and your little dog, too!)

the cherry blossoms are so beautiful this time of year. And nice to see they seem to be trying to save the old apple tree.

Such a nice spot for reflection. I am glad you had this as a side trip on your pilgrimage.
Take care!
Ant E

by Ant Elizabeth at 4:04pm (GMT) on May 10th, 2014

Is that what the near-dead tree is? I wondered and the property manager wasn’t sure what it was or why they were trying so hard to salvage it. I wonder if it is an original (or very early) tree for the monks’ garden?

Glad you liked the gargoyles. I always enjoy them wherever I go. One of them here is a pig playing the bagpipes. Should have taken a photo of that, too.


by Just Frances at 6:11pm (GMT) on May 11th, 2014

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