Julia died yesterday afternoon at about 4.30pm. As a final word from Julia we all felt that this poem from her book Sudden Collapses in Public Places summed up the scene. Although there hadn’t been rain just a bright blue sky and spring breeze tripping down the Vale.
Eventually, I was placed on a bed like a boat
in an empty room with sky filled windows,
with azure blue pillows, the leopard-like quilt.
It was English tea time, with the kind of light
that electrifies the ordinary. It had just stopped raining.
Beads of water on glass glittered like secrets.
In another room they were baking, mulling wine.
I was warm with cloves, melting butter, demerara,
and wearing your pyjamas. My felt slippers
waited on the floor. Then the door opened
soundlessly, and I climbed out of bed.
It was like slipping onto the back of a horse,
and the room folded in, like a pop up story
then the house, and the Vale. Even the songs
and prayers tidied themselves into grooves
and the impossible hospital lay down its chimneys
its sluices, tired doctors, and waiting room chairs.
And I came here. It was easy to leave.