We all have a favourite place to sit when we relax, to read a book, watch TV, enjoy a glass of something alcoholic or to eat those forbidden little treats. Its usually an armchair, a place on the sofa, a place where a little indentation has formed in the cushions, the space that is “me” shaped.
My little place has always been on the right hand side of the sofa and historically in the Goodburn house, Seth always had a two seater sofa and I had a three seater each of us creating our own little “me” shaped space. Until 2010 when a major makeover was undertaken in Chez Goodburn and Seth literally fell in love with a Fama Moon Chair which was a swivelling, rocking and reclining chair in the shape of a moon. After a little deliberation he rationalized that spending £1500 on a chair was a good investment and his black and grey Moon chair was ordered.
When it arrived he loved it, he would rock, swivel and recline; enjoying every minute he spent in the chair, apart from the time when we had a power cut and he was stranded in full recline unable move until the electric came back on.
Then Seth felt unwell before his eventual pancreatic cancer diagnosis, and he found he could not get comfortable in his Moon chair. He turfed me off “my” sofa and then would move frequently between the Moon chair, the armchair and sofa always complaining of back pain. It seemed odd, unusual, it just didn’t seem right and then the day before his hospital admission when he was sound asleep reclined in his Moon Chair I noticed that his tummy seemed to be distended. With hindsight you tell yourself that you just know things just weren’t quite right.
After his hospital admission and the news that Seth was dying; the Moon Chair sat empty a glaring reminder that Seth wasn’t at home and that whilst he would come home soon, it was obvious that one day the Moon chair would remain permanently empty.
I tried to ignore the empty chair….. and then Seth was back home but increasingly he didn’t want to sit his beloved chair. So I was forced to sit in his Moon chair; watching him become more and more ill, as pancreatic cancer took hold of my beloved Seth and he started to slip away.
I remember sitting in the Moon chair and quietly sobbing as I watched Seth sleep on the settee, so conscious that he would soon be gone forever. Then he was admitted to hospital again, and again the chair was empty, bare, bereft….. so painfully Sethless.
He never came home again and I never sat in that chair again until the day when Seth died and on the day of Seth’s funeral the Moon chair was unoccupied.
In the hazy days of all consuming grief just after Seth’s death, the chair was an overt reminder of the enormity of my loss. the Moon Chair was just sitting there; like nothing had changed; when everything had changed.
For days, weeks, months and then the first few years, the chair just sat there. It was the first thing I saw when I came home every day, the thing that was always in my peripheral vision and the last thing I saw at night when I went to bed. The empty Moon chair.
I thought of getting rid of it, but I couldn’t.
In 2014 when Seth became ill, we had been planning the next makeover, but after Seth died it took me three years before I could face decorating, changing things, changing Seth’s and my house into my house.
So when in 2017 when I finally felt like I could do the makeover, the chair stayed but moved position to one side out of the way, where its emptiness didn’t dominate quite so much.
Still the Moon chair sat empty, no rocking, no swiveling, no reclining.
Then this Christmas I went away to Turkey to escape a festive season and when I came back I have found myself sitting in the Moon chair, rocking, swiveling and reclining.
Somehow, somewhere along the way the Moon chair is giving me reassurance, comfort, a closeness to Seth, a warmth, a feeling that makes me smile. I don’t know why…. it just is.
So long may the feeling, the rocking, swiveling and reclining continue, Seth I love you and I think after all these years without you I am loving your Moon chair as much as you did.
Written with slightly tear filled eyes from Seth’s/Lesley’s Moon Chair …….