My Dear Husband


This paper reads in two tenses... I hope David will forgive my inconsistency.

While there are many of you who know this little tale, I wish to re tell it on this day.

In April 2006, David was quite a large man. At an exhibition opening he approached my companion and me, asking,

“What are you two ladies up to?”

Well...on the redundancy of such a question in a gallery, my dear friend Kerry said oh...mmm...and backed away, thoroughly unimpressed.

I however, well aware of what he was up to, was quite game, after the vast testosterone famine of my last ten years, and somewhat buoyed by some Siberian adventure I thought, for goodness sake, why not just talk to him.


The large soft strange man, in his brown coat spoke to me, I responded and he listened. I liked his big tummy and his beautiful soft fleshy eyes. He suggested we have a coffee or meal sometime and I agreed to be a Hobart friend for him. He then made a brave move himself, truly, and said   “You know you can always tell if you are meant to be with somebody if they like your smell.”

Streuth, I thought, okay, here goes...yep...he tapped his big left cheek, leant down to me, and ...I leant forward....the risk! ....I drew in a long sweet draught...I could not speak...he looked at me and as instructed by his father Max, he dated his business card, and I gave him mine. The exhibition crowd dwindled and as Kerry and I were about to leave I halted and looked back at him just one moment more...

I flew back in and stretching up to him I said, “By the way, I do like your smell”

He was quite surprised and said....  “There, we were meant to be together!”


Not long afterwards, he joined me on a photography trip. I stood in biting cold high midlands wind gingerly gripping my tripod and camera. I looked back over my shoulder at the man I thought would be dozing in the warm Ute. But no....he was out, clambering...yes...clambering over the highway railing towards me, He was entirely cocooned in his hoodie, his expensive hoodie, scrambling along amongst the weeds and litter to lay beside me in the dampness and muck before my sought after view. I finished the work, we returned to Oatlands to a tiny cottage. I was quietly and thoroughly impressed.


Of our subsequent night together with minimal heating and a very cosy bed, nothing like one might see on the set of James Bond’s QE2 he would often assess,  “Nothing Propinqus like propinquity” While he was very right I know that I surrendered to the fortunes of serendipity. That very night I decided that I wanted to come home at to this man for the rest of our life.


David loves, David talks, and David collects. David is a huge delighting heart and a huge thinker.

You all know his books; he loved buying them, holding them, reading them. He read voraciously, but he only finished one book in my years with him. Patrick O’Brien’s Master and Commander. He actually read parts of all of his books across those years. All books are for reference. His beautiful dictionaries, his Filemaker manuals, his poetry, his speech books. You know how he loves a tale well told.

For the last 5 years David gave me his completion and even though he was dying, he worked hard to care for me, to protect my future and our children and our home. He loved to cook for me.

David told me, quietly in 2007 that he wanted to be a better man, for me.


Whenever I felt uncertainty, or fear, my darling would give me sturdy re-assurance. He taught me to trust myself, to stand taller, to be guilt free, to accept the small errors of my humanity. In his trust, his confidence and his pride, his gift to me was my adult womanhood. David gave me a better me.


David believed he struggled with forgiveness. I do not think so. I reflect on his constant love for all of his friends, family, ex lovers, ex wives and his grieved for dear dear boy.... and all I find is a man with simple human forgiveness and acceptance of all that we are...he focussed on our qualities and remained fiercely loyal.

He was confused and hurt by those few who could not accept all that he was.

I tell you that this naughty man, this beautiful man honoured me, my body and my life and the witness that many of you bore for us here where we wed but 4 years ago.

We were bliss, we were silly, we were joy, we were frustration, we were ecstasy and we were very productive and solid.

David and I were far better, together.


David wept as he solemnly read the following to me

on our most recent wedding anniversary,


Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimmed,

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance or nature’s changing course untrimmed:

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of thou ow’st,

Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st.

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this and this gives life to thee.


In the 17th century the American Poet, Annie Bradstreet wrote,

and I tell David now


To My Dear and Loving Husband

If ever two were one, then surely we.

If ever man were lov’d by wife, then thee;

If ever wife was happy in a man,

Compare with me ye women if you can.

I prized thy love more than whole mines of gold,

Or the riches that the East doth hold.

My love is such that rivers cannot quench, nor aught but love from there, give recompense.

Thy love is such I can no way repay,

The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.

Then while we live, in love lets so persevere

That, when we live no more, we may live ever.


I declare to you all, now and in this place, as David asked of me, for our love, Our David is dead. This funeral is ours. We mourn for our large in life David, our love and our life together.