I took this picture on our last walk on Dartmoor with Ray and MIJ. I had already snapped a few shots of the cross when MIJ stepped into the shot. I took two or three photographs with her back to me wondering if the cross marked a grave or had been placed there as a memorial of some kind. I know now that many of the stone crosses on Dartmoor were placed there as guideposts to let travelers know they were on the right path. It seemed appropriate to use this photograph today.
Ray called this morning. John was out so I took the call knowing before I answered what he was going to say. He told me that MIJ had died about 7:00 this morning and that she seemed peaceful and appeared to be in no pain.
He said that he had just finished writing a poem for her and had turned to open the curtains as it was just beginning to get light. When he turned back, he could see that her breathing had changed so he took her in his arms and held her as she slipped away. That’s the way he said it, ” I took her in my arms and held her, and she just slipped away.”
As much as MIJ loved Ray, I cannot think of anything she would have liked more than to be held by him at the end.