Wednesday, May 8

Robert Peston on his wife Siân Busby: 'I miss her all the time'

A paean to a loved one. Brave? Most definitely. Curious eh? To see and read these memories? Lucky that they had such a love to share and behold son. 

But one thing. Don't cry when I leave. One of my teachers told me that tears are an expression of regret. Regret that that person didn't get to do so many things. Play with them. Read with them. Dance with them. Cook with them. So on and so forth. We have had fun son. We have done so many things together. So nothing to cry about. But be happy for the times we spent together. That's the thing. Look around you at the people you love. Will you cry if they go? Why? Regret? If there's regret then why haven't you done those things with them? Do it now! 

Be happy son. 



Robert Peston on his wife Siân Busby: 'I miss her all the time' | Radio Times

Siân Elizabeth Busby died on 4 September 2012 after a long illness. A few days later I transcribed her handwritten manuscript for the end of A Commonplace Killing, her final novel. My motive was selfish: I wanted to keep talking to her. I still do. The tears could not be staunched as I read, deciphered and typed. Foggy-brained, the transcription was spoilt by spelling mistakes and typographical errors. All mine. Siân’s prose was as pellucid and accurate as ever. And brave. Here she was, all hope lost of reprieve from the lethal cancer, reflecting on what it is like to know that death awaits on the morrow.

What caught me off guard is that the work is complete, and – for me at least – more-or-less perfect. Siân worked on it until the illness became excruciating and wholly incapacitating. I did not know, until reading handwriting as familiar as my own and hearing her voice in my head, that she had finished this exquisite work. I should have guessed. When Siân put her formidable mind to a project, whether it was teaching herself to read as an infant, years before going to school, or curating a museum on the history of Judaism (a non-Jew, she could hold her own in a scholarly spat with the rabbis, and inevitably knew far more about my inherited faith than me), or directing a 19-hour Chinese opera, she always triumphed. And as if to accentuate my own vanity, she was never smug, always dissatisfied with her own efforts, routinely critical of her achievements.

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