A-Z

Jayne - Interview 07

Age at interview: 44
Brief Outline: In 1992 Jayne's husband, Jonathan Zito, was murdered by a man who had mental health problems. Jayne was shocked and traumatised. Since then she has had a great deal of counselling, which has been very helpful. She founded the Zito Trust.
Background: Jayne is a Trustee, the Zito Trust. She has 2 children and is single. Ethnic background/nationality' White British.

More about me...

In 1992, soon after Jayne and Jonathan were married, Jonathan was waiting for a train in the London Underground. Without any warning, a man stabbed Jonathan several times in his face. This man, who had serious mental health problems, waited for the police to arrest him.
 
Jonathan was taken to hospital. Meanwhile a policeman told Jayne that there had been an incident and that she should go to the hospital. There she was given some false hope that Jonathan might survive, but after a brain scan all treatment was stopped and Jonathan died. Jayne stayed with him for a while, which she felt was very important. She was shocked and devastated by what had happened.
 
Soon afterwards Jayne was able to see Jonathan again, but only from behind a glass screen and in the presence of police officers. She hated being separated from him in this manner and became quite hysterical for a while.
 
After a post-mortem, Jonathan’s body was released for the funeral, which took place in Cornwall. While Jonathan was in the Chapel of Rest Jayne was able to see him again. This time she was allowed to be with him on her own, which is what she wanted. She felt that it was really important to have private time alone with her husband. Jonathan was cremated and then Jayne and her family took his ashes to Italy. After a memorial service his ashes were scattered under a beautiful oak tree.
 
Jayne had a “complete breakdown” after Jon’s death. She was in “complete shock” and wanted to be by herself but could not look after herself. For years Jayne felt inconsolable. She felt a kind of terror and at times felt physically sick, out of control, ashamed and ugly. She had to give up her job and her course and her flat in London. She could not drive a car and felt that she could not function.
 
Jayne had support from her family and she had a counsellor from CRUSE, who was invaluable. The counsellor was helpful partly because she was interested in Jonathan’s life and his marriage to Jayne, as well as his death. After Jayne moved she found help via a woman who worked for Victim Support. The woman referred Jayne to London voluntary bereavement services. It took years for Jayne to recognise that she was a victim, a survivor, and that something had happened to her too.
 
Jayne did not attend the inquest, but she did attend the trial, which took place about six months after Jonathan’s death. The man who stabbed Jonathan pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibly, so the trial only lasted about an hour.
 
Jayne wanted to find out exactly what had happened on the day Jonathan had died. An inquiry found that various health and social services authorities had failed to communicate and co-operate. Jayne felt outraged that people could leave a mental hospital without enough care in the community. She was convinced that Jonathan’s death could have been prevented. She sees her work, and her campaign for better mental health aftercare, as a memorial to Jonathan.
 
Jayne founded The Zito Trust, which supports families that have been bereaved, particularly families who have been victimised or affected by someone who has a mental health disorder. The Zito Trust is a charitable organisation.
 
Jayne was interviewed in 2008.
 

Jayne’s husband, Jonathan, was waiting for an underground train. He was stabbed by a man who was...

Jayne’s husband, Jonathan, was waiting for an underground train. He was stabbed by a man who was...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
Well, it was it was a Christmas in 1992, and I’d recently got married to Jonathan, my husband, we got married in the September, after a very short courtship and Jonathan had moved to London and he’d only been in London for about six weeks, and he was just settling down and we were settling into a new routine of life, and his family had come over from Italy for Christmas, and he had gone to the airport to meet them. There was his mother and his father and his two brothers and his sister, and he’d gone to the airport to meet everybody from the flight from Italy, to bring them back across London on the flat, and there wasn’t enough room in one of my friends cars for a lift, so Jonathan had to travel on the underground to come, to come home really, and he came home with his brother on the underground. So they had to travel across London on the Victoria line up to Finsbury Park, and at Finsbury Park, when they got to Finsbury Park there was a man on the platform who went up behind Jon and attacked Jon and stabbed him three times in the face and one of the blows pierced Jon’s artery above his right eye, and he didn’t regain consciousness, so he didn’t have a chance after the attack really. And the man who killed Jon, who attacked Jon that day put the knife back in his pocket, the tube driver was arriving into the platform when they saw the attack happening and stopped the tube, and the man put the knife back in his pocket, sat on the train and waited to be arrested.
 
And a policeman came to my flat where I was waiting for the whole family to come back, to tell me that; I answered the door to the police and they told me that Jon had been involved in an incident, and that I needed to go to the hospital. And I realised perhaps that I needed to ask somebody to be there with me, so I rang a friend because my family lived in Cornwall, and went to the hospital, and on the way to the hospital I was informed that Jon had been stabbed in the face and I asked the police officer whether they knew that, whether he was going to die or not, and he said that he didn’t, that he didn’t know. And I remember getting to the hospital and there being lots of police there, yes, men in suits I call them, and Jon’s brother, and they made us wait, the clinical team made us wait because they said they were giving Jon a brain scan. That there was a good sign because Jon was still breathing, so there was that, you know, that was a good sign, and they, we waited.
 
I was with Jon’s brother and Jon’s brother, I remember him walking up to me and saying, “He just came from nowhere,” because the attack was completely indiscriminate. I mean the gentleman who killed Jon literally had been very menacing on the platform and other people had seen him and moved away, but Jon had not seen the gentleman, and Jon’s brother had seen him on the platform that he was behind them and motioned for Jon to move, and as Jon was moving he stabbed him from behind, so Jon and, all the evidence suggests that they didn’t even make eye contact, so the attack was extremely indiscriminate.
 

Jayne was inconsolable for years after Jonathan was murdered. She felt physically sick, petrified...

Jayne was inconsolable for years after Jonathan was murdered. She felt physically sick, petrified...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
There’s no doubt about that. I mean I can’t, I remember feeling a lot of shame about what had happened, a lot of shame about how I was feeling, I couldn’t look people in the eye. I couldn’t make eye contact with people.
 
Why did you feel ashamed?
 
Because I think that for me the feelings associated, you know I’ve had time to think about this, because it went on for quite a while, the feelings associated with being bereaved in such a way, and the grief it leaves, you know, the word is grief, but I mean it’s all sorts of different emotions involved with it, leave you feeling ugly, like really everything is ugly. Because you’ve lost everything, you know you’ve lost absolutely everything and I think, that kind of raw emotion is not presentable is it? Its not attractive to people, it’s not something that’s easily shared or witnessed, and I remember going out to Italy when we took Jon’s ashes back, and the, and the best man who was Italian out here, I don’t speak Italian, he doesn’t speak English, I saw him walking towards me and he had to prise my chin up off my chest, just to look at him, because I just didn’t want to look, I didn’t want him to see me, I just wanted to hide away.
 
But why would you feel shame? You felt people couldn’t share your grief, but?
 
Well shame and how raw it was, just it’s like, you just completely, it’s like your wearing your, your insides on your outside constantly.
 
And that wasn’t acceptable by other people?
 
I felt that it was too much for people really, it’s, it was too much for me, you know? Because it was almost like you’d, for me, you like you might wake up okay, well not okay, you might wake up and think, you know you might wake up and get up and get dressed, and then it’s almost like you walk through some space and you completely dissolve, do you know, your whole insides, you just feel physically sick, you feel completely out of control, you feel, I mean bereft is a you know, and Paul Rock who’s an academic, I read some of his work years after and it says, “Bereavement after homicide is a kind of terror for people.” You know everything, everything you believe in, every kind of sense of safety you have is shattered and that’s how I felt, I felt I was in terror about it, so you, you’d get up and you’d get dressed and you’d get breakfast, and then you’d walk, it was almost like you walked through this air pocket where you feel the terror and you’re crying and you’re inconsolable and, your heart’s stopping, it’s almost like panic attacks all the time, and then you walk out the other side of it, and you watch telly, and you have a cuppa, you know, and you have conversations with people, and then you walk back through it again. You know, and that, that went on for years and years for me, you know it didn’t stop after six months or twelve months, or anything, I felt an enormous amount of ugliness about it.
 

Jayne saw a bereavement counsellor who helped her to explore how Jonathan’s death had affected...

Jayne saw a bereavement counsellor who helped her to explore how Jonathan’s death had affected...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
And then when I came back into the country, it was the one year anniversary, and I’d come back to give evidence to Jon’s enquiry. The enquiry into what had happened to him, and I found myself roaming the streets of North London, and I realised that I was near the mortuary. I don’t know how I found it I didn’t look it up or maybe I did, maybe I did, but my memory is I used to walk around the mortuary, and there used to be squirrels there, and they’d come up really, really close and it was an old cemetery as well, and I found myself up there quite a few times near the first year anniversary, and as I was walking home one day I passed a Victim Support Office, and I knocked on their door, and a lady answered and she said, “Can I help?” And I said, “Yes my husband’s been murdered, I need to talk to somebody.” And she invited me in, and she sat with me and I used to carry photographs of Jon everywhere, even if I got in a cab I’d show the cab driver photographs of him, and she went through the photographs, she just let me sit, and she let me talk and she referred me then to the voluntary bereavement services. So she sort of held me together until my referral you know came up and I saw somebody on a more permanent basis.
 
Was that organised by CRUSE as well.
 
No that was bereavement voluntary services, and I saw a lady there for about two years maybe, yes, I used to see her,
 
And for how long did she let you talk?
 
Well it was an, I mean I’d begun to campaign at that time, you know I’d become quite public because of the enquiry and everything, but it was somewhere that I could go that just allowed me to, it’s almost as if what you do is you carry around with you, you, you, you’re functioning and people look at you and they see that you’re functioning and I was working very, very hard at the time, and its almost as if you open a door and you walk into it, and you say, “This is, this is the horror of what I’ve been carrying with me. Here it is,” and you know they’re not going to say, “Well let’s put the kettle on and talk about something else.” They really, you know, what that experience of victim support has done, and the voluntary bereavement service did for me, and subsequent counsellors, is just they have the capacity to sit down and listen to what you’re carrying around with you. Because if you, you can’t, it’s almost like you can’t feel it in everyday life, because you wouldn’t be able to function, so it’s as if somebody has; opens the door for you and says well, “Well?” You know? Lets you know, lets you explore how it’s affecting your life. But I think it took a long, long time for me to realise, years in fact, I was really, really focussed on what had happened to Jon, you know that this was a young man who had lost his life, he was in the prime of his life, you know he was a professional drummer, he had so much ambition and creativity, and then it must have taken over five years when it suddenly started to, even more than that, it just suddenly started to dawn on me, hang on a minute, something’s happened to me as well. I didn’t really sit down and think, this has happened to me, you know, oh I’ve been made homeless, oh I’ve lost my husband, oh, you know? I’m bereft, or you know, I didn’t, it didn’t really dawn on me that I was a secondary victim or a survivor, all I could think about for a long, long period of time was perhaps having some more dignity for Jon, because he died so publicly and so violently and indiscriminately, he, he was almost obsolete. Do you know what I mean?

 
He just, it was just another statistic, you know? And I was very, very concerned that Jon had some dignity in his death really, that people realised the kind of man who had died and that his death in my eyes was preventable, and predictable because the man who had killed him had been violent in the past. I mean it was almost like saying, “Hang on a minute, there’s this major event that’s happened in my life, to Jon. I want you to know about it, and I want you to take it as seriously, as seriously as you can.” You know, and that’s where my energy was taken up, and it took me a very, very long time to think, hang on a minute Jayne, something’s happened to you. And then to start to look at that, really, and to realise the kind of impact it had had on me.
 
So was the counsellor a professional trained person?
 
Yes.
 
Or a volunteer?
 
No. She was a, she was a volunteer but she was a professional.
 
Professional trained?
 
Yes. Yes. She was an expert, you know, and she was very warm and welcoming and she wasn’t, you know the, the feelings that I described about people being overwhelmed. You know that, the feeling that you have are so raw that people don’t know what to say, and people don’t know what to do and you know people start saying to you, “You need to move on now.” You know people do say things like that, in fact even after a short period of time, but you go into a counselling situation with somebody who is an expert, and they will be able to bear witness to that, you know, that they will, they will let you, you will feel safe enough to show how raw you can possibly feel following something like this.
 
Did she visit you or did you have to go somewhere?
 
I went there.
 
They had their offices somewhere?
 
Yes. Yeah I went there once a week and I only left because she was leaving. I wouldn’t have stopped the relationship with her; I would have continued to go. But she left.
 
 
 
 
 

Jayne found the Cruse counsellor invaluable because she listened and was interested not only in...

Jayne found the Cruse counsellor invaluable because she listened and was interested not only in...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
So where did you turn to for support, or was it just your family, or did you have others?
 
Well my family were very, very supportive. You know we’re very, very close. And I think that I went to see, my Mum took me to see the GP when I came down to Cornwall, and they put me in touch with Cruse, and the lady used to come, I remember her very clearly, she used to come up to my little flat and sit with me, and I used to show her our wedding photographs and talk to her about Jon, and she was invaluable really. I was only there for a short period because I moved again, but she used to come around once a week and sit with me, have cups of coffee and let me talk about Jon, you know about things, you know how I felt about him, about the way, just try, it’s like the story of your life really, it’s like telling people about what happened, and because we’d only been recently married it was almost like I didn’t really realise I was married myself, do you know what I mean? Because we’d been courting for four months before we got married, and I suppose in a way what I was trying to do was be his wife and to tell people that we’d got married and how lovely it was, and how lovely Jon was, so it was almost like making it, the whole experience real for me, not just his death, but actually the time that we’d had together, you know to consolidate it, you know to be his wife, and after he died you know I kept my maiden name, I only changed my name to Zito after he died. It was almost like I wanted to be his wife, you know I’d made a decision to be his wife and somebody had robbed me of that opportunity, but it wasn’t a conscious thing, it was just a process that I was going through and I suppose the relationship with the Cruse counsellor enabled that to happen as well because she embraced him.
 
There’s something about, well you know, working, you know that when I’ve been in counselling, it’s actually the people who’ve made the biggest difference to me are people who’ve embraced, not only what has happened, but Jon himself, that he, he’s not, you know that he’s a very real tangible person to me, not in any sixth sense that he’s still you know, but that he was real to me, he was a very big part of my life, he was a very creative young man, and that she was interested in him. I felt like she was interested in him, and she, she participated in you know, not only in me, my sadness about what had happened to him, but also about how happy I was to have met him.
 
Yes.
 
So she let me talk about him, and you know family members, you can’t, you can only say it to a degree. And like, do you know what I mean? Because you end up repeating yourself, you know, that you know bereaved people repeat themselves, we all repeat ourselves for years and years and years and years about, you know because we have, we have to make sense of what’s happened to us really. 
 

Though Jonathan died many years ago, Jayne still misses him and feels angry about what happened...

Though Jonathan died many years ago, Jayne still misses him and feels angry about what happened...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
How are you now, after all these years?
 
How I am? Reflective still I suppose about it, I think that you know I’ve started a new life, I’ve got children, you know I’ve moved away from campaigning quite significantly, but I think I’m still very reflective on how Jon’s death has affected me personally. …And I think that there is, you know there’s a question mark for me about whether there’s some actual post traumatic stress involved for me, if I’m honest with you. So I’ve gone back to see a counsellor, but it’s not affecting my life in a kind of daily routine way, you know? I think it’s more about relationships that I have and the kind of anxieties that I have, you know if people are absent, you know even after all this time, so even though you feel like you’ve dealt with it,and people looking in will think, “Oh well you know Jayne’s doing really, really well.” I am doing really, really well, but there are significant things that I know that are still affecting me emotionally about it. You know like, well just memories of, memories of the night that he died, or reasons why I am in relationships in different ways, or you know, or sometimes I get quite angry at the fact that it’s happened to me.
 
You know, I don’t, you know I’m, when it comes up to Christmas I’m quite angry that this event has happened in my life, that I have to reflect on it. How often do you have to reflect on something? Its not something, I remember when Jon first died I woke up one morning, it was a couple of weeks after and I thought you know you can stop this now Jon, you know I’ve coped so far, come back. It was almost like it was a joke a bit, you know, there was a sense of like, “I’ve done it now, you can come back now, I’ve done as much, I’ve done as well as I can, come back.” And I think that pops, you know it rears it’s ugly head even 16 years on, you know I’ve done it now. Not necessarily come back, but let’s put an end to it. And I think there’s a realisation for me even after 16 years that there is no end to it. You know that you have to accommodate it into your life in some way that enables you to move on and enjoy life, but then you also come to a point which other people I think overlook, is that the offenders, you know, that at some point the offenders going to be discharged or released, and so you, there’s no end to it. 
 

Jayne explains that both the deceased and their relatives need dignity. And professionals who...

Jayne explains that both the deceased and their relatives need dignity. And professionals who...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
Have you got any message for health professionals or for any sort of professional?
 
I think my, my main message for people I suppose, any kind of professionals involved with this, is to award those people that we love, dignity. Don’t short change them even if they’re dead. You know and award them dignity in how you treat the people that they’ve left behind as well, you know, because I think a lot of the work that I’ve done, for the first part of Jon’s death was getting Jon some kind of recognition in the fact that he died needlessly, and awarding him dignity in that. Because it was such a public death, you know it was quite a unique death in that sense, in terms of how the offender, you know the history of the offender. But subsequently it’s happened to numerous other families as well, but there’s something about saying, “This is a man that I really, really loved, I want you to take care of him, and I want you to do your utmost not to let this happen to other people. And I want you to do your best for me as well.”
 
So it’s for me it’s all about awarding the person who has died dignity, and awarding me dignity in my grief. Give me information, give me support, show me compassion, don’t be afraid to be in the same room as me, and realise how vulnerable how I am throughout that process. You know and that this isn’t, this isn’t short term, this is long term. This is going to; this is life lasting for families. And it doesn’t matter what strength or courage we show, or bravery, or whatever words that people will offer up to us, either personally or professionally, that there is still an enormous of pain associated with this, and that professionals have to be experts when they deal with us. We don’t want volunteers and tea and biscuits. We want professional people to aid us through that journey.
 

After Jon died Jayne spent time alone with him in a hospital room. In the mortuary he was behind...

Text only
Read below

After Jon died Jayne spent time alone with him in a hospital room. In the mortuary he was behind...

HIDE TEXT
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
And when they took me into Jon where Jon was laid out, you know he was in a room on his own and I think my over riding feeling was that I didn’t want Jon to be frightened, which obviously he would’ve been, because it was such a violent attack at the time, but it was just this feeling that you know somebody that I loved was dying and I didn’t want him to be on his own, so I stayed with Jon as long as I could until they told me that I had to leave him because they had to put Jon in a fridge. Which I knew they had to do, I knew it was limited the amount of time that I could stay with him, but I wanted to, I know it’s going to sound a bit silly, but I think the over riding feeling was that I wanted to share, I can’t say share what he was experiencing but be there with him so that he wasn’t on his own, so I talked to him a lot, and I reassured him that he wasn’t on his own, and sang to him. I got up on the bed with him and held his hand, and you know tried to be his wife I suppose, that he wasn’t completely on his own with this experience. And until I had to leave him, I left and that was the most difficult part. Having to leave him at the hospital and knowing what was going to happen to him, because I knew he was going to have to have a post mortem, I knew that.
 
Did you go back and see him again?
 
The next day we went to the mortuary but it was a very different experience. I wanted to be in a room with him, and I wanted to be able to touch him, and when we got to the mortuary he was behind a glass screen and the police who were with us said to me that Jon’s behind a glass screen and that I couldn’t go in the room, and at that, at that point I can remember feeling completely overwhelmed and terrified by what was taking place, and then screaming.
 
Did they tell you why you couldn’t go in?
 
Well they told me it was for health and safety reasons. They still do it, I know they still practice this because I’ve heard, because of the work that I’ve done since. I think it’s because the body’s evidence, and different mortuaries have different practices and different facilities for families. It was a very small, I can remember it, I mean it can be completely different if I revisited it, but it was a very small corridor, very, very narrow and I wanted to go in there on my own, because a part of what I needed was to be on my own with Jon, to have that intimacy with him, and they wouldn’t let me go into the corridor on my own, which I think escalated, escalated or exaggerated the feelings that I had, because I remember standing in that corridor with the police by my side screaming my head off. And Jon was laid out, and they’d put like a purple robe on him, and you know he looked ridiculous, do you know what I mean? It’s dressing up a dead body isn’t it? Its not the person you know, they put this like velvet robe on him, and you know that sense of, that sense of him being out of touch, being out of reach really was overwhelming.
 
Would you rather that he’d still been in his own clothes, and that you could have touched him?
 
Well he looked regal, do you know, and this was a 27 year old boy, you know who was very proud of how he dressed you know, with his leather jacket and his scarf, and his black hair, you know? His very dark hair, he was a very handsome man, and to see him, just, almost the word that comes to mind is standardised, was very painful really. I mean I can’t even remember what clothes we buried him in, but I think it was a white shirt and black trousers, which he looked smart in, but I can’t even remember choosing those, I just, those are the things that I can remember, I can remember him being completely out of reach, and it being extremely painful because I went with a different expectation, and I couldn’t understand, even to this day I can’t understand why they wouldn’t let me go in the room with him.
 
No, so it was very, very frightening. It became then to be really, really frightening because it, you lose control over everything, because the body becomes evidence. Witness statements are being taken, the offender was in custody and you know, I knew that Jon’s brother was being interviewed so all these things start to go on around you that you’ve got no control over. And the person you love, you haven’t got a choice about well, I didn’t feel like I had a choice about how often I saw him. You know because if somebody said to me, you can go back every day, I’d have gone back every day to see him, but that wasn’t what was offered to me, and I was allowed to go back once more, which was the day they released his body, which was the day before Christmas Eve, Jon was stabbed on the 17th December and they released his body on the 23rd. And we were allowed to go back that morning, and in that intervening period all I was doing was waiting for Jon to come home basically. So the whole period of time following his death was focused on getting him back.
 
I really, really needed to see him again before he had his service.
 
And could you touch him then?
 
Yes, and they left me alone with him, we bought Jon home, and Jon was in the chapel of rest, and the undertaker had put make up on him, and you could tell they’d put make up on him, and he had a white shirt on, and I’d brought him a ring, and he’d brought me a ring just about a week before he died, I think a week before he died, a little cheapy, moon and stars thing, and I’d bought him the same, and I was able to be in the room with him and I was able to touch him, and have a conversation with him, and tell him I loved him, and tell him what the songs we were having at his service, that we were doing our best for him, and, you know and have a chat with him really. My Mum came with me, and she was able to say goodbye to him.
 
 

Jayne wasn’t prepared for such a short trial. The man pleaded guilty on the grounds of diminished...

Jayne wasn’t prepared for such a short trial. The man pleaded guilty on the grounds of diminished...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
What I wasn’t prepared for was how short it was going to be. I think you have this expectation that because something enormous has happened in your life, that’s an enormous, there’s going to be some enormous trial and event and, but because the offender obviously was very ill and he’d been in hospital since he’d stabbed Jon, you know and he pleaded guilty on the grounds of diminished responsibility, there wasn’t really anything to try.
 
You know? The only thing that had to be decided in court was whether they’d send him to prison or whether they send him back to hospital, and they had an expert, a psychiatric expert give evidence, but it was over in about an hour, you know it was just in and out. You know?
 
But one of the things that I suppose I remember very clearly about it was seeing the offender for the first time. You know and I had this fear that, I had this fear because I’d been driven so much by keeping my memory of Jon very close to me and how much we felt for each other, so there was an enormous amount of love for each other, I, I was very afraid of seeing the offender because I thought well if I see him, I’m going to be overwhelmed by feelings of hatred and anger towards him, and yes, just, you know, hatefulness really, I don’t know how to describe, I was just really, really afraid of anger taking over, and, but when I saw him, he was, he was very, very vulnerable, all I saw was somebody who was very, very vulnerable, so it didn’t have the impact on me that I was afraid it was going to have. I was able to walk out of that court with the same strength I had about Jon as when I walked in, but he wasn’t a witness, he wasn’t an offender who showed no remorse, he wasn’t, because some of the families that I know they go into court and you know the offenders are shouting out, that it was justifiable homicide, or they show no remorse, or they’re laughing, or they this or they that. I wasn’t confronted with any of that.  
 

Jayne collected Jon’s ashes from the crematorium and took them to Italy by plane. She would not...

Jayne collected Jon’s ashes from the crematorium and took them to Italy by plane. She would not...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
Was it difficult arranging to take his ashes to Italy?
 
Well the police were involved with arranging, helping us to arrange [it]. I remember we had to wait to get Jon’s ashes back from the crematorium, and when we went, and one of the things I remember really, really clearly was when we went to get Jon’s ashes you walk into this little room and there’s a shelf, or, this is what I remember, there was a shelf and different boxes on it, and sort of he’s lifted off a shelf and given to you, you know? And it’s almost like, “Oh my God, here’s my husband in a box.” And we had to have Jon’s, because Jon was going over, Jon’s ashes were going overseas, he had to be sealed. The casket had to be sealed at the Italian Consulate, and have a certificate to say he was in there.
 
So my Dad had to take Jon’s ashes with the police, it was New Year’s Day actually, New Year’s Eve? New Year’s Eve he had to go to the Italian Consulate with a police officer, and they brought him back with a red seal on. But even though we had that, it was still; so if you can imagine what I said to you about not wanting to, I wanted to be with Jon, once I’d got his casket back I wouldn’t let it go, so I used to sleep with him and everything, and when we went to the airport to fly out the security, you know the security, going through security they wanted to take Jon’s ashes off me and put him through the X-ray machine, and I wouldn’t let them.
 
So even though we’d gone through the ritual and got all the paperwork that we needed, you know I was still faced with somebody wanting to take him off me and put him through the X-ray machine and I did refuse point blank, and they didn’t in the end. But I wouldn’t have, I wouldn’t have let them do it. And then when we got on the flight, my Dad had to say to the air hostess, I don’t know what words he used, but I wasn’t going to put Jon in the overhead locker. And I remember eating my dinner off him on the flight. It was New Year’s Day, we flew out New Year’s Day and they were playing Jingle Bells, I had Jon on my lap and I was eating my aeroplane meal off him.
 
I would not let him go basically, you know, until we scattered his ashes.
 
 
Did you have a memorial for him?
 
No. Somebody said to me a while after, well we scattered his, scattered his ashes in Italy by a tree, so I, I, there’s a tree, there’s a big oak tree in the middle of a Tuscan field that’s completely on it’s own, so that’s his memorial I suppose, but nothing with his name on it. 
 
Previous Page
Next Page