Death may have represented for Stanley an essentially physical extermination, even when applied to those he loved. But he did not see this as nihilism. On the contrary, something - he was to define it as Love - superseded. Moreover this is not to suggest that he was emotionally unaffected when those he knew died, particularly if anyone had taken their own life, but rather that his feelings ran too deep to be externalised in conventional ways.

This 'clamming-up' when he was under emotional stress is very typical of Stanley's up-in-heaven life and was in contrast to the volubility with which he proclaimed his notions when in his down-to-earth existence. When in up-in-heaven mode, he compensated internally and silently for loss by accepting that because he had loved the deceased (or the departed or the now-detached from his life) and they had truly responded, then they had already been together in his heaven and would continue to be so, love and heaven, like joy, being eternal.

One effect is that it no longer becomes the oddity it might first seem for Stanley to paint pictures after Hilda's death recalling moments of their life together (such as Love Letters, 1950, or Silent Prayer, 1951) nor, on re-reading their past correspondence (which he retained scrupulously) to write her long letters discussing their mutual thoughts as though she were still alive, a process of such meaning for him that he had intended to celebrate it in a vast picture called Litter on Hampstead Heath (otherwise The Apotheosis of Hilda.) Sadly, at his death it remained only at the pencilled stage, but in it those selfsame letters were scattered on the Heath like litter, while strollers, himself and Hilda included, and even a group of children, excitedly pick them up and read ecstatically.

Stanley's behaviour here should not be construed as an onset of sentimentality. On the contrary, it derives from and reinforces the same profound aspect of his psyche which impelled his art - the necessity always to anchor his abstract thought and imaginative visualisation (his up-in-heaven) in the concrete of his perceived experience and memory (his down-to-earth.) His reading and re-reading of Hilda's legacy of letters gave him recollections of their intense discussions (interminable according to a bored Patricia listening to them) which kept open a major gateway into his thought-world and continued to make his Dear Duckie the supreme muse she had always been during their life together.