Tuesday, 27 May 2014

My shadow

I’m ironing my husband’s one good shirt, the one reserved for weddings and funerals, when it hits me.

A tsunami of grief that knocks me sideways, washes over me and holds me under until I fight my way back towards the light and surface, god knows how long later, in foetal position on the couch, grief all cried out.

But this is not what happens.

Instead, I get on with it. I continue with the everyday. I remain calm and carry on.

I endure and even enjoy work. I set my alarm and greet each morning with optimism. I make polite conversation with colleagues, strangers, shop assistants and close family members alike. I clean and cook and clean it all again.

I risk delight in sunshine and autumn leaves.

Perhaps if I pretend it didn't happen then maybe grief will go away.

But grief is sneaky.

It catches me unawares at school assemblies and in the car at traffic lights.

Grief travels with me on my morning commute.

It ghosts me in supermarket aisles and stares back from the bathroom mirror.

Tiresome grief will not be silenced.

I am intimate with grief, we are on first name terms and somehow I think I’ve known grief, in one guise or another, all my life.

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