The eighteenth day

I wasn’t prepared for the visceral nature of grief.

Holding space as she travelled through her final weeks was a physical task, watching, tending, adjusting, deciding; always on hand, waiting and waiting and waiting.

And then, to begin with, I was light, knowing she was free. At moments almost giddy, I could feel her sailing away full of joy that her prison was broken and she could fly again.

The Christmas holidays drew to a close, the calendar creaking back to the mundane Monday Friday.

It will be good, I thought, to get back to work; something to provide a distraction. Not avoiding, but giving shape, focus, purpose to the days, which are, now, surprisingly empty.

I sit at the desk and read an email. Then again. And again. My eyes slide over the words, they will not “catch”, connecting with meaning, context. They are tired and prefer to stare out at the winter’s day, lemon light bathing the houses opposite.

I am slow. Clumsy. “Wading through treacle”. I forget things I know, my brain operating at dial-up speeds, clicking and whirring to little effect.

On the phone speaking to colleagues I sound like myself, but inside a restless toddler impatient, tetchy, longing to be elsewhere.

The body hurts, skin taut and unsettled, longing for another time.

Now breathe.

Once more.


Lie on the floor until the world stops spinning.

Move slowly, intentionally.

Allow it to sit with you, to anchor you, in the new world.

This too shall pass.

[Image by Mandy Fontana from Pixabay]

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