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Sunday, 26 October 2014

THE FIRST TIME YOU GO BACK...









Opening the door and stepping into the house, you could almost believe that nothing has changed. The rooms appear just the same, and those words of the famous poem so often read at funerals: ‘I have only slipped away into the next room’ seem to be true. But something has made a subtle change. Another hand has drawn the curtain; an unopened letter lies on the floor; a ruck in the carpet has not been straightened. Yet it is not these things which, in our grief-enhanced colour-sensory vision we notice. It is the silence, the complete absence of human sound. The clock may still tick, and the house may shift restlessly, as though it too feels struck by the silent yet devastating explosion which is the death of someone we have loved. It is the hardest adaptation, which only time can ease, to get used to never seeing them again. Sometimes it is impossible. You may go for years, thinking you are over it, you are fine, life is back to normal – and then some tiny thing moves in a far corner of your mind and you are right back at the start again, overwhelmed by loss. That we mean so much to one another surely gives some kind of meaning to life itself? Years afterwards I no longer feel guilt at forgetting him for a while, but I sometimes shed tears when I remember...