I missed you today, it wasn’t anything special, like feeling you in the room, I tripped over the rip in the carpet. Do you remember? You dragged the dining table across the room for Christmas dinner, your mother was staying and when I shouted at you, she came to your defence and I ran out the house crying. What a memory to think of. Not for us a shared rose tinted world, our marriage, our lives together were just arguments strung together with mutual stubbornness.
Whilst you were still here I often wondered why we remained living in the same house. I made a list, it’s probably around here somewhere, maybe I’ll look for it later. Bridies coming tomorrow to take away your clothes, I’m keeping the camel jumper we both wore, it smells of you, I haven’t washed it and it is acting as a pillow case, breathing in the aroma of you helps me sleep.
Your sisters went home yesterday, I thought they’d never go, they talk so much, constant vapid commentary on nothing at all, I lay awake three nights ago trying to remember what they spoke about that evening, I could visualise their mouths like goldfish rushing round and round but I couldn’t think of one memorable phrase, they patted my hand a lot.
I have cried quite a bit this week, you would’ve been proud of me, I used the little hankies instead of my sleeve, silent tears slid down my un-made up face, oh, they’ve started again, I’ve got very quiet since you’ve been gone. The tissues were changed regularly by passing relatives, they have all been so kind, I have been touched by it, because for all their vacuous talk and constant cleaning, they were all there for me as much as you.
I suppose in a few years I’ll say it takes a tragedy to see the kindness of humans. It was tragic, love, wasn’t it. You weren’t on the list for dead people on that day. I know in my heart there is no way it could’ve been your time. For a start the basketball blitz is next week and your team was all set for another victorious campaign, they all came – the team, their mams and dads, the other trainers. I know it’s tradition in a small village but with us being blow-ins I didn’t know if they would. Your family was shocked by the amount of people at the removal, in England, you’d be lucky to get your family there.
The Mass was lovely, Father Ahern took it and he knew I didn’t understand the whole ritual so he led me through it, the children were fantastic, so well behaved, in fact since you went they’ve been as quiet as me, even Bláthnaid hasn’t said boo. When everything settles down I’ll do the best I can to get them to a new normal, once I work out what a new normal means. If you were here we could work it out together.
Your grave was the fifth open hole I have stood by, I hoped by now to have got used to how far down the coffin gets lowered, but no every time is a new shock. Joey and Fin carried you with your snooker mates. They did a good job, no complaints about your weight or anything. I was so proud of them, proper little men. They don’t want to go back to school, don’t see the point in exams and all that. I will push them back to their studies though, it is only grief talking and when they begin to recover studying will help them get through.
What’s going to help me get through love, it was always you I leaned on, it was always you who gave me that hug, or a dig when needed, Sure I’ll take it handy, maybe I’ll go visit that little chapel in Killarney, it looks small and cosy, maybe I’ll find comfort in something there. Love, look after yourself, I’ll see you again somehow, no doubt and we can continue the argument we were having on the phone when you lost control in the ice.