Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Yesterday, I went to the shop, because I must buy and eat food. I thought that was perfectly all right. There is a kind of adrenaline I have found in the beginning of grief. I'm not sure if that is the same for everyone. On the first morning after, I walked round and round the block, as the sun beat down, talking to friends, remembering good times, making jokes. Making jokes? But then I rather loved that there was room for laughter in the remembrance. That felt right.
I could not sit still, so I walked and walked, until the Duchess actually refused to go another step, planting herself on the path and looking at me with baffled eyes.
There was a hovering sense of unreality, but as long as I was with the family, getting calls from the good friends, and the Beloved Cousin, who rings each day, that was fine. Not fine, exactly, but finer than I might have thought.
I was a bit vague in the shop. I just thought: protein, and green things. Chicken, I thought; I must make chicken soup. Then I ran into someone I know, not very well, whom I have not seen for a long time. She had to say hello twice before I realised that she was there.
'You look in a bit of a daze,' she said.
In my head, I said: my Dad died.
Out loud I said: 'Oh yes, I suppose I am.' I did a silly me sort of laugh and tried to focus my eyes. I nodded and shrugged.
We made small talk. Because we are British, we spoke of the weather. I heard myself say: 'I am so glad there is some rain for the garden. The poor flowers are frantic for rain.'
In my head, I said: But my Dad died.
I nodded and smiled some more. Don't say anything, I thought. You can't talk about death in the Co-Op.
That poor woman, I thought, she must think I am so rude.
When I got home I thought how funny it is. Funny peculiar, really, more than funny ha ha. I think I actually thought my grief was going rather well. It's a clean thing, strong and authentic, running through my body like a river. It is tears and laughter. It is a lot of love. But it is more fragile than I thought. It is not yet ready to go out of the house.
I bought some roses. They are a little bit out of focus:
And for those of you who celebrate it, Happy Easter.
And thank you again for all the many wonderful comments. I know that a lot of you know all about this. That you took the time to leave messages is incredibly moving. Forgive me for not replying to you individually.