It’s strange to be back. The first couple of evenings we wandered around in the dark, accustomed to light switches that mean nothing. I staggered into a dark bathroom and recoiled from a large cockroach in the sink, which was the sink drain and not a living thing after all. My first shower felt vaguely disgusting, like bathing in my dinner. I think the warm water felt too like soup to be cleansing. The first morning I awoke and marvelled at the ceiling. Who could have scrubbed a ceiling so clean? It’s plain, matte, flat white, all over.
Sue’s funeral is tomorrow. We have all been working on the order of service- John chose the contents, B photoshopped the pictures, I formatted and printed and Brosc stapled. Here is an encompassable task. Every time I fold a cover I see her walking away from me, into the Dolomites.
The flowers are not lavish- white irises, ivory tulips, lilac sprigs, and forsythia from the garden. Two of Sue’s camellias will be tucked in there. John is choosing a tree to plant in the garden for Sue- something English that blossoms in spring. We are not extravagant. The other day at dinner, I saw John chipping away at the pastry on the edge of the dish, making sure he got the crunchy bits, didn’t waste any, and suddenly saw that he would be OK. I am proud of these three men; John and Mark and James, such solid names, strong as trees and always changing and generative like a forest too. Grateful and daunted to be a Broscombe.