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My wife of over fifty years is dying
In the room next door.
One minute she is still with me
And the next she is gone.
Oh, the arrangements, never ending,
The weeks before the funeral
seem to take for ever,
And then, over in a flash.
The length of a single thought
It can last for seconds
Or all day, all night, for ever,
Never to leave you again.
One shuts one’s self away,
Not able to face the world,
Express the grief that surrounds us,
Engulfs us in a seeming eternity.
And then after a year or so,
We feel ready to rejoin
The human race that we have left behind,
Rejoin society and face our fears.
Tentatively we take the first steps.
Something local and known to be involved with,
Then branching out to other activities,
A sort of normality comes upon you.
And then: coronavirus-covid 19.
We are locked down, shielding, alone.
Just me and the dog, that I take
For a walk daily, on the permitted exercise.
Only the girl who does my shopping
Comes once a week, and we talk.
A neighbour comes to bring me goodies
Once a week. On Thursday, we applaud the NHS.
I sit with my thoughts,
Alone with the dog in isolation.
Go on walks.
Do the cooking.
Then we discover Zoom
A different kind of normality returns.
We learn to keep in touch
The ‘phone, email, Zoom.
Now I can shop again
Once a week with the elderly and vulnerable,
Oh, and we must wear a mask for safety.
I do not feel particularly old or vulnerable.
And yet it never leaves you.
Now you have still more time
To sit and think, relive our past,
Reflect on things that happened long ago.