I’m sure she stood beside me in my grief, each wracking sob she felt, and knew no way to make it stop. It was dark outside, I couldn’t sleep, the weight lay heavy in my chest, a broken heart? I think it bled, I felt it rip..
I’d close the doors to keep the others out, the dishes piled unwashed around me lay; mine was a private time with her and the Gods who don’t exist. The people came, for what I thought; you are too late to help her now.
And was she there, that very place where her life had had such meaning; where preparation, care and style gave her pride, a housewife’s pride? Here I could sob, the tears mixed into dishwater in the sink. And she was beside me.
The crowd was fed, and gone to bed, my hands lay silent in the sink. Sometimes I’d hear an anguished scream beside me, and jump, but it was me. Only me. To have someone there for all your life, before your life, and now to be without, made no sense at all. How to cope?
To be without and carry on, was this a skill that could be taught? Who’d teach me now? The wisest person I knew would know what it was like to step outside again, and feel the sun. She’d know; she’d walk beside me. Like she was there now behind me, with me, as the tea towel dried and stacked the gleaming plates.
But the night was long , and still no sleep, so back I’d go. There was always more to do, like wash the floor; a housewife’s work was never done. Cleaning, wiping and preparing; tears were dry by morning. We had made it through the night together; my Mom and I, just like the last few nights. Life carries on, she taught me; the crowd will be back tomorrow, so be prepared.
And they were, just as she said. The little church was packed to say goodbye.
I walked out into the sunshine after we sang ‘Danny Boy’and knew she would be proud of the huge spread we had put on when they returned to the house.
Thanks for your help Mom! XX