Time passed that day but I do not know how. I am sure there must have been tea – cups of hot, sweet tea that are supposed to be the answer to all of life’s shocks – but I cannot taste them. And I am sure that my ever practical brother would have ensured we all ate. If not him, then his efficient wife Pauline, but I cannot remember now if she was there, I do not know if I was even aware of her presence at the time. She would have accompanied him if she could because she is the kind of woman who believes in appearances. She would support him because it was expected of a wife and so she would have been at the house if her work commitments permitted.
So there must have been three or four of us, and we must have interacted in some way, but I remember nothing except my own cocoon of misery. What did we discuss after we all gathered together at the house? I do not know. We must have talked about what we needed to do, who we needed to inform, all the practicalities that surround anyone’s death. Maybe we decided who would take charge of the officialdom and which tasks each of us would undertake. We might have shared fond memories of him and compared stories of him from happier times. But we probably avoided discussing the most obvious thing: how we were going to live without him.
Another extract from The Wise Child, my Nano novel from 2010. For all the people I know out there who are currently dealing with the loss of a loved one.