Dear John

It’s horrible, there are so many new things that are hitting me, causing me to think of you and reassess my past and my future now that my circumstances have changed (ie now that you’ve died).

I see a restaurant called Quo Vadis and it reminds me of the one we went to and which you liked, in London.  You chose the most unusual thing, I remember – sea urchin!  £15 for some tiny spoonfuls, but you enjoyed them so much.  The sort of memory that endears me to you.

(Quo Vadis?  Where have you gone, John?)

I visit a house where I know you have been and I try and conjure up your image, your presence, standing in a spot on the planet where I know you have stood.

There’s no echo of you, though, other than in my mind.

I sit in a posh hotel bar with members of my family, and I watch couples walking in and feel so sad that I’m not in a couple any more, that we won’t ever stay in a nice hotel together again.

I also feel grateful, though, that I had the years I had with you, that I have known what it meant to be in a happy partnership.

But the worst thing was the armchairs.  To see some lovely comfy leather armchairs of the type you always used to like when we came across them in pubs and hotels.

And just for a microsecond to think – in the present tense – look John, there’s a nice seat for you to sit in.  Before remembering – before having to put you into the past tense.

John used to love comfortable leather armchairs like these.  I can just imagine my husband enjoying sitting there.

By the way, are you my ex-husband now?  I don’t think so.  Oh no, of course you are my late-husband.

A much worse thing.

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