Dear John

As soon as it happened, and you were stuck in hospital having had your attack, certain places at home immediately became very difficult and very sensitive.

For example the corner of the step, on the right hand side, where you always left your front door keys.  From where I would often take them to lock the front door for the night, and then throw them back.  For 17 years, your keys lived in that corner.  Suddenly it was horribly empty, horribly significant.

Similarly, the post on the banister where you most usually hung your jacket.  I told everyone who visited not to hang anything there, and got very funny if someone even touched the post.  I used to hang my own coats there sometimes as well, but will now have to stop myself.  It was your spot, and is a ‘holy’ place.  As is your armchair in the front room, and the chair you used to sit in, in the dining room.

For 17 years those were your seats.  I can’t believe it’s ended, and you will no longer sit in them.  You should have been back, you should have been sitting there another ten years, or until we left the house.  These ‘holy’ spots are so difficult now.  At the moment I really don’t feel like I will every sit in those chairs – in your place.  (Though I’m sure you would tell me not to be so silly and sit where I wanted.)

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