And so another week whispers by. You are seven days older and a bit of you has floated away. You know this is true because now you live outside yourself. 

You watch your hands fluttering across the waxy handsome face of your dead uncle, only just resisting the urge to drag away the net,  the satin and all the other accroutements of death, then  straighten his pale blue tie, and pin the smile he’s taken with him back onto his face.  But there is another you sitting across the room, cold as ice, watching and feeling nothing. Seeing the tears and planning a holiday. Staring at the torn hem of her funeral garb in quiet wonder. How did that
happen? Are fishnet popsocks tarty? Is there a biscuit in her bag? Will a gin and lemonade render her as giddy sad as her sister? Will a hug cure her of it?

Anything but this.

Anything but the man sitting on your sofa, eating more roast chicken and failing to give you sufficient reason not to not want him. Sensing your indifference and begging you for more. Anything but a fridge full of food you will consume and fail to taste. The little boy who talks at you twenty four hours a day. Your mums overwhelming, all-consuming sadness. Anything but the trashy tv you can’t resist. Warring prostitutes at each others throats and celebrities cutting hair. The pile of books you just can’t read.

Anything but this.

But you are sensible. She who looks on sees the nothingness and tells you, this too will pass. This is to merely be endured as you go through the motions of motherhood and monotony,  hope and sorrow. She offers you coffee cake scattered with walnuts and a friend who makes you laugh till you splutter in a star sprinkled coffee shop. She gives you piles of red trimmed notepaper and whispers write and plays music you’ve long forgotten and screams dance!  She reminds you to wipe away the debris at your door, brush up the leaves and answer the phone. She neither tolerates self pity nor chastises you for it, but asks you instead to be.

So you do. You write and you giggle and you kiss and  you order cinnamon latte instead of hot chocolate and life goes on and days go by and she, who isn’t as cold as ice, but cotton wool around your soul, holds your hand and reminds you to live each day in spite of yourself.

In spite of yourself. Because life is what you are for m’lady. Like it or not, life is what you are for.