My wife died earlier this month. We knew it was coming. A lump in the breast begat bone tumours, begat liver lesions. In the end, cancer in the brain carried her off quickly. A ‘good death’.
I keep staring at my wedding ring and its redundant metallurgy. In one of our final lucid conversations my wife urged me to be ‘sensible’. No tantrums. I don’t rear up when another call centre executive offers me condolences for her ‘passing’.
Someone exercising similarly benign thoughtlessness called me a single parent recently, and that didn’t feel quite right either. Rather, I have entered a world of Victorian melodrama. I am the widower. I feel like Colin Firth in Nanny McPhee, staring perplexedly at the grate, but without the happy ending.