I lay back, resigned, and wished my wife wasn’t dead. I wished I wasn’t lying terrified in a giant bird embrace in my hallway. I wished I hadn’t been obsessing about this thing just when the greatest tragedy of my life occurred. These were factual yearnings. It was bitterly wonderful. I had some clarity.
But I care, deeply. I find humans dull except in grief. There are very few in health, disaster, famine, atrocity, splendour or normality that interest me (interest ME!) but the motherless children do. Motherless children are pure crow. For a sentimental bird it is ripe, rich and delicious to raid such a nest.
I missed her so much that I wanted to build a hundred-foot memorial to her with my bare hands. I wanted to see her sitting in a vast stone chair in Hyde Park, enjoying her view. Everybody passing could comprehend how much I miss her. How physical my missing is. I miss her so much it is a vast golden prince, a concert hall, a thousand trees, a lake, nine thousand buses, a million cars, twenty million birds and more. The whole city is missing her.
Eugh, said Crow, you sound like a fridge magnet.
We stopped listening and kept on leaping.
After the advent of laser surgery but before puberty, before self-consciousness, before secondary school, before money, time or gender got their teeth in. Before language was a trap, when it was a maze. Before Dad was a man in the last thirty years of his life. Really, on reflection, the best possible time to lose a mum.