Grief and pain


As soon as I turned into the road that leads to my house I knew something different had happened. I saw Joe walking along the road with another man at 6pm in the evening. Joe drives – he doesn’t walk anywhere.

I turned the car to park outside my house and there was an unusual number of cars outside Joe and Jane’s house opposite. There were a few people clustered outside their house and the door was open. I knew Jane’s mother lived with them in a rear annex and so assumed that something had happened to her. Half an hour later, Jane came to tell me that he mother had passed away suddenly during the night and only six month’s after her father, the dead woman’s husband had died. Jane held her left arm, propped on her right arm tucked under her right armpit. Her left arm was shaking uncontrollably as if nervous. She apologised for the number of cars outside the house because her mother had died.

She apologised for the number of cars outside the house. The number of cars coming and going that might have caused me an inconvenience. When she told me that her mother had died, I stood there and comforted her. How? By placing my hand on her shoulder and offering my sympathies….can I do any more? I am really sorry….I am so sorry to hear that….please let me know if there’s anything you need. I don’t know her or her partner very well. Been social on the street and share the odd bit of banter but friendly. Jane had come over to let me know that the cars might be an inconvenience. All I could do was offer my condolences and place my hand on her shoulder. Even this seemed a little lame as a gesture. She gets comfort from others around her, I can only offer her my own sympathies.

I’ll be at the funeral ceremony tonight.

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