Last autumn, as the leaves turned, I felt a cloak drape over my shoulders, a leaden, winter cloak weighing me down. And rather than being able to shrug it off, it came with me everywhere. I was able to feel the threads lighten when I was laughing, or crying, but was unable to cast it off completely.
It was almost a year since my father’s death aged 60 after a long illness. In that year I’d gone from numb shock – nothing had prepared me for this expected departure – to deep, dizzying sadness, where I understood what other people who had experienced grief meant when they wrote of the sky turning from blue to black.
Slowly, I was able to enjoy the memories of the time we had spent together while my dad was sick: the hundreds of games of chess we’d played (I always lost, even when he was very ill indeed with cancer, his slim frame so undernourished that his bones jutted out, he would trounce me into checkmate) and his obsession and delight with food as eating became increasingly painful. Continue reading >> independent.co.uk/