It’s an odd thing, grief in the time of corona. I’m now physically alone, but I was emotionally alone before. There’s a stress on the world, and I was already battered by loss. Billions have been pushed into a psychological world I had already for eight months been forced to call my home: sometimes I feel closer to other people as a result; sometimes I feel further away.

This morning I was awake for forty-five minutes before I remembered that Matthew is gone. That’s forty-five minutes of reprieve before I pick up that sadness and carry it with me through the day. It’s not at all that I don’t want him in my head; I do. But I also want some periods of grace without that awareness, when I can live other parts of my life. I want as well to be able to choose how I remember him, to picture him in life and not in cold death.

That choice still feels a long way away. But through corona I’m enjoying wandering London in its emptiness and quiet, as though the world is mirroring my inner life. And forty-five minutes of reprieve is for today progress enough.

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