It’s difficult to be both, at once.
We greet one another and, like always, check in about the mundane. She asks after me, I mention that I’m recovering, been catching up on sleep.
How are you?
She pauses, and her face drops. Glances away and wipes away a single tear
There’s a moment of quiet discomfort, between.
Last week at this time he was here
and I can’t understand why he’s gone
Now, the tears flow.
She had shared the news of his loss and been away from work, but we’d chatted since then.
Sad, but strong.
Today is hitting her differently.
He was going up to the mountain and jumping off with the big…umbrella?
She searches for the word
He jumped but the wind was…
she swirls the air with her arms
His umbrella got twisted around and didn’t open
and now he’s gone
I’m so sorry
It’s okay to be sad
I’m not sure what to offer, apart from a gentle hug and encouragement for her to head home, to rest, to grieve.
He was always a good boy
His sons were looking in the box and saw him lying there, and asking “why is papa there?” “why is papa there?”.
She wipes another tear away.
I need to go
Let me know if there’s anything I can do.
And, like that
She puts on her mask and helmet, gently wheels her bike outside the gate
and slides it closed.