5de mev. Brink deel haar lewensverhaal tot so ver

akkreditasie

It moves in with you. A creature you did not invite, cannot control or tame. Grief is wild and unpredictable, at first completely inscrutable. It speaks an unknown language and renders yours inadequate. But in the beginning there is silence. After the shattering, all languages become inadequate. You have to learn everything anew. It is impossible to speak if you cannot breathe. ‘Weduwee’, the first word torn out of death’s ribs.

Widow. The origin of my new vocabulary. The urge is to write about her in the third person. The widow, her. Not me. I. No more us. The plural is reduced to singular. Possessive pronouns lose their grasp; ‘our’ slips through my fingers however much I want to hold on to it. The finality of the past tense is devastating. Phrases like ‘he loved’, ‘he hoped’, ‘he wanted’ or ‘he was’ refuse to pass my lips without wrenching my heart out of my chest with them. Death, no longer an abstraction, becomes flesh, turns to ashes. I lie awake at night, an urn next to my cold, empty bed. I lost my husband, I tell people, always adding a comment about the inadequacy of the term; it’s not as if he can be found. He is not late either. He hated being late. The only things that are late are calm and food and sleep. They refuse to come. The knowledge that André is dead keeps them at bay.

Dead.

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