At the wake, I shadow the widow armed with a fresh cup of tea and a chicken leg from the buffet, it’s her favourite. Since his death she’s barely eaten and is clearly loosing weight rapidly. She needs to eat. The guests line to talk to her, picking up her conversation then moving on. Whenever she catches my eye I offer her the tea and chicken-leg. She sounds proud that Mumsie is here:
“That’s my family over there, meet my sister. OH, you’ve met her before, yes, that’s MY FAMILY“
After most of the guests have moved-on the widow takes a seat by Mumsie and chatters away to her in an almost ‘hyper’ way. Through the ceremony I’d kept my tears under wraps. Here, listening to the widow, tears start to roll on out.
“I’ve never used a credit card. I wouldn’t know how to use one. What will I do? He paid for everything. He was always there. He knew where my saccharin were kept, he’d have the packet in his hand whenever I had a cup of tea. What will I do?”
She rummaged in her handbag looking for her saccharin tablets. The bag slipped in her hands emptying the contents on the floor. I was glad of the excuse to get on my hands and knees under the table and pick up the contents for her.