'Is it odd to say I still can't think of him as gone?'
Husband and I were in the car on our way home from Uncle's where I'd been sorting out some of his clothes. And it doesn't seem strange at all and I somehow think it should.
I've been trying - and failing - to print a photo of him to frame and the best one I have is the one that Husband took for the 2014 article in The Guardian. In it he looks happy and relaxed and well and it struck me how much he'd changed in the last two years, especially since last autumn, and that I hadn't noticed how dramatically he'd deteriorated. I suppose you don't when you see someone regularly.
He never got his appetite back after a bad chest infection before Christmas. I kept saying to myself, 'Once he starts eating again he'll pick up in strength, get his old enthusiasm back and will carry on to live for years.' This was even though he kept saying, 'Oh, I don't want live for years; I've had enough.'
We've been thinking that something may well have gone wrong in his gut: he had bowel cancer a long time ago. He'd been fine since but, in retrospect, it may have appeared again. And maybe Uncle suspected it.
The most poignant moment of the morning was finding his jacket with the handkerchief still just peeking out of the top pocket. Uncle was always a gentleman in manner and dress.
Husband said, 'No. Life's been too busy. I was thinking about him the other day and it struck me: he's gone. And I miss the old codger.'