The certificate was laboriously scrawled with an ancient fountain pen, and the registrar solemnly asked me to check the details before signing it. I dragged my eyes through the words, which all seemed to make sense, until the bit about me: Relationship To Deceased; and then there was a word I couldn't make out.
It should have said Husband, but Trip advice dating widower couldn't make the spidery blue marks on the paper form into that. And that was the first time I'd contemplated that word, in relation to me and my new categorisation in the world.
And you don't, somehow, think about that word. Until it happens to you.
And then I began to notice something different. Maybe I was a little bit insane, but the cautious body language of the playground seemed to become more insistent, less reserved, as if something normally fastidiously withheld, was on offer.
First out of the blocks was a lady who got me through the first few weeks, helping to deal with the almost impossible administrative burden of simply letting the children go to school. Nothing happened between us, but after a while I noticed that she had begun to stock her fridge with beers. Then scrubbed-up divorcee began popping up asking if there was anything she could do.
This created minor territorial issues between the two women, which I observed, bemused, from the sofa. During the previous 23 years, I had been single for about six months. Living alone was surprisingly satisfying — if I tidied up the flat and then went out, it was still tidy when I got back!
From the age of 19 I had two six-year relationships. And then I met Katherine.
Within a month I had a full-time job there, and after three months she noticed me. The fault lines in both our relationships gave way, and I spent the next 13 years perpetually amazed that I'd found her. We were confident together, and she would often tease me about friends Trip advice dating widower she knew I liked. It's easy to deify the deceased, but Katherine was a special person.
No enemies, no bad habits, no fillings. Her idea of a blowout was grilled fish and and her grace and kindness pervaded everything she did.
Audrey Hepburn crossed with Julie Christieshe was stunning at 28, but even more so at I loved watching her age, which, like everything else, she did beautifully. I was not that surprised that she died. Why shouldn't she be chosen? I cared for her at home, but there was no way to discuss the future, which loomed like a black hole.