With my daughter due to get married in October, September seemed to just broil with stuff designed to have me gripping to reality by my fingernails.
On the 22nd was my future Son-in-Law’s stag do; a tour of the City and Central London on foot, visiting pubs on the way, the whole thing conducted by an official London guide.
So it was I found myself outside number 39 Furnival Street in Holborn. Site of a mystery building (Google it). Me? I’m staring at 37 where Gail worked (a job I helped her get) for three years. So desperate to text her and tell her about No: 39. It’s one of those moments when you consider actually typing and sending a message – and yes, I’ve done it – just to maintain your equilibrium. Of all the places in London…
The previous week I’d bought myself a cremation bracelet; a small thing to wear round my wrist that would contain a small amount of Gail’s ashes. This day was the first day I wore it; gaining comfort from having her with me everywhere I went. I know I had it on in Furnival Street but a couple of pubs later – yet completely sober – I found I didn’t have it on. I was beside myself. I’ve never found it and only admit this for the first time as I write this.
I gained solace – and grieving gives you the power to do this – in the knowledge Gail loved London and was somewhere in the City streets. Of course, she may have been picked up by some vagrant and swapped for a cup of coffee, but I prefer my version as I sleep better of a night with it.