Please do not ask
If I am now recovering
Or if I see the light
At the tunnel’s end.
Nor speak about relief — or burdens lifted.
And, worst of all, new starts.
Please, please don’t ask
If I am getting through —
Have come to terms
Or find my life is back on track.
Of course I live each day to each
And gladly smile
My coping, to “prepare a face
To meet the faces that you meet”.
What else is there to do?
In any case, you would not want to know
The daily loss that lasts eternally.
Just, please, don’t ask.
Written by Frances Gibb after the death of her husband. Quoted by Matthew Parris in today’s Times (£)