My darling TG
On December 14th I walked up to Nationwide on High St Kensington to change the name on my account to Gibbons. I know it sounds odd but I wanted to feel close to you in any way I can. I told the young guy changing the details about you. He didn’t really say anything. I kept talking about it and he eventually said ‘time is a great healer’. I didn’t have the energy to say no. No, that is the worst of all the clichés about grief.
This is how I am starting to see it: Grief becomes part of you like a knot in a tree. The knot is part of the tree. The tree will grow, shed its leaves every winter and new shoots will appear in the spring but the knot will always remain. It’s a beautiful thing. I am calling it my knot of Terence. Part of my trunk. Forever.
On the way back from Nationwide I found myself going towards Kensington Palace. I don’t think I’ve ever been inside. So I went in. There was an hour and a half left to look round the exhibitions including one of all Princess Diana’s dresses. Your dearest mam Pauline loved Diana and do you remember we used to talk about her a lot together. As I looked round I felt so close to you both. I stood in front of one of the gowns and told Pauline you were on your way to her. Across the Elysian Fields of waving corn… in the warm sun. A peace that know one knows until their time comes. When Pauline was dying I held her hand and I made a promise to her to look after you. I told her I loved her son Terence so very much. I kept that promise. When it’s time, I will see you both again.
There was also an exhibition about Queen Victoria and the last room was dedicated to the death of Prince Albert. As tears rolled down my cheeks, I listened to an actress who’d recorded the exact words from her diary. Victoria said she’d never be the same after Albert’s death. As I made my way out, bleary eyed, I felt very strange walking through the beautiful park on a crisp Winter’s day just before Christmas.
People were walking with their dogs or children or both.
I felt completely alone. Like I was on a different planet. Planet Grief.
Love you always
Your devoted Mrs Gibbons
Ps I’ve just hummed This is Planet Grief to the tune of Planet Earth by Duran Duran. Bah ba ba ba bah bah bah.