There is something strangely beautiful about her as she stands in front of the headstone. Still and silent, a million miles away from the rush hour traffic that shuffles past the cemetery. She is still in her work clothes; navy blue tunic and trousers, her winter coat hung open as though she’s given up trying to keep warm. She's let her hair down, and the kinks in it from where it had spent the day clipped up catch the evening light. In one hand she holds tightly onto her handbag, in the other she has a bunch of flowers. Yellows and whites, far more summery than they have any right to be under the circumstances, but then she always loved brightly coloured flowers.
Any casual onlooker might think she is coping rather well. She isn’t crying, but she has spent so long crying that now, eight months since that fateful day; she’s run out of tears. But there is a pained, haunted look in her eyes that shows the emptiness she's feeling. Anyone who took time to watch her would see it. She will say the same cheerful things, smile the same cheerful smile, but her eyes betray her. It is heart breaking to have to witness.
Anyone who’s ever spent time with her knows she’s a fighter, the sort of person who forces themself to carry on, even when they feel like crawling back under the blankets and forgetting the world. And she has had to force herself, she has the children to look after, a job to do. It’s hard work to carry on, and painful to watch. Her friends have looked out for her, but they are forgetting. Their lives are whizzing by, but each day drags when you’ve lost someone you love.
She stares at the lettering on the headstone, not reading it; she knows it off by heart. It is just something to look at, something to focus on while in her head she works out her next move. Whether she should stay a little longer, or leave and return to the warmth of the house. She should go, go back home to the kids, but she seems reluctant to move.
She kneels down at the foot of the grave, and places the flowers down, running her fingers along the petals absently. She is too lost in her own thoughts to do much else. She stands up and turns to go, but catches herself and turns back instead.
"I miss you, Andrew. I wish you were still with me."
And I wish there were some way to tell her I am.