The moon is waxing gibbous, moving toward the completeness of full moon, about a week away. Thankfully, the valley nights have been clear and cool, so I've been watching the slow change, night by night as I walk. Pagans often speak of the moon in three phases - maiden, mother and crone; right now, it's mother. Christine and I would watch the phases and often hold a small ceremony at full and new moons. These days, moon-watching is tied in with my memories of her.


The guardianship trial in court is three-quarters done, and we expect a fairly quick decision from the judge, who, like all the other actors, wants a resolution for Tess before school starts in late August. We will be back in court on Monday, for what I expect will be the last day; the lawyers will sum up their cases and then we wait.

Several people have asked for updates, and that's about it. Tess and I are both a little tired and anxious. We're doing what we always do, which is to check in with one another, socialise over meals and the occasional film, have the inevitable weep over our joint loss. I feel that we're both rather like swans on a river, serene and peaceful on the surface, paddling like the Dickens underneath.

For both of us, life goes on. Grass needs cutting, houses need cleaning, meals need forethought and preparation, jobs need to be sought. There are friends for us to see, talk with, have fun with. There are still sleepovers for Tess, lunches and coffee for me.

I'm getting to realise the truth of the adage that grief is a long process. Losing Christine may not have been a shock, but missing her was, and is. There are daily reminders of her, and the hole that she's left in our lives. There's the ritual morning cup of tea in bed, which is much lonelier than of yore. Everywhere there are little reminders, a book she recommended to me that remains yet unread; her artwork and crafting is in evidence everywhere. There's the cold side of the bed, the empty closet. The silences that once were comfortable are now not; silence is no longer my friend.

I will survive though. It's what I do. Thank you all for your messages of love and support.