I never liked the alarm, but today was worse than it had ever been before. I poked my head out of the duvet and the chill hit me. How was I going to peel back the duvet? A rhythmic snore signalled the alarm had woken only me. It wasn’t going to be a good day for him, but for me it was going to be unbearable. I was on the edge, not knowing where I would find the strength to haul me through. The logical voice inside my head told me it was time to move. My protective voice whispered “cling to the duvet”, knowing its familiar reassurance was insulating me from what lay beyond.
The alarm set off again to upset me, its shrillness piercing my thoughts and making my head hurt. I reluctantly raised my head away from the soft warmth of the pillow and could feel the chill again wrapping itself around me. I knew warmth would elude me for a long time to come, maybe there would always be a chill somewhere deep within me now. The bleak, black dress stared at me from its hanger and I remembered that the high stilettos ready placed underneath it would make my feet throb eventually. By the end of the day, my head, my feet, my heart would pulsate with pain.
I knew that I must relinquish the safety of my bed now, but still I clung tighter. He was still snoring next to me as my cascade of tears began. My body shook the bed as the realisation hit. I must do this and I must do this now; get out of the bed, let go of the duvet, shower and dress. The hearse would be here at 10 and everyone would be relying on me to organise them. As I finally felt the cold bathroom tiles on my soles, the chill spread through my veins. There was no going back, this day had begun, the day I would bury my brother.