I take a plastic plate from the cupboard, ignore the Denby ones in the drawer. Peter tells me I should use them. But I can’t.
Our friends get them out without thinking. Just like they reach for the Spode jug to serve cream for the constant supply of pies they bring.
‘They’re so pretty,’ our daughter had said of the plates three months ago. ‘Would you mind if I bought the same ones?’
I’d smiled. How could I mind? I would never have bought something my own mother owned. Her dinner plates were mismatched – like her and me. Emily and I had the same taste in things, watched the same films, had the same views on politics, food, family …
Three weeks after Emily’s funeral, when we brought her things home – plates, cushions, the footstool she’d upholstered herself – they fitted right in.
Just like she used to.