It is just a month since Janet died, and most of the time I carry of as if nothing had happened: I cook, I eat, I tidy the house, I run the washing machine, even clean the toilets. But from time to time, as happened today, I dissolve in tears, tears of sorrow, or loss, or remorse.

Today I went to the first of the new academic year’s weekly Parkinson’s Disease ‘speak more loudly’ group, at the School of Speech Therapy here in Sheffield. I was telling my (PD) story to a student therapist, and mentioned, quite matter-of-factly, that my wife had just died. Then I tried to read, from my i-phone, the poem “Uphill”, shown in my last blog.

And as I read, I began to weep, uncontrollably, and quite uninhibited. The student was very professional, reached out to hold my hand, and assured me it was normal. I think she meant it. I recovered myself and the session continued. But I felt better; I didn’t feel bad about crying. Rather the reverse, I felt relieved that I was still grieving, bacause I had wondered if I’d lost all sense of grief. But no, it was still there. Poetry helps me cope, and to grieve.

So thank you, for being a real therapist.

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