The day Tim died I had to do the hardest thing ever – break the news to his parents. I then had to tell my family. Friends passed the news onto friends. It was unbearable. Every conversation relived the awful shock of that morning.
The next day, the news had travelled fast. People around the village, people on social media, sent me messages of love and concern.
What I hadn't realised, though, was how often I was going to have to tell people that he had died. His bookshop customers. All the people involved in the sadmin – banks (over and over again), DVLC, business contacts. People we hadn't seen for years.
Even years later it still catches me. A mailing list he's still on. The tax office because his company is dormant but not yet closed. Breaking the news doesn't seem to end.
I was widowed at 50 when Tim, who I expected would be my happy-ever-after following a marriage break-up, died suddenly from heart failure linked to his type 2 diabetes. Though we'd known each other since our early 20s, we'd been married less than ten years.