‘I spent years studying death, but it didn’t prepare me for grief’

Sarah Tarlow in The Guardian:

At about 9.15 on the morning of 7 May 2016, I came home and found my husband of two weeks, my partner of 18 years, dead in bed. Still, I go over and over the way that morning unfolded. I woke at my brother Ben’s house. Since I had left Mark alone overnight for the first time in months, and because he could not get his own breakfast or medication, I set off to drive home as soon as I was dressed and had drunk a cup of tea.

I texted Mark to say I was setting off, but I got no reply. Like the previous day, it was gloriously warm and sunny, and my drive along the empty A1 was easy and quick. I parked the car and walked up to the front door. I let myself in and shouted up, “Hello. I’m home!” No answer. “Mark?” I started up the stairs. It was quite silent. I had a sick, empty feeling, as though all the organs in my abdomen had suddenly dropped about a foot. I sort of knew, but I did not absolutely know. Not yet. I thought to myself, “This is the last moment before our world changes; these are the last steps in my old life.”

More here.