Light many lamps & gather round his bed.
Lend him your eyes, warm blood, & will to live.
Speak to him; rouse him; you may save him yet.
He’s young; he hated war; how should he die
When cruel old campaigners win safe through?
But Death replied: ‘I choose him.’ So he went,
& there was silence in the summer night;
Silence & safety; & the veils of sleep.
Then, far away, the thunder of the guns.
— Siegfried Sassoon: The Death-Bed
The desperation that filled me a month ago is easing slowly every day. I am distracted by the fact that in a month I will leave the job I have been doing for 10 years & training my replacement. A decision Corsmor & I made when we found out about Pip & now I have to accept & live with it despite the fact things have changed. They are moving my job to Sydney & we decided not to go – I try every day not to think about the ‘what-if’s’ & just hope that somehow this will turn out right.
I remind myself that I am not alone. That many women & men have gone through this & so much worse before. I do get comfort from knowing that time may mend this & must be patient. It is an exercise in tolerance & fear all at once.