The house is oddly quiet. For now anyway. I’ve just packed up my three children and they’ve just left with their dad. Is it bad that there is a momentary relief when they pull off the drive? Single mother’s guilt.

My coffee is cold and I’ve put a random programme on the TV. There is a trail of destruction around the room… discarded shoes and clothes, rejected from the pile of ‘take to dad’s’.

It’s OK though. I’ve got time now. Three days.

You’d think I’d be happy about that, and part of me is. I’m tired. I’ve got things to do, things that seem impossible when there are three children in the house. I’m going to get myself a curry and a bottle of wine tonight and make the most of child-free TV.

My weekend is open. I’ve still not heard from my friend since she bailed on me last weekend. It may sound petty, but I was the last to message her and I made it clear that I knew she was going through something but that I was happy to go out and do what she wanted. I’ve heard nothing since. I’m not going to message her, even though we should have been going away this weekend.

So I have a free weekend, and an empty quiet house.

But my grief hides in the silence. Days like this, I would sit with Dad. Plan something nice for our tea. He’d come in and ‘sit with me for a minute’. I’d be in and out, doing the washing, which he would joke about.

I still can’t believe he’s gone. I can’t believe I will spend the rest of my life without him.

The house holds his silence, not that of my children.

I know it’s something I’ve got to get used to – even more so now that my friend has seemingly disappeared, I’m not confident enough to Internet date. So I’ve got to find my own way, make peace with the silence and learn to enjoy my own company. It’s hard to know where to start but start I must. I have no choice.

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