A Life DeconstructedIn the days following her death he walked around the house gathering her things into small piles. Flat items were stacked – papers, cards; other belongings were stowed neatly into bags – unfinished knitting, toiletries. He cleared her side of the wardrobe, and seeing the clean space, emptied his side too. Despite his age, he managed to drag most of the furniture into the garden; and eventually it became easier to knock down the walls, rather than trying to heave the bulkier pieces out. He surprised himself at his own strength. Dismantling was not unlike constructing, it brought a certain purposeful satisfaction, and he arranged everything into tidy piles outside, until there was no 'outside'. A week later all that remained standing was a single front door frame, and he stood at its threshold, uncertain of where it might lead.