Boxes are for storage. For putting things away. A temporary solution to an undecided idea, something you don’t quite know what to do with or where to put. So you put the thing in a box and you leave it. Think about it later.
For months now (sure, I’m still counting in weeks, it’s Week 31) boxes have become part of our lives and our home.
First, there’s the flowery boxes that Cagney (our FLO) returned their valuables and death documents in. Their glasses, purses, their passports, with the corners cut off to show they’re not valid anymore. I reckon the boxes are from Paperchase and not Police standard issue. I should ask Cagney.
Then there’s newly purchased black boxes (from John Lewis, where else) for all the letters and cards of condolence we received. Some still unread. And the business cards and notes from journalists who’d shoved them through the door or rang the doorbell to ask if we’d be interviewed. A pompom and a First rosette from their coffin decorations.
Then the unpacked, flat-packed boxes we’d bought to sort the house out before they came home. Still flat-packed and in cellophane wrapping, now used as a barrier on the attic stairs, to stop the dogs getting into Beth’s room.
Then there’s the dark green Heath and Sons standard issue boxes that sit on the mantlepiece memorial in the living room. We have all the necessary paperwork to take their ashes anywhere in the world. But they sit on the mantlepiece, in their boxes. Waiting.