I thought it was my dear husband's ageing, deterioration and inevitable death I was grieving for these recent months. And that's true enough.
I just noticed that it's also my own ageing, deterioration and inevitable death that is causing me grief.
It is myself I mourn for.
And no, my name is not Margaret. But I expect many readers will recognise the quotation:
Spring and Fall
By Gerard Manly Hopkins
To a young child
Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.