Do not pass go, do not collect £200


The grief keeps on coming.

Though I write from my place of privilege, of safety, it still feels relentless.

I say goodbye goodbye to my mother. I have said goodbye to my mother. I am still saying goodbye. I have not said goodbye…

I grieve…

for how I used to teach, in person, with students in a room, reacting to their faces…

for how I used to do business with my colleagues, leaning in each other’s doorways and blowing off steam, or in the kitchen area, or at staff coffee, you never knew who you were going to see, it was such fun, sunlight through the windows…

I said to some friends: it is like playing Monoploy. You pick up a Chance card which tells you to go to Mayfair. (At which moment, you may win or lose the game.) ‘Do not pass Go. Do not collect £200.’

You have to go straight there. You cannot delay. You cannot take anything with you. There is no time to say goodbye.

You have to leave right that second.

There is no time for sitting with the trauma and the loss and the grief of the moment because what is needed right now is a solution for how we are going to [insert your own thing in here] and plan for [insert] and cope with [insert].

There is no time.

No time for grieving. No time for sitting with it, for preparing to bleed.


  1. My parents both died before All This began, for which I am grateful every day. How it must be for those who grieve in such a time is something that you are showing us… Your brush strokes on this are right and true. As you walk through the days we grieve for you. Peace to you. And hope. Always hope.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So sorry for your loss Anthony. I lost my mother in December and feel I have not had a chance to grieve her ‘properly’…whatever that is? Your post made me revisit your wonderful book of poetry ‘Afterlife’ and your sublime poem ‘Trying not to think of Seamus Heaney’. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Grief, they told me, was a mountain you have to climb, to get over it, but it’s more like a recurring, unexpected diversion on the road to where we’re headed.
    Stay safe, I’m thinking of you

    Liked by 3 people

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