At 07: 08 on February 21, 2012, in an email on Saturday, Jeremy Howe, former head of drama on Radio 3, described him 34-year-
The wife of the old lecturer was murdered in a meaningless attack.
Here, in the second part of the most exciting series you will read this year, he recalls how he responded to the consequences of her death, telling his daughters, mother is dead, buried the love of his life. . .
It's not easy to tell two little girls aged four and six that their mother was murdered.
But I can't continue to live in a strangebelieve world —
So when I came back from identifying my wife's body, I was ready to tell Jessica and Lucy what happened.
But before I started telling them, the biggest Jessica started to chatter about all the good things she has done since arriving at my sister's home in Norfolk.
"We had the best day ever! ’ she said.
I put my arms around the girls, but I just couldn't tell the terrible news.
"I will tell them tomorrow," I said to myself.
But alas, it's too early tomorrow.
At breakfast, Jessica asked, "Dad, did you talk to mom last night?
A painful pause.
I felt like I was kicked into my stomach.
Finally, I took the courage to say, "she sent a lot of love.
My mother and sister decided on a plan.
After breakfast, I will take the girls to the garden and tell them right away.
My mother will come out afterwards to help clean up the mess.
Telling the girls is painful and it's hard for me to recall what's going on next.
I remember they were having breakfast.
I remember saying that I wanted to tell them something and let them walk into the garden.
"Is it about holidays? Asked Jessica.
Are we going to the seaside today?
I remember exactly where we were standing: next to the high cypress hedge.
I remember crouching down and putting my arms around their shoulders, but I don't remember telling Jessica and Lucy that their mom is dead.
My mom said she could hear my low voice, then silence, then a terrible cry from Jessica.
My sister later said crying was like the end of Jessica's childhood.
Jessica said she remembered thinking: "I want to know how long it will take for the trees in the hedge to grow high enough to reach the mummy in heaven.
The only thing I remember was that I would take care of them like my mom took care of them.
"But you can't cook, Dad . "‘Yes, he can.
"He made us pizza on Saturday . "
But it came from the package.
Jessica said in tears, "he made us fish fingers last week . "
Then, she made a list of other things that dad would do.
This is not an impressive list.
I don't have a clue because Lucy has already started to say it,
Proficient in the mother Department.
Our "holiday" with my sister in Norfolk was the weirdest couple of weeks.
Jessica or Lucy would often hug me and rush to play. We grown-
Ups is sitting nearby and almost silent as if we were waiting for something to happen.
The paper is the first thing to absorb.
You never really expected to be a news, but my wife Liqi was the headline.
On the day she arrived at the Summer School of Open University in New York to give a speech, she sat innocently at her desk and was cut by a student.
In the paper, people I have never heard of from the streets of Oxford say something good to us, and open the university --
She worked for it for four years.
Obviously, I don't know who Liz is.
My boss was quoted as saying that my career was shining in front of me.
Note that "ha" is not "ha ".
I'm one of those up on Friday.
Mobile executives in their thirties are hopeful for the future;
I had to call the boss by Monday to explain that I wasn't sure I would be back.
Time is still.
Family is coming. Family is gone.
We are all paralyzed because we don't know how to react.
Like the holiday scene Jean wrote. Paul Sartre.
We were all sitting at the table in my sister's garden, drinking endless tea and talking about everything but Liz's death --
Because no one knows what to say.
When only her name was mentioned, Liz's father burst into tears, and there was a collective and stiff upper layer --
In the meantime, I find that you won't be upset if you move on.
So the girls and I have been moving.
Picnic lunch on the beach, walk along the promenade, a fun market and chocolate flakes ice cream (
"Really, Dad? Wow! ’).
The phone rang that evening.
It was from detective superintendent.
He wants her to be buried instead of cremated in case her body is dug up.
I was too dazed and didn't do much. Liz's parents arranged everything and I was very happy.
Then there was another problem: Lizhi's mother, Marca, felt that the funeral was too frustrating for the two little girls.
However, my own intuition is that Lucy and Jessica are inseparable from me and, of course, they should accompany me.
I was overwhelmed at the thought of being separated from them, even for a minute.
Yes, it will be sad for them, but aren't they?
They will definitely come.
I seek advice.
Or rather, my sister managed to get me to make an appointment with the head of the Norwich Department of Child Psychiatry (
Waiting time of about six months)that morning.
When I was sitting in the waiting room, I felt like a liar.
I have never seen a psychiatrist before.
Of course, all I have to do is ask the doctor, "Do I take the children to their mother's funeral ? "?
Then she answered yes or no and I went home.
I could have called.
My sister and I have been together for more than an hour.
Although she knows my story
She read the newspaper)
She wanted me to say it in my own words.
As we sat in her cool dark room, she spoke calmly and monotonous. Time stopped.
We barely talked about the funeral.
She never asked me directly.
But when I left I wanted to hug her and I started to understand what I thought.
I seem to have discovered the first rule of Coping: Trust your intuition.
Don't let your heart control your head; go lower down. Trust your gut.
Her parents lived in Bath just before Liz's funeral, and I had to go back to Oxford to pick up our kitten, which I had put in a boomph.
It's been a few times since Lizi was killed alone.
Every corner of the familiar road, every turn, every Signpost seems to trigger the memory.
I began to cry and called out her name.
I feel the pain of unspeakable: helpless, desperate, crying.
I drove too fast, so I realized I was in danger of losing control. Did I care?
Of course I care!
I grabbed a handle and pulled into a bed.
I sat there, Bow my waist and hit my head on the steering wheel.
I can't, I can't stand it.
Then I took off my glasses because the fog on them was so thick that I couldn't see it, I walked down the 100 yard Road and took a deep breath until I calmed down and continued to drive.
The cat was not happy to see me at all, screaming all the way as if I were the one who kidnapped her.
I was embarrassed to not perform well in front of her, so I drove back carefully and quietly.
Before the funeral, I arranged to go to the church with the children to see the coffin because I didn't want them to be shocked when they arrived at the service location.
In this case, we will all have a completely private moment to say goodbye to mom.
Jessica and Lucy each decorated a plate with shells and we will put them on the coffin with a bunch of garden flowers.
So we climbed into the empty church with plates and places.
I was sad to see the coffin lying on the trestle at the head of the temple --stopping.
But the girls were both excited and curious and wanted to be picked up and checked.
"I don't know if Mom's middle name is Mary, just like my middle name," Jessica looked up and stared at the brass that read "Elizabeth Mary Howe 1958-1992"
I feel uncomfortable.
Liz has never been named in the middle.
Why should I let someone else organize things and screw things up?
At the same time, it changed the mood for the girls.
"Maybe it's not mom.
"Maybe she's not really dead," said Lucy.
Jessica wants me to open the coffin and confirm it.
When I said I didn't have a screwdriver, she told me I could buy one.
But I know I can't risk getting them to see the mother's injury, so I gently told them that Marca was just confused about her name.
Indeed, this is the case. Brusque and no-
It makes no sense that Maka is scarred by grief and somehow convinces himself that Lizzie has a middle name.
I don't think she's fully recovered either: she didn't call Jessica "Lisa" until the day Marca died ".
It rained at my wife's funeral.
I don't know what I'm looking forward to, but when we get in, Jessica and Lucy both hold on to one of my hands, and hundreds of faces turn around and look at it in an absolutely crowded church
I am inspired in the ocean of love.
"Dad, are we sitting in front of us because we're special?
She made me feel like it was a pleasure, like going to the theater with me.
When I brought the girls into the former Pew, I noticed that "mary" had been roughly cut off from the brass plaque on the coffin, the girls beautiful little plates have been fixed on the lid to make it look a bit like a table for dinner.
"Dad, why are everyone watching us?
Said Lucy loudly.
It broke the ice.
Some people laughed and some began to cry.
Later, Jessica and Lucy and I lined up behind the coffin first.
Then, as at the wedding, we shook hands with the whole congregation.
It was a very strange meeting and greeting, but it felt right.
I think in my life, I have never been embraced by so many people, but every hug restores a little bit of love that I took away from me.
When the coffin was put into the grave, Jessica threw her flowers in.
Then Lucy tried to jump in.
"I want my mother," she lamented . "
"I want to be with my mom.
She was taken away by my mother, sobbing.
The day after the funeral, I took the girls to Walt Disney's movie Peter Pan.
Along the way, I took Jessica's hand and she and Lucy stuffed their faces with popcorn.
Lucy climbed my knee after the popcorn was eaten.
My impression of Lucy's toddler was that she was sitting on her mother's lap.
That's what she did.
So now she did it to me.
As Peter Pan sat on Wendy's lap and asked her to be his mother, tears ran down my face.
I forgot how much this movie worships the shrine of the mother.
How inappropriate it is for two girls who have just buried their mother.
"Lucy, what are you thinking?
I asked her if she was in a state of trauma and if she needed to leave the cinema.
"I was wondering what a beautiful dress Wendy was wearing.
Soon, it's time to return to Oxford to start our new life, where all the rules of the game have changed forever.
But I am sure that Liz's presence will linger, and the prospect of this terrible return has become more moderate.
So when the girls change clothes for a friend's birthday party, I go to her.
I looked everywhere, but there was nothing.
She completely disappeared.
Only silence and emptiness.
There was no lingering smell of her in the bathrobe hanging by the shower, we had no marks on our bed, no notes or reminders left on her desk.
It's just that a lot of her daily necessities don't have their use because she's not using them there --
Pajamas under the pillow, toothbrush in the cup next to the sink, cleanser on the bed, diaphragm (
The curse of our sex life)
She was neatly placed in the bedside table, listing what to do back from New York.
As anxiety intensified, I took out the drawer, opened the jewelry box, smelled her clothes and sorted out her files.
Just then Lucy interrupted my thoughts: "Dad, Jessica wants to know where you put Katie's gift.
Then Jessica shouted on the stairs, "Dad!
I can't find my hair brush.
We have to go to the party or we will be late!
In the eyes of the girls, I suddenly realized that I am now their mother and their father.
Gifts, hair brushes, and parties are all things Mummy does.
As a father, I think I am the Minister of entertainment.
"Let's go to the fair! ’ —
When Lizzie was working as a minister
Eat the last carrot stick!
It's time to sleep, girls!
Jessica, go clean those dirty hands!
In getting a new mother, I was wondering if they lost their father because I was no longer good at having fun.
As a mother, I know
From when Leeds was gone.
I'm too incompetent.
After finding the gift and the hair brush, Jessica asked me if I remembered the door key and I was about to close the front door. I hadn’t. (
For the next two years everyone on our street has a key to gate 10 in case I forget. )
We set off and I felt like I was walking naked on the street with hundreds of eyes.
We arrived at the door of the church hall where a party was being held and I had the courage to go in.
What happens next is surreal.
All the moms and kids were quiet as if the ghosts had entered the room.
Jessica and I were standing there and stuck there.
The birthday girl Katie walked up to Jessica to hug her and finally broke the silence.
Then she hugged Lucy and smiled at me.
"I'm glad you came," her mother whispered . "
After a few words of sympathy, she was silent again.
Then she asked, "Don't you know any party games?
It's just that Dave was going to do that, but he had to go to work.
A smart dad, I think.
I organized the party game for the next hour.
It was mostly girls running around, screaming and throwing a Music chair.
My new life seems to have really started.
Jeremy Howe, extracted from mom and dad, will be published in March 1 by Pan Macmillan at £ 7. 99.
Order a copy for 699 (including P&P)
Call 0843 382 0000.