In the Post Office this morning the lady at the front of the queue stepped aside to allow the chap in front of me to proceed to the counter.
"My husband died suddenly from an aneurysm, I'm going to be here awhile sorting this out" she explained to him.
"I'm sorry for your loss, madam" I said when it was my turn. "I'm in no particular hurry and your business is of more import than mine."
The lady wouldn't hear of it and insisted I collect my parcel whilst she waited. It struck me how phlegmatic she was. She wasn't that much older than me and her husband's death at such a young age must've been entirely unexpected.
The Post Office would be only one of numerous appointments she had with dozens of organisations. Presenting a death certificate, dealing with bureaucracy, ordering her late husband's affairs on behalf of her family.
Watching this lady patiently forego her grieving was awe inspiring, a reminder of how strong women are.
I'm gutted I couldn't convince her not to give me her place in the queue: I would have stood in line all day to afford her the courtesy and respect she is due.
-SRA. Auckland, 20/ii 2018.