What it's like to grieve for a parent in lockdown

She was holding a tie-dye throw I’d made for her, swirled with blue, her favourite colour. Our new world order made the very simple, vital act of hugging my mum – us both in deep grief – impossible. The government had only just enforced lockdown, so I’d given him a massive hug and kiss a few days before he fell ill. My big, strong, politically-fierce Ghanaian dad, who’s always been such a force of nature, a grafter and provider. I have a vivid memory from when I was a child of him lifting a grand piano while hewas eating a sausage sandwich. In the days he was ill, mum had to call in temporary carers to help her wash him. The carers were just about to start washing him, talking him through the process, when Mum said she looked down and he’d just gone. She’s a humanist, practical and spiritual – and she suddenly realised her husband wasn't there any more. A few nights after Dad died, we all lit a fire in our gardens,played all his favourite songs. My two young sons, Jo and Elvy, are socloseto my parents. A neighbour picked some flowers from her garden, put them in a jar and left them on my doorstep, with a post-it note saying she was thinking of me – it was so touching. I don’t think grand gestures are needed during grief, as it puts pressure on the person grieving to be grateful. There’s a hollow tree in the woods behind my house, I’ve taken to screaming in it – huge guttural moans at this savage situation. Gallery: Coronavirus turns the world into a ghost town (The Atlantic) My mum is fiercely private so I don’t know what it was like for her, the carers left and she was with his body until it was collected. She’s got an autoimmune disease and asthma, so she’s deemed high risk.But every day, I am going to see her through that window. She’ll open the door, and we’ll have a couple of minutes together,thenshe’ll disappear back inside. They’ve always had this huge house full of people – it wasn’t just my brothers and sisters, they also fostered, took in children who had nowhere else to go. My dad’s body has now finally been released after weeks – there was a worrying time when we thought that might not happen due to a backlog. We’ve found a place where he can be cremated and we will get the ashes back, which is important to us. As soon as we are able to move, we will take his ashes back to Ghana, to his brothers and sisters. It was my beautiful daddy who started the party traditionin our family. One Friday, when I was 12, I got home and there he was, dressed in a pair of denim shorts and a 1970s adidas zip up top, drilling holes in my bedroom floor and pokingspeakerwires through. Maybe I will throw a street party, on this road where we’ve spent our lives – where I was born, where my dad died. And I want to hold every single human being that I love close.