When I got married in 2008, I asked my best man and my ushers to wear a single, billowing white ‘avalanche’ rose in their lapels.
It was the flower of the wedding; the only thing more beautiful was the bride.
Until this week, I’d not worn a white rose since, but on Monday, I was one of hundreds of members of parliament wearing one in memory of the murdered MP Jo Cox.
For an emotive hour, parliament was recalled to pay tribute to a woman who was impatient with the status quo, determined to make people care and confident that our world could be better.
What brought tears to my eyes again and again in that hour, however, was not the talk of all that Jo achieved in her short year in parliament. It was the palpable sense that she was as committed to her family as she was to her constituents, and that both benefited from that ferocious passion.
Much has changed for me since 2008 – Rachel is now burstingly pregnant with our first child – but it was all too real that, for Jo’s two children, far more has changed.
She shared an office with Stephen Kinnock MP, who called her children ‘bathed in love’, and observed that the tolerant, inclusive world that Jo wanted is the one that all MPs should want for our country.
I agree with him, across those usually impermeable party lines, and it’s why I’m so grateful to everyone who have written to me offering their condolences and thanking me for the work that MPs do.
Jo Cox will inspire me to do that all the more, and to keep our bawdy politics in sharp perspective.
Matt Warman is MP for Boston and Skegness