Hi, my name is Alston and I joined the forum a few days ago, after being pointed towards it by a very good friend.
I’m not very good at putting my emotions into words, never have been, so please bear with me.
My wife Nicki passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on 15th July, which was also my 64th birthday.
I met Nicki in 1989 at work and we were together for 31 years, married for 24. Nicki wasn’t your typical individual. She was born with a disability called talipes, and in the first 15 years or so of her life she had many operations on her legs and feet. Bones were taken from her lower legs to rebuild her feet and the bones in her lower legs were replaced by metal plates. The operations her specialist carried out on her were quite revolutionary in the day. She spent much of her early life in and out of hospitals, and walked with the aid of boots and calipers and/or crutches. Despite her trials, or more likely because of them, she grew up to be an incredibly determined individual - she was more than capable of giving the medical profession a hard time - but she was also an incredibly caring, loving and loyal person too. Her legs and feet caused her huge amount of pain and she could only travel longer distances using her wheelchair.
She was also a very talented and creative lady too. She was heavily into craft work such as decoupage and cross-stitching and had only just bought a new sewing machine about 4 months ago. She had 4 or 5 cross-stitch projects on the go, at least one of which she said she was making specifically for me.
On the day that she passed away, I thought (and still do) that my life had ended. She was not an early riser because of her health problems, and I had fallen asleep late morning in my armchair in the living room. I awoke at 2pm to find she still wasn’t up, and when I found her in bed I was frantic. The image is imprinted in my brain for eternity and I cannot ever forget it. The ambulance workers tried their best to help her but I was already convinced that she was gone.
As I write this at home on a lonely Saturday night my heart is aching and the tears are flowing and I miss her so much it physically hurts. She was my soul mate. I stopped work in 2009 because her health problems were worsening, and I spent most of every day for last 11 years in her company. She was often asleep on the couch if she was having a bad day, and I would just keep an eye on her whilst watching TV or working on my laptop. The sense of loss I feel now that she has passed is indescribable. Everywhere I look, I see her things…her cross-stitch projects, the bookcase full of her recipe books, her wheelchair, her clothes, her cigarettes, her toothbrush, her boots and calipers, her stitching and sewing books. I feel paralyzed, I am unable to move any of her things. I want everything to stay just the way it was on the day she passed, almost like a memorial to her, silly I know, but I WANT those reminders of HER even if they do cause me pain. I cannot bear to watch TV and the programmes we used to watch together, I have no interest in listening to news when the most important thing in my life has gone.
I have almost no appetite, it takes me an hour to get to sleep at night and I usually waken a couple of times during the night. I talk to her during the day, hoping that she is around and able to see and hear me. I question why she had to be taken from me, what did we do that was so wrong, she was just such a magnificent human being. I have fleeting moments when I think maybe I will just make it though all this, but the majority of the time I think the opposite and wonder where on earth I will get the strength to make it. I was lucky enough to have had the help of two exceptionally good friends in the immediate aftermath, and without them I don’t know how I would have survived - they were absolute godsends, and still are. I spend my days sitting in our conservatory because it is warm and bright, reading some of my wife’s books or seeking solace in my laptop - emails, Facebook, anything that is a sign of communication from other people. I have a radio playing in the kitchen and one in the dining room, simply because I need to hear something in the backgroud to distract my brain.
But more than anything, it’s the haunting lonliness, missing making her coffee in the morning, moaning about her cigarette smoke in the dining room, watching her sleep on the couch, all of her little highlighter pens on her table, not being able to cuddle her and tell her I love her. I feel as though the life has been sucked out of me and left me a shell of myself, because my entire day revolved around Nicki. Now I’m just lost.
I have read some of the other post from members and I am amazed at how eloquent and insightful some of the comments are. I only wish I could express myself equally well. I am a Cancerian, we keep our feelings very close to ourselves, we have a hard defensive shell but inside we are just a boiling mass of emotions.
I apologise for the length of this post, but I just felt an incredible need to try to express myself.