It has been 15 months since I lost Gary - literally the other half of me. When you truly love your partner, over time you grow into each other like a vine whose tendrils reach out and the frame it grows on is the support that it develops around. Losing your partner means this support has been taken away - and so the plant shrivels and parts of it dies off too. The time you grow together is not material - it is the quality of the relationship not always the time it takes to burgeon. But the grief that is felt when you lose your partner is like no other grief, the part of you that dies when your partner dies does not grow back. I have lost both parents - and whilst I mourned my parents and miss them to this day, the complete devastation I felt when I lost my husband is just not comparable. For when you lose your partner you also lose your future, your dreams and your plans. I cannot imagine what it is like to lose a child as I have never experienced that pain so I do not ever comment. But I know as a mother you expect your children to outlive you as you expect yourself to outlive your parents. But life does not prepare you for losing your partner, it is something we do not consider until it happens to us.
The saying take a day at a time is the best advice I was given - at the start it was the hours - taking an hour at a time. Now I can manage a week. I try not to look further ahead than that though as the future without him is a dark place - so I don’t go there - I shut that drawer as quickly as I can. In the wee small hours it is harder to do that - but I still try. Many a night I have the shopping channel on the television which serves as just enough of a distraction to move my mind away from the empty space that is now the other side of the bed. It does not stop me reaching out my hand as if to stroke his back like I used to remembering the soft skin and how cool and it always was and how at times the snoring drove me to distraction!! I know that no one will ever love me like he loved me - just as I know I will never love anyone like that again.
I know I was lucky to have his love and support for 40 years. I consider ours a truly magical love story- but then I am sure most of those grieving their partners here also feel that. From the first moment we realised that we were the missing parts of each other and nothing else mattered. I look back at love letters and photos and whilst the raw grief has subsided - I still feel that part of me has been hollowed out. But our lives together from the early romantic, passionate days , through the days of parenthood and togetherness- to the comfort of everyday life and plans for retirement - all of it -every day was filled with love and laughter. Arguments were rare - laughter was not. He was as romantic as ever -from the red roses and chocolate flakes left on my desk at work to the flowers he still nipped out to buy until the week I lost him. He saw me in a different light - I was his angel. He was my maestro - I just wish I could find the tapes with the love songs he wrote me. He was the romantic one though - how I wish now I had been too (I was the practical one!). But he loved me as I was and how I am.
I still cry for him - the memories that hit you like a blow - the things we do that resonate when we do them alone. Just making a coffee in a certain cup, hanging washing out and remembering the day when his shirts hung on the line and the clean fresh smell of them in a cuddle, the odd little everyday things that in an instant can reduce us to tears. And of course the laughter that is missing from my life. Yes I still laugh - but not the way he used to make me laugh. And I am proud to say that summed up my life with him - laughter- my wonderful funny husband with a knack of finding the funny in everything and making everyone laugh - not just me.
He was a special person. And he left me with two special children - my son who in so many ways is so much like him and and my beautiful daughter - his princess- who takes after him in so many other ways. They are what keep me positive and provide the smiles now. That and dear friends who have been there for me.
Someone else on this forum has said they feel like they are waiting. I do too. In the early days I was expecting to find him in another room, or that he would be coming home. I still feel like I am waiting - because even the days that are not so hard and are good days - at the end of them I think OK day done what now! Where is he? Instead of ending the day with a warm glow - the end of day is like an anticlimax.
My grief will never go - but it is changing - I am growing round it - not sure I will ever accept it - or think it is fair. But just the numbers of new people on this forum shows this misery and loss is unrelenting. The tide of grief and tears is sometimes overwhelming. I do not post so often now - but I still read and draw comfort that I am not alone and that those of us who had this wonderful unconditional love find solace from others on the forum.
I am an optimistic positive person - I was before, and I am now. I keep busy - I work, I have great colleagues, I have a lovely home that we built together - with his love is in every room. I have two wonderful children and amazing friends. I am still waiting for him of course - but I can do this - (I tell him that all the time as I know he worries about me) I pray of course that he is close and knows all this. If I believe in that I really can do this!
Apologies as ever for my long ramble.
Take care and take comfort where and however you can. xx