It is nine weeks tomorrow that I lost Gary. I know a lot of people do not like that word - but the other words people use are still too harsh for me. By using the word lost - I think it helps me believe I will find him again one day, so it works in my case. I find myself pretending that he is in the sitting room when I am in the kitchen, and when I go to the sitting room he is then in his music room. When I go to bed I tell myself he is staying downstairs for some late night tv. All these things were once true of course - but now it is the pretence of it that keeps me going.
Some days I cope reasonably well. If I am chatting with people, either face to face or on the phone or if I have a lot of things on my list for the day and keep myself too busy to think. But in those quiet moments the thought that is so painful is that this is my new forever. I don’t want this forever though - I want the one where we were together. I want the one where he was always there, teasing me, joking with the children, playing music, talking to me, loving me and just being him. I have one photo of him taken just a few months ago of him looking straight at the camera and that is the one that really makes me cry. I can look at old photos of when we were young but the recent ones just seem to be so painful it is like a cut. The word heartbroken is so apt - the pain centres around the heart in the centre of the chest and it really feels like something inside has broken.
I know I need to make a new future without him, but how I have no idea. I look at others, in the street, in the shops - anywhere really and I know that none of us have any real idea of what is going in these people’s lives. Are they happy? Are they grieving? How are they coping if they too have lost someone? It is not until you suffer the grief of losing someone you love that you have any comprehension. It does also seem to still be the last taboo subject that people avoid. We do not really address grief in society. We now talk a lot about mental health and it is on the agenda in work, schools, tv, where for years it was avoided. Children are being taught in school about almost everything, but the subject of death and grieving is still not addressed. Realistically in every partnership there will always be one that is left as very few die together - but when it does happen we have had no guidance on how to deal with it, nor have others had guidance on how to deal with us. Surely this is something that should be added to the learning agenda. I know until I suffered this all encompassing grief I would not have been able to imagine how to deal with people like me - nor any guidance on how we face it. I have always been an ostrich - head in the sand - and the worst will not happen. Now it has happened I do not know how to really deal with it and life going forward. I love my children but I do not want to rely on them - I want them to see me when they want to see me rather than through duty. I experienced the duty guilt with my own mother for a number of years - it made for difficult times with me digging my heels in over things - behaving like a stroppy teenager. I love them and I know they love me - but they need to live their own lives and sadly I need to live mine alone now. I miss him dreadfully and I know I will continue to do so. We were, and are, part of each other and only those that have lost the other half of them understand this bewilderment, this feeling of what next? I do not want to, nor will I ever stop missing him or loving him, but somehow and I don’t yet know how, I need to learn to live a life in which I can find happiness and contentment. I will make myself get there. I was a strong person before this and I hope I will be strong again one day - I just don’t know when or, more the point, how? Maybe if I can give back to others that is the way forward - after all it is always better to give than receive.
Apologies for the extremely long ramble - but I am finding today a difficult day and it really helps to let it all out here. So thank you for ‘listening’. I know you all face daily the struggle of grief and coping and I hope what I have written does not upset anyone more than they are already upset.
Take care all xx