Photos - how I wish I had taken more. When you have your first child you take pictures of everything - recording each milestone and lots of pictures just capturing the delight and the beauty of this being you have created. And now how I wish I had captured every moment of our life together. When I was younger I could not understand why my mother wanted photos around her - I thought why do you want a picture when you have the real thing with you. But what I did not realise at the time and do now that I am older - how important it is to keep those moments in time forever. Initially I could only look at photos of Gary when he was young - now a year on I can look at more recent ones -but not without tears.
There are two pictures I have in our bedroom. One of us together about five years ago in Norway. My daughter took a photo of Gary pulling a funny face and I am laughing. It shows a real moment in time - a perfect joyous moment - and it makes me smile but it also makes me cry. It was the most perfect holiday and I am so pleased my daughter took those photos.
The other is of Gary grinning into the camera - he exudes happiness. It was only about six months before I lost him. He looked so happy and well and it highlights how cruel life can be. Here loving life - then gone. I am afraid that is the one that really brings on the tears. Life is so cruel to snacth our loved ones away - whether it is suddenly or over time.
There are of course lots of other photos - but not enough - I wish we had snapped away all the time. There are too many gaps - when life was hectic. Building careers, babies that never seemed to sleep …… Hangups about how we look - ‘please don’t take it’. But now I wish I had so many more to cherish. I love these photos but equally they break my heart.
Shoes - how can one pair of rather tatty trainers mean so much. I gave a lot of Gary’s clothes to a homeless charity - but kept some things - that odd feeling when we lose someone that they will be back! Knowing of course - but deep in our hearts not quite believing. But decorating the bedroom and fighting moths decided to look again at what I kept. Lots of crying going through pockets - lots of memories - most now stored safely in plastic vacuum bags. And then there were the trainers - definitely worse for wear - Bin them I heard him say. So they duly went in the black sack that was deposited in the wheelie bin last night. But woke early due to no curtains - and the first thought was those trainers …… How can they mean so much …. They have had it, no doubt about it - but guess who will be getting them out of the wheelie bin today and slipping them back in the wardrobe.
Things - so many things that make my breath catch in my throat and my eyes fill with tears…. The bohemian rhapsody wrist band I found in his pocket from a cinema trip with our daughter, the notebook that is full of music scribbles, the fancy dress photo that embarrassed the children, the copy of a presentation he made at a conference, the menus from a cruise, one black leather glove (he lost the other one), his business card, a band poster…… The little things that made up our life and stir a memory.
And lastly - on a positive note for I am a positive person. Signs - the signs that make me believe he is still around. The white feather floating down in front of the window, the robin that came so close when I was in the garden, the song Parisienne Walkways that came on as I walked into his music room (he used to play it on stage and always gave me that special look). So a year on I cope and like most people I have good days and emotional days. I don’t consider them bad days for these memories that bring on the tears - are just there. That oddly physical pain of loss remains…. It is not the same as in the early days but now at just over a year on I realise that that ache is his presence in my heart.
Sorry for yet another ramble - these things go round and round and writing about them seems to help.
Take care and stay safe.
Thank you Trisha, for your great post. The second I’ve read today. You make perfect sense and you write so beautifully and meaningfully. I too, laugh out loud whilst looking at photos, remembering the moment they were taken. I have kept certain shoes of David’s too - his favourites. Clothes hanging which I occasionally touch, stroke, run them over my hands, smell them, but alas his smell is no longer there three years on. His work clothes, which he called his ‘tatty togs’, hang on a hook in the garage. Two diary’s he had written as a boy. I read them like I would read a novel. I can recognise the man he had become from the boy that he was. My darling man will be in my heart and a part of me forever.
Thanks again Trisha xx
Hi Trisha and Kate
You never fail to make me feel so much better. I know there is a touch of sadness to our memories and the little things that bring back such thoughts of them but we also must hang onto our lovely men (and women) and rejoice that they was ours to love and care for and they loved us.
So many things that will bring back a memory and a lump to our throat and then the tears fall. I cried the other day because I found a little notebook that Brian wrote out the order when we ordered from the Chinese takeaway. Daft or what. When I touch his tools I think of him using them, I wear his caps and being a Country and Western singer he wore a Cowboy hat and I wear that on the allotment also.
I never stop looking for signs it is a part of my daily life now. I had a very peculiar one recently. I was sat eating my dinner on the settee and a fly flew around me a few times it then landed on my hand and seemed to be studying me. Amazingly I was able to stroke it’s little head. It stayed on my hand all the time I was eating and then it flew onto the curtain. Was this a sign. My Brian loved anything that could fly and said he wanted to come back with wings and look down at everyone. Was he taking a look at what I was eating for dinner.
Trisha you don’t ramble and it’s always enjoyable reading what you have to say. A sensible conversation with such loving thoughts.
hi Trisha and ladies.
Trisha your words and how you convey your feelings through them resonate with a few of us,those that have in essence lost their other half of our selves.Kate and Pat bringing your thoughts and feelings to the surface and showing how much your partners meant and still mean to you.i aint a man of many words,sorry i am a man of many words sadly thats it lots of words but not the beautiful words written on this thread.
id like to say ive got lots of pictures, well i have but only because ive had lots of copies of different sizes to be able put thm in each room,every room as at least one picture of my baby Jayne.
clothes articles of our loved ones.well thats were i cannot says ive only got a few,as my baby Jaynes passion next to reading was shopping.with the clothes shoes trainers boots hand bags purses candles,perfumes ,my bathroom,well i say my bath room ive got lots of Jaynes hand creams face creams beauty products well a few of them.i could open my own shop.not that i would,if i ever let anything go it will be given not sold.
good that you were to able donate some Garys clothes etc to charity.i recall years ago we had several bags of Jaynes clothes which she decided to let go.only a very small percentage but about 6 bags,they wanted them washing and ironing ,but thy were clean just had be folded up to fit in the big black bags.we ended up just putting then in those clothes bins in the car park of our local super market.seems like most charities dont appreciate items just being bagged up and left.
ive got a night gown ,slippers and sandals in a bag,a pink top Jayne slept in a shoal a few other things on a hanger next to the bed.as well as my little bedside table with a picture of Jayne a few little cards Jayne sent me from work in the very early 2000s a thank you card from Jaynes very nice girls at work after id sent them wine and chocolates each because they had done a few things for charity in Jaynes memory.
you 3 ladies above have said wonderful things above and in lots of posts over the months which show how much you loved and miss your soulmates.
ive just got in from mowing the front lawn,well i say lawn green things ,well its shorter now i just gave ut a crew cut and im knackered.
thank you Trisha for writing your beautiful heart felt thread and sharing your feelings and thoughts.
and thanks Kate and Pat for sharing your feelings about your wonderful men.
sorry for droning on and repeating myself,think ive the memory of a gold fish .
What a wonderful post.
Like you I wished I had taken more photos, less landscapes and more of those I love.
A time capsule of each wonderful precious moment to be smiled at, cried over and savoured.
Guess we don’t think of the future where maybe someone won’t be there, it’s as though everything will always be the same.
For some reason there are some photos I still cannot bear to look at.
Soon, I hope, I will be able to look at each and every one with a smile.
In the meantime I shall pull on his old t-shirt and carry on with my vegetable plot.
Gardening seems to be a healing thing, for me anyway.
Hugs to you all, stay strong.
Hi there, just want to say, gardening has proved to be a healing thing with me also. I feel low, so I go into the garden or to our allotments. Who would have thought that pruning a few bushes or getting mucky planting and digging could prove so therapeutic. Gardening now being acknowledged as a big help for depression. Must be something in it.
Take care of yourself
Such a lovely written post .
When I can look at my photo’s there’s not enough of Tim, loads of the kids, grandkids , pets and things but not enough of Tim , I feel we do take our partners for granted and assume they are always going to be there, my time was taken up with the kids growing up and the grandkids coming along and when we were planning time for ourselves it was all snatched away, I will treasure the photos I have got .
Tim’s clothes still hang in the wardrobe after seven months, his dressing gown on the bathroom door, shoes, all still there and always will be, I’d hate to feel he never existed if I let them go.
And things, his tools taking up garage room, bits of paper he’s written on, his first little baby shoes his mum kept, all the cards he sent me throughout the years and my text messages, even after 30 years together He text me I love you every day
Today is a bad day, but I am starting to have more strong days, I have never felt so much pain losing Tim, but like everyone else on here we have to be strong for our kids and life has to go on x
And you echo how he all feel . You have brought me to tears. I too keep odd scraps of paper with his handwriting on - phone number for people who I have no idea who they are . I have moved a lot of Gary’s things. But his coat still hangs on the coat rack - and of course his music room with all his guitars is exactly the same.
It is when you get something referring to the late Mr … that really really hurts.
And yes it is snatched away as so many of us now know. I hope you have a better day tomorrow.
Dear Patti and 12remenber
I never liked gardening when I was younger and when the children were young the lawn was just a bald thing with a goal and a swing. My garden is still not on a par with many but just the physical work involved and the nurturing of seeds and small plants - and of course the joyous colours of the flowers helps to soothe the soul.
Thank you for your kind words - I know from your posts how you keep your man in your heart . I think we all keep the precious things - and like your David’s tatty togs - I have sealed away a pair of Gary’s house ‘joggers’. The children took the mickey out of him saying they were his kung fu pants… hideous things but they are tucked away in the wardrobe - along with a coat that I too hug to me. Anyway - I had better get on before I get emotional .
We know too how you feel about Jayne and we each keep what we need and treasure. I gave Gary’s clothes direct to the charity. They were so grateful they took everything - pants socks … as they have roughly 70 men who turn up every week for a shower, a meal and a change of clothes. The wonderful volunteers wash and dry them in a bank of about 12 machines. I did not want to go into a charity shop and see anything for sale. But this way I knew Gary would approve. He was never one for aftershave or anything like that - or jewellery … but his ring I gave to our son - who wears it all the time and his st Christopher that I gave to him after a bad car accident he had at 20 … to our daughter. For they miss him as much as I do.
That is exactly it ‘the nurturing of seeds and plants’. This seems to be what the answer to helping people.
I was without a doubt the worlds worst gardener when a young mother. I doubt we could even get into our garden for the monster weeds. One day I decided to pull up these weeds and the interest was born. I am now so thankful to have this form of therapy.
Thank you for your kind words, we have all got to just try and get through with our memories . x
Thank you for another very emotional and thought provoking post.
Here we all are dotted all over the country feeling so alone in the depths of our own loss but united in so many similar ways. I find it reassuring but utterly heartbreaking.
The tatty clothes still kept, handwritten notes, souvenirs from holidays are such poignant reminders of what we have lost. They are the building blocks of our lives together. For the time being it’s what keeps our bodies and souls together.
Thinking of all of you
Thank you for your lovely response. And yes we are dotted all over - but so many of us… and before this happened to me I never thought about it. It always happened to someone else and I had no idea how deep and prolonged the grief would be. It is that terrible sense of loss. My thought this morning was of a favourite place of ours and I woke up almost imagining we were there - I think it was one of those half dreams. And then the awful realisation that we would never do that again hit me … As much as I do my best to stay positive - and I have a lot to be positive about - sometimes that wave of loss just sweeps in with the realisation that there is no longer a future that I will share with him and it all looks so empty in comparison. I suppose it is not as all consuming as it was initially but think these waves will just keep coming. It is all so bloody unfair isn’t it. But then I used to say to my children over some or other upset over school or similar - Life is not fair. But at the time had no idea how the big things were even more unfair.
Well it is back to the garden for me today - it helps to me to be as busy as possible and it is a beautiful day out there.
You are so right about the terrible sense of loss. I had no idea how grief can be so all consuming and seemingly endless. Like you I have been lost in the past recently remembering some of the truly perfect days we had together. the ones that really stand out and are ground into our memory.
At this time of year we were always in Devon. We had favourite places we loved and the realisation that I can never be there again with John is too much to bear. This perfect weather only highlights the agony of what has been lost.
The future does indeed seem empty in comparison. I find the present overwhelming and the past too painful to dwell on. It leaves me in no man’s land, stumbling around not knowing which direction to take.
Like so many of us
You have said everything I have been feeling over the last few days . I feel so empty and am missing my Husbsnd so much . It is 11 Months since I lost him and the memories of the last month of his life and how he suffered with a very aggressive cancer are haunting me at the moment . I look at photos of him which I too have in every room and tears come so easy . I thought I was learning how to cope but then you get a big wave of grief and sense of loss . I am usually such a strong person but could cry at the drop of a hat at the moment .
Big hugs to everyone xx
That big wave of grief threatens to overwhelm me on a daily basis as I know it does many others on this site.
Living in the past is dominating my thoughts and accepting I have to fashion a life without my husband is beyond me. He saw me through sad as well as many many more happy times and was pivotal to my life. Without him I have no idea how to survive.
We were on the threshold of having more time to spend with each other - I loved his company and will forever be yearning for what might have been.
Like all of us who have lost our soulmate.
Thinking of you
Hi Gilly, I was going thru some of the posts on this site - something you mentioned struck me I lost my wife six months ago - and I have been trying to get back to normal (which I now believe cannot happen for me). Yes, I go thru moments and times when I think I am normalizing - then a memory, or something familiar gets my attention, then all of a sudden I just want to run and cry my tears out. I think most people think men are always brave and not too emotional. But let me tell you, that’s all poppycock. Believe me I try to be brave and uncaring - but I have very fond memories of my wife - I started to dispose of some of her personal belongs , but didn’t get far - She once lived here with me, and I have a hard time forgetting about her. I also have had three brief dreams about her. She was so carefree, laughing and joking around and just made my life fun! For me, as I think for you too, all it takes is a moment in time, when we recall the memory of our loved ones. I work with my wife’s plants and flowers now, trying to learn how to keep them alive and thriving - so far it seems to be working. I get moments when I look at her photo and recall what we were doing at the time. I get emotional, as I believe she touched every part of my heart. I am also in a world where I must go it alone and learn things I thought I would never have to do in my life. It’s changed me! It is Spring here in the states, and we would plan outdoor activities, a boat ride, going out to see the parks and the city. She thoroughly enjoyed these things, and always looked forward to doing them again and again. Oh how I miss her. I didn’t mean to go this long, but I understand your feelings and your grief, as I have them too. My best wishes and compassion for you. Take care!
Yep so true we had just one year of retirement when he died at 66 and I was 64 . So many plans not going to be fulfilled now .