Today I began a journal

I’m sorry if I’m over sharing. Please feel free to share your own journey.

Thursday 15/12/22

Having come back to the flat that we made our home, I’ve sat down to try put my thoughts down into some sort of structure that maybe in the weeks, months and years to follow will take me back to where I was at this stage of this all-consuming grief process.

Being back in the flat is probably a reasonable starting point. It has nearly been four weeks since we so tragically lost Dawn and I’ve only spent a handful of those nights at the flat. I’ve not been able to sit on the couch and watch tv like we did from our own negotiated spots on the couch – laughing together, talking s*it, moaning about that despite paying as much for Sky there is often nothing to watch – the usual sh**e that couples do essentially.

Instead, I’m surrounded by memories of all of those great times. The pictures, mementos, often even the furniture can have me in floods of tears, Dawn’s clothes pop up in the washing from time-to-time, I always make sure to wash them and leave them folded in the spare room from where she worked.

The comfort of staying at her parent’s place has been huge for me – even if the room is quiet, I’m aware they are there and experiencing the same loss and pain. This same support has been offered from friends, Dawn’s family and her friends too – everyone has went over and above.

The number of strangers, or people I hadn’t known that have also asked how they can support has been overwhelming too. It has shown good people really do emerge in the darkest of times.

For the past two evenings, I’ve really struggled to sleep – no matter how hard I try, it’s near impossible to get any more than half an hour here and there. Then there was this morning, when I had the most vivid dream, I could have sworn Dawn was there – I was a huge mix of angry and upset when I woke up.

This is torture for so many and the time of year while it makes little difference to any of us right now – it will be exceptionally difficult to get through the ‘festivities’.

This would have been just out third Christmas and we were so looking forward to it, to having the dog and spoiling him rotten with treats and treating him to Ann’s Christmas dinner, it honestly was all gearing up to be our dream Christmas and the best we’d had yet.

Instead, we’ll go visit Dawn, light candles in her memory and share stories of her antics over Christmases gone by.

I’ve looked back on Christmas, birthday, anniversary and valentines cards or even the odd time where we’d just send each other a wee reminder of how much we were in love. The surprises and the joy of those times will live with me forever and I’ll treasure each and every adventure we had together.

There will be times I even manage to smile, thinking of her love, her laugh, her determination to enjoy every moment to the fullest.

The world feels very empty just now, but as the days pass – I realise my life was empty until I met you Dawn – and the fact I got to meet my person, my soulmate and the greatest human I’ve ever met will always make my heart full and eventually spur me on through whatever life has in store for me in the future.

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Your love for Dawn shines through with each word you write. You were such a handsome couple and Dawn went at such a tragically young age.
Take care of yourself, and yes, you were so lucky to find such love. Thank you so much for sharing that, it’s beautiful xx

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That’s so lovely of you, thank you.

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Friday 16/12/22

Four weeks without Dawn. The most horrific four weeks of my life, the pain gets sharper every day and the reality of how much my life has gone from such happiness to sheer devastation has drawn into clear focus.

I managed to sleep last night, and although my watch is telling me there was six different points where I woke up during that time, it was the best night I’ve had in ages.

I had quite an open and frank conversation with a good mate on the way over to Dawn’s parents last night about taking the medication the doctor had prescribed me for ‘when I required them’.

He made such a valid point about the fact I’d been driving on almost zero sleep and was putting myself and many others at risk, don’t get me wrong, I felt shite hearing it – but I knew he was so right.

Last night was also the first evening where Nino (our regular Borrow My Doggy visitor) stayed over night since Dawn’s passing, it’s really harrowing to consider, though he was lying by her side when I found her four weeks ago to this very day. At stages he would sit with his chin on the chair that Dawn’s great friend Steph gave her some years back and would gaze up at the blanket that she often lay on the couch with, it really broke my heart - I wish I could get an answer from him when I ask if he’s ok.

The dog is still going to be with me at Christmas and I’ll take a great deal of comfort in that, I’m certain that’s what Dawn would have wanted for her two favourite boys at Christmas time.

The rest of the day has been spent ‘helping’ playing in a role as Dawn’s folks prepare for new flooring to be laid in their living room. It has been like something out of the Chuckle Brothers at times, though I think by the time the skilled tradesman arrives tomorrow the place will be just about ready.

I’ve had a few discussions today around returning to work and that is now looking like it’ll be the start of January on a ‘phased return’ basis. I’ve also got a football game to cover tomorrow for the first time in five weeks.

As I type, I’m hoping that the poor weather means it’s cancelled, though when visiting Dawn earlier I explained I was going to try go back and do my best for her, I could almost hear her in my ear saying she believed in me – she always did!

I’ll not be doing much else this weekend that I know of, but intend to at least on one occasion across the two days, sit down to put my thoughts down on record.

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Love Nino. He’s a gorgeous boy xx

Great nature, pretty sure I was Dawn’s second favourite boy :sweat_smile:

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Absolutely. I was Ian’s 3rd favourite girl after our two beautiful cats! It’s only right xx

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How are you tonight Janey?

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Ok thank you.
Been out with some friends I used to work with and had a lovely night.
I’m much further on in my journey than you. It’s two years in February since I lost my darling husband of 40 years.
It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with.
I feel for you being such a short time into this “life” It must have been such a dreadful shock for you to lose Dawn like you did.
Ian died six months after we found out he had kidney cancer. He had no chance, looking back I don’t know how I got through it, but we have to, and we do, whether we want to or not.
I’m thankful for the love we shared and the life we had.
Ian was 65, but that is still young to me…he was still the person I married…Your beautiful Dawn was so very young and your life together sounds perfect. You must miss her so much. My heart truly goes out to you xx

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I’m glad to hear it was a nice night.

Horrible to lose anyone and I truly admire that you have battled through two years and still take the time to support people on this forum too - I take a lot of inspiration from your courage.

As I sit here tonight, I truly believe that had we had our chance, that Dawn and I would have been together until we were old and grey, but life simply has dealt Dawn, myself, her wonderful family and friends a really horrible hand.

Like any couple, we had lots highs, but the occasional lows too, any low was short lived though - one of us would say something that would make the other laugh and it was forgotten about. She was perfect, my person and I’m so glad we shared how we felt with each other daily.

There’s such a long and lonely road ahead, I’m just trying to stay afloat right now, but I know with her guidance I will somehow manage - as much as a times I’d like to just leave all this behind and find myself beside her again.

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I totally understand you feeling like that, but we have to keep going somehow, hard though it may be…we have to think that if it had been us who had gone first, how we would have hated them to give up…

When Ian was in terrible pain and was suffering a couple of months before he died, I asked if there was anything he wanted…he said "yes, a gun please "
I said…“will you shoot me first, before yourself” and he answered “no, you have the rest of your life to live”
Of course that made me cry…but I hang on to it still, knowing that he would have hated me to give up.

It is almost two years, but I can’t honestly say where that time has gone…only that now it is possible for me to have a night out with friends and enjoy it…something which I could never envisage in the early days. We talked about Ian tonight, as we always do…dear family and friends do talk about our lost loved ones and it’s such a great comfort that they are remembered and missed.

I wish you strength in the coming days, weeks, months. You are doing the right thing by writing your thoughts and feelings down. We have to help each other. This forum has helped me greatly, although I mostly just read it now…Dawn and Nino made me reply!
Much love, Janey xx

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Take care Janey :slight_smile:

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Saturday/Sunday 17-18 December

I think I’ll bundle the weekend writing into the one post rather than the two for now. In all honesty I didn’t get much time for sitting down until today.

My football match was cancelled yesterday which came as quite a relief – I wasn’t ready although I do know had it been on I would have found a way to get my way through it.

Following that I visited my home town to help a mate drop some toys off at a Christmas toy collection and then back over to help with the aftermath of the much discussed flooring project. Seriously though, they both seem really happy with it and if it’s something that brings a glimmer of happiness in among all the pain and sadness then in turn that’s a comfort for me too.

The guy putting down the flooring thankfully wasn’t being paid by the hour as he had about 14 cigarette breaks and probably about half as many stoppages for a cup of coffee, then you consider his fondness for sharing stories about every single aspect of his life – a four hour job was more like a 10 hour job.

Now, Ann and John don’t always see eye-to-eye, there’s been a few stories in the last few weeks that I probably couldn’t commit to print, but a particular one last night was too good last night. This one involved Ann losing the plot that John had placed the wrong table in front of her chair in the living room, when questioned as to how she knew which of three identical tables was hers, she replied ‘mines is the oldest’. Fast forward 20 seconds and John is asking the table what age it is – for a few seconds at least we managed to laugh.

After the chatty man left, a double visit to the chip shop (burger issues) took care of dinner and I then headed back to the flat where I caught up on some television before Dawn’s good friend Victoria came round after she’d been at the work night out that she and all of Dawn’s workmates did so well to get each other through.

It was brilliant to share stories, laugh, cry and raise a few drinks in the air for Dawn, by all accounts she had quite the headache this morning – it must have been damage done before she arrived.

Today marks a month since Dawn’s passing and the magnitude of that in my own mind is really significant. There has been plenty of points where it has been exceptionally tough, not really aided by outside factors.

Last night, I received a text message from an old friend of Dawn’s who wanted to go visit her today. He spoke really honestly about how important it was to him, but he was frightened by the thought. I offered to go pick him up, help him if the prospect was too much and be there for support. Unfortunately, he didn’t bother to even reply to me today – that really stung and made an already difficult day worse.

The day after that has been better, I visited Dawn and spoke to her for longer than I have in any other visit, then got to Ann’s where we were joined by my sister and watched the World Cup final which made me realise I still love football.

Ann made us both a brilliant dinner and the mood was nice and relaxed, I know that we were all aware and struggling with the month anniversary, but it wasn’t quite as difficult as I perhaps anticipated.

Sitting up with a few beers and trying to work out what Christmas presents still need ordered, I probably should raise my game at this late stage, though if I got the option to fast forward past the next few weeks I absolutely would.

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Only just catching up with your writing @ARDG
I’m so sorry for you losing your lovely wife so young.
My darling husband was 60 when he died suddenly, without warning last April. He was seemingly fit and well until that fateful night after playing football. He loved the game too - to watch it and play it.
He suffered a coronary embolus and was dead I less than 2 hours from feeling unwell.

You sound to be doing amazingly, even if it doesn’t feel like it to you. Sending you love and strength on this terribly hard journey we are all on. xxx

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So sorry for your loss, life can be so cruel. Especially when your partner is so young.

I lost my husband on the 21st November he was only 41. He was my soulmate he’d been fighting lymphoma for 15 months and died in my arms 2 weeks after being given days to live.

I’m really struggling with my grief I cry everyday, I wrote a letter to go in his coffin and found it really helped me getting my feelings down onto paper so my support worker from the hospice told me to carry on if it helps. So I have a book where I write him letters and it gives me comfort, sometimes it’s everyday and sometimes there are a few days between but it does help. He would be the person I share all my feelings with and now he is gone.

I honestly do not know how I would carry on it wasn’t for our 2 young children. I keep going for them.

I guess we all just need to take one day at a time!

Thanks so much for reading and sorry I’ve not really been present on here lately.

I’ve always found January especially grim, just after all the festivities, this year I’ve welcomed it and then realised life just isn’t very good any more.

@Gem2 - Wish I could say I can’t imagine how you are feeling, though sadly I know very well. It’s such an awful and cruel world.

@KarenF - So sorry, thanks for your lovely words too. I’ve written in spells recently, but more due to meeting someone who I speak to daily about our horrific situations, I’ve opted for that recently.

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I find that writing my feelings down helps so much, as you say not every day, but when i feel i need to.
I lost my husband in August, from cancer after a very short illness and my world is so different now.
I have 2 lovely supportive children and caring family and friends, but feel very lonely.
I am trying so hard each day to carry on, but its so very difficult.
My love to you all

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