The Leaver and the Left

Yes, it's been a while!

Hello there dear readers. I have thought of you often over the past 6 months or so; aware that I had not written anything, even though there was plenty going on. I have to say it is really lovely to know that you are all out there, even mildly interested in my musings. Thank you. So, to the business at hand...

I used to think, like so many others, that "the first 12 months are the hardest". They are filled with firsts; birthdays, anniversaries (both public and private), Christmasses, seasons... but I had never given a thought to what lay beyond that. I had this simplistic idea that grief is linear, and the pain just fades and fades and gets easier, and life gets back to normal. Oh, haha. I cringe now when I think of my unwitting thoughtlessness when with others who had lost a person of significance. And if there is one of me, then there are many. How many of us have felt alone with our grief, thinking that no-one is interested anymore in listening to our stories or talking about our lost one? It's old news, and "surely you're over it by now?".

I have learned in this past 6 months that instead of "getting back to normal life", something very different has arrived. I live simultaneously in two worlds - I walk in the land of the living; laughing, singing, working, and connecting, while I hold the hand of the dead. There is never a day when I do not think of my dear mate, and I miss him immensely, every day. I hold the twin truths; a seeming contradiction - that I know he died when he was meant (that is my belief) but I just wish to God he was still here! I want to talk to him, I want to hear what he would say, particularly with all the drama of the past year and indeed, the past days! I want to laugh with him, I want to hold him, I want to hear my phone announce his name as it rings, I want to sing with him and I want him to play for me. Am I repeating myself? Probably. But then that's part of it too, isn't it? I want to tell his story, again and again. I don't want anyone to forget who he was, my wild Bill.

So this is who I am now. I love the ancient Japanese practice of Kintsugi where broken pottery is glued together with gold. No hiding the cracks, no pretending they didn't happen, but rather, celebrating and honouring them. Our losses, our "cracks" make us who we are, but also make us richer. And I am so rich. I am richer for having known him, richer for loving him and for him loving me, richer for the experience of caring for him, and yes, richer for losing him.

I move in and out of acceptance because there are times when I just can't believe he isn't here and I'm scared of forgetting him. So, I'm thinking of writing about our story. Would you read it? Maybe I'll make it into a movie. (Ben Mendelsohn would be the perfect choice to play him don't you think?!)

Well, thanks for your time. You may never know how much I appreciate being able to ramble. It's brought me to tears, and that's part of the gold too. I hope 2021 is the bringer of rest, recreation, and rejuvenation for you.