I miss you every day. So many memories of you everywhere I look. I still think of you in the present tense and I can't take your defunct mobile number off my mobile phone. It took me three months to move your ashes from my bedside to the wardrobe. I sleep on my side of the bed with an arm stretched out to your pillow in the hopes I will one day again feel you there.
The day after your funeral, where every memory of you was a stab to my heart, I promised myself that I would never shy away from you. I will not turn into one of those widows who can't bear to speak their lost one's names. Loving you was the best, most important thing that happened to me, outside of Rowan's birth. I will find a way to hold the pain of missing you and the eight years we had together.
Life without you goes on. The sun rises and sets. I miss you.
I'm trying to figure out who I am without you and it's not coming easily to me.
I'm smoking again. Sorry about that. It stops me from running around the garden, naked and screaming. I hope my lungs have the capacity to hold on while I heal. I know, I know. I'm still laughing at your admission that had I not stopped smoking, you weren't sure you could keep seeing me: I smelt too much like your dad! I loved you for telling me well after the event. One of your many gifts to me: giving me the space to sort my shit out.
I'm working two days a week now. It's a bit of structure and money as I try to get my act together. It's reception again at St Stephen's and it's fun. I'm still not able to go into the studio and do anything remotely creative. Today, I'll tidy everything up and see what I can do. I'm not going to force anything, healing will take time.
I went to Trinidad for a couple of weeks. It was well overdue and being home, where you never went, was a welcome bit of space from my grief. Of course I still missed you, but I was able to be me, with people who understood. Who didn't judge my complete inability to function. The problem is it made me want to run away, to leave everything I've built here to run home. A piece of good advice I was given: never make life-changing decisions in the first year of a bereavement. I'm holding that thought. I should not have stayed away for nine years from Trinidad, from my family, from the people who I love there. I recognise why I did and it's okay. I just won't leave it so long. In fact, I've already promised to return next summer. I'm going to keep that promise.
I'm 49 and I look ahead and wonder what the next (hopefully) 40 years of my Life will be like. Will I love again? Will I get my dreams of World Domination into reality? Will I create a fulfilling Life without you?
At the moment, I warn people that What they See is What they Get. My filters aren't working, the Editor in My Head has gone off to parts unknown. It means I have to own what I'm feeling and social niceties have gone out the window. I simply don't have it in me to be "polite", to make chit chat, small talk. Having said that, I do everything I can to be kind, it's not an excuse to take my pain out on other people. It does mean I change my mind, my feelings change with the wind and I can't commit to anything. No instant decisions for me at the moment.
You left me a better, more full woman than when you found me. I will try to continue being so, even if it is excruciating some days and I attempt to keep my tantrums to myself. Life isn't fair and the Gods know I did my absolute best to appreciate you while you were here. It's strange, the quirks of your personality that could make me grind my teeth in frustration are the ones I miss the most. Your stubbornness...damn I miss you being a pain in my arse. Rowan misses your cough around the house. I miss you, damn it.
Life is for living. There's so much love and joy in the world. Friendship and love. I'm blessed. Every day I am grateful. Grateful for the time we had together, especially. Grateful for the beautiful home where I live. My scruffy garden. Your family. My family. My friends all over the world who take time to say they love me in so many ways. My reality, my little bubble of existence is blessed. Even if I can no longer rest my head on your chest.