Rattle

I was walking home from wherever the other day and it occurred to me that at that precise moment, no-one knew where I was. Youngest was staying with the Ex. Eldest was working. It was just me walking down a dark street, crying as usual.

Normally I’d have been chatting to Matt, or texting, or whatever. He’d be waiting, and looking forward to me coming home. We’d have plans.

But of course he wasn’t and he won’t ever be. And it was just me. Just like today, for the next few hours, until the mob reappear. It’s just me. I’ve taken refuge in one of the usual places, surprise surprise, because once my bro had gone, there was no way I could face being sat in my deathly quiet house, surrounded by things I don’t want to look at or to do. It doesn’t feel like a home anymore. It’s just somewhere I live, and it’s a tip, and I just don’t care.

So here I am. It’s just me. Just like it was years ago, and I didn’t like it much then. I like it a whole heap less now. And I don’t even know who me is anymore anyway. Who knew how many ways there are to feel lost? And alone and scared.

But…

The kindness of strangers has been amazing, I’ve met a local biker chap called Gary through a local FB group who has taken the bracelet that I gave Matt, that he wore all the time, and not just made it fit me, but also totally refurbished it, and it’s amazing. Totally above and beyond the call of duty, but he knew how important it was to me, and wouldn’t even charge me for his time. He even made it fit me temporarily so I could wear it to the funeral before having it for a couple of days to do the proper job. He seems to be a nice guy too, and he has kick ass Harleys, and I expect we’ll have the odd cup of tea from time to time. So that’s nice; these days I need more friends, as my cloak of invisibility grows in strength. And it feels so much better having the bracelet back on my wrist – I missed its weight. Nowhere near as much as I miss its owner but hey, little things right?

And Jon at Pierced Up in Bristol did all our memorial tattoos for free, complete with shots of rum and sympathy – totally not the status quo for such things. He was just awesome. He let us all be in there together, and hold hands, and didn’t mind me crying all over the place. Everyone there knew Matt, because of the amount of time we’ve spent in there, they knew ‘us’, and it felt like their way of honouring him too. Just amazing. Oh and the ink’s pretty good too, but I’ll share that another time when it’s all proper healed.

And then occasionally I’ve spent some time with people I haven’t before, because I’ve been brave and asked if people mind if I join them. Otherwise I’d be sitting on my own all the time. And I’ve had what passes for an ok time.

This is all amazing, right?

But in the background my brain is just going “none of this would be happening if Matt wasn’t dead”. You’re only being nice to me because Matt is dead. And Matt is dead. Matt is dead. And that’s only ever just below the surface. I often have to leave and come home from things because it’s been too long since I’ve cried and I can’t hold it in anymore, and I need to go home and wail, and I don’t want to embarrass anyone, since there’s already a bit of an exclusion zone around me. Well you know how us British prefer to avoid messy emotion right?

Ploughing

Later on the police are coming by to take my statement about the events of that morning for the coroner’s investigation, which I’m dreading. George is coming to hold my hand so that youngest doesn’t have to go through all the gory details that she didn’t see. So I’m having a glass of white wine courage.

We’ve just been to Weston-super-Mare for various reasons, which mostly just meant me crying like a baby the entire time because he wasn’t there and last time I was there so was he. No Matt on the beach walking barefoot on the sand. No Matt holding my hand as we walked or in the car, or in the shops. Everywhere we went he wasn’t and he had been. And I know I have to accept that and start getting used to it, but it’s clearly going to be a slow process…

Chinese

Let’s have takeout. A treat. A break from the shit storm. Innocuous you’d think wouldn’t you?

Except I can’t have the Singapore spicy noodles – his fave. I can’t forget that every time I had a stinking cold or felt really bad, he’d get me one of their hot and sour soups. Plus one extra for the next day. I’m glad I can’t remember what his last fortune cookie said, opening mine is going to be bitter sweet. There is nowhere that Matt isn’t. There’s a massive Matt sized void wherever I go.

There’s plenty of other shit piling up, paperwork, chores, accounts, all sorts; my life is just collapsing. I can’t wail and express myself properly at home any more because youngest is unexpectedly home and her anxiety has no space for helping me anymore. I had to go and impose on others this evening rather than just walk around the town (which is what I did post divorce). Not a circle I really wanted my life going in.

The Drs are working with both of us, but I don’t know how to help her when I can barely help myself. And having to bottle me up to help her is not helping me.

i just don’t know how to do all of this without him, I want his support, his advice, a hug… all of which I know damn well I can’t have. But that doesn’t stop me desperately wishing for it.

Now?

Would now be a good time to tell you how much I love you? I’ve spent two hours at work today talking about how we cope with how things are. I’ve spent a couple of hours at the pub with a cycling friend who’s life is both more interesting and complicated than mine and he’s sleeping on the sofa downstairs (sofa surfing) which was all very pleasant.

Except none of it is. Life isn’t normal. You’re not here. And you’re not going to be. And I know I’m supposed to start learning to adapt to what my new normal is going to be. But I don’t want to. I just want you. So bad. I don’t know how to make it through without my beautiful boy. How the fuck do people survive this?

Pain

Why doesn’t ever tell you how much the grief of losing a soul mate is SO much worse. I have lost grandparents. I have lost best friends. But losing Matt? It’s so far beyond that kind of pain. I am SO lost and so scared and my whole world is falling apart – housework, paperwork accounts, kids, you name it. I don’t know how to do this. I’ve lost my rock and my support and I don’t even want to do it all without him.

How do people live through this.

A while ago Matt and I had a conversation about life and death and all that sort of thing.
And I got a bit emotional because I didn’t want to die, because I quite liked being me, and I didn’t want to stop being me.
Which he thought was very sweet and many hugs ensued.

Not now though.
I don’t want to be alive.
I don’t see the point.
I just don’t have any choice.
My kids…

So all those people telling me time will help, and add distance, and perspective, and that I’ll learn to live with it had better be right.

Or I’m going to be proper fucked off at having wasting years struggling without getting anywhere when I could just check out now and have this awful devastating heartbroken pain be gone. Maybe I’d end up with him, maybe I wouldn’t. But I’m sure as fuck lost as to how to carry on living without him and what we had, however imperfect it may sometimes have been. I can’t envisage anything better than what we had, so why bother?

I have no idea how people live through this.

Inking you

The kids and I got memorial tattoos for Matt today. I’m so used to being there with him I could practically see him there. So many memories of him there, in such a small space. I could hear him and see him and…but not. Ruby didn’t know what to say and John was a legend. He worked with all of us to get what we wanted, he coped when I cried, he gave us shots of rum to help, and even after I’d cried all over everywhere when it came to my turn he coped. He even joined me in a final shot of rum to round it all off. And on top of that, he refused to charge us for any of it – a good 3 hours of his time. I’ve rarely been so touched by anything – it was the sweetest gesture ever. That man has earnt my respect and tattoo loyalty for life.

I just wish I could show it to him. I wish I could show him how much he means to me. I wish…oh so many things. Once more, it was me and my kids against a very horrible world, and we supported each other through and I cried me yet another river, and we all thought of him. I just want Matt to know he is still my star, and I hope he will guide me through what is yet to come in my life. He is so loved by so many people and so many of us are not coping without him. And it’s all too late isn’t it? Everywhere I go he isn’t – from in Pierced Up to sitting outside Zero Degrees having the traditional post ink/hole drink. I just miss him. All the time.

Tomorrow I have to sort through photos for the order of service and for the memory boards at the Oakhouse after (I refuse to call it a wake). And I have so many amazing photos, but all they do is remind me of what I can never have or be again, I’m so far off being able to look back on them as happy memories of a time past. I just want him back. Simples. Except it isn’t, is it?

pedicure

Today I came to see you. All dressed up, and clean. And I painted your toenails, as I wanted to, which has to be one of the most surreal experiences of my life to date. But that was just functional. Albeit essential. And purple.

And then I was allowed some time with you. I wish I could say you looked absent. You didn’t, not enough anyway. You just looked asleep. Holding your hand was still your hand, even it if was a cold hand. When I hugged you, you still filled the same space in my arms, and in my heart. You were still too much you whilst not being you at all. I just wanted to stay there with you forever, and yet I still had to leave.

I’m really struggling with how to keep doing this. All my friends and family, all the visits and the company and support…and all I want to be is with you. I’ll be back to visit next week, and I don’t care how unhealthy that might be. I’m never going to be ready to let go of you, so I’m going to hold on for as long as I can. Cos once that curtain closes, that will be it. And I don’t want it to be. I can’t hold hands with ashes. I’d almost rather this go on for much longer. If I could just check in from time to time? I’m really not ready for that final step. And fuck the word closure.

In the meantime if you’re listening, what the fuck have you done with your bicycle chain bracelet? I can’t find it anymore, and the longer I can’t find it, the more important it seems.

Just so as you know – I love you. I have never loved anyone the way I love you, and I never will.