Nails in coffins

Today was Matt’s inquest. Four months and two days after his death, the Coroner recorded his final conclusion. I and my two rocks, aka the mob, Austin & Natasha went along. I can’t really explain why it was important to be there. It just was, and it meant a lot to me. Ever since we met, we have done as much together as we possibly could; we were never not in touch, we were always a part of each other’s lives. And once he lived down here, we were rarely apart.  We wanted to be together, even if work and logistics sometimes got in the way.  We would still be msging, txting, calling, whatever it took. I was there when he died, and I have been there at every step on his final journey after that, and this was just one more step along the road I have to walk. It felt right for me, and for us. To bear witness, to be his representative. To be there when he cannot.

And it was ok. As with all the professionals I have met along the way, from first responder to Coroner, everyone has dealt with us with tact, empathy, and professionalism. I am very grateful to the NHS, even though they couldn’t save him. They did the best job they could, they dealt with me, they dealt with my kids, and like it or not, it doesn’t matter what you do, sometimes it’s just too late. I am so glad that it hasn’t put Austin off becoming a paramedic, even if it has meant I now flinch when I hear a siren, or see the air ambulance…

Anyway. The coroner’s conclusion (used to be called a verdict) will record that Matt’s death was drug related. and that he self-administered morphine and tramadol but that his intentions at the time cannot be established. I have informed those who are in touch with me and who needed to know. No-one is ever going to know what happened. There is no proof of any intent. And whatever it was, whatever he did or didn’t do, makes no difference to the end result. Matt is dead, and I have lost my other half, my partner, my lover, my fiancé, my rock, my everything.

It’s a weird feeling. I was dreading it, but now it’s over and done with, so there’s a degree of relief involved. And all the formalities of his death are now over and done with, bar the estate creditors shouting. He was intestate and insolvent, so good luck with that.

But it isn’t “closure”. That word means nothing. One coroner’s verdict doesn’t suddenly fix everything. It doesn’t stop me missing him like h*ll, or crying on and off all day. I still feel bereft. Lost. Lonely. And there isn’t a conclusion in the world that is going to fix that

Like I say. Long day. Sad day. Another day done. Did I mention I hate it?

 

Wasted weekend

It’s been a really crap week, in what is already a crappy life. It had the odd highlight – as I went out Friday night, with Kevin & Emilia to see Mayhem at the Riverside. Which was good. But on Thursday the clutch cable on the car broke, and it took hours to get recovered and sorted – the RAC were atrocious but luckily Austin was around, so he brought his car up and we sheltered in there.  And on Friday my Dad was diagnosed with (early stage, totally contained, totally treatable) prostate cancer. Which even though the prognosis is good, did just feel like one thing on top of another. And whenever anything goes wrong I miss Matt, and his love and support, even more. I just want to tell him all about it, and to get one of his amazing hugs. And there he isn’t again. And it hurts.

And the rest of this weekend? It’s just been time passing. I’ve been incredibly emotional on and off the entire time. Maybe because the house just feels so cold and empty. Winter sucks, it’s cold, it’s dark, and we’ve had no plans. Nowhere to be, nothing to do, just nothing. Sure, I could be doing a million chores, and tidying, and so on, but that’s hardly entertaining, and besides which, who cares about that kind of stuff? I sure as hell don’t at the moment. Today I stayed in bed for as long as I possibly could. I’d rather be asleep and dreaming than dealing with reality. And then when that didn’t work anymore, all I did was cry the entire time until I got out of the house to go and see Austin at work and sort our Christmas dinner booking. It’s been pretty bleak.

Having said that, yesterday Austin helped me finish boxing up all Tate’s stuff, and we took it to Pauline’s house so that he can pick it all up when he comes down for Christmas. He used to stay with us every other weekend, so he’d accumulated quite a lot of toys and games and things. Another thing that won’t be happening anymore. So it’s not like we didn’t do anything, I guess, but anything that involves going through things related to Matt just upsets me and I wasn’t in a good place anyway. Matt’s coroner’s inquest is on Wednesday and even though it’s just a formality, it kind of feels important, and it’s important to me to be there, and I think knowing that it’s coming has just kind of upped the background level of grief again.

And Christmas. There’s that. That’s not helping any either. The world is full of people discussing their plans, what they’re going to be doing, who they’re going to be seeing, how lovely it’s going to be. And it isn’t. Not here. I’m in what is delightfully called my year of firsts. This will be my first Christmas without him. I’d rather not do the whole thing at all, but I have to, because other people aren’t me, and they’re not feeling like me, and they still deserve to have Christmas.

But then Tash came home from uni, and I’ve been really looking forward to seeing here and having her around for a bit.  Austin came home from work, and then we all went to see my folks, so as to get Dad to an early hospital appointment tomorrow. So there was a meal out, and family and support and something to do, and it felt a little bit better, even though I think I have my drinking head on, to cope, which is not necessarily a good thing.

Right now I just want to take Matt’s hand, as everyone else goes to bed, and for the two of us to sneak down to the beach in the dark, as we always did, to be together, to get some space, to listen to the waves, to wind down, hug, and be us. And I can’t. I never can again.

Yes, I’ve made it through another day. Which is all I can do. But I hate it. And I miss him even more than usual. SO much. Love you wherever you are my beautiful boy. You have no idea how much you are loved and missed.

Nearly there

Monday morning. Woke up to a text from the Coroner’s representative to let me know that the Coroner has listed Matt’s inquest as next Wednesday 18th at 12.00pm. Inevitably as I had an all day tattoo session booked that day; it was either going to screw with that or the work Christmas do, right? Sods law, as ever. At least the tattoo session can be rescheduled. Hopefully for before Christmas, but I doubt it, there’s not much spare time left, and there’s a lot of work to do between now and then.

Anyway, in just over a week the final nail in the bureaucratic coffin will be hammered in. The coroner will go over the facts, record his final official verdict, and the official death certificates will be issued. I will be there. I can’t explain why I want to be there; I feel like I need to be, ought to be, that I should bear witness to the last stage in the process. I’ve been with him every step along the way, and I’ll be with him for this one. Even though I knew it was coming, just knowing it’s in the diary now has left me feeling emotional and weepy all day.

And it will all be finalised before Christmas. (Matt hated it when I started a sentence with an And. So I’m going to do it again.) And then maybe we can make the New Year a new start, and hope that 2020 isn’t as bad as 2019 has been. Although ironically the first 7.5 months of the year were 99% amazing, which has all been swept away by that which came after.

I know nothing has changed materially. It was just a text. It’s just a date in the diary. Today is just like yesterday. I even had a reasonably good day at work, and felt like I might be getting more on top of things. But this evening I just miss him so much more. As ever, when there’s any news in my life, or anything goes well, or doesn’t, I wanted to pick up the phone and tell him about it. And I couldn’t. I’ve just downloaded our entire WhatsApp history, (WhatsApp is starting to not support some platforms) so it doesn’t get lost, and made the mistake of reading some of it, and it’s so hard to believe we’ve gone from the amazing that that was to this. And on top of all that, my endo ouchy is kicking off big style. It’s all just not fair. Yes, I know life’s not fair, but for f*cks sake! Really? God knows where I’d be without my family, my friends and my meds. Hanging in there by an even thinner thread I imagine…

On the upside, this weekend I finally got my ring back. Some people might think it’s a bit macabre. But it’s not about them, is it? It’s the closest thing I can get to having him with me, and I’ll wear it when I want to, when I need to feel him that little bit closer, when it brings me some comfort.

Austin and I walked home from the pub tonight looking up to the night sky, to the stars, to the waxing moon, and I thought of him, and how we’d look at the moon together. How we’d lie snuggled up in bed together at night when the moon was full, with the curtains open, and watch it pass by while its light filled the room. Now I’ll have to watch it for the two of us. He was my star, my beautiful boy, and I hope he’s up there somewhere looking down and watching over me as I look up searching for him. Love you Matt xx

Never ending

On the upside the new meds seem to be helping. On the downside yesterday the Coroner rang me. Not my favourite way to be woken up, that’s for sure. Although sadly I can actually think of far worse these days… 😥

Apparently the tests revealed that the cause of death is probably related to a mix of alcohol and prescription drugs. Therefore they have to have an official coroner’s inquest to decide on the official cause of death to be recorded on the death certificate. Which just raised more questions and means yet more waiting. Hopefully (as if hope is a word that applies to any of this) the inquest will take place next month.

Then, as planned, eldest took me over to the undertakers to pick up my share of Matt’s ashes. Which came in a lovely simple little wooden box tied up with a purple ribbon. (I wonder if they knew that was his favourite colour?) And in there a part of him shall rest until I take him to one of our beaches, at whenever the right time turns out to be, and share him with the sea, so that whenever I go to a beach I can imagine that a little bit of him is there with me. Although at the moment I’m not sure I could ever face going to a beach without him…

Since my day had already gone to hell in a hand basket, eldest and I decided to have an afternoon off. We mooched around Wedmore, bought the odd thing, and had a couple of beers sat outside the Swan in the sun. I bought a lovely pair of simple silver star earrings which seemed right. Matt was my star and he always will be whether he’s here with me or not, and I’m trying really hard to cling on to that. ⭐️

It was as nice an afternoon as it could be really. As long as I didn’t sit in a chair with a back to it – falling down the stairs really did a number on my back! I even got some work done when we got back in to town, even if it did have to be at The Lamb as I still couldn’t face being at the house for hours. Then we headed back, I even ate dinner, and my new shiny pill made sure I drifted off to sleep nice and early. Apparently it’s a well known side effect of mirtazapine. Finally, a side effect to one of my drugs that’s helpful.

Today I woke up to the official letter from the coroner. Waking up is not going well this week…  There’s always something worse about seeing such things in black and white isn’t there? Turns out it was a mix of alcohol, tramadol, and morphine. I  don’t know whether that means too much of one or the other or what, or that there was some sort of bad interaction between them. Like I said, more questions…  I think the worst bit about that, and there are so so many, is that it feels like maybe none of this need have happened. He could still be here with me, with us. Which is the only thing I want in the world. So today has gone to rat shit too…

I’d give anything to have you back, my beautiful boy. Life will never be the same without you. Love you to the beach and back 😭💔

Waiting waiting waiting….

Waiting for the Coroner’s investigation to move on, whether we like the answers or not.
Waiting to come off these meds (which I think have made things worse) to get on to the new meds (which clearly I’m hoping will help).
Rang the recommended counsellor, who work have very generously offered to help pay for. However, predictably, it turns out that she’s away for a week and then on training for the week after. So that’s more waiting then.
And then I’m waiting for a patch, however small, when I feel like I’d rather be alive than the alternative.
Yes I’m getting through from one day to the next, kinda, but this isn’t living. It’s barely even existing.

Maybe I should just sell up, store everything, and then f*ck off somewhere until, well ever. Bearing in mind I barely managed to get out of bed today, that seems unlikely. At least here is where he was, and I can kinda sense the echo of him, and us, around me. If I concentrate very hard and close my eyes in the snug in the Oakhouse, I can almost feel him holding me. Scarce comfort is better than none.

And Axbridge have been really supportive, even if the novelty of looking after the wailing banshee has worn off now, let’s face it, who can blame them?

So if I left I’d be lost & lonely in the middle of wherever without you, knowing no-one. Instead of stuck lonely in the middle of a twilight world with you.

Man I wish you’d come back. I miss you so much. I really hope you know that.

Limbo

So the coroner still can’t give me any idea when we might get any information or progress. He’s very nice and professional and sympathetic but he can’t give me information that he doesn’t have.

I keep falling asleep early, probably to escape being awake and get another day over and done with . Except now I wake up in the wee hours, and can’t go back to sleep because he’s not there all over again and I so wish he was, and there go the floodgates.

Then I finally fall asleep again. Wake up at a more sensible time. And start crying all over again, because nothing has changed has it? I didn’t realise it was physically possible to cry this much. Mornings are like a non-stop flow. Right now I’m hiding at the Oakhouse again, crying, and girding my loins so as to try to spend some time at work again.

I am getting some work done, which is good, but two hours is my threshold. At which point I just can’t anymore, and I need to be somewhere else, because I just don’t see the point to what I’m doing. Work are being adorable though – more of which another time.

In the meantime…as of 8:30 this morning, it’s now been seven weeks. It feels like years, or minutes, depending. The changing of the seasons is upsetting me because I don’t want the world to move away from him and us. I’m not moving anywhere, I’m just stuck. And I have yet another completely empty weekend ahead of me, and what use are weekends to me now? Sure, we’ll figure stuff out. But it’s not something I’m looking forward to.

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…