Uninstallation

Did you know I used to be a software engineer? I did, you know. Back in the days before marriage, and children, and divorce, and Matt, and holy crap so many years ago. In fact if marriage had worked out, last week would have been our 25th wedding anniversary, which is beyond weird as concepts go. Sometimes I feel like hundred years old. So much water under the bridge. I can’t even imagine it now. When I look at photos of Matt and I, even that seems surreal somehow now. I don’t recognise that happy carefree person. My life now is so far removed from that. That world is just…well…a world away. It’s quite literally unbelievable in so many ways…I guess maybe that’s because a part of me still refuses to believe that this is my life now.

Anyway, where were we? Ah yes. Software. I was a software engineer. I analysed, I programmed, I created and sorted databases, wrote user manuals, etc., etc. And over the years in between, I’ve spent a lot of time on computers. Working. Communicating. I’m a dab hand with them most of the time. Websites, social media, marketing, sorting software tech problems for people…that’s me. Yep. I’m a closet geek. Well, ok, probably I’m not very in the closet with that, but that’s neither here nor there.

In case you were wondering, there is actually a point to this. I’m just taking a while to get there, because I don’t really want to think about it, and I’ve been doing my best to keep very busy and constructive and focused all week so as to keep my emotions at bay. I’m not ready to open the floodgates, because I’m not sure I’ll be able to close them again. Having said that, tomorrow all bets are off. Prepare for the flood, build me a f*cking Ark, get ready to ride the tsunami…

Tomorrow, Matt v.48 will be uninstalled from my house. From our home. Right now my house is full of boxes that are full of his stuff. And then there’s all the stuff that won’t fit in boxes. There is a whole heap of stuff, and then some. And it’s all going. See, now you know where I was going with the all software metaphor.

Luckily both the kids are able to be here for the day, as are a couple of other friends, along with the all star man with a van, Kevin. I will not be on my own, I will be amongst family and friends. The Rule of 6 may be an inconvenience in many ways, but it turns out that it has a silver lining. Thanks to the Rule of 6, no-one else is able to be here, as we’d be breaking the law. Handy that, no?

So the van will get loaded up here, shuttled up there, unloaded, maybe once, twice, whatever it takes. And then it will done. Yes, the house will be much much emptier. But the memories will remain. His presence will remain. Taking his stuff away doesn’t wipe that out. For all that I don’t want to let any of it go in some ways, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just stuff. And hey, it’s a small house. Maybe it will look a little less like an episode of Hoarders without Austin’s stuff (which went a little while ago) and Matt’s stuff in it…?

Doesn’t matter whether it will or won’t, it’s going to happen regardless, so I guess that was a rhetorical question of sorts. The actual process of watching it all go, and all the memories that are going to be triggered by seeing all those things, is going to hurt like f*ck. I’m going to cry a lot. Like a river. But it won’t be hanging over me anymore. It’ll be done. And that’s a good thing.

Nonetheless, the chances are you’ll find me at a local hostelry somewhere after that, drowning my sorrows. and crying into whichever poison I’ve decided to drown them in. Matt would approve. He wouldn’t approve of the rest of the above. Man, he would be SO furious with how it’s all gone down though, like me, not surprised. But he’d approve of rounding it all off with a few drinks. I’m sure we’ll raise the odd one in his honour, in memoriam, too.

I was not me until I
Discovered you.
You are significant

So, here it comes I guess… Deep breaths.

Now the night is over

This evening my inner jukebox and my Deezer flow and my feelings have been, maybe bizarrely, in sync. So prepare yourself for even more song lyric links than usual.

And I know it’s late, but I wasn’t ready for sleep.

But now the day is over, even for me, the night is drawing nigh.

I know it’s all just coincidence. But then as Gibbs says, with Rule 39 I believe, “there’s no such thing as coincidence“…so who knows?

And yes, it’s lazy of me. I should write more myself. And I’m sorry, but I have a really tough week ahead of me. and I just don’t have the emotional capacity right now. I’m too busy holding myself together. I have some friends gathering around me to get me over the final hurdle, but that isn’t going to make it any less painful. It will however, put one more thing behind me, and draw a line under things.

So, if other people can say  what I want to say better than me? Let’s let them do it. My walls are up, and they’re not coming down to write a blog right now.

So lets start with the only ear worm I’ve had today. I can’t remember it ever popping into my head before. He always made me feel on top of the world, and inspired me to try, and he’s still my shining star. So, maybe…?

And let’s follow that with the white flag that I will never be waving, as there will be no surrender. I’m in love with him and always will be, however life moves on.

After all, all I needed was the love he gave, and getting through every day without it is indescribably painful. I don’t think I’ll ever be whole again.

As my life continues, when I’m left home SO alone, especially with Tash going back to uni, nothing ever happens. It’s just me, here. I will be lonely tonight and lonely tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that.

All I can do is hope that maybe one day, as the song from his favourite film says, beauty will come out of ashes.

Can’t say I have much hope in that.
I reckon I’m just here until I’m pushing up my own daisies.

There, wasn’t that cheerful? I just have to get through this week. Get myself to Saturday night. And then I think I may go and get very, very drunk. Wisdom may come with age, emphasis on the may, but I’m not that old yet, even if I often feel like I’m ancient, past it, and worn out. So, wise or not, there will be sorrows to drown, and then hopefully locked safely away in Davey Jones’ locker, so that I can move on to whatever the future may hold. I’ve been knocked down, maybe I’ll get back up again. I have no great expectations. Just as well really.

How am I? Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies.

The stars may not align, but I’ll still try and shine for you. Always.

Fear isn’t the killer, loneliness is.

It’s going on stupid o’clock, as ever.
But then who cares?
For the second day in a row, in my home alone trial run, it’s been just me.

No-one cares when I go to bed.
No-one is there when I do.
No-one cares when I wake up.
No-one is there when I do that either.

I got a large chunk of work done.
I cried a lot.
I did chores.
I cried a lot.
I went up the road for a pint with my kindle. before I did the shopping and came home and forced myself to eat, because that’s what people do.
It’s also the only way I was going to have any actual human contact.
Not a phone call from the boss.
Or the odd random text from whomever.
Actual talk with a real person, in person.

And I did, after a fashion, chat to a couple of other people, in a completely meaningless pass the time kind of way.
And then I shopped.
And I walked home, crying a lot.
And then I came home, to an empty house.
And cried some more.

The cats are missing the kids, fighting over territory, and not yet quite ready to give in and concede that they might have to spend time with me, in my role as understudy.
The reptiles have all just eaten, and let’s face it, they’re not really all about the feels.

So here I am.

On the sofa.
All by myself.
White wine, crappy TV, iPad games.
Which would be heaven to some people.
Sadly I’m not one of them.
It’s just sh*t.

I guess I’ll go to bed soon.
That being what people do.
And then I’ll be asleep, where I get to go and live in one of many worlds, away from this one, and from which waking up is like waking the dead, and I fight it with every fibre of my being, because I’d rather be in those dreams than in this life.

So I’ll wake up.
Cry a lot.
I’ll make coffee, take my meds, cry a lot.
And then tomorrow will be just like today.

Rinse and repeat.

As trial runs go, I think it’s going swimmingly, don’t you?

Tick, tock…

When tomorrow comes

When tomorrow comes, Austin is moving out. Not for uni, not for a holiday. For good. He has found a new job. He has a place to crash for a little while. so he has a little time in which to find a flat of his own. And so my boy is finally flying the nest. Which is great. Fly, be free my little one. With all my best wishes and love and support as the air beneath your wings. We went out for dinner and marked it best we could. He is an amazing person, as anyone who knows him will tell you, and those who are on his road ahead, who have yet to meet him, have no idea how lucky they are going to be to have him in their lives. I’m trying to be brave. It is, after all, how it should be. But man…letting go hurts. Especially when things are as they are…

And then we will be just two. All two briefly. In a few weeks youngest will go back to uni. And then it’ll be just me here, permanently home alone. Which was always coming. As was the end of my maintenance support when she graduates. But all of these things were going to be ok, because we knew that, and Matt was going to be here and we were going to get through it together. We were going to work it out. We had it covered. And now?

It’s going to be just me. And I know I’m a grown woman, and I’m sure when it comes to it I’ll cope, because let’s face it, I have to. But man, I am so scared of being on my own all the time. This is so not how it was supposed to be. I didn’t know how bad lonely could feel…

In the meantime, I’ve just been dealt another doozy of a hand by life, which I can’t really share in detail here because, even though everyone thinks I’m mad, I refuse to lower myself to somewhere that is not right for me and for Matt and I. Yes, venting might make me feel better, but it would probably make things overall worse not better so, you know, why go there?

Even though my kids, and many others, have thought I’m mad, and too nice for my own good, up until today I have known that I can hold my head up high and that I have done the right thing throughout. I have checked in with everyone. I have kept in touch with those that matter. I’ve not let a special date pass without checking in on those others that it affected. I’ve done it for over a year. I am actually quite proud of myself for that, given some of the provocation that has come my way. I have done my very best to do the right thing in every situation, even if it’s been hard. And man, it has often been very hard. I have done the best for me and him, for him, in his memory and in his honour. I thought I was doing good. Aw bless, you stupid girl. *face palm*. I can practically hear him laughing at me…and then hugging me because he’d appreciate my trying.

But here we are, sad but true. It looks like I was wasting my time. And now, I think maybe, enough already. Apparently forgiving those who trespass against you doesn’t stop them from continuing to do so. I may yet have to gird my loins and find some strength from somewhere, and yes, I don’t know I’m going to do it, but I’m going to try and stop being a walkover. I hope I’m going to fight my corner if I have to. After all this time, after all I’ve done, if I haven’t earnt a little respect in return then…I dub thee unforgiven. And it’s what he would want. If he were here right now, he would be absolutely furious. Livid. Beyond that even. I think it’s time I was a little more him and a little less me. And he always believed in me.

There are two types of people in life. Radiators and drains. I have done my very best to be a radiator. I’m pretty sure I’m not a drain. But whatever I am, I’m sure as h*ll not going to be a doormat any more. No more Ms Nice Lady. So don’t tread on me. It’s going to be hard, it’s going to go against the grain,  but at this point, I really, and literally, have nothing left to lose. And maybe I’ll regain a little self respect. I honestly thought I was doing the right thing. It turns out I was wrong. However I think I can still hold my head high for doing my well intentioned best, even if it has turned out to be misguided. But now? That doozy hand has forced my hand. Gloves off… If anyone out there has some to spare, please send me some strength, and maybe some healing, and just, please, hold my hand as I try and get through this too? I’m not sure my breaking point is that far off… Life just seems to be intent on piling it on, one thing after the other. I don’t know what I did in a previous life to deserve all this, but I really hope I enjoyed it… 🙁

PS: It turns out that, looking at the links I’ve put in here, Metallica’s music pretty much covers it today. Just as well. If this all goes to pot, as seems more than likely, I’d just like to mention that I’d like Enter Sandman as my mid-service track, in case I forget to add that to the “important stuff” file. I’ve already informed the mob, but they may not remember….

In the still of the night

This is one of the times I miss you most. When I really need to talk to someone. And that someone is always you. I have absent mindedly reached for the phone at least twice today. And now I’m somewhere else on my own, knowing that there’s no one else I want to talk to, be comforted by, and fall asleep with. So my mind is full of thoughts and feelings that have nowhere to go, and sleep is going to be a while away. I wonder if, when I give in and talk to the sky, you can hear me?

Sunday’d be too late

So, it’s been seven hours and fifteen days… No it hasn’t. It’s been 367 days, or is it 368, and however many hours, but I’m not Sinnead O’Connor, quietly dripping one beautiful tear down a flawless cheek. I’m a messy, lost, emotional, rudderless, ugly crying, me. Sunday marked a year since you left us, and still, nothing compares to you, and nothing ever will.

I had so much to say on that anniversary day and I still do. So much. But I just haven’t been in a place where I could do it. I’d battened down the hatches, and didn’t want to open the floodgates. I have been lucky enough to be able to talk to, and spend time with, some very important people over the last two days, which has helped. I have been reaching out left, right, and centre…to friends and family…and then I realised, *face palm slap*, that what I was actually trying to do was to talk to you…so it’s no wonder that nothing was quite scratching that itch is it? If only… I live in a world of if onlys…

It feels like it’s been forever, and also no time at all, and yet it is also still so surreal that maybe it never happened at all. Sometimes I wonder if it’s all some kind of sick joke…and I’ll wake up and it will all be over. But, as that song says, I’m still here, and I’m still not dead. And you are. It’s still all far too real.

It would have been the worst year of my life even had it been the only tragedy to have happened in it, which sadly it has not. Every time someone has said things couldn’t possibly get worse, they have. It has been a year of complete h*ll, and it hasn’t suddenly gotten better just because that year has passed. I am quite honestly surprised that I am still here, no thanks to some, and heartfelt thanks to many.

Being neither Sinnead O’Connor, nor Prince, I don’t do lyrics. So I thought I’d try a poem. Maybe this would be his song

And I did write one. But I just couldn’t get it. Because there just aren’t the words. However I tried, it all felt clichéd and trite and it’s all been said so much better by others… I’m no W.H.Auden, no AE Houseman, who both say it better than I ever could. As ever, I’m just me. I tried, I did my best, and I was going to put it here. But I just couldn’t do it well enough to say it all in a way I could be proud of.  I couldn’t do you justice with my words, and I didn’t want to get it wrong and let you down. So many others have done and continue to do it better.  If I could, I would write you a poem, I would sing you a song…but I’m not talented enough. You’d get it though. You always did. We always knew what each other were thinking, but when we were apart we didn’t always have the words we wanted. Being apart was always so hard. It hasn’t gotten any easier…

I guess that’s why we used songs to say things to each other that we couldn’t say quite the way we wanted to ourselves, something you can probably tell from the links that have been scattered throughout my blog entries. We shared so many songs, so many lyrical words, and I am so glad I still have all our playlists, all those songs, for when I am able to listen to music again.

I couldn’t have this played at your funeral, though I wanted to. It’s a song you sent me a long time ago, but it would have been considered inappropriate, and I was only permitted so much influence over your farewell. But, whatever some may say, this is what we were underneath it all. Pure f*cking love. Just so as you know, I’m going to carry on being me, for you, because that’s what you would have wanted. In the meantime, here’s the song that said it when we laid you to rest…another one that you chose to send me. And I’ve still got love, so much love in my heart for you, and, come what may, I can’t and won’t let it go.

Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, we fought our way to be together. It took a long time, and it sure as h*ll wasn’t easy. Juggling everything we had between us sometimes made walking our life together a tightrope, but I’m so glad I got to walk along it with you. I’ll never let you go. And while I’m here, quoting away like mad, here’s one more song for you… Like so many films, but this one especially, your favourite, I can’t watch it without you. Your crazy still matches my crazy… And hey, I’m probably a whole heap crazier now than I was then. Grief tears you apart, and when, if, the pieces come back together, you’re just not the same, and never will be. There is always a crucial piece missing, and you are always broken in a way that can never be fixed.

I have no idea who I am now, but I am apparently a world of clichés and quotes, so why stop now? So, if the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love, and to be loved in return, we were that for each other. Man, to be loved like that, and to love like that…just amazing. One year on I still love you as much as ever, if not more, and I’ll love you forever, to the beach and beyond. You were my new day, and you are still the little birdhouse in my soul.

We marked your passing in many a typical way, including a beach, with fizz, just the three of us. It all hurt like hell, and it still does. Life may be better at the beach, but being on a beach without you was a very hard step to take. It may have been an anniversary, but it was not a celebration. Just an acknowledgement of the time that has passed. And if there was anything celebratory about it at all, it was just that I am still here a year on, and I have made it through the many many times when I thought I would not, when I would cheerfully have gone gently into that good night and joined you.

So here we are. One unimaginable year later. Who knew you could cry every day for a year? I have been forced to learn so much about life, myself, others in that time… And here I am, still expressing myself by writing it all down, and since I’ve always been able to say more in the written word, be they mine or those of others, than those spoken in person, it’s helped, in so far as anything has, so I guess I’ll keep on doing it. In the meantime, here I am, lying here with all my thoughts inside this empty bed, and I miss you. If you distill it all, take all the words I write here, all the lyrics in these songs, and all the days I go through, that’s what you get. Three simple words that say so much. I miss you. And I love you. Another three words, that really go without saying, but I’m saying them anyway. I love you.

And so, life goes on. One foot in front of the other, remembering to breathe, one day at a time. It’s not really living, it’s just existing. But, like everything else, it is what it is. If only…

PS: Neck Deep have a new album out. You’d love it. I love it. And on it are so many songs we would have sent each other. It hurts, but I feel like I’m listening to it for both of us. It’s so sad that you’ll never hear it. And as they say on it, whatever storm is passing by…we all know nothing and we will all end up pushing daisies, and that’s the way it is.

Here comes the rain again

It’s raining outside.
Heavy fat drops of what is probably the edge of a thunderstorm.
Which is appropriate and apt.
Because I feel like I’m in the middle of my own personal thunderstorm.

Plans are being made, kind of on the fly, depending on who’s been in contact.
There will be places I go over the next few days with friends, family, both, neither.
I won’t be around here a lot.
And I guess I’ll get through this, because that’s what you do.
When you’re going through hell, just keep on going, as someone said.

I hope none of the worst case scenarios that have run through my head come to pass.
I hope I come out the other side feeling like I’ve marked it appropriately.
And I hope getting through the worst year of my life helps me feel better afterwards, and helps me go forward.

Time will tell…

In the meantime I still miss him so much it physically hurts…and I’ve been crying on and off all day. It’s almost impossible, as the anniversary approaches, not be be thinking about him, and that day, all the time. I just want him back. Which is the only thing in the world that I can never have.

SSDD, right?

And here’s the actual thunder. Awesome. And perfectly timed.
Plus I love thunderstorms and since I am, inevitably, awake, maybe I’ll open the curtains and watch the lightning for a while…

I just don’t know what to do with myself

It’s nearly here.
We keep trying to make plans.
People want to be there for me, whatever I want to do.
Some of our friends need/want to mark it too, but don’t want to impose.
Which is all very well, but I don’t really have a clue what I want to do.
I know what I don’t want.
I know where not to be and when.
But what do I want to do?

I want to mark it.
But it’s not a celebration. Anniversaries usually are. This is most certainly not.
Well, unless you want to celebrate the fact that I have survived this year, which after some of the times I have been through, I honestly wasn’t sure I would.

I don’t know what I want to do.
I don’t know what feels right.
I know that I probably need to get of town for a bit.
I feel slightly run out of town, to be honest.
I know where I’m not wanted.

I know I need to do what feels right for me.
But I really wish I knew what that was.

Maybe it will become clear to me when I get to it?

I know it’s going to be a really sh*tty day.
I know I’m avoiding thinking about it or making decisions about it, because I don’t want to face up to it.
And I also know it doesn’t really matter what I do, because it’s not going to make any difference; it won’t bring him back, and it won’t make it all suddenly better.
Yes, the first year of firsts will be over and done with. But that isn’t going to make me miss him any less, or love him any less, or suddenly heal me.

Maybe I should just take myself off on my own?
Maybe I can’t actually do it on my own?

So many questions, so few answers, and even less decisions.

6 days and counting

So this is the week that was always going to be.
And I have decided just to go with the flow through it.
T’aint nobody’s business but mine, after all.
There is no signposted path for this, there is no template, no map, and even if there were, one size never fits all.

So I may sleep too much, drink too much, stay up too late, wake up too late, write rubbish here, whatever…
I am doing what it feels like I need to do; whatever works for me. Whatever feels right, and whatever is going to get me through it.

Let’s face it, most of you have no clue what this feels like (and also, thankfully, don’t know how lucky you are).
If you do, you get it.
If you don’t, then there’s no way I can make you understand.
So, as with everything else, it is what it is.

This time last year we were so happy, and we were looking after, and out for, each other. We were in the middle of the most amazing couple of weeks.

And then…

Now I have to look after me, by myself, in my own way.
Judge how I do it if you want; and hey, I’m used to judgement by now, so knock yourself out, it won’t touch me. Judging me says more about you than it does about me. And as they say, those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter, don’t mind. If you’re not here helping me through it, being there for me, helping me to do it better, then you have f*ck all right to have an opinion on it as far as I’m concerned.

Walk a mile in my shoes…and then maybe you’ll get it. But I hope you’ll never have to. I wouldn’t wish this on even my worst enemy. But if you do end up here…then you’ll get it. And you’ll also learn that, even if it feels like walking over broken glass, you keep on walking, however slowly, because you have to. It has nothing to do with bravery.

Oddly, in a serendipitous sort of timing way, it would appear that this week I have some actually gardening to do, at precisely the same time as I have some metaphorical pruning to do.

Sooner or later you have to focus on, and look after, yourself. However much I wish he was, he’s not here to look after and support me anymore. I have lost my rock. The only person to look after me now is me, And as someone wise once said to me, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. And I’ve got enough problems right now without carrying extra ones with me… Hey, if you don’t care about me, why should I care about you?

Two years ago, this was us, out and about doing our thing, our way, in our little happy bubble. Look at those smiles. Man I miss feeling that way. So much love 😭💔.

Lost in the loneliness

It’s been a busy, somewhat stressful, hot, sweaty and tiring day.
But it’s been more than worth it.

My personal domesday clock is counting down.
And if I stay still long enough, I can practically hear it ticking…

As predicted, I’m in the middle of the sh*t couple of weeks that were coming, but having seen this coming, I’m a little better armed to fight the battle now. At the very least I have ordered plenty of fizz… However that specific day is still ooming…(being a verb that combines looming & ominously – in case you didn’t know). And I still don’t have a plan…

But today, in various places and at various times, I have been able to spend time with people who really knew Matt and I, who knew him, who knew us, who knew and know how things really were and are. And although it doesn’t stop it hurting – f*ck, what could? – knowing that we’re all on the same page, all feeling it together, all there for each other, really, really, really helps. To hear and be heard, and to share without judgement? Just so amazing, and affirming, and I am so grateful. Anything else is just white noise. Not important, and not worthy of being in my life.

There’s nothing like something like this to show you who your friends really are or are not, as I’ve said before. And sadly I’ve lost some along the way, who couldn’t or wouldn’t stay the distance. But those with me now? We’ve all been through struggles, through this together; we’ve been forged in fires we’d rather not have faced, be they their’s or mine or both, and I think some of those new bonds will be with me for life. I hope so. If not, well, life is a strange and meandering path, some people are with you for the whole ride, others are just there for steps along the way…but even if that turns out to be the case sometimes, it wouldn’t detract from how important it was for me to see them all today.

Oddly, and hilariously, apparently I’m looking good these days. So I look good overweight with a suntan. Hah! Maybe. Maybe you’re just very polite. Or I maybe I just looked really REALLY bad last time you saw me. Distinctly possible! I can’t paint people, but I can paint a smile on myself to rival one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s, and thinking about it, if you’re paying attention, it’s probably just as enigmatic… But I can play the game. I’ve got skills… I went out, we went out, we laughed, we ate, drank, there may even have been the odd very brief intimate shared tear when no-one else was looking. And another day has been marked off on the wall of the solitary confinement cell that grief leaves you living in.

Love isn’t something you can turn off. It turns out I love him whether he’s here or not. Inconvenient, no? Sometimes I have the most vivid disassociated feeling that I’m about to wake up and none of this will ever happened. Wouldn’t that be just something?

And then I have to have serious words with myself. Because, like, as if, you idiot *face slap*. Whatever people might think, and whether they like it or not, I’m actually not stupid. If I was I’d be religious and just waiting for my turn to hope to have been good enough in this life to be allowed to walk through those hallowed pearly gates and run into his arms. Yeah, right…

So now I’m home again, putting off tomorrow, lost in the shadows, trying to learn to listen to music again, writing this, and all the time holding on to him deep inside, because I’m never letting him go.

Love you my beautiful eternally gorgeous fit as f*ck boy ❤️😢. And man, do I miss you. SO much. You were always so paranoid that I would leave you, and I promised you I never would; that I was never going anywhere. And I wasn’t, and didn’t, and I never would have done. I kept my part of the bargain. You didn’t. I’ll never get it. I guess some things are permanently incomprehensible. How do I keep doing this without you? 😭.