Rusty

So today was as exciting as expected, so not exciting at all. It was just another day. Woke up later than I wanted, only to realise that there wasn’t much to be awake for anyway. I spent most of the day spring cleaning my laptop which was complaining about lack of iCloud memory. And rather than spend more per month on extra storage, I decided to get rid of a whole heap of unwanted stuff.

Which would be fine, if going through all my photos didn’t mean bumping into hundreds of photo of Matt, or Matt and I. And then there’s the photos he’s not actually in, but I know that I was talking to him at the time they were taken. For nigh on four years, if we weren’t physically together, we were headphones in each others ears, living vicariously together. And then apart from the photos, there’s the file with all our texts, the file with all our WhatsApp messages which I’ve saved because I don’t want to lose them, but reading them, even just a part of them, is like hearing him talk again, like having him in my ear again, and seeing in those words all the hopes and dreams and the love we had, and just wondering where the f*ck it all went wrong, and why, why, why isn’t he still here? It’s like bringing him closer just to emphasise how far away he is now. It’s indescribably painful.

We lived our relationship long distance for years, which was not easy, but it was worth it, because we were going to have forever together. We actually said that, in black and white, in a file that now sits stored for posterity, that means nothing to anyone else but us, and now just me. We said that one day we would look back on it all, on how hard it had been, on how much we’d loved each other then, from the future where we were busy being happy together forever, still loving each other just as much and more for the rest of our lives. Oh man. I wish…god, do I wish…

The long term long distance thing probably explains why I still half want to call him, msg him, text, him, or expect him to be likewise in touch…I was used to him not being physically being here but being able to contact him. Some habits are hard to break as far as my subconscious is concerned.  And now I don’t talk to anyone. I don’t talk to the kids, I haven’t seen a friend in ages, and the only person I’ve properly talked to is my counsellor who, though lovely, is paid to listen.

I just miss him. So much. It’s almost worse as the distance between now and then grows larger. I worry I’ll forget how those hugs felt, what his voice sounded like, the way he laughed, the feel of his hand around mine, the way he looked at and into me. Every day I lose him a little bit more, and I can’t get him, or any of it, back. I miss him. I can’t let go but he’s slipping through my fingers. I miss us. I miss who I was with him, how he made me feel, how he lifted me up, how I could make him laugh, how we cherished the way we supported each other. I know I am never going to be who I was again; that person died when he did. And I have no idea who I am now, or who I’m going to be. I’m not sure I’m anybody. I’m just empty. I’m pretty much just a dead woman walking.

Yesterday Tash said something, I forget what, and I actually laughed briefly. And I realised it had been the first time I’d genuinely laughed in days, if not longer. It felt weird. Rusty. I am so quiet these days, in so many ways. There’s a world full of thoughts and feelings inside that I daren’t touch, and so I segregate my thoughts, and keep to the safe and the routine and thus yet another day will pass, which could have been yesterday or tomorrow, as all my days run/blur together. Today’s spring cleaning meant bumping into far too much, and I didn’t even have anyone to share that with, to share how I was feeling about it, to lean on for support.

Grieving is hard work. It’s tiring. It’s walking down a long featureless road on your own, with no destination, weighed down and crippled by your thoughts and feelings, just putting one foot in front of the other, and hoping that one day the journey starts to make sense or have purpose, without any real faith that that will actually happen.

You know what worries me? That this lockdown will end, but my lockdown won’t. That everyone’s life will get back to ‘normal’, and I still won’t have anyone to see, to talk to, and I won’t have the lockdown to blame that on anymore. I’ll just have to face up to the fact that everyone moves on, everyone has their own lives, as they should, and that it’s really just plain old me now. The kids will move on, back to uni, off to other jobs. And there I’ll be. Just me, myself, and I… It doesn’t just worry me. It properly scares me. I really don’t think I can do this on my own. So when it comes to that point, what then?

The colour purple

I’ve been having a kind of ok couple of days. No idea why. I think the sunshine the other day helped. I’ve been busy, with work, and my folks and stuff. I’ve probably been less hormonal. What with the whole virus thing there’s plenty else to worry about. And busy is distracted and not thinking too much. The fact that life is totally turned upside down for everyone sort of makes it easier to cope with the fact that my life feels like that all the time? It’s almost like we’re a little bit more on the same page as each other, and I feel a little less like the odd one out. No-one knows else which way is up at the moment either, and the situation changes every day.

This isn’t to say I haven’t had the odd wobble; there’s been a fair few, but I feel like I’ve generally been one step off the bottom in-between times. I’ve even been on the spin bike twice. I’ve learnt to listen to podcasts instead of music, which inevitably triggers me. I’ve hung out with my folks, I’ve got some work done and, since the Oakhouse has been dead quiet and also closed more, I’ve been able to hang out with Austin more too. This afternoon I dyed various bits of my hair various shades of purple, and then we had an early birthday dinner at the pub tonight, complete with my free Butcombe loyalty card bottle of prosecco because who knows if we’ll still be allowed in pubs by the 27th? Plus loyalty card members get 25% off food on Wednesdays and I’ve been deliberately saving up my points for a long time, so the whole meal, including drinks & fizz, didn’t cost me a penny. How cool is that? I know it’s not really much in the big scale of things, but it’s the little things these days…and I’ll take that. It still rained on the way home though…plus ça change…

It’s not all been great. Everything I’ve been looking forward to in my calendar, and there wasn’t much, has now been cancelled, from Brian Fallon to Les Miserables, and I don’t know if that’s cancelled or postponed yet. That worries me. Just as I’m starting to feel a little better, to try and get a little out there, life comes along and shuts my world down again. Thanks for that. At least it’s not just me though, right?

A couple of other hurdles have also come my way, but I’ve chosen to take the high road and take one step to the side rather than let them trip me up. My birthday still looms large, but I know Austin and I will figure out a way to cope with it, even if it means walking up a hill in the rain to drink fizz. We’ll work something out. And then this evening, having finished watching films with Austin, I had a kinda weird flashback to holding hands with Matt, almost like I was actually doing so. I remember how my hand fit perfectly in his, how it felt, how wherever we walked, and wherever we were, we would be holding hands…and there you go, there came the next wave to knock me down. Hopefully I got knocked down, but I’ll get up again…

A year ago this was us. It feels like such long time ago now…even if the pain and grief can be just as sharp as if it all happened yesterday, and when I’m down there, it’s hard to imagine it ever being better. It’s hard to remember being happy like that, I think I’ve forgotten how to be. Even though I know Matt and I were blissfully happy 99% of the time, I can’t yet think back on photos and memories without feeling overwhelming sadness. I’m not sure I’ll ever be that happy again. I look at photos like these and I don’t recognise me. I feel so removed from the person I was… Austin and I had a bit of a heart to heart late last night may my folks, over a nightcap or two, and he says that it’s destroyed me, and that’s what he hates about it all the most. That and he wishes he could help more and just doesn’t know how to. In vino veritas…

Next time I’m proper down in the pit, I need to try and remind myself that there are occasionally days when it doesn’t feel quite so bad. Which is of course easier said than done, isn’t everything? It didn’t work last time, it probably won’t work next time. But I’ll try. It’s just that I miss him so much. The music is over, and we’re finished dancing…but I wanted us to dance together forever. 😢💔

One thought away.

I am only ever one thought away from tears.

So, with various other chaos erupting around me, and work to be done, I can usually get by for a while by being busy and by not thinking about anything else.

And I’ve just had a really nice night out with a cycling mate Rob who remembered that I’m not one for reaching out and had reached out to me in the middle of the last shit storm week. Did I fancy a drink this week? “OMG yes”, I believe I replied. And in a coming together of things, and places I need to be, I’m back at my folks for a couple of days, seeing Rob tonight, sorting Dad’s staples’ removal tomorrow, and seeing another mate afterwards, then back here and “home” again on Thursday. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed I’ve been isolating myself from people. Everyone says “call me if you need me”. Simple right? And so easy for you to say. And If I don’t call, I’m fine, obvs. Not. Because mostly I can’t. The only person I want to call is Matt. And I can’t do that either. Sadly if you’re down there it just doesn’t work like that. Why on earth would I want to contact anyone else, and burden them with me? But I’m making an effort and reaching out to people. I’m trying to be pro-active. I’m trying. No-one’s going to know how I’m feeling unless I tell them, are they? Apparently this is when you learn who your friends really are…

But it’s always there. In the wrong song that comes on. In the photos that someone shows you. In the dark hours, and the what ifs. In the random memories that pop up triggered by god knows what. In the hug that you get at an unexpected time or from an unexpected person, or both. It’s always just below the surface. I can now cry at the drop of a hat. Not that anyone is dropping hats around here. Plates, or balls, possibly. But not hats.

I guess to almost everyone else, Matt died last year. Ages ago. Old news.

But it’s a one way mirror thing.

That all makes sense from that side of the mirror.

Sadly, as I now know to my cost, thanks to the others I have met online and elsewhere, on this side of the mirror, in the club that no-one wants to join, 5 months is nothing. 5 months is early days. I have a long road to travel ahead of me, and since I apparently have to stay here, I have many miles to go before I sleep. If someone made a massive impact by coming into your life, it should be no surprise that they made a similarly massive impact by leaving it. And the stronger the feelings beforehand, the worse the grief afterwards. And it’s all true. All those seemingly trite memes – they’re true.

There hasn’t been a single day since he died that I haven’t cried. And most of those days I’ve cried a lot. There are still days that even breathing hurts. Some days I’m amazed I’m still here. But I am. I don’t feel like I’m coping, but then I guess I must be, because I’m still doing it, right? I’m getting up, I’m getting dressed, I’m working. I’m fine, right? Except I’m really not.

I don’t know who I am anymore. This isn’t the me I knew. People say I should go and do something I enjoy; without appreciating that anything I do that I enjoy I would now be doing on my own, without Matt, and the joy that used to be in whatever it is has gone. I can’t think of anything I enjoy. I can’t think of anything I want to do. Well I can, but I’m not allowed to do that.

I can’t tell you how much I envy people who don’t know how I feel. How I wish I didn’t know how I feel. I can’t imagine a place in time where I’m happy again. The best I can do is brief patches of semi-respite. And they never last long.

And then here I am again. Alone with a head full of thoughts, eyes filled with tears, and a heart that literally feels broken.

I wish… But wishes still aren’t horses and beggars still can’t ride.

Hold on

It would appear that the best way to get certain things done around here is to not concretely plan to do them at all. It’s to spring them on myself. Who knew?

After a constructive couple of hours at work today, while I worked and Tash revised, the kids and I went out for food with Gill at The Crown, cooked by her other half Tony. And it was really nice; not just the food (fab as ever), but the company, and the conversation, and the being out. (Btw, Gill has been amazing through all of this).

Sadly being at The Crown came with an unexpected and massive flashback to Matt and I’s last night together there which, thanks to a stupid argument, was not a great one. And it was so vivid, and felt so fresh, and so powerful… I’ve been back there a few times, and I’ve no idea why it happened today. But it did, and there he was, and there you go. There’s no logic to such things. If I had to hypothesise,  I guess it’s because with the “festive” season, he’s in my thoughts even more of the time. But for whatever reason it happened, and I cried, and when I cried with company later, it was ok. To be fair, I was among friends, and I guess they’re kind of used to me now. But still…

And then we came home, and the mob and I unexpectedly put up the front room’s Christmas decorations. Christmas is going to be here, whether I/we like it or not. My parents will be here on Christmas Day. Other people might be here at other times. And my counsellor recommended maybe doing something, even if I didn’t feel my heart and soul was in it. Yes, it’s a first, putting things up without him. But it’s a first done now. So next year it’s not another first waiting to get me. It’s another little step. So now the front room looks festive. The mob and I did it together, as once more it’s the three of us against the world. But he’s here with us. I’ve put sparkly stars around his photo, (man, just look at that grin!), I’ve hung some more photos of him from some paper clip fairy lights, and yes, I’ve cried a lot.

But that’s good. Because it’s Christmas and he’s not here. And he should be missed. It would be wrong if he wasn’t, and if missing him didn’t hurt. Even in death, he is still part of my life. So they’re kind of good, healthy tears. They’re part of the process. Something I read said that it takes a lot more strength to cry in front of people and show how you’re feeling than it does to bottle it up until you’re alone, and I think there’s a lot of truth to that. It’s not easy to show people your vulnerable side, your raw pain, to share it, especially if you’re like me. I’m usually a very private, and very shy person. And yes, I know, people don’t generally think I am. But if you know me you know I am. Yet another thing that Matt totally got about me. He knew me inside out.

Maybe I won’t be quite as positive about those tears when I cry myself to sleep again tonight. Once again it is what it is. I’m just really fragile at the moment, and I don’t know how I’m going to feel from one minute to the next. I’m very easily triggered, and easily hurt. But very luckily, as part of my “journey” I have met some new people who know exactly how I feel. Who I can talk to, and share with; who are in the club and who get it. And I am massively grateful for all of my friends, old and new, who are supporting me through this. I wouldn’t be getting through this without you and I’m not sure that you know how important you are. I thanked one of my new friends earlier, and she said I didn’t need to thank her. But I think such things should be said. Because what happens if you can’t say them tomorrow?

Don’t leave things left unsaid. If you knew, if we all knew, how much losing your person hurts, how it turns your world upside down, how neither you or your world will ever be the same again, we’d all be a darn sight nicer to each other. So if you’d like to do one thing for me this Christmas, go hug your people. Hold on tight. Tell them how much you love them and how important they are. Be grateful for what you have, and be grateful that most of you really don’t understand how I feel. I wish I’d known…

Tempus fugit

I know it sounds weird. But it kind of hadn’t occurred to me that Christmas is in two days time. And I suddenly realised I have a whole chunk of stuff to do between now and a day that I want absolutely nothing to do with. That I’m actively dreading, even though in theory it’s just one day, another day like any other. But before coping with that I have work to do so that I don’t get behind, and presents to wrap, and chores to do, and maybe even some decorations to put up, if any of us can summon up the energy or inclination to do so. And if we don’t, well that’s ok too, right? None of us are really into Christmas this year, and it’s not that it was a big deal these days anyway, now that the mob are grown up, and that Tate won’t be coming down. And Matt hated it, so it’s not like we’d even be celebrating it for him. We’ll do what feels right for us, and that’s the right thing to do.

I met up with Clare today, minus Rory & Liam. Life rarely goes according to plan. But it was really good to catch up and to talk someone from the outside world, and to talk about Matt. Nobody talks to me about Matt, nobody wants me to talk about Matt. I’m sure that’s because no-one wants to upset me, or they don’t know what to say, or because they’ve moved on and he’s not foremost in their thoughts, or whatever. But to me it just feels like everyone has forgotten he existed. And he did exist. And he was important. And not talking about him makes his absence feel worse. I want to remember him, to be able to go, oh yes, Matt and I used to do that, without it being awkward. He was a part of a my life for a long time, he doesn’t stop being a part of it just because he died, just like I don’t stop loving him just because he died.

Out of the blue this evening I suddenly sorted through all the photos I had printed out of him for the funeral and put the best ones into frames, and filed the others away. I didn’t know I was going to do it, which probably made it easier, and didn’t build it up into a big thing. But it has left me in on and off floods of tears ever since. Because he, and we, looked so happy, and carefree… And it all looks like such a world away, I don’t recognise the me in those photos, I don’t look like that anymore, I can’t imagine ever looking like that ever again. It never gets less surreal.

I’m hoping having the pictures around the house will mean I get used to them, and that slowly seeing them will shock and upset me less, and that sometime after that they will just make me smile, (his grin was infectious after all), and that I’ll look back and remember all the good times, the great times, the amazing relationship that we were so lucky to have. Even diamonds have flaws, don’t go thinking I don’t know we weren’t perfect. But if you can stand there, inside your glass house, and tell me hand on heart that you and your relationship are 100% perfect then feel free to throw the first stone… And if having the photos up proves too hard to handle, then I’ll just take them down again, and try again when time has moved even further on.

I was listening to podcasts in the car. I can’t listen to music much these days, it’s like a direct link to the tear tap. We shared so much music, used it to say so much to each other… Anyway, I was listening to the Griefcast, unsurprisingly. Which was recommended to me and is good. Lots of what is said resonates, and it makes you feel a little less alone. Like one of the interviewees who like me had realised that we have no title. No box to tick on a form. I’m not widowed. I’m divorced. I’m single. Except that’s the last thing I feel. Single? Really? It’s the first time the FB status “it’s complicated” has ever meant anything to me. I also have no way of referring to Matt in conversation to outsiders. There’s no “my partner and I”, there’s no, “my fiancé tried to fix that”. Not without opening up the inevitable can of worms. “Oh, what does your partner do?”, “oh has he given up on that then?”. Well no actually, he passed away a few months away… Sometimes you just don’t want to have that conversation.  But he’s not my Ex either, and to refer to him as such would be SO wrong. I don’t know what to say, so I say nothing at all.

Which goes for life pretty much these days. I don’t say much to anyone other than the kids. What is there to say? Nobody wants to talk about Matt. There is no happy recounting of what I’ve been up to since you last saw me. There are no exciting holidays or plans ahead. There is just the same shit, different day stuff that there has been for months. You’ve all heard it all before. I don’t want to bore you. I don’t want to upset you, or me. And I don’t want to be told how to fix it, or that I should be over it be now. Sometimes it feels like a miracle that I talk at all. Good thing I write then, right? Because it’s not quiet inside my head. Inside my brain is whirring, and processing, and crying, and panicking, and trying to make sense of the senseless, and stressing, and hurting, and remembering, and playing the what if game, and wondering and… But hey, these days, should you ask how I am, “I’m ok, just muddling through”. Because you didn’t really mean it when you asked me anyway. You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth.

What I wouldn’t give to be back in the world those photos have captured and frozen in time…

Tumbling walls

I have better patches, I have worse patches. I mostly do best when I do my best not to think about ‘it’, or him, and keep busy. I’d been having a fairly good morning. The boss and I have things sorted for the time being. Things were going ok. And then I went into the office, and tried to download my photos of this weekend’s show. And there suddenly, in photos that clearly haven’t been downloaded since they were taken because I don’t recognise them, there he was.

There he was, standing on a coastal path on one of our weekend breaks somewhere, looking back at me and smiling at me in that straight at me and into me way he had, and every single brick in my carefully constructed walls collapsed. Just crumbled away. Coming out of the blue, it felt like being stabbed in the heart, and left me in uncontrollable floods of tears in the office, and then on and off for the rest of the day, through work, dinner, the cinema…

How can someone who looks so vibrant, so alive, so gorgeous, so mine, not be here any more? It’s not something my brain can rationalise. I don’t think I will ever get my head around how life has gone from being like that, being us, us being everything, to life being this. It’s just not fair. And I know I sound like a child throwing a tantrum, but it just isn’t.

I miss seeing him but I can’t yet bear having photos of him around the house, even though I’ve bought the frames for when I am. I know one day I’ll look back at them and smile, and remember happier times, and sometimes even now, when I’m prepared, I can do that a little bit. But out of the blue like that? Nope, not coping with that. Maybe he was just popping up to say hello. But a little warning would have been good… 💔😢

Random photos, frozen moments.

I was trying to post on Facebook earlier about the geckos going to their new home. I feel bad about it, but I know it’s the right thing. So I tried to find a good photo of them to go with it, but for some reason the way Facebook was working had all of his and my photos all mixed up together and in random order…

Random photos from all our time together. Many that I either had never seen or haven’t seen for so long I’d forgotten them. Having spent years doing our relationship long distance, we’d exchanged a lot of photos. And we took a lot when we were together too.

Selfies he’d sent me from the van when he was thinking of me, some sad because he was missing me, some happy because he was on his way to see me, some from his house to show me new outfits, or new cycling gear, some with words on them sending me love and hugs before he went to sleep. Selfies I’d taken of me in the office to cheer him up, or show him my work, or at home to show him a new outfit, or just to smile at him in imagery rather than just off the phone,

Selfies we took together everywhere; on beaches, and at gigs, on hills, in pubs, in bed, always hugging, touching, smiling, relaxed, two being one. Pictures full of all the places we went together, full of so much joy and love.

Photos I took of him, fit as, with that amazing smile, and the way he looked at me and into me, and I could see the way he felt about me shining in his eyes out at me, just as clear as if he was here.

Photos he took of me, often when I didn’t even notice, which showed me the me he saw, which is not the same me I see, looking at him just the same way he looked me. He didn’t see my issues with my shape and my weight; his photos just showed that he loved me whatever, whatever I wore, awake or asleep, and they were amazing to see, and I can’t imagine anyone ever feeling that way about me ever again.

Photos other people took of us, at events, family events, Christmas, when we got engaged, and more, where we just look so happy and so right together, a unit in a crowd, sometimes so busy being us we were oblivious to the camera.

So much life, so much love, so much happiness, all captured as hundreds of frozen moments in time that I can’t get back or go back to. We weren’t perfect. No one takes photos of arguments. But those photos pretty much cover it really. He loved me. I was his world and he was mine. I loved, and continue to love him truly, madly, deeply.

One day I’ll be able to look at them without crying. To smile and remember the good times. Right now though they just make me miss him even more. Miss what can never be again. Life is never going to be the same, and no one will ever fill the space that he has left behind in the way that he did.

I love you my beautiful boy, and I’m constantly thinking of you, wherever you are. I wish you were here to help me deal with all the challenges I’m currently facing. And I hope that wherever you are, it’s a better place than this place here is without you.😭💔.

If a picture paints…

As part of all the to-ing and fro-ing over the last couple of days, eldest and I  finally picked up the two boards from the wake that had all my/our photos of Matt on them.

Maybe I shouldn’t have looked at them. But I kinda had to. Because however emotional it was, which it was and still is, I wanted to see him. It just feels like it’s been so so long since I’ve seen him, that it felt better to see him through the tears, than to not see him at all. I miss seeing him.  It’s been the longest 11 weeks of my life. With how things have been lately, I needed to be reminded of his smile, of all the places we’ve been together, of how happy we were. I know I’m never going to see him again, and I hate the fact that these photos are all I have now. The distance between my now and those frozen moments in time is only going to grow as time passes, and that hurts. But even though seeing him came with tears, and memories, and yearning, and pain, I’m still glad I looked at them. To smile a little through the tears. To see him, and to see us. And remember that we were. WE were. We may not have been perfect but, even warts ‘n all, we were pretty amazing, and I’ll always be grateful that we were us.

I have already acquired some nice photo frames, and at some point I’ll populate them. But maybe not yet… I think looking at him on a daily basis is still be a bit more than I can cope with. I don’t feel strong enough for that yet. But when I’m ready, those photos can come out and be around me, and I’ll take what comfort I can from them when that time comes.

Love you my beautiful boy. 😭❤️

 

 

Who do I talk to?

I think I’ve figured out what one of the problems I’m struggling with is. Not only do I not really have anyone to talk to, but I don’t have anyone to talk to about Matt.

Matt and I were mostly us, and hadn’t managed to integrate into much by way of groups. To be fair, though we’d tried a bit, we were happy that way. We decided not to let it worry us, and we both felt that we didn’t really need anyone else anyway. We were enough. Our us bubble. Which now becomes a downfall. There is no group for me to hang out with, where he isn’t, to be surrounded by.

I do have people to talk to sometimes. But lots of my friends had never been lucky enough to meet him, they only know him secondhand, through me, through pictures on Facebook. Even so, some of them came to the funeral just to support me, which meant so, so much to me. And of those few of my friends who had met him/us, very few are local, so it’s hard to meet up and chat and just feel supported. I am spending a lot of time on my own, and I’m pretty sure that’s not good for me or the places my head can go.

I’ve lived here for twenty years, and I’ve known some members of his family for far, far longer than I knew him. But I wasn’t here for the years that all of them remember him most for. I wasn’t at school with him and his friends, or part of his teenage antics and whatever he got up to at uni and in between. I didn’t know him for the years he was married and wasn’t living here. I do however know everything about it all though, as Matt and I didn’t have any secrets from each other. None. We talked about, and shared, absolutely everything. What we’d done, how we’d felt. Everything.

Which is one of the other things that makes me sad. I can’t imagine anyone else ever being important enough, and who I could trust enough, to tell them about everything that has happened to me in my life. And to be heard and understood. It was amazing. Yet another thing that has gone with him…

But back to where we were…

His family can get together and reminisce and share. But I’m not family, which felt fairly clear before he died, and remains so now, so we won’t be getting together and sharing happy memories.

His friends can get together and do the same and some of them are in fact having a reunion in November, having all been brought together at the funeral, to get together again. But I’m not one of them either.

So who do I talk to? Who do I tell about my Matt? Who do I share him with? When I say ‘Matt used to…’, or ‘oh yes, Matt and I did..‘, who won’t do that awkward bit when they wait a bit and then change the subject?

All our memories are just mine now, in my head, and in hundreds of photos that no-one else will ever look at it but me, and even I can’t look at them yet. Not talking about him is like he didn’t exist. Like he was never here. Like someone so active and vibrant and vivid can just be erased. Do people think this massive part of my life should be shut in a box and never opened? I want to remember him. Memories of him pop up all the time, at random times and triggered by random things.

Even the self check out till at Tesco’s set me off today. The number of times I was in his ear when he was shopping on his way to see me, and we’d laugh at the voice telling us how important your clubcard points are to you. The idea of forgetting even the tiniest thing about him really scares and upsets me.

But with no-one to talk to about him, how do I keep him alive? How do I keep him with me? Our life together, and his death, have changed me irreversibly. I’m having to work out who I am now, without him, and I’m not who I was before. But I’m still Matt’s fiancé, even though we’ll never stand on that beach and exchange our vows. He will always be a part of who I was and who I am going to be. Even if no-one wants to talk to me about him, or include me, or in fact talk to me full stop – they can’t take that away from me.

Some people may never be lucky enough to have what we had. I was amazed that I got to have the kind of relationship I’d only ever dreamed of. I may never have anything like it ever again. I know we weren’t perfect. Who is? But we had what we had, and it was pretty goddamn amazing 99% of the time. I am so grateful for having had you in my life.

I miss you, my beautiful boy, and I am carrying you with me, into whatever the future may be. Even if no-one wants to talk to me about you.  😥💔

 

 

 

If a picture paints a thousand words…

I now have loads of printed photos of Matt, thanks to that thing we now do where lots of the photos of the deceased’s life get to be put on display at the “wake”. I try not to look at them. I tried putting some of them up. And sure, it was nice to see him. But it also just made me cry. I had to take them all down again.  Oddly though, I do still look at them sometimes, either the real thing or on my phone, like I’m worried I’ll forget him/us (plenty of others seem to have done), and I miss seeing him so bad. I love seeing his grin but… It’s a bit of a lose/lose situation. 

I have access to all his photos too. And to see how he saw me? Amazing. And all the photos we both have of us together, we just look so happy. But it’s like our whole life together has been reduced to snapshots, to photos. Static images of something that was so vibrant and active. And I know I should be happy to see them, and enjoy the happy memories we made, but all my brain can do is the “never again” thing and cry a lot.

Did I mention how fit he was? Like drop dead gorgeous. (Unfortunate choice of phrase I know). And he thought I was too. Neither of us believed the other. But he was gorgeous as and I still don’t understand how I got to be that lucky. And there’s no way I’ll ever be that lucky again. To meet someone who’s crazy matches my crazy perfectly, in every single way.

So, now we’ve established that, would you mind coming back now please? 😭💔