After an irrationally and uncontrollably weepy start to the day, I went into Bristol with Kevin, and got my calf tattoos finished. For whatever reason, it hurt more than usual, and I was very glad my two hours session wasn’t the previous 5.5 hour session. And now they’re both finished. And they look great. Tash’s designs look awesome, just like I knew they would. Which is why I decided to get the back of my calves done, even if I’d never wanted to tattoo my lower legs before. Once I saw those designs, that was it. I just knew…

Matt knew about them, even though he shook his head indulgently at me while rolling his eyes at me, for changing my mind about such a thing so easily. But he wasn’t surprised. He got it. He knew it was about family. He didn’t really mind. Even though I hadn’t gotten around to it, he knew I was going to get them done at some point, and I’m pretty sure he would love them. Actually sod that, I’m not pretty sure. I’m totally sure. He would love them as much as I do. But I so miss being able to show them to him, to share them with him. It hurts. And considering the clothes I’m wearing these days, no-one else is likely to see them anyway. They’re just mine for the time being, though I’ll post the pictures at some point when they’re healed. They’re just another part of me that you don’t get to see or really know about until you get to know me. I can’t imagine there ever being anyone in my life who I properly want to share them, or anything, with. But I do love that they’re still a thing that ties her and me and him together. He loved her artwork. He knew that artwork was going to end up on on me. And now it has. And I love it.

Whilst there, thanks to Ruby finally getting the stuck tunnel out of my left ear lobe, that one is now stretched to 10mm too, just like the right one, though it needs to settle for a while. Which is great. Both goals achieved. I’m symmetrical. Go me! But guess what? I miss not being able to share that with him too…

But all this being done means that anything I do from here on in is going to be something he didn’t know about. Something he is in no way personally involved with. I’m not going to know for sure that he would have liked it. I’m not going to have talked to him about it, shared it with him. It feels weird. It feels like losing him a tiny little bit more. Every step I take forward is a step further away from him, another step into a world where he isn’t, when all I want to do is run back into his arms, and stay there, secure and safe. That’s how being in his arms made me feel. That was home. This isn’t.

Now I just feel sad. I’ve been so good, I’ve held myself together for most of the day, from the tattoo, to the pub, to seeing friends, whatever, however pleasant it was…but now what I’d really like is some quiet solitary space now. I want to cry, the sort of primal crying that comes from deep inside. I want to, maybe need to, let it all out, to curl up around myself, and howl into the wind. I’ve held it inside all day, and it’s overflowing. But I can’t do that now, because I’m at home, and Austin is home, and I feel like I can’t let go like that when there’s any sort of audience. So it’s sitting there, bubbling just under the surface, like I guess a pressure cooker must feel… It will come out, at some point. It always does. Maybe a late night walk is called for…or maybe I just need to go to sleep and save that for another day, and hope it passes until the next time it overwhelms me.

And I keep doing things, and making plans, and doing them, and hoping that somehow those things being done will make me feel better, and it will be ok, and life will be right again. I’ve taken another step along the road. Like it’s a check box.  I’ve done good; can I have him back now? I did stuff without him; can I be ok now? Nope. I can’t. It doesn’t work like that. Grieving is not a linear process. It’s a f*cking rollercoaster, a maelstrom, a sh*t storm.

I felt shit this morning. Because every morning waking up reminds me of where I am, and the life I am living, and that it is still the same shit, and that whatever I’m due to to do that day, I will be doing without him. And part of the feeling shit is the worry that I will just keep feeling this way forever. That life will NOT get better. That this is it. This is my life. And sadly there is nothing to cling on to to tell me or show me otherwise. Whatever people may tell you, they are not walking the same path as you. I hope that that, as those further down the path than I say, it will get easier. Tomorrow is another day…but there’s not reason to believe that tomorrow will be any better than today.

But hey, I made it through another day, right?


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?