I find it almost inconceivable that six months have passed since my darling Mr JK died. How is it possible that I have had six whole months without him? I still find it hard to accept that he's not coming back. Clearly I know that he isn't, but it doesn't make the longing any less. I miss him terribly - his daft jokes, his singing, his hugs, his enthusiasm for life, his ... everything really. I even miss all the running kit in the washing every day! It's left a massive hole in my life that I'm struggling to fill. People tell me that I'm doing well and I suppose that's the face that I want people see. When I'm at work, or out and about, I put on my 'I'm ok' face and just get on with things. They don't see the waves of sadness that can engulf me unexpectedly, the loneliness of evenings and weekends alone. It's really tough coming back home to an empty house after being out, so often it's less painful not to go out in the first place. And it can be the smallest of things that triggers off the sadness - wanting to discuss the latest goings on in The Archers, a new Rick Wakeman CD out that I know he would have loved, the spring flowers starting to appear in the garden, making pancakes on Shrove Tuesday .... Yes, I've had support, especially from my dear friend Snoopydog, who sadly finds herself now making the same journey as me. When you've spent so many years living with someone, your life revolves around them. Suddenly, when that someone is no longer around, it's as if you've lost part of yourself too. Something that can never be replaced. Death and grieving really are taboo. People don't know what to say to you. I've seen people crossing the road to avoid having to speak to me. People don't mention Mr JK's name 'for fear of upsetting me', when often all I want to do is talk about him and remember him with people who knew him too. People have told me to phone them if I need anything; it's really hard to admit to others that you're struggling and need help. I have made little steps though - this week I went through Mr JK's clothes and took them to the local homeless shelter. I've thrown away his toothbrush and put the book he was reading back on the shelf. Things that I wasn't ready to do until now. And I will carry on taking more little steps, and hopefully making Mr JK proud of me.
I heard something on a Radio 4 programme about bereavement the other day which really struck a chord with me:
'Grief, I've learned, is really just love. It's all the love you want to give but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corner of your eyes, the lump in your throat and the hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.'
I don't know who said this originally, but I think that it's a really helpful way of looking at grief. I do have lots of love to give and no place for it to go right now. xxx