Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Six months ...




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






20 comments:

Janet Clark said...

Josie I do feel for you. I lost my DH three and a half years ago, he was diagnosed with incurable cancer and passed over seven weeks later. My life changed in an instant, all our plans for the future disappeared, but life goes on and eighteen months later I downsized to a smaller bungalow (something we had planned to do once my DH retired). During the past couple of years I have been keeping busy, I joined the U3A and am a member of several interest groups and I got a new puppy (my old dog died shortly after my DH passed). Dog walking is very social and I have met so many new people through her. Yes, I still have ‘watery eye’ moments, and find it difficult attending events where there are lots of ‘couples’, and some friends have drifted away, but life never stands still and you learn to make the most of what you have. I know my DH is still there watching over me and would not want me to grieve forever. Things will improve for you.
Hugs Jan x

KirstenM said...

Thank you for your blog. I'm learning, I hope, to be more aware for people I know in your position. And the quote "Grief is just love" etc is so helpful.

Petersson13 said...

I can't believe it is 6 months either. I know we've never met, but I've followed the blog for years. I think of you often, and hope you're ok. Grief is such a long and lonely journey. Exhausting too. Be gentle with yourself xx

Jenny said...

A very brave post JK and I'm so glad you shared that with us. I've learnt a few things over the years like not telling grieving people to give me a ring, I need to ring them, mentioning the person who died, and using that word, never avoiding the bereaved person. Life is hard enough for you at present without stepping round other's discomfort. Spring is such a time of hope and looking forward, which must intensify your loss but I hope you and Snoops find comfort together. Help each other at this sad time, you are both amazing women and I think of you often.

Snoopydog said...

Such a beautiful post. It's exactly how it is! Lots of love to you! xx

melissa said...

Helen, this is a beautifu and powerful post. Thank you for being so open and willing to share of yourself. I send much love to you as you find yourself navigating this new path which you never wanted but now find yourself upon.

Helsie said...

Thank you for sharing this difficult time. It is a lesson to us all. Hugs from Oz.

Bridget said...

I'm glad you even felt good enough to write this. I'm glad you are continuing the best you can to live your life, that's what he would want. But it sucks and I know you just want it to not be true.

My mother used to say that when someone dies, you get used to it, but you never get over it. I have found that to be true. The getting used to it part is the worst.

Take care of yourself, and give Flo some extra kisses. xo

Sue M said...

It's been six years since I lost my beloved husband. You're doing just brilliantly - keep strong, and things do get better in time.

weavinfool said...

Many big hugs .

Lynne said...

Hi Helen, as others have also said, I think of you often too, and hope you're doing ok! Your blog and Instagram posts are so inspiring because you are getting on with things, and I really am in awe of you. I only saw Ros's post the other day, and was so shocked for her. You are both so lovely, so lots of love to both of you! Lynne

Hattie Tavares said...

Oh Helen, I feel for you! I can't say I know what it's like, but your post definitely struck a chord and I immediately teared up... I wish I could give you a hug. I'm sorry it's still so tough for you.

Spinthrift said...

Hi Helen
As others have said, I do think of you often and wonder how things are going for you. I cannot begin to imagine how all encompassing the grief must be and how hard it must be to hold it together for work and to put on a public front.
Before Mr JK died I always admired how much you both did together and how you seemed to make the most of your free time.
This message is sent with much love.
Best wishes

Jane x

VeggieMummy said...

I can't believe that 6 months has passed either. I can remember reading your post and being really shocked as Mr. JK was so young and fit. As C.S. Lewis said 'The pain now is part of the happiness then. That's the deal.' So as hard as you and your lovely Flo are finding it now, you have all those years of happiness to look back on. I'll think of you when I'm listening to The Archers Omnibus on Sundays! Much love. xx

Judy said...

Dearest Helen,

Thank you for sharing how you are REALLY feeling. It breaks my heart to know this is a journey you have to travel alone, no matter how much your friends would love to share the burden. Keeping you--and Flo--in my thoughts and prayers!

SmallP said...

Helen, what a beautifully written post. My heart goes out to you xx

Sarah Knits said...

Sending love and hugs because I have no words of wisdom but want you to know I am not passing by on the other side of the street xx

Claire said...

I am 2 years and 4 months into my journey, and it is easier now, although it never goes. I still get the waves of longing and loneliness, I still want to talk about Ivan and I make a point of talking to Alex about his Dad all the time. Little things like, your Dad would have loved that and you are so like him.

Mr JK will always be with you in your memories, because you will never forget him. You don't stop grieving but as you move along the hole becomes surrounded by more and more life. If ever I start to feel the waves coming on, I make myself think of something that happened with Ivan, that made me laugh or gave great pleasure (and there was a lot of that).

I am mentally holding hands with you along the way. Lots of love and hugs.
xxx

Cindy said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your deepest feelings, I wish there was something I could do, but hopefully, each day will become a little easier. Many hugs to you! Take care and know that so many people are thinking of you with love.

TT in MD said...

Helen, a beautiful post. very timely catching up on blog - a colleaque just lost her husband after many months of him trying to recover from a major car accident. when a friend at work lost her young baby, others were "wondering what to say; i'll be so uncomfortable." umm just say how sorry you are, give her a hug, and talk if she wants and don't worry about tears.