Tuesday, 12 May 2009


How can over nine months have passed since the day that changed my life?

It feels as though I am running at two speeds simultaneously.
On the outside, the seasons are passing as they always do. I am now working again, which gives a semblance of normality and structure to my previously free-form days. There is so much to do around the smallholding at this time of year that there is little time to stand and stare, let alone sit and cry. The race to get seeds into the propagator, potted on and planted out is a great distraction.

Alongside all this, I even seem to have acquired some semblance of a social life. Almost without realising it.

As R worked away so much over the last couple of years of his life, the people we got to know here were more 'my' friends than 'his' or 'ours'. I am often much more relaxed when I am with them than with our old friends; for the former, I don't come with the large R-shaped hole beside me, acting as a constant reminder of our mutual loss.

Nor did new friends made locally drop away once the initial shock faded. They have supported me because they care about me, rather than through some sense of duty towards R. (I am generalising, of course, some old friends have been absolute rocks). Somehow this makes it easier to go out and, yes, enjoy myself for an evening once in a while. It is also easier to snivel off home if it becomes too overwhelming and I have to get out fast.

Yes, on the outside, time is flying by.

Inside my head, though, time is moving infinitesimally slowly.
I still half-believe that I am going to wake up from this dream. That he is only in the next room and that it was his voice that I just heard. That his contract on the other side of the country will end next week and he will be home to stay for a while, perhaps even for a good long while given the current economic climate. That if I reach over in the bed at night he will be there, with his warm arms and eternally cold knees. That the conversations I have with him in my head are real and not just what I would want him to be saying to me right now. That he is coming back.

And the two times continue along their increasingly divergent paths.
How, I wonder, are they ever going to meet again?

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