Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Missing him

Not in a dramatic, floods of tears sort of way tonight. More wistfully sad.

I had some friends to stay last night, passing through on their way to South Wales. It was lovely to have someone to fuss over and make comfortable, to cook for and share a meal. But it is such hard work being both host and hostess at the same time.

R was a wonderful host, and I think we made a good team. His smiley, welcoming front-of-house act allowed me to get into a flap in the kitchen without ruining the evening. Guests were always greeted with "Come in. Make yourself at home. Can I get you a drink? Tea? Coffee? Something stronger?", and he could put anyone at their ease.

I could really sense his presence with me throughout the short visit. His calming hand on my shoulder allowed me to enjoy my friends, rather than worrying about catering or bed linen or something daft like that.

But now they have gone, I have just been sitting outside for the last hour or so of sunlight and feel so sad. I no longer doubt that I can cope with this new life, even though it still trips me up occasionally, but I so, so want my old one back.


  1. I know you do J ... you haven't only lost R ... you have lost your dreams, your future (in the timeline that R lived in), your life as it was. We will survive this, but it's not the future that we wanted ... you're allowed to be sad, and you're allowed to open another bottle of wine and do nothing other than sit there, twiddling with one of Moose's ears ... thinking of you xx

  2. Agree. It seems we can manage to carry on alone, but it would be good to have our old lives back. These past few months getting my property ready to sell, and now the process of selling and moving my belongings (I rented a storage locker and have been moving my things all week), has been so much different than how I had ever imagined everything would go if *we* ever sold and moved. I know it would have seemed more of an adventure to leave here and find a new place to go. Also, we would have split the work or done things together. Instead, it's just me trudging onwards loading and unloading my van, getting documents together for the lawyer, etc... Not much fun in any of this, but I carry on. I guess that's what we're all doing as we move on with our lives.

  3. Thank you all. I'm still a bit teary this morning but, as you say Bev, I'll keep trudging on as we all do.

  4. hello J. i'm sorry you're feeling this. it feels like an existence more than an actual life. your R sounds much like my husband. i was the quiet one, the one who saw to everyone's needs. at the keyboard, i'm a wordsmith, but in reality, i am the listener. i can't imagine facing my daughter's wedding this September without my husband's, as you referenced above, calming hand on my shoulder or, his favorite spot, the small of my back. i miss that like i miss breathing deeply which i haven't done since he died 5 and a half months ago.

    i hope the weather is right for one of your walks today. maybe scuttling clouds and the sun peeking in and out. maybe a chance for a bit of a storm later, that electricity in the air, the smell of the ozone just before is always invigorating. i hope for flowers for you today swaying in a summer breeze so that you think about the happy life you had with R. i hope you can gather a few wildflowers, the best kind, the most symbolic for their hardiness and determination to grow and survive anywhere.

    most of all i hope for rest and peace for all of us who have lost.

    thinking of you, J. and me. coming up on 6 months, his birthday, and our wedding anniversary very soon, all crammed in 9 short days, there will be a floodgate opened on the memories i have of him and my longing for him. ah, well. what can you do?

  5. Anonymous07:03

    I know the feeling. At least my two meeters and greeters are still with me; one basset hound called Lizzie and a horse called Vague Shot, who's 26 now, which is quite old for a horse.

    Sometimes, I think I've made matters worse, in that I now have a relationship with another widow, who I go on holidays with and see every month or so. But she lives in another country and it takes at least four or five hours to get there!

    But then there are those that say that only widows understand each other.

    At least the football season is not too far away and I have something to look forward to in the evenings and at weekends.

    We must just be strong.

    And keep blogging!

  6. J - really hope you feel a bit better now xxx

  7. @ anonw: Thank you for dropping in.
    Long-distance relationships are difficult (R and I had one for several years), but they definitely aren't insurmountable. I hope yours brings you happiness.

    @ Boo: It hasn't been a great few days, but I'm much better than I was.

  8. It's such hard work to look after friends when you're on your own, and that's something people will so often underestimate. They'll think you'll love the company, and of course some weeks and months have passed... so much for the little that some of those unaffected can understand about bereavement.

    And of course you do love the company, although eventually you want to be on your own to think sad thoughts again -- and yet I used to hate that awful moment just after they had gone and the house was yawning much more emptily than it had been even before they had arrived.

    At times like that I'd sit alone and tired, drained and desolate. The only thing that you can do is go with the flow of tears just then. That's grief doing its work, and there's just no other way I know.