Thursday, 17 September 2009


It's a bit of a 'Carry On' word, but I don't mean that sort of debriefing. There is definitely none of that going on around here these days!

I mean the nightly download by telephone that was the highlight of my day for several years.

R worked in IT, for the last three years as a contractor. But whether permanent or freelance, the jobs all had one thing in common - they were too far away to commute. So, for much of the year, I would drive him to the train station in Shrewsbury at some unearthly hour on Monday morning and that would be the last I saw of him until Friday evening, when the glorious weekend would start.

I think this weekly separation prepared me a lot for what I am living through now. I didn't suffer too badly from the empty bed syndrome in the early days, as I was used to him being away.

During the week, there are moments when I am able to almost pretend that none of it has happened and that it is just a normal day. My logical brain knows full well that this is simply denial, but it is nice to pretend for a few minutes. And it does make the weekends doubly hard and lonely. I still get that dull, sicky lurch in my stomach on Friday evenings when it hits me yet again that I don't need to get the car out and drive to the station. It doesn't matter if I cook a panful of chicken wings or tomatoey rabbit stew - his favourite Friday night foods - he won't be coming back to enjoy them with me.

No, during the week, life trundles along to a large extent just as it always did. Obviously there is a lot more crying than there used to be, but I now do my work, look after the animals, potter in the garden and meet up with friends locally as before. What is missing, though, what has left the great big gaping hole, is that I don't get my evening phone call.

During the day we would email or IM each other, but it wasn't the same as hearing his voice. The evening call was carved in stone. Even if one of us was going out, there would be a quick hello. Mostly we just told each other all the inconsequential things had happened during the day or I tried to talk him out of buying the latest 'bargain' he'd found on the work intranet. Or we would plan the weekend. Or just say 'I love you'.

This morning my iron caught fire. No actual flames, but lots and lots of acrid black smoke poured from its innards. No one was hurt, but it was very dramatic. And I would have looked forward to telling him about it this evening.

And now I can't.


  1. J - I know. It's the little things isn't it? It's always the little things. And to hear his voice ... and the smile in his voice. It's funny that the iron really underlined the fact that you couldn't today. The little things! At the last offsite business meeting, I was DREADING going back to my room at the hotel because I couldn't call Cliff. Even tho I was only away for one night, I'd miss him and we'd be on the phone for 45 minutes ... sounds like we could talk as easily as you and R could ... that closeness is a rare and precious thing. Feeling that at ease with someone. God, I HATE weekends. (p.s. I am out this evening and all weekend at school reunion - eek ... had to dye my hair but will call you next week, it will be nice to have a chat xxx)

  2. J, it hits a little at a time, the things that we miss. as each discovery of what it means to not have him here anymore, i have to add it to the inventory of what i'll have to learn to accept, or relearn to deal with.

    i feel similar pangs along the lines of what you've written of. as a couple you had a routine and now it's washing over you again and again of how things have changed. i'm sorry Friday nights have irrevocably changed. i'm sorry Boo hates the weekends as well. i feel for us - all the losses we've had to endure. now that i know that the weekends are rough for you, i will keep you especially in my thoughts during those times.

    ~ peace always

  3. you haven't posted a while. You did check on me, and now I am checking on you :-) Will be home tomorrow, so will call you Thursday, or call me if you like :-) xxxx

  4. Anonymous18:52

    My husband died, suddenly, November 19, 1963. He was 32. I was 29, and pregnant. The life that happened after that certainly wasn't the life we planned, but it was nonetheless good. With enough years, the sorrow fades, but the memories are always there. Hang in- it gets easier.

  5. @ Boo: Sorry I haven't been around much. Haven't really had anything much to say. I have a big case of the blahs today, but I'm hoping tomorrow will be better.

  6. Anonymous - Thank you so much for your kind words and reassurance. It must have been so hard for you, bringing a child into the world without your husband by your side.
    It really does help to know that the memories won't fade over time.