Half a year...
It somehow is now 6 months since Rich died. Half a year. Yet it feel like only yesterday that I was holding him in my arms. How can time fly so fast and yet the reality of loss be so poignant and fresh, still. In the Widowed and Young group I hear from people who are further down the line to me who say this pain goes on for months, years even. I’m not sure I can bare it, I’m not sure I’m strong enough to face it. But what choice do any of us have in loosing Rich, be it as a husband, a son, a brother, a cousin, a nephew, a friend. This is the cruellest of all punishments, that we now have to live without him for the rest of our days.
In the first few weeks and months of losing Rich, the shock of his death completely numbed me, dampened down the new unfathomable reality. It carried me. I ‘knew’ he as dying but those last few weeks and days I was convinced he had at least a few weeks left in him. He wasn’t ‘there’ yet. So when he suddenly died on that traumatic Sunday morning, I wasn’t prepared or even aware that he was at that point. It came as such a huge shock. As time moved on, the shock started to go deeper and started hurting in places I never thought would be possible… I’ve found myself breaking down, sobbing at times where the pain is so intense that I struggled to breathe. It hurts so deeply. I am surrounded by wonderful, kind and caring friends and family who have been so incredibly supportive. But there is an emptiness, a loneliness that is very raw and very real. It goes beyond missing him, it feels like I am missing a part of my own being, a part of my life. And I can’t see how I could ever live without that pain now. It aches in the heart and grief grips the heart with such a tight fist. The thought of never ever seeing Rich ever again is just too much to comprehend. It is utterly incomprehensible. It is the price of love.
With spring around the corner, there is a bit of light slowly returning. We get to spend time outdoors and connect with nature as it unfolds from the sleepiness of winter. Throughout lockdown I have been teaching from home, which has been pretty full on, but also at times its been rather lonely and isolating. The good news is that we are returning to the workshops at college in a couple of week. I look forward to seeing the students again and getting back to supporting them on their creative journeys. Over the last months I have also been working in my studio here at home, developing new work, selling through my Etsy shop and continuing to grow creatively. Lola has had more walks that ever, as we have met up with friends on the beach or in the woods. We have done lots and lots of walking. And that has been food for the soul.
I recently watched an interesting program which I highly recommend you watch if you are grieving. Its called 'Living with Grief' with Esther Rantzen, on Channel 5. She talks to a handful of people about their different experiences of loosing someone close, some of which I can relate to. If there is one thing that unites us all on this planet its loss, we will all experience it at some point in our lives.
And last but definitely not least, I just want to say a huge thank you to Caroline at Scribble & Daub for creating the most beautiful bluebell card in memory of Rich, all in aid of supporting the St. Michael's Hospice. https://www.instagram.com/p/CLyr3-Mg4Cu/
I hope you are all keeping well.
Photo taken in Tarifa, Spain in September 2014. Happy days!