Loved and loving

It is now nearly four years since my husband died – such a stark statement, and one I still find hard to write, let alone accept. Since then, Grace has been suggesting, cajoling, persuading, OK, let’s not beat about the bush here, nagging me, to write about life without the love of my life – for that is what he was and still is. Amatus amans – loved and loving.

love of my lifeWhen I look back to that first dreadful year without him, it is a complete blur. My coping mechanism was action as, while I was doing, I wasn’t thinking quite so much. This translated into a tremendous amount of shopping (something I’ve always found a great comfort!), several trips away and, probably the best decision I made (well, again nagged into it by darling Grace!) the acquisition of a dog. Not just any old dog you understand, but a dachshund puppy who now, three and half years later has not replaced the love of my life (nothing and nobody will ever do that) but comes a pretty close second!

The hardest thing for me back then were the nights. Sleeping pills didn’t do it for me. I’d still wake up at 3 am feeling horrible, with a dreadfully dry mouth, and knowing I wouldn’t close my eyes again that night. I then moved onto Sauvignon Blanc with exactly the same end result, although getting there was considerably more pleasurable!

As I was wife number two, and a decade younger than my husband and, as he already had three sons, we decided against children of our own. (I’ve never been very maternal, always preferred dogs to babies!). But after he died my extended family became my lifeline and my rock, always there for me (then and now) with love of my lifecountless invitations; Grace checking I wasn’t alone on a Sunday (always a difficult day for we ‘singletons’ – ghastly word!); grandson phoning and sending texts… that’s how I got through the really bad time.

And, of course, I can’t begin to imagine what I would have done without girlfriends. I am the first of my friends to be widowed (another ghastly word!), apart from one girlfriend who had trodden the same path before me. She has been such an amazing support – we have cried a lot together and laughed a lot together and certainly drunk a lot together – and have decided that in his wisdom, God must have put us together to look after each other in our dotage!

The love of my life

Nearly four years down the line, my default mode is still the same, action, and I certainly manage to do that on a daily basis with an allotment, Pilates, French lessons, not forgetting a small dachshund who needs walking every day. There are things I still find difficult, particularly evenings by myself with no one to discuss TV programmes with or to laugh with, certainly other couple envy, silly things when you are chatting to friends and they talk all the time about “we” – I hate that… the list could go on and on.

If I am honest, I can’t say it gets any easier, well, not for me, but one learns to manage the pain better. I miss my lovely husband every day, but I try to think how blessed I am to have shared the love we had for 37 years….oh dear, now I’m making myself cry!

3 Comments

  1. I lost my partner of 15 year on 3rd August so I am still very numb and at the moment living in a bubble of paper work and emotional feelings that are all over the place. I have gone back to work (mobile hairdresser) it helps me get through the days, I am taking each day as it comes and freinds and family have been wonderful. This weekend was my first on my own, Saturday the tv went on the blink, so I spent the day crying, but thought sort it, then ordered a new one. Today (Sunday) I cleaned my apartment and sorted my wardrobe after doing some ironing. Agree with you sundays are long..
    My daughter is coming on Tuesday fron New Zealand for 3 weeks and I am very excited, it will be hard when she has to go back but I am not focusing on that yet. Hope I have not upset you with my reply, but they say “its good to talk”…Your little dog looks adorable. Xx

    • Hi Mo. I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you and, having trodden the same path before you, I understand completely what you are going through. From what you say, you are being amazingly strong and brave and coping admirably, but it’s so tough isn’t it? I think you are doing absolutely the right thing in taking each day as it comes. I find routine helps me enormously and, of course, keeping busy is key, so good for you going back to work. It’s amazing what one can do if one has to. For example, I’ve become quIte good at DIY although, if I hang a picture, there are probably half a dozen holes behind it which my husband would certainly not approve of! I’m so glad that your daughter will be with you shortly and I’m sure she’ll be a huge comfort and support. All I can tell you Mo is, that whilst I am sure it doesn’t seem like it at the moment, it will get easier – not better obviously – and your life will be a very different one but you will get through it, so hang on in there. I will be thinking of you. MMIL xx

      • Thank you so much for your kind words. Tonight I went along to the first meeting of our village Panto in Hurst.
        I have volunteered to do hair and refreshments, it will keep me occupied on Sunday afternoons at rehearsals and meet more local people. Xx

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