Friday, 28 December 2012

What to Say?

This is just to say
I want to write
but am stumped for words
I have countless posts
started, in progress
so much to say
Where do I start?

I toured as an actor
on a pantomime tour
for care homes.
There are stories of the residents
homes that brought tears to my eyes
and others I thought
'now this isn't so bad'
There were homes I wondered about
There were staff members I thought
should be praised to high heavens
and who surely were angels on earth.
And there are tales from the road
of cars breaking down, and all manner of problems
And then there were times, when it all
seemed worth it
A kind word from a resident, visitor, or staff member
a smile, a laugh, a group of elderly singing along to song
And the acting and singing itself?
Well it always feels good to perform

And then there was Christmas
It wasn't the same
The first I celebrated since losing P
The first time I wasn't with family
But it was nice, relaxed, and full of food and wine
and good company
And I was grateful
that it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be

And now
as we approach 2013
I am not as scared as I was to welcome 2012
I know I can live a year without P
It's still not easy
It still doesn't feel right
The night itself will still hold a hole
just big enough for him to fill
But looking back on 2012
I can say I survived
I skydived
Learned to drive
Hiked up Snowdon
Traveled to Spain
Ran a half marathon
and started to act again

So much to say
where do I start?
When you're busy learning to live again
it's hard to find the time to write
And sometimes words
just can't do justice
to all that I'm experiencing
But I wanted to say
I want to write
To keep you abreast on my life
So I hope this helps
bridge the gap
until I can find my voice again.

Sunday, 23 December 2012


Sometimes I feel so low
I'm unable to cry
No energy
to shed a tear
to change the channel
take out the rubbish
or go to bed
I sit still
Where I've landed
and itch with an urge
to escape this feeling.
Thinking of all the things I could eat
to fill the void
but the thought of eating bores me
just like everything else
Put on my favourite tv show
a nostalgic activity
but my mind wanders
Sitting in silence
I find myself wishing
I could crawl out of my skin
My body, this existence
is too much
I'm so anxious, so bored I can taste it
it consumes me
This life is so tedious without him
Each day feels like an eternity
Each moment alone, endless
What am I meant to do
My to do list grows day by day
but motivation escapes me
I sit in my dressing gown
as the dishes pile high in the sink
And I watch my life pass me by
Just out of reach
I can see what I need to do
I can almost touch all my hopes and desires
but the grief monster has a hold on me
and I can't shake it
I'm weakening day by day
This winter is sapping my strength
What can I do?
What should I do?

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

'Could you be pregnant?'

The number one question doctors, nurses, and pharmacists have to ask when diagnosing a female patient is....

'Could you be pregnant?'


Now I can not even begin to imagine how much this question cuts those who have been actively trying for years to no avail.  But I can say for me, the question hits me like a blow to the stomach every single time.  I was never the girl who dreamed of being a mother. I feared motherhood and how it would impede my independence and effect my career.  But with P, suddenly my biology began to yearn for a baby, his baby.  Still, I wasn't ready.  On our honeymoon P told me frankly that he wanted to be a dad before he turned forty or not at all.  He 'didn't want to be an old dad'.  Having a deadline (before thirty for me) was scary, and I dug my heels in further, stating adamantly that I got 'to decide when we started trying because it was my body and I would have to do the 2am feedings, be a stay at home mom for the first few years, and do most of the rearing during that time!'  (sorry guys, I know it's not this way for ALL couples but this was the argument for us then)

Moments after P was diagnosed I began secretly hoping that I might be pregnant.  Knowing it wasn't really possible, I started planning when we could proceed with IVF (our only remaining option after chemo began).  I even thought that between treatments I might want to broach the topic with him.  I was desperate for P to be a father, and equally, to be the mother of his child.  I didn't want him to leave this earth without having experienced that joy.  He didn't let others know how badly he yearned to be a dad.  But I knew.  I could read between the lines, and I could see it in his eyes.

So every time someone asks me that question I want to scream 'I should be!'  I should be a mother!  Last week I turned 28.  If P had got his way we would have started trying this year or next if it all hadn't gone so wrong.  And that's when I realised, each year will mark a time in our plans when we should've been doing this or that.  Each holiday I take that I know he'd enjoy or we'd planned on doing together, will hurt.  I was asked by a new friend during my rehearsals last week if I missed him every day.

Yes.  Every. Single. Day.

I could choose to bore you with all the tiny little things that remind me of him, but I'll just give you a few examples.  Driving his car.  Every time I sit in the seat I think, 'this was your seat.  You should be driving.'  Sometimes I lean on the hand brake like he used to and today as I moved to take off, I heard my coat make the noise his used to.  Poached eggs.  I can't make them half as well as he could and every time I attempt I wish he was here to make it for me.  Tea.  He made the best cup of tea.  The list could go on and on.  But right now, it's that question that makes me ache.   It makes me angry and sad, and leaves me feeling hollow.  It makes me want to reply 'don't you know my husband's dead? don't you know what I've been through this past year?'  But of course they don't know.  How could they?  Sometimes I wish I could wear a sign, or sport a tattoo just so I wouldn't have to explain.