As another pot of industrial-strength eye cream bites the dust, I find myself reflecting on the way in which grief expedites the ageing process. I woke up on the morning of 11th February 2012 an average 36-year-old woman. Fourteen months later and I look like Yoda. Grief’s final insult, etched into my face.
From nausea and vomiting, through dizziness and the shits, not to mention alarming weight loss (hell, this beats The Atkins Diet hands down!), since M died I have experienced the physiological equivalent of Hurricane Ivan. I suppose it’s little wonder I found my keys in the microwave and a birthday card in the fridge the other day.
Grief has spread itself throughout every area of my life by stealth. It won’t allow me to watch certain TV programmes (be gone, Horatio Cane, for M and I used to laugh at your inanity together! Beat it, Paddy McGuinness, for I am ashamed to admit that we were about to watch your moronic show the evening M died!) It silences most of my CD collection, turns the spines of books the other way, leads to detours around whole towns. It dictates who I will and won’t see, declines invitations on my behalf.
And it ambushes me at the most unexpected moments. I’m in the middle of a dream and it wakes me; I’m driving the car and it forces me into the layby. It taunts and mocks, a remorseless aggressor. It will not be satisfied until it has broken me.
My heart is broken, that’s for sure. But in memory of M and for the sake of His daughter, I won’t allow my spirit to be.