Storms, floodgates and other climatically-motivated emotional cliches

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Me, waiting for the shit-storm to hit

I’ll admit, I was perched on my settee yesterday, looking at my watch, just waiting for the shit-storm to hit.

It was the anniversary of His death, you see, and we all love a good anniversary to make us feel like we Ought to be feeling a Certain Way.

I mean, it’s not like I don’t miss Him every other day of the year. But the Anniversary of His Death is supposedly more saturated in pathos than all of those other days put together.

So I sat there, waiting.

Inevitably, it came. But it was as a result of an action, not the weighty significance of the day.

I went to post something poignant on His Facebook page. (For whose benefit, incidentally? Mine, or His 99 friends who needed reminding that today was, you know, The Day, and therefore they could think about Him again, raise a glass, and say R.I.P. wistfully into the air?)

Anyway, I tried to access His page via my I-pad, which took me not to the page, but directly into a trove of forgotten messages we had exchanged, and which I hadn’t looked at for over two years.

His voice suddenly leapt out at me from the screen. The voice I have forced myself to turn off, full of daft-arse expressions that have withered from my lexicon since His death.

The shit-storm duly hit. (Thank god. Imagine if it hadn’t? What would that have said about me, Him, and the significance of The Day?)

Of course, once the floodgates were opened, there was no stopping the storm. I have held it back by whatever means necessary for the past 24 months; it was bound to take any opportunity it got to wreak emotional devastation.

By eight PM I was so wrung out, knocked so far back in my grief ‘journey’, I could do nothing but stagger up to bed.

Today, the storm has passed. But I am asking myself: Birthdays, wedding anniversaries, the-date-we-first-locked-lips; He and I never felt the need to mark any of them. So why should the date of His death be any different?

18 thoughts on “Storms, floodgates and other climatically-motivated emotional cliches

  1. I suppose it’s because we celebrated these days with our partners when live that we hang on to them. I think I’ve adjusted to the birthday and maybe to her favourite event Christmas, but it’s the one we didn’t celebrate together yet shared nonetheless that I don’t know how I’ll cope on. The anniversary of her death in March. I think it will hit me hard, or will it hit me hard because I expect it to? Maybe I’ll be lucky because I think of her so often that thinking of her on that day won’t be so stark and hit me.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • Hi David. Thanks for commenting. I wonder whether it is something of a self fulfilling prophecy – we build ourselves up for the big anniversary only to find it’s no different to any other day…not really. I send you huge hugs too, and special thoughts for March. Great blog btw! Xx

  2. Wish I knew the answer Lucie. In a way maybe it’s good that the storm hit you because at least you know it’s happened and aren’t still waiting for it. It does seem like certain dates are supposed to evoke these feelings, because if they don’t what kind of widow does that make us – not sad enough, not devastated enough, not grieving enough.

    I do sometimes wonder if there’s someone in the ether keeping score. “Oh dear, Fi hasn’t cried for a week so clearly her relationship wasn’t that strong” type of thing. Do not pass go, instead back to the beginning with all those raw emotions.

    I am sorry you’ve had to go through those emotions though, and I do hope they haven’t left you too worn out and that they haven’t quashed your embryonic feelings of positivity. Much love as always xxxx

    • That’s weird, I too feel a pressure to grieve a certAin way for fear that our relationship and its depth may come under scrutiny. I even sometimes wonder how I am able to go on, feel happiness, bearing in mind how much we loved each other. I mean, He was my life, my love, my soulmate. We surprise ourselves at every turn on this journey. Love love xx

  3. Lucie, I really feel for you. Those moments of utter grief are so soul-destroying and overwhelming. I hope you got through the night okay.
    I’m also missing my husband and thinking of valentines. Don’t know why as we always used to hate it…maybe it’s the banter I miss or the fact that I now no longer have a choice to mark the day whereas before i did (but chose not to)…

    • Hi there TKS, thanks for reading and commenting. How was valentines for you?? Mark and I never used to celebrate it really, thought it was a lot of gubbins, yet I agree it feels pretty raw seeing all those flowers everywhere, cards ‘for my darling husband’ etc. fortunately we have no more dates coming up for a while now to pull on our heart strings. Just every day without them…xxx

  4. Oh Lucie it’s so terribly sad. How awful for u I have some videos of Ian and I on holiday but no actual video recorder now Obviously I guess. Someone told me I could put them on a disc but I don’t think I’m ready yet to hear his voice again. When I get the urge to read thro old texts I can hear his voice in my head. I had a particularly bad night last night the loneliness was too hard to bear so I brought the dog up. He was a great comfort licking my face till I fell asleep then almost suffocating me with his body at 4am so I carried him back downstairs. He’d done his job bless him. Today is another day Right foot forward. Onward and upward and all that Here’s hoping for a better day Lucie sending a hug xx

    • Oh my god, hearing his voice, I mean, really hearing it, would be too much Lynne, I agree. I have a wedding DVD which I haven’t yet been able to bring myself to watch. I am pleased I’ve got it though. I know it’s the when I’m ready…sending hugs to you. Xxx

      • Dear Lucie and Lynne, I just had that gut-wrenching experience yesterday! It was so startling and unexpected…I had been looking for a picture of my grandson, who’s birthday was yesterday, and was not finding the one I wanted, so I went to the media program and started opening random files…and the one that popped up was of Ray at his 50th High School Reunion that we had attended just one week before…that day…still can’t say it. His voice resonated so clearly and his sweet and funny expressions just hit me smack in my heart and I burst into tears and thought my heart would explode with all the emotion I felt at seeing him again like that. I was not prepared. I sobbed and screamed his name in that soul shattering way I know you have all experienced…I had to physically hit something with my fists to resist throwing the computer across the room. I hadn’t felt that anger before; and it took me totally by surprise; I was completely shocked by my visceral reaction to seeing that short and sweet video…it had been on his camera and I think he had downloaded along with all the pictures of his classmates that he had been sending out to them that week. It is the only one of us together and it was because one of his classmates said, “here, let me get one of you and Kat…you need to record this for posterity” and I said ” Oh yes, we never get in the pictures; it’s always everyone else but us, thank you”
        Thank God for that person, because even though it was agonizing to watch, I will always have that and will cherish that last video of us together. I have since watched it a few times with many wistful tears, but mostly happiness at seeing and hearing my beloved again. Hugs to you both, Cathy

      • Uhh, even just reading that felt like a punch in my guts, that must have been awful Cathy. I’m not surprised you reacted in the way you did. But as you say, at least you have it. Hugs hugs hugs.X

  5. Hey Lucie, just wondering if Mark was a Black Cats supporter. Bryce followed his beloved Sunderland through thick and thin from afar and always went to a game or two when he was back “home”. I expect that he has spent a bit of time cheerleading at the Stadium of Light over the past few months when he is not cheer leading for us! Our two mackams(?spelling) might be hanging out together??????

    • Actually Carmen, Mark hated football believe it or not, despite coming from Sunderland!! I like the thought of our two Mackems up there together though. Perhaps Bryce could convert him to the beautiful game while they are waiting for us…? Big love xx

  6. There were thoughts, conversations and even some laughter in the southern hemisphere as we remembered our dry, funny, uber intelligent, witty and much loved friend Mark. There was also big, bouyant love sent across the seas to you and Bea….did it arrive? xx

  7. dear Lucie,

    I wrote a comment and it disappeared! can’t for the life of me reconstruct it in my head. but I know I would have said I have had the same reaction to the dates on the calendar – birthday, anniversary, first this and that’s – and much of the time feel the same – not overwhelmingly sad. because, after all, isn’t the saddest thing, the one that hovers constantly over our hearts and minds – is that he died? when I set up the calendar for the new year only one date was designated, which was his birthday – “I bless this day”; I didn’t even think much about what I’d written, but now it makes perfect sense, I feel so grateful Hugh was born, that I got to have the majority of his years to spend with him, that his birthday was the day that set the course for our being able to find each other, that the universe must have been rubbing hands in glee and saying, “oh, this is gonna be so good!” – and it was. the rest is just history, even his death day, and since I live that reality most every day I don’t feel the need to have a reminder on the calendar.

    I am so sorry you had to endure going through such a gauntlet of profound grief, but it does sound as though it was inevitable, and that perhaps it’s left you feeling relieved, albeit drained and knocked down. just know you are loved and you are not alone, and that sharing your story has helped so many of us with sorting through all the pitfalls and hard landings we go through.

    much love and light, to you, dear Lucie,

    Karen XOXO

    • That is a wonderful, uplifting message. Thank you. I really like the idea of writing ‘I bless this day’ on the calendar to Mark the day he was born. You’re so right, we were blessed to have them in our lives. Our lives are enriched by knowing and loving them. Savage that we should have to lose them too soon. But rather that than not have them at all. Much much love as always Karen. Xx

  8. God, Lucie…My heart goes out to you; I know that for me, Valentines was particularly meaningful as it was the beginning of our 22 years together. My last voicemail from him was about getting some beer ’cause the 49ers were playing…and maybe a burger…’ I jockied that message back and forth between our two phones so as not to lose it; but one night in sheer exhaustion; I fell asleep before I could forward it back…and I lost it! When I discovered it was gone; it was like I lost him all over again and I sobbed to the ATT tech who was trying to retrieve it for me. Alas, it is gone… but I can hear it loud and clear in my mind; I listened to it over and over, so it is engraved in my heart. It’s funny how something so simple and ordinary can become so profound; so sacred… I sat by his gravesite and took a bottle of Jose Cuervo…the little teeny one…and shared a “traigito” with him, a shot of tequila that we got accustomed to toasting each other with every night; so I drank half…and ceremoniously dripped it onto the earth by the roses I placed there for our anniversary. …and he would have told me ” You’re so silly” and would have kissed my forehead and squeezed my hand, and looked gently into my eyes. And brushed away my tears… Much love and healing to you. Cathy

    • I had my wife’s wedding ring enlarged to fit me but then lost so much weight that it slipped off and was lost. Up to that point I thought I’d hit rock bottom but I Plummeted so far that night when I realised I’d lost the true One Ring that I almost ended it all.

      • Oh, Dear David…I’m so sorry you lost your wife’s ring…that must have been agony for you; I know; but it is the symbol of the love you had for each other; that symbol will always be there because it is intangible and everlasting, I struggle each day with all that remains of Ray’s life around me; I know I can’t keep it all, but it’s very difficult to let go of the things he used each day, those simple things you really don’t think of until you have that moment you come across something like their worn out slippers, or the rolled up toothpaste tube tossed in a drawer; suddenly they are imbued with symbolism of what they were doing when they were last using them. It is a sad journey, but one we all must take at some point in our lives; I feel that I now have a stoic wisdom that has settled into my soul…a knowing of those emotions that I had never experienced before, It has colored my everyday life with many shades of grey I had not known before, but have now come to accept slowly as a permanent part of my existence. I hope you are feeling better and can see the light at the end of the tunnel that is grief and loss. Hugs to you, Cathy

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