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?

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The Seven Year Bitch

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Re-enacting scenes from Sorry (photo: http://www.bbc.co.uk)

Today I am picking the carrot out of the fact that I should have been married exactly seven years.

What would we have been doing? Probably popping the cork on a nice bottle of red. Settling in to watch Masterchef. We may have ordered in, but that’s not a given.

I’ve said before that M and I didn’t place much stock in anniversaries of any kind – birthdays were about as excited as we got, usually marked by a card and, if He was very unlucky, a home-made, and therefore deflated, Victoria sponge.

Instead, we lived by my granddad’s old adage; ‘Every day’s a Christmas day’.

Not much would have been different today, actually, except for the company.

As it is, I’m re-enacting scenes out of Sorry, where I am a sort of female Timothy Lumsden, having my dinner served to me by my Mother who then does the dishes afterwards. Fortunately she is far cry from Lumsden’s mother, and tolerates my shameful bad language with characteristic equanimity.

I have glanced at the photographs on the sideboard of this time seven years ago and it feels as if I’m looking at a different couple. That bloke wearing the big smile and the tails, next to that bird in the long dress. Figments of some distant lifetime. How is it possible that the day depicted would signal the start of just five years of marriage?

I have spent the day trying to put a name on the hollow space within me. It’s the part which paints a grey wash of sadness over everything. Sometimes it’s so grey it’s opaque – other times it’s cygnet-coloured. But no matter the hue, it leaves everything slightly out-of-tune.

I can only come up with one name for the hollow space.

His.

Happy anniversary, pet. Wherever you are.

Special days

The Birthday Party (band)

The Birthday Party (band) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apparently, anniversaries are hard. Birthdays, weddings, Christmas, they all play havoc with the grieving widow’s heart. Except, for me – they don’t. M’s birthday came and went. We lit a candle on a Tesco cupcake, sang Happy Birthday and watched Lion King. I barely noticed the wedding anniversary passing by. Christmas was a drunken blur – I have a vague memory of a game of Articulate somewhere between the salmon blinis and a vat of Prosecco.

The problem is, I miss Him EVERY FUCKING DAY. No day is special by virtue of its relation to a date in the diary. All this earnest chinking to ‘absent friends’ – in my life, M is absent all the time, not just on significant dates.

I have just returned from a joint birthday party for my daughter and her best friend, V. My girl turns 5 on the 2nd of May and her best friend was 5 ten days earlier. Today couldn’t have been better – early rain clouds cleared for blue skies, bouncy castle was in place.

I tried so hard not to acknowledge you, Grief, but sadly you got the better of me didn’t you? On the way home from this joint party I could barely see the pavement through my tears.

I’m pissed. And I miss Him so fucking much.

Sleep well with your partners tonight. Imagine what it would be to never cuddle up to them again.