29 April 2019

Delusion

Hey Corinne! I'm on a ferry, having a little cry.
I'm not crying because of you; you're not worth it.
I'm crying because my delusion of who you were was shattered by the truth of who you are.

01 May 2013

Nearly two years

May is here. The month JD died. By the end of this month, it will be two years. I have heard many times that the second year is harder than the first one. That in the second year, you are no longer numb and that the real emptiness strikes, the real loss, the realisation that whatever you had planned for the future with your partner is really not going to happen.

My second year was not like that at all. I started (and struggled) through my university course, I worked, I loved, I reminisced, I cried, I missed and I celebrated. I keep waiting for the Real Grief to knock me out with a sledgehammer. I am not saying life has been easy but in some ways I expected this to be different. Harder perhaps? maybe it feels easier because at no point in the first year did I stop myself from crying. Anywhere. If I felt tears, I cried them. No matter where I was at the time. In Tesco, on the street, in the delicatessen down the road, on the train, in my car. There has never been any bottling up of emotions.


Maybe that is why I did not have the Second Year Hit. I have however lately noticed a general low-level sadness creeping back in about things. Where I have been listening to Matchbox 20 and Crowded House, JD’s favourite music. Not sure why or what it is supposed to make me feel. maybe it is one of those things that helps me feel that my past is still part of the present. Because nothing is the same. Girlfriend is a fair bit younger than me and likes different music than JD used to. So not much 90s music around my house. Mostly 80s (strangely enough). This is not a problem but it is….I don’t know. I am just used to having 90s music around, even if I don’t care much for it. I don’t know how to explain it. MB20 played in Manchester last month and 2 of JD’s friends went. I had wanted to go too but in reality, I only wanted to go because it would have reminded me of doing something I might have done with JD and her friends. I mean, I like MB20 enough but it would not normally be something I would pay lots of money for. I would have spent the entire time crying for JD, rather than actually listening to the music. So why did I want to go?

Maybe it is searching for something familiar around me. Because everything has changed.

Girlfriend and I have moved in together this week. That feels a bit weird. I am utterly sure about my feelings for Girlfriend and it is wonderful to live together; she makes me very happy indeed. But it feels weird to do things like that with someone who is not JD. I had to get used to that feeling. Settling down with someone who is not JD.

I wish there was a script that widows follow so I know that I am within the ‘normal range’. Is it normal to want to keep some things that belonged to JD? or photos? I mean, everyone has pictures from their past, right? Or letters from friends they keep. Or souvenirs. So why does it feel weird to want to keep those things from my time with JD? Maybe the music is important to me because, due to having moved house a few times since JD’s death, I have not go many physical things left. No ornaments in the house, no photos on the wall, no clothes. And nobody really to share memories with.

Last year I organised a fundraising gig for the hospice where JD died. This year, I have decided I am going to scatter the rest of her ashes on the day she died (some were scattered at Warwick University already). I will scatter them in a place that was meaningful to her (and therefore to me).


At home a month before her death
One last thing… I wish that I could feel more sad when thinking of JD as she was before she was ill. Whenever I see pictures of healthy JD, I feel as if I am looking at my best friend who died, as opposed to someone I loved. I mean, I think of how sad it is that she is dead but I do not generally feel tears welling up. But when I think of JD when she was ill, I cry. Without fail. The thought of someone so young having gone through all that. Remembering how she was helpless. How that made her feel…It makes me incredibly sad, still. Physically sad. With tears and the lot. Does that mean I am over the actual loss of my wife and friend and am now just crying about the sadness of the illness process? Somehow I feel that that sadness will never diminish.

Anyway, this is yet another directionless post. Which shows that I just don’t know how this works. I guess I am just having a whole bunch of unguided thoughts about JD tumbling around my head at random moments.

Should I tell my university tutor? I struggle to concentrate at the moment and I know this is partly to blame but it feels like an excuse to use…



In her soft wind I will whisper
In her warm sun I will glisten
’till we see her once again
In a world without end

In her soft wind I will whisper
In her warm sun I will glisten
And I always will remember
In a world without end
She goes on

02 December 2012

29

Dear Jane,

You would have been 29 today. Nearly back in the same decade as me. We used to joke about it. When we started seeing each other, you were 19 and I was 27. When you turned 20, I told you I was happy that at least we were now in the same decade (at least until I turned 30) so the age difference no longer looked so big. You told me that once every 8 years, we would get to celebrate the event of you catching up with me, at least for a few years. We only got to be in the same decade once. You never made it to your thirties.

Would you be happy for me if you were able to know how things are going for me now? I would like to think you would be. You were always a generous woman. I seem to remember you once told me to grieve short and hard for you but then just get on with life and be happy again.

As life is settling down, I am thinking of you a fair bit again. Not in the sense that I am unhappy without you. I am happy with my life as it is. Girlfriend is wonderful. You would have liked her a lot. She looks after me extremely well and is the most understanding person I could ever have hoped to meet. You probably would have gotten pissed in The Racehorse together and laughed at the idiotic things I do. You would have asked her if I still interrupt people all the time. You would have laughed at Girlfriend rolling her eyes at that one.

At university, I learn more and more about bodies, health and dying. This obviously means I think about you a lot. How you were not healthy; how you died. How your body worked. How it did not work. What the medication and chemo did to you. I try not to think too much about how learning more makes me feel I should be able to apply that knowledge retrospectively to what happened to you. I did not know any better.

Did I treat you with enough respect when you could no longer make your own choices? Did you understand when I said: No more chemo? Did you want to shout: BUT I WANT MORE CHEMO, YOU ARE KILLING ME? Did you realise you were not drinking and eating? Did I understand you enough? Did I have enough patience to wait for you to form an answer in your head when asked if you wanted to die at home or in the hospice? You said hospice. Then home. Then hospice. Then home. Basically, did I listen enough when you were trying to tell me something? Out of all the things that happened, that question will forever haunt me. I know you were going to die. I think you knew it too. But did I treat you with respect. Did you feel I abandoned you and just sent you to a quick death? I know you would never have thought that I wanted you dead. But I hate the thought that you might have been angry or desperate to tell me not to give up on you.

Dammit. I was jut going to write you for your birthday. Because I never talk to you anymore. I did a lot just after you died. But I stopped feeling the need to do that.

I guess I just wish I could somehow tell you that I am happy. That I am doing fine. That somebody loves me. And that I can love somebody again with all my heart. But that none of that means I don’t think about you anymore.

Today I am working with R. She looked after you when you were still home. Seems fitting that on your birthday I am working with the people who helped me to look after you and who helped me to be sure I wanted to go to university.

I went to the Birmingham Christmas Market today with Girlfriend. I remember when we went for the last time in 2010 when we were grateful you even made it to celebrate another Christmas with you. And last year I met Rachael and your mother there. I should speak to them more.

My folks came over from Holland last week. My dad said it was wonderful for both of them to see me happy again. Because all their previous visits in the last 4 years have been when there was a reason for them to worry about you or, after your death, about me. It made them happy that this time they visited me and found me my chatty self again. That this time there was nothing sad about the visit. That they could see I am happy. And this in turn made them happy.

I wish I could let you know not to worry about me. I guess that is as good a birthday present to you as anything.

X
m

14 February 2012

Celebrating Jane (and raising cash for the Cynthia Spencer Hospice)

On May 30th, it will be a year since we lost Jane. I want to mark this milestone on June 2nd with a nice evening of live music and good company and you are invited.

I think I deserve a party for getting through this year:-) And I think you deserve a party for being there for me. Or for having been Jane’s friend in the past. Or for still fondly remembering Jane. Or for, well, whatever tenuous link you may have to me or Jane 🙂

But most of all, I think Jane’s life was one to celebrate.

There will be live Acoustic music from some of the guys from Wordsworth and their friends. They will play all kinds of stuff but mainly things Jane liked: Crowded House, Foo Fighters, Manic Street Preachers. You know, stuff you remember from when you were in school. Mixed in with other solid tunes.

There will also be music from Northampton’s own Joni Mitchell, Corinne Lucy.

Please bring friends along as I will be charging £3 to get in, in the hope to raise some more money for the Cynthia Spencer Hospice.

The easiest way to confirm your attendance will be to donate £3 to my Just Giving page (http://justgiving.com/bouncybean) for each person you are bringing along. Just pay with your card and leave a message with your donation with your name and number of guests.

Alternatively you can pay on the door of course but I really would prefer to know in advance how many people are planning to come so I can inform the pub what to expect.

Here is the Facebook event where you can confirm your attendance if you like. Please tell all your friends and invite them too!

If you can not make it, I think you should still give me £3 for the hospice, as an excuse. Just mention in the message that you are unable to attend 🙂

I have booked the pub for the Saturday evening but there will be other people as well as the pub was, understandably, not willing to close its doors on a Saturday night. However, people will all have to pay to come in. So, again, please bring friends as more friends=more money and more Jane-related people at the party.

If you feel you want to mark the occasion with something special, something to do, sing or say, please feel free to do so. Just let me know.

If you are coming from far away, I might be able to put you up for the night, as long as you let me know.

I can not explain how much it would mean to me to see friends who still think of Jane coming together for what will hopefully be an evening of joy and good memories.

Xx
Marieke

Venue:

The Romany
Trinity Avenue
Northampton
NN2 6JN

19 December 2011

Christmas without Jane

When Jane died in May this year, Christmas seemed a century away. I was looking at surviving hour by hour, day by day. Losing my 27 year-old wife to a brain tumour after 8 years together was enough to handle. I thought that by the time Christmas came around, I would be over the worst and more than able to deal with it.

Wrong.

Grief is not about how long it has been since I last saw Jane. How long since I last held her hand, that morning in the hospice when she took her last breath. It is about going through this new life, having to do everything on my own again. Every day brings a new ‘first’. First dinner party without Jane. First camping trip without Jane. First evening of coming home after work to an empty house.

First Christmas without Jane.

We loved Christmas. We knew last year it would be Jane’s last and having a white Christmas was so perfect. The photos of Jane in the snow are incredibly dear to me now. I want to be with Jane this Christmas and if that is not possible, I want to be with someone who was close to her. Unfortunately I have very little contact with Jane’s family so they are not an option. My folks live in The Netherlands. They want to give me comfort and warmth and share my pain. But they only knew Jane through me, from our 2 visits per year.

I have found a compromise. I am spending Christmas in the USA with Jane’s best friend who moved out there a few months after the funeral. Away from everything that reminds me of Jane, this friend has new stories to tell, photos to share, tears to cry. Yes, I will have to face it next year, but for now, escaping into memories is the best I can do.

30 November 2011

Six months




I don't know where you are, or even IF you are. Probably not. I am still here 6 months on. Sometimes barely living. Other times I think I am ok. But I will never again be as OK as I was with you. I miss you.

28 November 2011

Dignity in dying?

In a couple of days it will be 6 months since Jane died. In those six months I have come to terms with many of the things that have happened before and after her death. Now that I work in the home care sector myself, I am acutely aware of some things people (including myself) did wrong when caring for Jane. I don't blame myself for any of it because I did the best I could. But some things make me very sad when thinking about how awfully exposed and vulnerable Jane must have felt. And she was not able to tell me. Not able to tell me that perhaps she wanted people to knock before they entered the bedroom etc. Just because I did not mind, did not mean she did not mind. But I never asked. And she could never tell.

Once, Jane had a male carer coming in and her face changed. I asked her if she felt uncomfortable with him washing her. She managed to indicate that she was and so I sorted it so that she would no longer have male carers. Maybe that is being picky or unfair to those carers that want to help but no man had ever seen Jane's private parts and a few weeks before her death did not strike me as a good time to change that habit.

In my recent training, a lot of time was spent on how to preserve the dignity of the patients by doing really simple things. For example, sometimes Jane would be on the commode in the bedroom and I would be making the bed. Since we were so close, it never occurred to me that it would be nice of me to leave Jane alone for a few moments, even if I just hovered outside the bedroom door. Instead of being around when she was doing her private business. The fact that Jane had lost some of her inhibitions due to the tumour did not mean I should not observe them. But I didn't. I just did not think about it. I did nothing to embarrass her or anything like that. But when you are together for so long, you get quite comfortable around each other and stuff we used to do kind of got pushed to the side for the sake of practicality. We never used to share the bathroom. So why did the fact that Jane could no longer go on her own mean that I had to stay in there with her?

I don't know, but I did.

I did not once consider that hoisting her in and out of the bed might be making her feel very undignified and upset. I was thinking in such a practical way that all I could see was how useful the hoist was in getting her in and out of bed, enabling Jane to be in the living room with me and her visitors. I did not think to consider that even if Jane would appreciate the practical use of the hoist, it might still be extremely upsetting for her to have to even need one in the first place. Why did this not occur to me?

I don't know, but it didn't.

When I think about this, it makes me cry. (I am crying as I type this). It just makes me so incredibly sad to think she must have felt like an object, rather than a person at times. People talking about her, (including me and the carers) over her head, at her bedside as if she wasn't there. Nothing delicate, nasty or gossipy as such, but just stuff like: what does Jane want for breakfast, does she need the toilet, etc. Just because we already knew Jane was unable to answer does not mean we should not have addressed her FIRST with those questions and then only come to a decision if she was unable to answer. That would at least have given Jane the feeling of having some say in what was happening to her.

Mind you, it wasn't always like that. Just that we all slipped up sometimes and we should all have spent a little more time on making sure Jane's dignity, both in choices and in personal care, was the highest priority.

Two examples stand out that are very upsetting for me when I think about it. So I can only imagine how upsetting it must have been for Jane. In both cases, in retrospect, I failed to put Jane's feelings and well-being first.

The first one is related to the use of the hoist to put Jane in a chair in the living room. I posted about the nightmare we had when we first tried to use it in this blog post: Difficult Weekend.. My current training emphasises over and over again that all staff must be trained to use equipment and if you are not trained, you must not use it, no matter how much the patient/family would like you to. The carers did not know how to use the sling Jane was given when they delivered the hoist. They should have said: sorry, we can't do it.

But they didn't. Because they knew how much I liked for Jane to be in the living room. And because they thought: How hard can this be?

This was a big mistake. They had no idea of what to do. We all faffed around the bed, rolling Jane around to get the sling around her body, lifting her, putting her back down again when we weren't sure. Finally we decided to try it and hoisted Jane off the bed. Immediately she began to slip out of the sling and it was obvious she was going to fall out of it, on to the floor. I panicked and thought I noticed Jane had wet herself as well. So we quickly put her back on the bed and decided to leave her in bed for the day since we clearly did not know how to use the hoist.

I cried. I apologised to Jane. But the tears in her eyes broke my heart. She must have felt like a piece of meat on a butcher's hook. Suffer the indignity of being a Guinea pig.

The next day, the carers tried again. This time it almost went right but when putting Jane back in to bed, she once again slipped out of the sling and we had to grab her by the arms and legs and throw her on the bed to avoid a fall. Once again I cried. Once again, Jane had tears in her eyes.

It turned out that the sling we used was only suitable for people with good upper body strength. Something which Jane obviously did not have. Secondly, the carers were not trained to use that sling, even if it had been the correct one. And thirdly, I was so keen to get Jane in the chair that I did not realise the benefits of being in the chair might not weigh up against the terrible indignity Jane suffered by being in the sling.

Someone should have said: we can not do this. I know that person wasn't me since I was not a professional carer then. I know the carers were at fault. But if I wasn't looking out for Jane, then who was going to? Why did I not stop them? Why was it so important for me to do this hoisting? The carers should have said: Sorry but you will have to wait until Monday when our supervisor can give us training or come to Jane and give her the correct sling.

Or what about the two district nurses who came in one night to put in a catheter? They took the duvet covers off, propped Jane's legs up and proceeded to spend half an hour prodding the catheter in to different holes, talking to each other about how difficult it was to see, shining a torch on Jane's private parts. I held Jane's hand as she winced in pain a couple of times. A tear rolled down her cheek. It never occurred to me to cover her up with the duvet as much as possible. After all, she had a t-shirt on. It never occurred to the nurses to talk to Jane about what they were doing to her. After all, she was unable to understand. So they talked to me, I talked to them and other than me soothing Jane, nobody made her feel part of what they were doing to her body.

I know better now. And that is what makes this so upsetting. I *know* I did what I could. I *know* the carers should have done a better job at times. But even so. Some of this seems so obvious to me now. Why did I not think about it back then. Just a small things I could have done to make things a little more dignified for Jane.

I cry when I think about this. I am determined to make sure the people I care for will never have to feel like their dignity is just an afterthought.

22 November 2011

Weird ways of missing Jane: Excel spreadsheets

Jane was a wizard with Microsoft Excel. If you were a friend of Jane, it is VERY likely that at some point you asked her for advise on a spreadhseet related matter.

Complicated formulas? Ask Jane.
Making a budget spreadhseet with automated formulas that automatically calculates stuff? Ask Jane.
A Gantt chart that automatically updates itself when you change a detail? Ask Jane.


She did not know this because she knew Excel in detail. She knew this because her mathematical brain realised that there must be a way to capture your requirement in a formula. She would think of that formula and then seek a way to implement that formula in to Excel.

Many times I would ring her from work with a quick question about a problem I was having. She would usually solve the problem for me whilst I was still on the phone. In exceptional circumstances, she would call me back a few minutes later with the answer.

This evening, I am trying to put together a cleaning rota for my shared house. There are 5 tasks and 5 rooms/occupants. Easy enough I hear you say.

However, there are 2 bathrooms. Bathroom 1 is only used by rooms 1 and 2. Bathroom 2 is only used by rooms 3, 4 and 5. So those cleaning tasks are fixed. Leaving the other 3 jobs to be allocated fairly. Obviously the problem is that bathroom 1 only has 2 people cleaning it and bathroom 3 is on a 3-person cycle.

Jane would know how to do this. She would first think of a formula that would fit this pattern. Then she would look at how to implement this formula in Excel. She would have scoffed at my method of doing it by hand.

Never thought a spreadsheet would break my heart.....

21 November 2011

The Widow Clique

Warning: Long self-indulgent post. Written more to get stuff off my chest than to inform the world... If you can be bothered to read until the end, you are impressive.

Losing your partner is like nothing else. It is not like losing your child, parent or dear pet. And it is certainly nothing like divorce. It is unique. Not worse. Different.

Since I don't know any other widows, I went online to look for support and understanding from those who experienced the same kind of pain of losing your spouse at a young age. My first impression of the messageboard was that many people were just so....angry.


I have had a lot of emotions about Jane's death but anger is not really one of them. Nobody is to blame for her death. The doctors did the best they could. There is no God so nobody to blame. So who am I supposed to be angry at?

Much of the anger of the people on the messageboard seems to be directed at those people they refer to as a DGI: Don't Get It. Cruel remarks, ignorant invitations and evil utterances from people that are supposed to be friends.

Things such as: Now he is dead, it enables you to travel. Are you not a little glad he is gone?
Or: She's been gone for 3 months and you are still not ready to date again?
Or: I know exactly how you feel because my cat died last month and I am very sad about that.

People really say that? What kind of friends and family do these people have? No wonder they are angry. No wonder they flock to a messageboard to vent. However, there was also a lot of anger that I did not understand. Anger about totally innocent remarks that I just could not interpret they way they did. Quite apart from the fact that I don't like the idea of dividing the world in to Good People (Widows) and Bad People (DGIs who have to prove they are wiling to try and understand before they are allowed in to the Understands category, although they will never really be accepted there).

Like the woman who was angry at her friends for inviting her to a dinner party. How dare these people think she would enjoy spending the evening with a married couple, having to watch them be happy together and pretend all was fine when she had just lost her future. How insensitive of these friends. Very DGI.

Or the woman who felt incredibly annoyed when her neighbour invited her to the neighbourhood BBQ. How dare this woman think she would just be able to enjoy herself? Spend the afternoon with happy families around her, talking to people who really don't give a toss about how devastated she is feeling and most certainly don't want to hear about her grief. How insensitive! Typical DGI.

Pardon? I might be missing something but how did these people even make that leap? How can an invitation, probably extended by people who care and wish to give you a chance to be amongst other people be turned around into something that is apparently deliberately nasty? What is wrong with thinking: They mean well but I am not ready for that. Why is it their fault for even asking?

At times I would point out that these people most likely had good intentions and that I was at a loss as to understand why this was an example of 'DGI behaviour'. Surely by thinking like this, these people (mostly women) would push away people who might be able to offer support, thus prolonging their loneliness and increasing their anger? Wasn't gentle education the better way, instead of dismissive anger? I was told a few times that I was wrong.

I then committed a cardinal sin. I wrote a long post about seeking common ground with those who have not lost their spouses but may be able to understand parts of our pain.

The woman whose husband left her suddenly might understand the darkness and loneliness of spending Friday nights on her own with no company to look forward to at the weekend. She might understand how her future has been destroyed in the space of a few minutes. How all her hopes and dreams have to be re-evaluated. If she said: I understand how you feel because I am divorced, I would punch her on the nose. However, if she said: "I can imagine what those empty, cold evenings are like because I too feel like that some times." then we can talk about our shared pain and find understanding.

Or the guy who lost his dog. He should not say he understands my loss because he lost his dog. I will slap him. But he might say he understands how the house is suddenly so empty, so devoid of life, no joy.

I explained how this felt like a good way to get support from people you may initially think have 'nothing to offer'. And by actually mentioning this to your friends, it might break down their barriers. Because they might think: I have 'only' lost my grandmother so I should probably not talk about my loss to her. By doing this, you might open up a whole new avenue of support and dialogue with your friends.

It did not take long for the backlash to start. A few people wrote to say they agreed with me. Then a few people started telling me I should not tell other people how to grieve. That I was wrong. That I was being a DGI myself. They said that I was asking them to smile at people who compared their loss to the loss of a pet. That I was saying their spouse was worth no more than a dog. Or a goldfish.

One widow wrote a long message explaining how she was extremely worried about me and my grieving. That it was obvious that I was not doing it right. That I was clearly consumed by anger and jealousy and that I was lashing out at the other widows on this board by telling them they were doing it wrong. She even sent me her phone number and urged me to contact her when I got to the USA. When I kindly rebutted her, others came out of the dark, telling me I was entitled to my opinion, even if I was clearly wrong. That I was deliberately hurting and attacking people. That I should realise that my posts can be hurtful for people who are only recently widowed and that I should give people time to come to this kind of rationalisation on their own. Clearly the fact that I realised all this after only being a widow for 6 months made no difference.

For a couple of posts, I tried to explain they were misinterpreting my words. This was followed only by more accusations of 'not being open to other people's opinions'. My anger and pain were clearly hidden under a blanket of detached rationalisation.....

I gave up. I told people I no longer wished to be part of the messageboard if the only 'correct' way of grieving was to be angry at people and demand the world revolves around you at all times, no matter what other people around you might have gone through or have to offer. Apparently, this too was a sign of my thinly veiled anger and jealousy (at who was not quite clear, but they were all convinced I was angry). My departure was greeted with: Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out...

Wow....I mean.... really?

Needless to say none of these people has ever read my blog or they would have known I am a lot of things but not angry or close-minded. It does not bother me really. No really. It does not anger me. It has just completely confused me. I can not for the life of me understand why I have offended people so much. I hate offending people and if I did say something offensive, I would like to know what it is exactly so that maybe I can adjust my words for next time. But my repeated asking for the exact offending words was greeted by: I am not even going to bother because you are clearly not willing to listen....

I find human emotions often very confusing. I like people to explain why something upsets them so I can learn and understand them better. It is just incredibly sad that even in a place that is supposed to offer support to people in a similar situation, there is a strict rule on how you are supposed to behave and disagreeing is not allowed.

I guess I will just stick to me real life friends. Because although none of them have lost their partners, most of them understand me perfectly fine.

16 November 2011

How grieving changes

I miss Jane. But when I think of Jane, I think of Jane the way she was the last 10 months of her life. When I see pictures or watch footage of the last 10 months, I get a lot more emotional than when thinking of the Jane I married years ago. That Jane seems so far away. Almost a different person that needs to be mourned separately.

Why? I don't really know. The last year we had together was so incredibly intense. It was filed with nothing but love. My love for her reached a depth I never thought possible. The feeling of being responsible for her, that it was up to me to make her as happy as possible and to keep her safe was rewarding. Yes, in a selfish way, it gave me a purpose. The feeling of being needed by someone you love so much is a very powerful stimulant. It keeps you going when you would otherwise have given up.

And frankly, Jane was just very endearing and cute when she was ill. Yes, it was sad to see her mental capacity decline but on the other hand, she also became more 'cute': she wanted to cuddle all the time, wanted to hold my hand whenever we stepped outside, told me she loved me all the time, trusted me, smiled at me. All the things we sometimes forget to do when we are living busy lives.
This Jane was only Here and Now.
She was not our past and not our future.

I miss caring for Jane. I miss my hand being held. I miss the smile she gave me when we were watching Doc Martin. I miss her. But......

That Jane was ill. I miss that Jane immensely. But to a certain extend, I can accept that she died. That Jane was a different version of my Jane. That Jane was ill. That Jane was dying. The outcome was inevitable. That Jane was always going to be temporary. That Jane was suffering and is no longer suffering now. So I can more or less accept that without anger. Just sadness.

Recently, when thinking of Jane, I have started to think of the healthy, happy Jane I knew for so many years. The vibrant, beautiful, witty, funny and fiercely intelligent woman who stole my heart. And I think of the good times we had. Of the future we had planned. Of all she had to offer to the world. Of what we had together.

This Jane had a future and a past. With me.
This Jane was my life. My future. 

Of what we will never have.

And I cry. And cry. And cry.

And the feeling of incredulity has arrived. I constantly wonder: How the FUCK did this happen to her. To me. To us? What happened?

But mostly: I miss her so much. The future looks so empty. I am not saying I will never meet anyone else. I probably will. But the idea of never having Jane in my future is beyond words.

And I cry. And cry. Last week was absolutely terrible. I was unable to function. I just cried and cried. Did not go to college. I just cried.

I have massive pictures of Jane on my wall. They gave me comfort when I was mourning the ill Jane. Because they reminded me of what she used to look like. They helped me remember the happy, healthy Jane. Now these same pictures make me cry. Because they are not just pictures of Jane anymore. They have become knives of memories that cut so deep. Like they are actively trying to say: LOOK AT THE LIFE YOU ARE MISSING! The pictures are rubbing in the fact that I will never have that again with Jane.

I am worried that this phase of mourning will be much harder to overcome. Much harder to live with. It is easier to accept a sick woman has died than a healthy one.

I am so incredibly lost. So incredibly sad. So incredibly empty.