Bunny who?

Why? Who? What's this blog about? It's about MEEEE!

Being a Widow

My experience of dealing with grief as a widow


About Jane's brain tumour journey: Astrocytoma.co.uk

A new start. Again.

25 September 2012

Today was the start of yet another new beginning. My first day at university.

I am able to do this course because of the money Jane left me. I am only doing the course because Jane died and I want to turn the tragedy in to something good. Jane always encouraged me to do it and we agreed I would start once she completed her PhD. I am finally doing the course I have been wanting to do since I was 18. I am scared I won't be able to do the course (what with having ADHD and all). I am scared I won't make any friends and that people will find me a pain in the arse. I am incredibly worried about not being organised enough and having missed something vitally important like enrolling for modules, time tables, whatever. So I am panicky. I am scared that Girlfriend will find me boring if I can only talk about my course.

All those things culminated last night in a highly emotional evening. I cried (and cried and cried and cried and cried, as the Invocal song goes). Thankfully Girlfriend was with me and all was well with the world by the time we went to bed.

I guess I underestimated the emotional impact of the whole thing. I am still not sure how to marry up missing Jane and crying over that kind of thing on important life events, and being utterly in love with Girlfriend. Most of all, I am still not sure how I can tell her that all my love is hers. That I am not holding some back for Jane in some way. But that it still means I cry about the whole thing at times. I don't even know exactly what the crying is about when it happens. I can only marvel at Girlfriend's ability to understand me. She is a bit awesome.

So, what happened on my first day?
  • Students kept talking whilst lecturers were talking,making it hard for me to concentrate and I nearly snapped at them.
  • I got impatient when some people were holding up the discussion by asking very detailed questions about their individual enrollment and Student Finance situation. With 150 students in the room, that is NOT THE TIME & PLACE.
  • The university intranet did not reflect our time table correctly and staff are so far unable to tell us where we are supposed to go for our lectures, which groups we are in and where the lectures will be.
  • Some people think it is perfectly acceptable to arrive 30 minutes late. (The girl got told she was not allowed in. GO TEACHER!)
  • Car travel to campus is discouraged so they charge £5 for the car park. FOR 3 YEARS! So I bought a pass right away.
  • I am going to lose SO MUCH WEIGHT due to cycling to university every day. I shall be thin & gorgeous once more.

So all in all not a bad day. Another introduction day on Thursday and hopefully on Monday, all niggles will be sorted out and things can begin in earnest.
Keep Reading: "A new start. Again."

Double Take

01 September 2012

Dear Jane,

I am pretty much used to the fact that you are dead.

In fact, I think I might even go as far as saying that I am over it.

Bold statement, isn't it.

What does it even mean?

Being over it is not the same as no longer feeling pangs of sadness. It does not mean no longer feeling sad when I think of you. It does not mean I have forgotten about you. It does not mean I have stopped wishing all of this never happened. It does not mean I don't think about you every day. Heck, writing this blog post is already making me cry.

Random picture of you and your sister at the 2008 V Festival
And still, I think I am over it. Not done with it. Over it.

I can live my life without you. I am happy without you. I am extremely sad about my past during the years that you were ill. But I am very hopeful and happy about the future. Whatever it may bring. I am happy with Girlfriend. I reckon you would have liked her. I admit that without Girlfriend I would be a lot less happy. (Right away a new blogpost springs to mind: What if I am only happy because I am with Girlfriend? Will I fall back into despair and missing you loads again if, God forbid, Girlfriend and I ever split up?? That is a scary thought)

I am grateful for the opportunity you have given me to go to University and do the thing you always told me I should do. If it wasn't for you, I would have had neither the courage or the money. So whatever I achieve at University, you made it possible. And for that reason alone, I will always remember what you gave me. Because everything I will do with my work, until the day I retire, will be a reminder of you. In a way, it will be in honour of you.

I remember one day, when we were watching the London Marathon, you turned to me and said: "Don't ever be stupid and run a marathon in my honour or memory. It is a ridiculous thing to do." Thank God for that. Mind you, not because you did not respect others who do that. Just the idea that someone as lazy as me would run a marathon in memory of someone who hated running with such a passion as you did made you laugh. I think becoming a nurse is a much better thing to do in honour and memory of you.

One again, this blog post started out as one thing and has become something else completely. SO let's get back to what I set out to say.

I think I am over your absence. Maybe not your death. Maybe not your illness. Maybe not the injustice. Maybe not the sadness. But my life without you is a good life. And reading back through some of the stuff I wrote right after you died, that is more than ever dared to hope.

But some days, I forget that you are dead. And I automatically think: I want to tell Jane. Or something happens to someone and I want to tell someone about it. Only to realise that the only person who would understand the meaning of it, is you. So no point in telling it to anyone else. They would listen and nod, but not quite be able to share the understanding. Simply because they weren't there.

Like today. With work, we have moved offices. We now work from the same office as the Out of Hours GPs. You and I both had the same GP so I have seen him a few times since you died. He is a friendly chap. But this morning when I walked in to the new office, who but Dr A. was sitting there, doing his weekend shift. We had a nice chat, but as professionals this time. I explained what we do for terminally ill patients, how we support the GPs and District Nurses and how I came to work for the very same people that he had referred you to for palliative care. And I felt such pride. For the things I have achieved. And I wanted to tell someone. I wanted to tell you. I could tell Girlfriend. I could tell other friends. But to them, it would just be a simple: "I work with my own GP now, isn't that funny."

They would, by virtue of being lucky enough to never having been to an appointment with you, not quite understand what it felt like. To talk to the man who saw me trying to get you to talk to him in his consultation room. They don't remember what it was like when I sat next to you and you did not understand his questions. What it was like when he ended up speaking to me instead of you because you were confused. And how that was painful for all three of us in that room.

He was part of your story. Of our story. And now he is becoming part of just my story.

So it made me do a double take. Because I could not share it with the only person who would really understand. Because my first thought was: I must tell Jane. Even if it was a split-second thought that I did not even articulate properly in my head. It was a fleeting thought. An incomplete impulse. Like thoughtlessly reaching for a cigarette and realising halfway that you gave up smoking weeks ago.

I think times like that are the times when I miss you most. Not so much when I am out shopping for food. Or when I am in the pub. Or when I am doing fun stuff. Because those are things I can do with other people; 'generic things' if you like. But there is nobody to share the exact understanding of those particular things with. Just like there are other things I share with other people that you would never have understood.

I guess I am saying that the things I did with you that I now do with other people are fine. I don't specifically need you for those things. I can do those things, be happy doing those things and even be happy thinking about how we did those things. Like going to the cinema. Meeting up for coffee at lunch time. Sharing drinks in the pub with friends. But the things I did or discussed or experienced ONLY with you; when I come across stuff like that, I can still get very sad. Because it reminds me of what I have lost. And of how awesome you were.

Geez, what a long and rambling post is this. Maybe I should employ an editor. Although, it is my blog. My letter to you. I can write whatever the fuck I want.

You're never going to read it any way.


Keep Reading: "Double Take"