My daughter said something to me yesterday, which brought me up short…
” The only time I think of Marie now, is when I come here ( to my house).”
Now, I had already taken this idea on board, I had already stopped writing blogs about my loss, already stopped putting my anguish on my facebook feed… Not because I’d come to terms with the situation but because people beyond my misery, do not want to be presented with it every moment of the day! Sympathy fatigue can soon set in, and instead of empathising with you, they think just get over it!
Well, if even my own daughter is feeling the natural fade away of this experience, I’m sure that you, dear readers, are not feeling the immediacy of the situation that I am.
You see, My Marie’s death is still occupying every single moment of my waking life! It is not something which loses its grip on my conscious thought. You see I have been in this position before. I have had tragedy take over my life from a young age. When my brother died in a rope swing accident, I was Fourteen, and still a schoolboy. I have experienced the fact that, despite the tragic nature of his death, within weeks friends and acquaintances expected me to have come to terms with the loss… To stop talking about it and get on with my life. This is natural for them, you cannot expect other people, not centrally involved, to continue to feel the keen anguish which you still feel. Whilst your grief remains the central mantra of your conscious existence, to everyone else it is, after a few weeks, just a footnote in their lives, a thing to remember you by… Like blonde hair, devilish good looks or a sullen disposition.
My brother, Jeremy, is still a part of my daily mantra, 45 years on, can still provoke sobs in dark moments… It may have faded from my front and centre consciousness, but for at least ten years, the circumstances of his passing followed me like a dark shadow.
My Marie, was my world, a life-time commitment to our love… And that cannot fade away. It may be two months ago to everyone who knows me, but it is still a chasm in my chest, still a red and flaming hole which will never heal…
I am not over it. I will never be over it. It is a life-time lasting pain, felt every bit as much as the pain in my back, caused by spondalitis and stenosis, and this pain cannot be ameliorated by painkillers or over time. My soul is split in two, and the jagged edge flaps in the reality of this world, like the remains of a bloody stump in battle.
I am trying very hard to be normal. I’m trying to do normal things, I’ve been to church; I’ve been out for drinks with friends to the pub; I’ve travelled to London to visit an arts Museum; I’ve been to my Godson’s 21st Birthday Party; all normal things… But I still feel like a spectre at the feast.
Yet I have made progress, I can now shop without bursting into tears, I can take the dogs a walk and smile at passer’s by without feeling rancour for their happy smiles and conversations, I can even make feeble Dad jokes, almost… My sense of humour has not really returned, every quip is a brittle attempt to feign normality, and rings a discordantly hollow tone inside my head.
So, in all honesty, when people ask if I’m alright, I should say,
“Not really.” But I don’t. I say,
“I’m ok.” With a wan smile, which should be enough to show that I’m really not…
But most will not see beyond the banality of the response, most will be happy to accept it on face value and walk on by, thankful that they have dodged a bullet, thankful that I’d not told them the truth, because these little lies are the social niceties, which everyone expects you to adhere to, come what may.
Live in Love
Dale ‘M’ xxx