The Joy Police

Colin died and, call me a cow, I wanted the world to know how hideous it felt. I had moments where I wanted this nightmare to happen to someone else I knew so then at least I wouldn’t be the only one, the only freak. I comforted myself a little with the fact that 50 per cent of anyone in a longterm relationship would at some point go through this awful loss, this feeling of being ripped apart, never to be whole again, because the one thing in life that is certain is that each of us will die and inevitably one partner will die before the other. In short, I had my days where I wanted everyone to feel as miserable and shortchanged as I felt, firsthand.
Now I wish I could take back that wish because in the last week I have had news of others that are going through this pain and I feel responsible. An old colleague has died suddenly leaving her six-year-old daughter to grow up without a mother. A friend of a friend has lost her husband and father to her children to what currently seems like a senseless suicide. On top of that I have two friends with big fat health questionmarks hanging over their heads and another going through a tough time worrying about an elderly friend’s failing health.
It has taken me until my 37th year to realise how precarious life is. How did I spend the first two to three decades of my life almost untouched by tragedy and now it seems to be hanging out at every which way I turn? If I didn’t have the girls to keep going for I have minutes that tick by where I would seriously sign off this hopeless life. But then I catch myself with those awful, hopeless thoughts and I think of all the good things life has to offer.
In this same week that I have heard of all these sad events I have friends going through the other end of the joy spectrum and enjoying moments with their first child or preparing for that long-awaited wedding. I remember both those times in mine and Colin’s life together so clearly that I can’t just wipe them from my memory and think about only the negative side of life. Losing him doesn’t take the joy out of those memories, it simply makes them bittersweet. I can’t step off the world because I don’t enjoy these rubbish times. Hopefully, if I can see past these awful months where I want everyone to be as single, fraught with motherhood, and bitter as I then I will be able to create happier times again. In the meantime, phone ahead, email and text to check I am in the mood for sharing your joy. Apologies to everyone who is feeling happy out there. I am ecstatic for you but I need time for deep breaths before I can smile, hug and laugh with you. x

2 thoughts on “The Joy Police

  1. Hi Nicola, I looked up your blog after sitting next to you at Heather and Dan’s wedding on Saturday. I’ve been thinking about you and your girls a lot and will continue to do so. Thank you for the advice you gave me for my brother, which I will pass on. I thought you coped with Saturday amazingly – it must have been extremely difficult for you, but I hope you could take strength from the friends you had around you. I’m trying to find some way of finishing this which doesn’t sound trite or as if I can somehow provide answers or comfort, because I know I can’t, so just know that there is now another person in this world who is thinking of you, of Evie and Isla, and who wishes you all well.

    1. It was so lovely to meet you. I can’t think what to say to your brother other than hang in. It’s rubbish. Hard. I hope you and your family stay strong. It sounds like you are an amazing strength for him. Keep going. Hope your evening went well on Saturday. We left at 9.30 as we were wiped out. Thank you for reading. X

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