And The Winner Is…

It is almost Oscar time and while the great and the good of Hollywood prepare their happy tears, their ‘I’m not disappointed’ faces or their gushing speeches, I feel I may be more worthy of an award for my acting than most.
We are in the countdown to the first anniversary of Colin’s death and I have to admit to myself I have not been honest with anyone. I have been putting on an Oscar worthy performance for almost a year and it has taken two almost strangers, two new people in my life, to spot the flaws in that ‘I’m fine’ facade that I have been presenting to the world.
I am manic. I pretend all is ticking along quite nicely, I talk about the future, I talk about getting things done, I laugh, I socialise and to all intents and purposes I do a good job of talking myself into thinking I am moving along all tickety boo. But then a moment of real despair catches me unaware and I find myself stock still, unable to think forward, unable to move and unable to think how on earth I will take life beyond that moment of doom. What’s the point? Who’s it all for? Poor me. It can be the overwhelming amount of housekeeping that does it or the worry about my financial future or the thought of being on my own forever and, wheugh, the plummet follows and I simply can’t do one tiny little thing. And so nothing gets done. The washing piles up, the carpet gets more grubby looking, the dishwasher lies half-emptied and the financial filing sits and sits and sits.
I have been institutionalised by marriage. I liked shopping for someone, I liked being in stores and thinking, oh he’d love that. I loved making the house look good for us. I had even got to the stage in life of actually ironing things. My feminist side abhors it but I loved doing things for my man. Doing things for my children is obviously the drive that keeps things from going completely off the rails in these despairing times but it’s not the same. I loved being someone’s someone. And I miss being Colin’s someone everyday. I hate going to the supermarket and almost buying an artichoke or a ribeye steak because I know he’d love the surprise. I hate not having to moan at him for not picking up his pants. I hate that I no longer have to be annoyed at his newspaper dried and stuck to the floor of the bathroom after one of his marathon weekend baths (he never mastered getting out of a bath without half the contents of it ending up on the floor).
From day one I have been trying to fix this big, massive problem of grief. I couldn’t bear to think it would take a long time. I spoke with a widowed friend in the first two weeks and she told me that the first three years were the worst. Three years? Not for me. I was going to sort this out quick as can be. Someone said therapy. I said yes please and within weeks of Col’s death was sitting at the Priory being assessed and being allocated a therapist. Excellent. Box ticked. Move house? OK, bring it on. I’ll move city while we’re at it. No resting and wallowing for me. I must move on. I must not let grief get the better of me.
Now, I am at the stage where sitting alone every night is actually doing my head in. So I thought I’ll fix that too. I will try to meet someone new. Well, I think I need to learn to walk before I can run. I need to get this first anniversary over with. My head is all Colin, Colin, Colin and what we had and that’s not going to work for someone else. There will be a future for me but right now I need to stop acting like I am OK and start being OK before I can think about anyone else.

3 Replies to “And The Winner Is…”

  1. Hi, good to meet you today. I understand your anticipation of the anniversary but what I hope you can focus on is what you have achieved and survived in the last year. You and your girls are all that matters and through you all Colin’s light shines on. Hope we will stay in touch, Julie x

    1. It was really good to meet you. Encouraging, reassuring and just good all in all. Thank you for sharing. I would love to meet again sometime. I am often over your way to see my sister so perhaps another coffee morning!

  2. All of these things are normal, reading today’s blog was like reading my own, other than I cannot bear to think of moving and not being here in our home. I’m 18 months further on than you, and have to agree with your friend, this year has been so.much harder than last, last year I was on autopilot, people are still there for you and you’re jot completely alone, this year, I hate to say, I am now completely alone with my son, everyone presumed I’ve ‘got love it’, when in fact I’m probably worse!
    Keep going hun, it’s a long, long road, but our children need us now, more than ever before.
    Much love

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