Five years. Half a decade. 1,828 days. 157,939,200 seconds. 2,632,320 minutes 43,872 hours. 261 weeks. Whatever unit of time I use it feels too bloody long since I distractedly said goodbye to my husband as he left the house in a flurry to go and play tennis. How can I have survived the half decade that I have since Colin’s heart stopped working at 3.01 on a south London road on Saturday 25th February 2012. When I saw that policeman’s uniform through the windows of my front door I didn’t think I could live a minute without him let alone five whole years. The 25th of February 2012 is the day that my whole life changed completely and forever and somehow this year feels worse than year one, two, three or four. The world has spun me so very far away from him now and the pain may has multiplied with every eon. And now sometimes he feels like a figment of my imagination.
In the months after Colin’s death I could easily recount in minute detail by minute detail the few dreams I had of Col. The one where I was in our house, it was full of people, but I couldn’t find him. I desperately needed to speak to him. I hunted and hunted for my phone to see if I could track him on the phone. But no one had seen my phone. Eventually I found it. And it was blank. There was no key pad. I couldn’t dial his number to call him. I was devastated. I woke just missing his voice.
I had a large bag of notes, cards, letters and photos, 100s of them, that I have not looked at or opened since the weeks after Col died. I have tried. Numerous times. But failed to even go beyond the first few lines of the first letter opened. I bought a beautiful book to place the memorial cards people picked up at the service for him and were to fill in with their favourite memory of Col for myself, Evie and Isla to read in years to come. These have a smiley Col beaming out from them on one side and are blank for his friends, family and colleagues to conjure up a moment in time with the man we all adored. I have read only half of them today. Through tears. So many tears. My head hurts, my eyes are but a memory and pure puffiness has replaced where they once were and I keep seeing him everywhere and weeping more.
It’s two years today that Col left us all behind. The last few days have been about remembering him. That said I don’t think there is a day that passes that all those that knew him do not in some small way or another remember the man or boy they once knew because that to me seems to be how losing someone works. Birthdays, anniversaries loom on the calendar and you get your way through them and tick them off and perhaps on those days you do conjure them up as they were more than you do on a run-of-the-mill day. Ultimately though you remember them and how you miss them everyday in all sorts of small ways. A place passed, a street once walked, a song heard, a photo found, an item in your wardrobe worn again, a phrase repeated on different lips…the triggers are everywhere and always. That to me is what happens to us when we are gone. Who we once were is nothing if we do not leave people behind with a thought of us, a smile Continue reading “Remembering Him”
I am getting used to this new reality. It’s beginning to feel less odd being just me and my girls, in Edinburgh. Structure is gradually making its way back into my chaotic world. But then every so often my stomach lurches and it all slips away. Where’s Colin? Why are we here? Argh. I have a ‘Sliding Doors’ moment and think does Colin exist in some parallel universe and I’m just another version of me and I got on the wrong train? There is actually another me, Evie and Isla somewhere else. He and we exist in our London house in this ‘other’ world and we are doing all the things that we always did. He goes to work, he kisses the girls goodbye, I get excited about him coming home, I get annoyed with him when he is home for being too loud and waking up the girls, we have evenings together watching TV and playing competitive sofa University Challenge, we have weekends, we spend time with friends, we argue about who is going to chase Evie up and around the soft play centre, we freeze our bums off in play parks while assessing what is a fair amount of time before we hit a cafe and we have a laugh and some disagreements as we plan for our future.
I want a Philip Pullman-style Subtle Knife so I can slice through to this ‘other’ dimension because although this new reality I am in is now OK and I’m getting used to it. I would much prefer to be back in that place, doing all those things and just being with my Col.