So what happened for the pit of grief to fall on me like a building blown up by Blaster Bates?
Okay Mum, tell me off but I had a look at some old emails just before I turned off my PC. At first it was good. I found a message from the lovely Molly Harvey from Christmas saying,
Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away.
That got me thinking about how Clive often took my breath away by thought, word, deed or simply by just looking at me with adoration in his eyes. From there I began to think of suitable songs. Top Gun was featured last week so had to find another with 'breath' in it.
That song took me back to college days. I had a wonderful time at Edge Hill college, Ormskirk, in the 80's. Life was such an adventure. I shared it with Greg. We had a fun time. Often the 'me' that was with Clive reminded me of how I was in that era. Fun. Loving. Life was full of promise and adventure. So much to look forward to.
Then I found this email from Clive, written in the first months of our relationship...
I haven’t told you this very much lately darling but you are still one of my hero’s. I still truly adore you and cherish you and what we are building together. I honestly think that if we work at it we can help each other to reach heights we never imagined and we can be there for each other to enjoy the view. You are my world darling, my beautiful, sexy, cheeky, emotional, hard working, ambitious, princess and I adore you for all of those things. Christmas this year will be strange but lovely. The next 49 will be fantastic though. Brace yourself darling we are on a roller coaster.
Next was this one..
I am going to my bed now my beautiful princess. I am a very tired and very happy man tonight. Spending time with you is like closing off from the entire world and bathing in a pool of love. And although our time today was short it still took us closer to the next time when we will be together for longer which will eventually lead to a time when we can be completely free of the outside world and just be us for a time. I can't wait to hold you, caress you and just be with you completely oblivious to anyone or anything around us.
I love you my beautiful princess. Goodnight and sleep safely
Your very happy to adore you Knight
I was still okay and holding it together. I found one more in which he had told me 'You can't do everything all at once. Take your time.'
So that was the message I went to bed with. I have been cold the last two nights going to bed so I put the heating on for a short while; a big T -shirt of Clive's; the fluffy bed socks he bought me (and that he confessed to sleeping with if I wasn't here!); Horlicks and got cosy to finish my book.
Well done to me I thought. Around 11 I switched off the light thinking I needed my sleep for my drive to Sheffield and Derby.
SMACK!!!!! Out of the darkness a howl started in my warm toes and crawled up my body like the waves crashing on rocks on the shoreline.
BAM! I felt like I was on a fairground ride without being strapped in.
My mind whirled out of control as huge tears fell and my body shook - Anger at Clive for leaving me? Why have all that love for it to be taken away? Fear about my future? What will happen to me? Acknowledgement that I miss someone to share my days with. The loneliness of an empty bed. All this passion and love in me going to waste but who I want to share it with has gone. Longing just to touch Clive. To be touched by him. I remembered the feel of his whiskers as I kissed him in his coffin. I ached for his chest next to mine. I also got in a spin as someone else very close to me has had a health scare this week. That made me very worried too. I just want everything sorted out as easily and painlessly as possible but it will all take time.
The more my mind began to panic I knew I had to stop it. I tried Sudoko. No good. I thought about getting up again - no, because I needed sleep. Sleeping tablets? No, that is weakness and I wanted to manage without. I flicked through the videos on my phone. Baby Sophie giggling and another one of her and Dominic cheered me up. The children are the future. I ached to have a Sophie squeeze and a hug from Dom.
I know I have so many people I could have phoned at midnight. I know I could have got someone here within minutes but part of grief is to acknowledge it and there is only YOU that has to deal with it. I text Chris to see if he was awake as a last attempt. Next thing I knew it was morning. My eyes were swollen and puffy. I was pale, washed-out and weary.
Chris phoned to check I was okay. All I said was 'hello' and he knew I wasn't! He suggested that I had a pamper morning. Be good to myself. He and Emily will come round later.
First priority had to be to myself. I cancelled my plans for Sheffield and Derby. Four hours on motorways is stupid today. The people involved were lovely and I am glad I am being honest. I know that trying to do things because I feel I should or others expect it is not a good way forward. All I will achieve is wearing myself out. Good move.
I made myself tea and toast and got back in bed. A friend came round and joined me - not actually in bed though! We made some plans for pleasure, rest and relaxation over the next few weeks. Another good move. Mum always says have things to look forward to.
I changed my bed linen. Painted my toe nails. Had a wardrobe crisis - all my trousers are literally hanging off me. Even belts are useless. I must get myself at least a couple of new pairs.
And so I have emerged again. I am still feeling exhausted but have pulled through. My 'list' can wait. Today has to be for me and survival.
At least know that the only way to go after a down like this, is up. It still isn't yet 3 months since Clive was taken away. I cannot expect just to pick up the pieces so fast. Generally I know my overall 'condition' is improving but I have to acknowledge that I will get these dips for possibly a long while to come.
I have learnt again:
- Tiredness and overdoing things often lead to a 'fall' - pace myself!
- It is okay to look at memory stuff but STOP after a little bit - pace myself!
- Staying in bed or at least in the bedroom is okay too - pace myself!
- Getting dressed and a pamper helps.
- Sharing feelings helps and by not bottling it all up hopefully my recovery will be easier long-term.
- Surround myself with people who care about me.
- Have things to look forward to.
See you later.