A couple of months after Tony died, a woman knocked at the door doing some kind of Ipsos research. She was lovely. I was happy to answer her questions. There was just one question that completely ambushed me.
After a slow-motion, heart-pounding pause, I managed to get it out.
It was the first time I had used that word to describe myself. It was the first time I had actually realised that this was a fact. It came as a shock. I burst into tears. She continued to be lovely and after a few minutes composing myself, I finished answering her questions.
It’s been five years now since my status changed from happily married to very unhappily widowed.
I know. Five years. Hard to believe.
Taking stock, here are some things that I feel have altered. Significantly. For me.
I used to be in a partnership.
Two of us deciding how we’d spend the weekend, who would wash the car while the other cleaned the bathroom, who we’d visit, what we’d eat, what movie we’d watch, which beach we’d walk on, who would drive to get there, whether or not to buy a lawnmower.
Now I get quite overwhelmed about some of those things. Sometimes the car gets washed and more often it doesn’t. Sometimes the bathroom doesn’t get cleaned til the next weekend. Sometimes I struggle to visit people because I’m not convinced they want my company without Tony. I do still eat because that’s kind of important. But I don’t go to the beach that much anymore because it just doesn’t feel the same without a hand to hold. I actually bought the wrong lawnmower, gave that one away and bought another one.
I used to have company.
Those after dinner cups of tea that Tony always made. I cooked. He made the tea. And then we would chat about the days we’d both had, who was picking up who the next day, how we would approach the latest parenting challenge, what his next job looked like. And then we might just sit. Not always the need for conversation. Just being. Together.
Now, to be honest. I feel alone. It’s an aloneness that has grown out of absence. Absence of the one person that shared dreams, hopes and the path into old age, with me.
I’m not lonely. I am very blessed with beautiful, kind, generous, wonderful friends and family and children and the dog. I am very thankful that these people have walked extremely closely with me over these past five years. I am very thankful that they have been there to share laughs, stories, solutions, pain and tears. I have felt carried, supported, loved, protected, helped, encouraged, motivated and inspired by the ones who have gathered themselves around me.
But at the end of each day, when I lay my head on my pillow and there’s no one there beside me. I am alone.
My comment about this post. There is context in my heart to what I’ve written. I know it’s a very long time since I posted anything and it’s a bit out of the blue. I am also totally aware that some of you reading this experience aloneness for a whole host of reasons. This blog is about the MUD and the SPARKLES in my life, and this week has felt a bit MUDDY.
Here’s a cute photo of Lacey. To make you smile 🙂