But then there are times, like this morning, when the facade crumbles. Its kept out of sight, behind my locked front door, but if people saw me then they would know that I am not strong. I am weak, lost, afraid and above all desperately lonely. Out of nowhere, often when I am least expecting it, I'm suddenly and brutally hit by a tsunami of emotion, a great overpowering tidal wave of loss, despair, hopelessness. I am completely disabled by the raw elemental force of this grief. I desperately yearn with an intensity of longing that I have never before experienced to hold and cuddle Louise, to be able to talk to her, explain to her what it is like living this life, to apologise both for what I got wrong in her care during her last days and what I get wrong now as I try to live in a way worthy of her memory. Above all I want to tell her over and over and over again that I love her and that I miss her. I cry and cry and cry until the tears run out.
I am completely broken. I will superficially patch myself back up and carry on, if only for Louise's sake. Even as I type this the tears have stopped, my breathing is slowing and very shortly I shall open the front door to the world to go to work and resume the great act. No doubt in time I will learn how to better adapt to the damage, to accept it as part of me and live with it. But I can never be mended.