Saturday, 29 August 2015

Letting Go of Grief

At every point in this journey through grief I face loss. Louise's death represented not the end of the process but the beginning. The bewildering and shocking loss of her physical presence is reinforced and multiplied by hundreds, thousands, of smaller but still significant deaths. Whenever something which was part of her life, which stood as a proxy for her existence on this planet, her part in my life, disappears I mourn all over again. When I throw away her favourite food, cancel her driving licence, remove her toothbrush from the bathroom, I experience another break with the past. I take a further painful step away from the person, and the life, that I loved so much. But there is a loss which is rarely recognised as such; the loss of grief.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015


Early on in this journey I came to the conclusion that the overwhelming experience of bereavement wasn't loss, despair, guilt or anger but love, a love for Louise of startling purity and raw intensity. That love hasn't dimmed. I will hold it for ever, Louise's most precious gift to me. But now, nearly seven months on, the overriding day to day sensation is perhaps different and somewhat less noble. It is exhaustion.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

A Measure of Progress

At just before 5pm yesterday I could have been seen jumping about in uncoordinated fashion rather like an overexcited toddler, arms flailing wildly, my face creased in an enormous smile, and at the same time heard shouting incoherently, not in despair but delight. As life events go, Brentford's injury time equaliser against Ipswich Town is as insignificant as it gets, but my response to it carries real meaning and hope.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Describing the Indescribable

This blog now amounts to something like 43 posts and thousands of words on grief and loss. I am honoured and humbled when people thank me for articulating their own emotions. But I feel a fraud for purporting to be able to write on the subject. The truth is that no words can adequately explain the agony and despair of the death of your partner, and particularly perhaps when that death comes at such a young age, so suddenly and so violently. 

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Married - Just

I had to complete a staff survey at work this week.  There were the usual questions on satisfaction with pay and rewards and understanding of corporate priorities, but as I came to the personal section my heart sank. I knew what was coming next. I used to fret about the age category I fell into, helplessly observing my relentless march towards middle age. But now I dread responding to the inevitable questions on marital status. Sure enough here it was; Married or Single? A brutal binary choice. Black or white. But I no longer live in a binary world and the only colour I see is grey. Nothing is simple any longer, not even whether I am married.