I know I have said that I don’t want to turn “A Scotsman in Suburbia” into a coping with grief blog. However coping with the loss of my partner Grace is unfortunately the biggest part of my life just now.
It is now five weeks since Grace left us.
I’m sure that you will believe me when I tell you that the last five weeks have been the hardest five weeks of my life. The first week after Grace died kind of passed in a blur. There were things that had to be done, like registering her death and organising the funeral. I suppose I went through them on automatic pilot. My sister flew down from Scotland the day after Grace died, that got me through the day. Various friends helped me through that week. In some ways the first week wasn’t too bad. I had things that needed to be done and to a degree Grace’s death hadn’t quite sunk in.
Five weeks on I am functioning, in that I get myself up in the morning, get myself out to work and I am eating reasonably well. In fact probably eating better than I have been for quite a while. This I think is due to the fact that, especially in the evenings, I have quite a lot of time to fill. I am quite a good cook and I enjoy cooking. I have found that planning, preparing and eating my evening meal is a pleasant distraction. I am eating fairly healthily and generally getting my “Five a Day”.
I have good days and bad days. Sometimes the difficult days are easy to spot in advance. Grace’s birthday was one. It doesn’t mean that it’s not going to hurt, but knowing that it will be a hard day to get through at least allows you to prepare yourself. Other days things sneak up on you.
Apparently “Denial” is one of the first stages of grief that you go through, and having to face up to it is hard. Normally I get back home about three in the afternoon. I usually still have about two or three hours work, writing reports, making phone calls and answering emails. It was not unusual for Grace to be out when I got home. Right up to the point when her body started to give up completely, she led an active social life. The expression “ladies who lunch” was coined especially for her.
Last week, I was up in the spare room that I use as an office, typing up reports. I had the feeling that I was waiting for something, but I wasn’t sure what. Suddenly it struck me, I was waiting for the front door opening. Some how I had decided, at least subconsciously, that Grace was just off somewhere, out to lunch with friends, or away at a conference and that she would be back. It was then that I realised that, no, she wouldn’t be back, not now, not ever. And that hit me hard, really hard. Even as I am typing this I am half expecting to hear her say,
” Johnnie, turn that blooming computer off and come to bed, it’s gone eleven o’clock.”
But the voice I hear is inside my head.
Actually I should listen to it because I really should be getting to bed.