Tumultuous.

That’s the best word I have.

It’s that time again. I sat in the airport.

I’ve cried. I taken so many deep breathes I’m surprised I can’t fly myself home.

I think I’ve felt every emotion this trip:

Excitement, anticipation, longing, anger, frustration, boredom, contentment, happiness, anxiety and deep, deep love.

It’s been a strange trip for lots of reasons, but I guess all those feelings already say that .

Last night, I didn’t want him to leave me. He knew it, I knew it. We had a very small disagreement. He couldn’t understand why I was upset about leaving. He reeled off all that he’d done to make me happy. He said that this wasn’t the final time, so what was the problem. All I can say, is thank goodness I’ve started to read “Men are from Mars”. This situation could have been a chapter. I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t just see that I was upset because of how much I loved him, and why wasn’t he upset? But then the words from the book hit me and I just told him he had done nothing wrong. I just wanted him to know how I felt.

This morning he came to me, as always. He was tired and hadn’t slept much. He curled into me, wrapping his arms around me and our legs entwined. We made love then cuddled for a hour, watching things on his phone.

Throughout the day, he has repeatedly blown kisses and winked at me – much more than usual. He kissed me passionately repeatedly – again, more than usual.

After we ate dinner, I went to my room to finish packing….well, ok, I went to collect myself as I couldn’t breathe.

He followed and we lay again on the bed. He caressed my skin as we lay there in silence. He kissed me gently. We said nothing.

So maybe he doesn’t cry. Maybe he doesn’t overtly tell me that he will miss me. But I saw it and felt it in every extra kiss, look, touch.

I’m about to board the plane. I’ve not cried for half an hour. That’s progress I guess

Insatiable

There is a hard stone in the middle of my chest, weighing me down. I feel like it’s threatening to pull me over and then down, down, down in to the earth.

Very little seems to take away the sensation. I’m binge eating like never before: each day telling myself that tomorrow I will eat better. But my non-hunger is insatiable. Nothing helps so I keep cramming it in. I crave salt and then sugar. I am thirsty. Nothing satisfies me.

I miss him.

I always miss him. Every day. And every time I go, I don’t want to leave him. But this time was different. I didn’t want to come home.

When I did, the world seemed dull. Like all the colours were muted. Cold seems to seep from the ground and into my bones. I walked into my home, and I hated it. I hated everything about it.

My children arrived and for a moment, when they hugged me and kissed me, my heart was light again. But soon they were bickering and arguing…the dishwasher needed emptying, food needed cooking, and needed to unpack…and I didn’t want to. I don’t want this life.

Just thinking that makes me feel bad. Another stone drops into my heart, heavy and aching. How can I be happy leaving my children behind? I’m not.

But nothing, even them, is erasing that heaviness in my chest.

Last night, for a moment, I was free.

As I do sometimes, towards the end of our call, I ask him to tell me something nice. He usually does the opposite in jest and makes me laugh, or acts like a pantomime dame in his over exaggeration.

But last night, he told me he misses me. He misses my lips and my kisses. He misses my face and my smile. He misses my eyes, he misses my laugh.

And my heart felt light. I felt my soul soar, I was surprised at his honesty, his tone, his rush of words like he had no control. And I told him, “you sound serious this time baby.” And this time, this time he was.

Selfish.

I don’t think I am a selfish person usually. Probably more the other way – not being able to say no which leads to more trouble for myself. On this occasion, I think what I am about to write is going to sound really selfish.

Please forgive me for this post.

I’m really struggling. She was not even my family member, but I am struggling.

First, is that it is bringing back all sorts of memories of my Dad dying. As Wildcard tells me things, what happened, I am reminded of the events nearly three years ago. Events I usually successfully repress. This is not a bad thing entirely because I can understand and sympathise with him. But it really hurts.

However…

Seeing and understanding his grief is not easy. I love him so much and I can’t stand to see his pain. I know how bad it is, and worse, know how bad it can become, and I can’t help him. I can’t take it away. I can’t even hug him or kiss him or anything. I know this is a process and he has to go through it, but I want to be at his side and I am not.

So, adding that together, this weekend has been tough. Now for the selfish element.

Naturally, he is not calling or messaging as much. When he has called, it has been for a few minutes – enough to see his pain and distress – and then he is gone. Messages go unread or unanswered. And I completely and utterly understand why, I really do, but in those hours of waiting I am worried sick about him. Hoping he is OK. Wondering what he is going through. Hating the fact I can’t be there to help.

Now for the even more, despicable element.

All of this just plays on my natural anxieties. My over-active, stressed, anxious head does the bad maths. Knowing what a life changing experience this is, I am scared it will take him away from me. He will realise that life is too short to wait for an over-emotional, anxious, chubby 40 year old. And maybe he is learning that, in fact, through the darkest of days, he doesn’t need me. I’m…irrelevant. not needed. Obscure. I have all this love and worry and need to be near him and support him and…he doesn’t want it or need it. And worse, maybe there is someone there better placed to understand.

There, I said it. I’m disgusting, right?

Ultimately, my overwhelming feeling is that I want him to be ok. I need to know he is OK, and he is not. The reduced communication, no matter how understandable, really is playing on my already delicate nerves.

I need to get strength and patience from somewhere. And hope. I would settle for hope.

Here and there

I’m sat in the front porch of my house: the door is open and I have my feet outside. I have a cup of (interesting) ginger green tea (because I am drinking too much coffee) and am enjoying the spring sunshine.

I’ve been gardening today. The front garden was a bit of a mess so each day I have gone out to do a bit of weeding. I’ve come to the last part where a great big evil nest of nettles await. Hence my green tea break.

Bizarrely, it’s sensation overload, sat in this cosy little porch. Across the road from me a farmer is ploughing the stubble field. Behind me I can hear the jaunty tune of a computer game my son is playing. If I listen really hard, I can hear the breeze in the trees, the same breeze that occasionally enters my little shelter to caress my face with coolness.

My arms are stinging from the nettles and I managed to pick up a few punctures from hawthorn twigs also. Despite this, with the sun on my skin and music playing, I’ve actually enjoyed gardening.

It was a necessary distraction. By rights, I should be on a train now heading to London. There, I would have stayed overnight in a hotel before catching an early morning flight to see Wild Card.

He surprised me yesterday by pointing this out. I didn’t think he would remember, but he did. That’s almost made it worse.

I know, in the grand scheme of things, this is not important. People living in the world right now are experiencing untold horror and heartache because of Coronavirus and I certainly am not trying to forget that. My little problem is exactly that, little.

But, its not making it hurt any less. He has never looked as good as he did today . He comforted me, reminded me that it is our destiny and that we will be together soon. He told me that one day, years from now I will wish he was far away from him and will forget about missing him in this moment. (I told him that it was impossible.) I take comfort in his long projection of our future together. I wish I could focus more positively on something a bit sooner though.

How would I have felt this time, traveling down? What would I have written about? Would this trip have confirmed and consolidated all we say we feel? I will never know now.

So, I’m gardening. Masking the pain of my heart with stinging arms and hands. But like he said, he still there. I need to remember that.

Second the worst

Officially this is the second Fathers’ Day without my Dad.

Last year my dad had been gone barely a week. I was numb, in shock, grief exhausted… Trying to plan a funeral whilst trying to keep the peace and hold it together. We planted a rose bush in Dad’s new garden and ate Toblerone.

This year has been devastating. My grief has been renewed. I’ve cried and ached and missed. I’ve been solemn and quiet and locked in my grief.

I know it’s commercial. I know today is just another day without him. But that’s what makes it painful: another day without him.

Father’s Day for us was a chance to focus on our Dad. To buy him a Toblerone. To make him a nice tea and spend time with him.

Today’s Fathers’ day was a symbol of loss for me. It’s been a hard couple of weeks.

A month

Thirty days of sadness.

Thirty days of pain.

Thirty days of knowing things will never be the same.

Thirty days of crying.

Thirty days of numb.

Thirty days of waiting for someone who’ll never come.

Over thirty years of tenderness,

Over thirty years of care,

Over thirty years of knowing that you always have been there.

Over thirty years of laughter

How I wish there were thirty more!

Over thirty years I’ll keep hoping you could walk back through my door.

Thirty days of missing you

each and every day

Thirty days of wishing..

you were here

to hear me say:

How much I truly love you, and how I always will,

You are so irreplaceable Dad and you’re my hero still.