On putting one foot in front of the other


In some ways I've had a great day today. It's been a lovely lazy Sunday. I had a great yoga workout, getting a good sweat on and using muscles in places I didn't know I had places. I've cooked myself two lovely clean eating meals and have done absolutely no housework.

Yesterday I changed my desktop photo to one of Helen and I. I've looked at it a lot, but mainly looked through it. Then it hit me - how can she be dead?! How. Can. She. Be. Dead? Howcanshebedead?  I found a couple of short video clips of her earlier so I could hear her voice. When you break it down, what do you have from a 10 year friendship with someone? A couple of hundred photos and a few seconds of film, plus presents, birthday cards and that kind of thing. And none of it is enough. It will never be enough.

I'm scared I'll forget her face, her voice, the shape of her teeth, her laugh. My grief is like a heavy blanket I want to pull over myself and wrap myself up in, blocking out reality. The nature of grief is to be self-pitying about it to a certain extent, to think about how we will never see the deceased person again, how it affects us. When I pull myself out of this funk for a minute I think she hadn't had kids, she hadn't got married......and whether she wanted to do those things or not she had so much left to do with her life. She was a fun loving girl but she barely had half a lifetime. There were umpteen more holidays she should have been able to enjoy, thirty or more years of life with her loyal and doting fella, and perhaps she would've been looking after her mum in her old age. It is not in the natural order of things for a parent to bury a child. It's just wrong, like the very fabric of the universe has bunched up.

Because we were estranged there's no solid line of contact between me and her partner. I sent him a text message of condolence yesterday morning when I found out Helen had died and he replied, but the poor guy will be going through hell so I'm not going to hassle him. I don't know if they're having an inquest, or when the funeral is. I know nothing, and it's horrible. I will send him a condolence card as well, not that all the kind words in the world will bring Helen back.

It's NEVER going to be easy when someone you love dies, whether you were in close contact with them when they died or if you hadn't seen them for 20 years. There are always going to be regrets.

I'm struggling a bit after this news. I have existing mental health issues and have been struggling to keep my head above the parapet for quite some time. I know I'll be OK in time, a lot more 'OK' than Helen's boyfriend and family will be, that's for sure. I don't want to fully succumb to my grief, because right now I feel like I'll drown in sadness. Doing my yoga and eating well are positive things I'm doing, and they are a well-needed addition to the balance sheet of my life at the moment.

If you've read this far, thanks for listening. If you've ever lost someone, hugs from me to you.

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