Three years ago on Valentines Day a little hole was created in my heart as he furnished me with that card. Then when he left me weeks later a larger hole formed. Just before Christmas last year the hole increased in size with the loss of my beloved dog. This year on Valentines Day a crater appeared. Following a lengthy battle with cancer, my mum passed away.
I could describe the immense pain I am feeling or perhaps post a copy of the eulogy I read at her funeral but yet here all I want to do is thank him. His departure from my life allowed me to spend more time with my family. In the past few years, as my mum became more immobile, I visited my parents frequently. I was able to visit them without someone rolling their eyes at me as I was spending time with others and not with them. I didn’t feel guilty about telling him that I needed to visit them at Christmas and not go on holiday with him. I also didn’t have that hurt/upset I felt when he told me he wouldn’t visit them with me. I was able to spend quality time with those who really did care for and love me, especially my mum.
Since the start of mum’s illness and the subsequent birth of my niece, I’ve been closer than ever to my family. Something which he didn’t seem to understand. I think back to the time when, just after mum’s accident, he was working away from home (but not too far from my parent’s house), he didn’t visit mum/me once as it was just after the incident when he thought I was having an affair. I have been sifting through photos/videos of my mum and stumbled across a video my parents made for him. He hadn’t come with me on yet another visit (just before our trip to the US, on which he proposed to me) so my mum decided that she wanted to make him a video to say “hello”. I think of his relationship with his mum. She literally lived just down the road from us but yet I was the one to instigate dinners or dog walks. I was the one keeping our family together and it seems that role was never really appreciated.
I don’t think he understood the emotions/pain I went through on finding out my mum was ill. The ensuing roller coaster ride of hospital stays/visits and witnessing her deterioration. I moved in with my parents for mum’s last few weeks. I was caring for her, feeding her mushy food via a teaspoon, holding the cup while she attempted to drink through a straw, bed bathed her, took her to the toilet (and all that entails). Sitting on the edge of the hospital bed that had been installed in my parent’s front room, my arm around her and her frail hand on top of my other hand as she asked me “why can’t I just die?” It was a terrible situation to be in but I would do it all over again. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone and I hope he never has to go through the same…not just for those last few weeks but for all those years.
Since his departure, I have realised that I am very communicative, sensitive and caring. You can’t blame the other person for not talking about things when you yourself do not express how you feel/talk. He said I didn’t talk about a particular situations in his life I tried subtly but he just didn’t talk about them. I constantly told him I felt neglected as he worked too much, I would have loved him to be around more but he didn’t listen…I tried. Mum has gone but she is here within me. Traits of her… her emotional sensitive side, her sense of humour, her strength and courage, her wanting to see the best in people, her trusting nature are all wrapped up within me so now his accusations hit me hard. Whilst I am not perfect, I don’t think I am any of the things he accused me of.
I still think of him each day. Even when my world was filled with nurses, drug rotas and constantly being on caring duty, I thought of him. I think of all those I have lost in recent years Alfie, Rosie, George, mum, him…my family. I will grieve for mum. I will mourn her loss and my life will never be the same. That loss is finite. It had an end. I will continue to grieve for him. That will be with me for years to come.
I am left feeling so careless. People just disappear from my life: my grandparents, his granddad, his dog, his departure, my dog, and now my mum. I just lose people. People that leave a lasting impression upon me as I cared for and loved them with such intensity that they became a large part of not just my life but my being. For now, I am left haunted by those final weeks with my mum…
I watched her take her last breath, as she watched me take my first.