Saturday, June 18, 2011

I want to go home.

My best friend has invited me to her birthday party tonight and I will be going. I have no reason not to, and I want to go, but it is strange to not be thinking of Arthur and of how long I can be away, to be arranging respite or just saying no to my friend's invitation. I have no reason not to go and no reason to rush back. I will not be ringing to make contact with Arthur and let him know I will be late or when he will see me coming in the door.

The guilt, the trade-off of the pleasure of an outing and knowing Arthur wants me with him all the time, the loneliness that I know he will feel until I get back, is gone. I have no reason not to go out and now I do not want to. I want to be home with Arthur, I want to go out and come back to him. I do not want to come back to emptiness.

Today I called in to collect a bottle of wine from the house, to take to the party. As usual, as soon as I went in I started talking to Arthur. I broke down in tears, the first real deep weeping. I told him I just wanted to come home. Please let me come home. I just want to come home to Arthur. Please let me come home to Arthur, I want to take care of him, to keep him warm in the cold winter, to make him soup, change his pads, make him comfortable on his pillows, to buy seafood for him; to be his wife.

I just want to go home.  

Friday, June 17, 2011

The 17th.

It is the 17th of June, exactly one calender month since Arthur passed away in my arms. I still cannot write of it or the service on the 24th of May, before his cremation.

Today, I sent the invoice from the Funeral Director to the Arthur's funeral fund.

Arthur is at the Funeral Director's Chapel. They said he could be there until I am ready to pick him up. I cannot deal with that yet. I will leave this be for a time. I am talking about Arthur's ashes and speaking as if that is him. I do not feel it is him.  How can a person come to just this? A life, a complex system of physiology, a mind, feelings, touch, hearing, sight, taste, smell, enjoyment, pain, longing, anticipation, love and it comes down to ashes?

I cannot comprehend it, I cannot understand it. There must be a soul to tie it all together, a soul that exists beyond the physical body. We must be more than the sum of our parts.

Arthur cannot be gone; he may be beyond my reach and beyond this life but I cannot accept he is just gone.

The 17th of the Month, it is my wedding day, and the day I became Arthur's Widow.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Something and Nothing.

I moved our bed to my room at my Mum's place today.

I could no longer sleep in the single bed as it made my back hurt, so I paid a couple of men to move my marital bed here.

This is the first time I have gone to bed in it since Arthur died. I have settled the dogs under the quilt with me as usual: there is an overwhelming sense of familiarity and strangeness. Something I know well is forever changed. When do I roll over to talk to Arthur, when will I feel his weight next to me, hear his breathing, feel the heat of his body, or smell the scent of another human being that I know as well as my own? When will I talk about our beloved dogs or...but this is pointless because I know the answer. It will be never.

I am glad to have back a little of that which I had - the bed we shared; but I want Arthur back. I long for him.  If I think about it too much, it is truly horrifying, beyond endurance, so I cannot write anymore tonight.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sorry, Arthur.

Today the hire bin was collected. Most of it was stuff that was water-damaged or broken. I found some photographs, and greeting cards and trinkets, and saved it all. I also found some of Arthur's first wife's things that I had stored away. She died before I met Arthur, he must have been in this kind of grief when he met me. I have carefully put those aside too.

I feel sad every time I pack his things. I say 'Sorry Arthur' over and over out loud, particularly when I lock up and leave the house. I say it as if he can hear me. I wonder if, and hope, he is somewhere where he can.

Last week's feeling that I had, that any minute I should be driving off to visit Arthur, has changed. That has faded, and is replaced by the regret and guilt of the things Arthur will not know or experience again. I just want to keep saying sorry.

I cannot look forward and looking back hurts too much, so here I am; nowhere.

Monday, June 13, 2011

It just stops?

Last week was bad, I felt that I was away from Arthur for too long and it was time to visit him, in hospital. I spent a few hours in each day at the house alone, packing. With a 'project' to focus on I could just remain numb and do one thing on a time. I held Arthur's Manchester United shirt, one that he wore so much in the last months, to my breast and cried as I remembered holding him to me, the hugs that had to be gentler as he become frailer, the last embrace as he died in my arms. I lay on the bed in his place and smelled the scent, fading day by day, of him on the pillows. I could not do it for long, with an ocean of pain lapping at the wall, like a flooded dam that needs only the gentlest agitation to send the water crashing over the top.

I despaired that meals I would never cook again for Arthur, the football matches we will never see together, the sweet tea I would never make for him again. I will never feel his touch on my hair again or a playful touch of my breast, followed by a cheeky grin.

I despair the things Arthur will not know, the Manchester United wins he will not see, the dogs he will no longer cuddle, the touch of my hand, the Christmas dinners and jokes we will never again share.

I do not understand this sudden severance, how can things just stop like that? I cannot comprehend it. Last week I was numb and just operating.

This week I am still not crying, I am just horrified by it all.

Writing is hard. Packing up a life is harder,

I flinch away from writing this diary, I fear to touch the wall of grief. I know I have an appointment with pain.

Today, my best friend and her daughter helped me fill the big bin I had delivered. We cleaned out the rubbish from the garage. For a long time I have been stashing stuff in there to make room for Arthur's equipment. We found many things, including cards, photographs and ornaments, which I have carefully put aside. It is so sad to see Arthur's little things being packed away, and to see the cards we gave each other and photos of us doing things together.

I found the letter that Arthur found in France in 1945, on 6 June, D-Day. He just picked it up, with no envelope, on the ground. I must find the family one day.

This is almost too painful to write. I have packed up a lot of things, and I have found a workman to move it. And all I can do is say sorry, sorry, sorry Arthur, that I have to do this, that I have to pack away your life. I am sorry I cannot stay in the house anymore, but I cannot stay there without you. I cannot bear it.