Getting on

Last night I dreamed me and Neil were renewing our wedding vows. There was a lot of kissing, laughing and cuddling and our girls were with us, smiling and so proud.

As I began to wake, I fidgeted a little in bed and reached out my arm to where Neil would lie. That brought me back to reality with a jolt and I cried my eyes out.

I dream about Neil regularly. There was a massive difference though this morning as after my tears I smiled and thought about how much we loved each other. So you could say my dream was a comfort, rather than something that only made me sad.

My wonderful friend Kim has always told me that when we dream about someone we love who is no longer with us, that means they are still here and want to remind us of that. She says Neil is telling me he still loves me and right now I choose to believe her.

In general things are getting better. I have had pneumonia and whooping cough and had to have tests on my heart, these proved to be absolutely fine so that was one hell of a relief. With a period of prolonged illness and the repeated experience of sitting in medical waiting rooms, there was a lot of time for memory and reflection -- much of it all-too painful.

But on a hugely positive note, my flashbacks have lessened.

People have been telling me for months that the "first" of everything after someone dies is the hardest -- a birthday, a Christmas, anniversaries and of course the day your loved one was taken from you. But I wasn't prepared for how much I would be bowled over by being ill. The reality of being a single parent and having to get on with all that involves really hit home, as well as the absence of a "rock" who has been there for so long, offering unconditional support emotionally and practically.

Then my girls went on a school trip for a week so I had the opportunity to head for Wales with my mum and our dog and I slept for days. I must have so needed it.

I feel like I have turned a corner, having recently spoken directly to a doctor who caused us untold anguish. When he apologised to me, I felt 10 feet tall, I came out of his room and said under my breath to Neil "I told him Darling, I bloody told him." That's after five pages of apology from the hospital, the spark for so many of my flashbacks.

I've also organised for a bench to be sited in a place that holds lots of precious memories for our family, with a plaque saying 'In loving memory.' This also brings me some comfort.

Day to day I am getting on, I have had a first session with a grief counsellor through an emotional well-being service and she couldn't get a word in. She said that it was very early days for me, that I am "incredibly self-aware" and that I am doing "amazingly well." I don't mind admitting that is good to hear.

I cried my eyes out in her session and when I asked her what she wanted to say to me as well as listen, she said: "What can anyone say to someone who has lost the love of their life?"

Then she told me it was okay for me to be happy again.

Whaoh, that's the big one. I think I'll get back to you on that x

Thanks for reading.






20 comments:

  1. This is very positive Linda. I hope things get easier for you - your illnesses and heart worries can't have helped things.

    It sounds like you're moving forward and I believe Neil will be watching over youa nd smiling.

    I think about you and the girls often xxx
    (I sometimes think of fudge too ;) )

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    1. Thank you Laura, really hope we can scream the place down on a rollercoaster some time in the not too distant future.

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  2. Thanks Liz, I'm starting to understand these things, my feelings have been blurred by anger so much that I have been stuck fast xx

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  3. Glad there is at least a little light at the end of the long, dark tunnel, Linda. Thinking of you.

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    1. Thanks so much Nick, lots of love to you xx

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  4. I think with grief you learn to live with it, and that's all you can really do. But you will be happy again my darling. Love you lots xxx

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    1. Thanks Liz, as I am in a time machine I have already replied to this comment.

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  5. This is such an uplifting post, and I am glad you were able to write it.

    You will be happy again, and the reason you will be is that it is what Neil would have wanted. The way that the dream brought happy memories is the start of that.

    Thinking of you lots xx

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    1. Thanks Rebecca, that's exactly the struggle I have had, I know how much Neil wants us to carry on and be happy and live life to the full and all the rest of it, but the sheer weight of the trauma and sadness of things that have happened and how much we miss him, plus so much anger -- and then guilt has made this impossible.

      Thanks for saying this is an uplifting post, I have a voice inside telling me it's all too depressing for people! xx

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  6. It makes me so happy to read this Linda. Go you! Wishing you lots of happiness. {I think Neil would be so proud of you x}

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  7. Oh thank you Cathy, that's very kind to say x

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  8. I'm glad you have turned a corner. Keep being kind to yourself, pneumonia is horrible. Sending you lots of love, Linda.

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    1. Thanks Sandy, I think whooping cough is worse :) Hope you're ok xx

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  9. linda, ems and mellissa, lots of love and hugs from Bromley, we all thinl of you and Neil and your wonderful wedding day with joy and pridexxxx

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  10. So good to hear you're feeling better and that there are some little chinks of light to help you through your grief. Hope the happy dreams continue to be a comfort.
    Still think of you and your girls a lot.

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    1. Thank you for all your encouragement and kindness Trish, lots of love to you and your mum x

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  11. You are bloody amazing lady. Big hugs. Yours, in awe.
    Mxx

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    1. I really wouldn't say that Maja, things are very tough x

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  12. When we lose people we love then dream about them, I like to think they're reaching out to us from the other side or wherever they've gone. I cannot believe they have just disappeared. Does not compute!

    Lost my dear brother 14 years ago to same illness Neil had. We were very close, like twins almost. One night I had this dream about him and he was saying it was very nice where he was. All silver and white. And he said because he wasn't married so didn't have immediate family to visit, he was allowed to visit his siblings. I said please come and see me again and he promised he would. Then said he was off to see my sister.

    My sister dreamt about him the next night.

    I'm not religious at all. But I got incredible comfort from dreaming about him and then it came true that he went to see my sister.

    Neil isn't gone Linda. He lives on in your heart and in your girls. And I think he'd want you to be happy whenever you can snatch at moments of it. I'm glad to hear you're going for counselling. No matter how self aware you are - and you are indeed very self aware - you still need help to get you through this totally shit time. I'm glad you're asking for it. The strongest people, I believe, are able to ask for help. Because strong people know asking for help is not a weakness.

    Much love, Laura X

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