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.