When somebody dies whos super close to you , in my case my husband Paul, you have a lot of time to think and reflect on what if, what happens next, what happens to me, what am I going to do, why am I still here?.
My lovely hubby died of stage 4 cancer that originated in the bowel and then spread like a weed all over his body 05/03/2022 . It went into his bones, head, lung, right eye and bowel before finally doing its worse. He also had multiple myeloma cancer and a chronic pain condition called CRPS. My darling cheeky Paul was ill for years, he never complained, he was kind, patient and such a generous and thoughtful person. He fought like a “superman” and was incredibly brave even when the pain had him crying out with the horror as the pain was so intense. All the consultants loved him because he was so cheery, positive and smiley, I loved him because he was my cheeky chappie who made me smile and laugh at his really bad jokes.
Paul was even born with a cancerous lump on his right shoulder.
So you see the world had it in for him from an early stage.
He survived numerous cancer treatments, chemo, and operations for almost six whole years.
I loved and adored Paul our whole married life and still do, he was my soulmate. I cared for him and loved him so much. People commented often, how did I manage working full time and also look after a poorly husband plus growing veggies for him and doing the music, writing and photography. Well its simple I loved him and we where married so of course I’d look after him – who wouldn’t right?. We/He thought he was invincible, I called him my super man and there is even a Skyeladder song about him.
You see, he survived three cancer operations and a Stem cell transplant, he did amazingly and was/is a super strong man.
But now he’s died and I have this massive void that just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
I have a hollowness in my tummy, I am angry ( still, I don’t know why). I have tightness above my breast on my right and just feel a complete and utter emptiness which to be honest gets worse with every single hour of every day. I cant sleep , I’m cold all of the time, I feel anxious and you’d think I should be able to sleep as I’m so exhausted.
I cry for no reason, I’m sure Mindles the dog is getting stressed. ( I’m crying now – go figure) .
Plus I cant seem to do anything apart from mechanical things like clean the house, feed the pup and do the washing. I’ve been staring at peeling paint for months thinking oh I should really sort that and repaint, but I haven’t.
Pauls everywhere, from his rings on my fingers , the pictures on the wall , to the clothes in the wardrobe and drawers and the meat ball casserole in the freezer that was waiting for him to come out of hospital so he could enjoy as it was his favourite.
I organised the funeral for Paul on my own. You see when you are caring for someone so poorly you don’t have many friends and sometimes those who know that its cancer/you’re dying get a bit afraid and distance themselves. To be honest , I was glad I was on my own, all I did was take a few deep breaths and walked in to the funeral parlour and talked about what Paul wanted or that I hope he wanted.
They said after the funeral ( people, friends, family) that it was a fitting ceremony and that I did him proud and I even stood up to talk about personal stuff which I can tell you now is not me. I even played one of our songs, it was written about him https://soundcloud.com/skye-ladder/im-looking-for-you
I was even told by a friend, don’t worry you’re still young , you’ll meet somebody else. ( Yep thanks for that I’ve just seen my husband die and you’re already trying to fix me up, unbelievable! But my sister explained they probably don’t know what to say for the best. )
I’m trying to get out more, see people, do my music and other hobbies again. But when I take a picture or grow something or stand up on my own for the first time playing the guitar and singing , I think well Pauls not going to see this ,so what’s the point.? I mean what is the point really?
I close the curtains when it all gets too much, I’ve cancelled invites, I’ve not answered the door or phone , because to be honest I’m having a bad day. Is that okay?
Easter came and went, I had covid who knew that you can get covid by not seeing anybody at all ( even though I had all the pointless injections) . I spent that long Easter weekend with me feeling sad , having a sense of dread and being very lonely in bed ( no chocolate egg as we used to buy each other one.) Nobody to make me a cup of tea. Paul before he became really ill made the best cups of tea he really did. I think I ate mostly toast that weekend.
I’m lonely and very sad all the time, I mean who would want to be around a lonely sad grieving widow hey?
I’m struggling to get myself organised re food, I’ve lost over a stone in weight. When I do cook, it tastes bland even though I’ve cooked it the same way. The world just isn’t the same without my cheeky Paul in it. I think a lot about when I’ll see Paul next, I miss him so much ( Doc says thats the grief talking)
Paul and I had booked a week in Anglesey back in January for the Jubilee week. I cancelled last minute ( sorry) , as I just couldn’t face driving somewhere without Paul. I just feel that I don’t want to do or experience anything without my Paul. Dying is shit ( well thats what my doctor said), he even said that when Paul was first diagnosed with Cancer ( he said its shit news) , go figure. !
I talk to him when I’m in bed you know, Paul that is , people probably think I’m crackers. But I still have his pillows on the bed next to me. Its surprising how cold the bed is when theres only one of you in it. In fact I feel cold most days. Paul was basically a big cuddly heating blanket for me that I could cuddle up to and feel safe and warm. Last night I was so cold in bed that I got out put socks on and my cuddly dressing gown.
I think about his birthday 09/11 and mine 24/12 our wedding anniversary 05/12 , Christmas , Valentines day, Easter, Mothers and fathers day- its just not going to be the same again. Why couldn’t they have found a cure for Cancer , I mean how much more money needs throwing at the research, why couldn’t they save him?
Sometimes I feel I’m going bonkers. Luckily for me I have a brilliant sister and brother in law who have invited me up for some weekends at her house and basically looked after me. Making me meals, chatting and being very sweet with me and understanding that I’m just sad and I think I’ll be like this for a long time as I can’t currently see a way out. Plus I have a great brother who always knows what to say to make me feel a smidge better.
I got up this morning, had porridge, walked the pup, had a shower ( cried in the shower) got dressed and logged on work for the first time in 3 plus months. Now sat here looking at the clock its 13:23, lunch time, I need to think about eating lunch but instead I’m writing this and yes yet again I’m crying.
Life goes on, things change even though I feel I am standing still.
Thats the grief they tell me, will it get better? I just don’t know, I’m so sad everyday that I don’t know what to do for the best. Take it step by step they tell me, but to be honest I wake up feeing sad, I go to bed feeling sad, life is a challenge currently.
I guess I just keep on treading water and we’ll see what happens!.
Janie B x