Saturday, 19 August 2017

Results day

Results day on Thursday and I was relieved that my students did alright, possibly not the best set of results ever but nothing too surprising, most doing as predicted and a few exceeding expectations. I found the day incredibly hard. I hadn't realised how much I would miss Kev's support and reassurance in the run up to the day. It was horrible to come back to an empty house, nobody to talk to about it. It was made worse by the things colleagues say- "Make sure you celebrate this weekend!" " Time for a large glass of wine this evening..." etc. I felt that everyone was going home to partners, support, lives. Last year, Kev did have the wine chilling and a special meal planned, this year I went home and crawled into bed. There are just too many reminders of loss. I  feel different to everyone else and hardly feel part of the human race anymore.
Something that shocked me on Thursday was that I was unable to feel much for the students who had done well. I could feel the emotions of sadness and distress for those who had done badly, but in the past I remember feeling genuine delight and joy with those who got excellent results, or when they were excited by having got into the university of their choice. This year, I felt pleased for them in my mind but I had no emotional response. I think it is because I have lost the capacity to feel emotions such as joy or happiness. Even when my own son got a first recently, I was relieved and pleased for him but I can't seem to access emotions such as happiness, joy, delight. I just can't feel them anymore.
I am not sure I want to go on living life being the sort of person who cannot feel happiness, not even on behalf of others. It is such an impoverished way of living. I know I face a very difficult few months ahead. Going back to work will be very hard; we had planned for me to give up this year  and increase my part time work with the exam boards in order for us to enjoy a retirement together. Kev's birthday in August will be hard, then there is the anniversary of his death in September followed by my birthday. Kev died two weeks before my 50th birthday. Last year I couldn't look at my cards and presents without feeling sick and in the end I took almost every present to the charity shop and threw every card away except the one Kev had already written which is still in the drawer by my bed. This year I really don't want to celebrate my birthday.
Anyhow, I don't think I am going to post on this blog for a while. I feel it is hardly fair on my very small number of readers to hear me whinge all the time and this is likely to get worse over the next few months!

Friday, 4 August 2017

Beadnell Bay

 I've just come back from a  week spent at Beadnell Bay, Northumberland with the bereavement group. I couldn't bring myself to think of it as  a "holiday" as holidays were things which I went on with Kev and this was a totally different experience. It was however a break away and, although it had difficult moments and one morning spent walking in tears along the beach, it was in many ways a positive experience, a chance to meet new friends and try to enjoy life in some measure. I had some nice boat trips around the Farne Islands where I saw
seals and puffins. I had two meals at the Craster Arms in the village, good company, a fair bit of wine, some ice cream and some sunshine. So many people seemed to think it was very constructive that I was joining a break like this less than a year after being widowed. I didn't feel I'd done anything particularly brave, I don't find meeting new people particularly daunting and at least this option gave me company. If I had been on my own all the time, it would have finished me off but there was a trip out somewhere every day and evening meet ups for meals/ pub/ beach barbecue every night.
I was quite glad to come home but overall it was a positive experience, one I would most likely try again if it coincides with the summer holidays again next year.

For reasons of privacy I won't post pictures of the people - but the dogs - lovely dogs which were there in abundance are another matter!

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Silver wedding anniversary

Today would have been our 25th wedding anniversary. We had already been looking ahead to it and discussing how to celebrate. We'd been discussing whether to have a celebratory "do" with family and friends and/ or a romantic break away for the two of us. Today would have been so special. Instead it is quiet, grey and empty, just another day.
I woke up at 3.30 this morning unable to sleep. After lunch I will go back to bed  and sleep out the rest of the day. Losing someone is devastating but trying to live the rest of your life without them when you miss them so much just completely breaks you.
I am trying to carry on, to live-my-life-because-that's-what-Kev-would have wanted-blah-blah-blah.
But not today.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Manchester

To Manchester and met up with a friend from my town (who had gone there early to shop.) Meal out and nice company. On the way back, I visited St Ann's Square which was filled with flowers, balloons, cards, candles and chalked tributes. I saw a balloon which said "You will be missed" which made me cry- but that's not been difficult these last eight months. Walking back to the train I passed so many people clutching bunches of flowers and carrying balloons, some crying. It was moving but a part of me felt concerned it might be self indulgent.I've become acutely aware of the utter anguish of bereavement, and worry that in a just a few weeks those poor families will most likely feel a fickle world has moved on when they are in it for the long run and  face a long, hard and truly torturous struggle ahead. It is important we recognise and  mark such atrocities but we should beware of sentiment and manufactured grief which can be an insult given the harrowing nature of real loss and grief. I've thought the same reading facebook posts and tweets this last week.
I leave you to make your own minds up.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Half term

Half term and I have spent the best part of the today and yesterday just taking it easy. This half term was always one I really looked forward to. The Upper Sixth leave for study leave and the Lower Sixth have finished their exams. This translates to no marking over half term and, although I do have some preparation to do, it makes this the only half term of the year when I don't have to spend most of it marking.
It has been a very gruelling few weeks run up. I've been running revision sessions and setting a lot of timed essay which then have to be marked. This last week has been very difficult with students upset and subdued due to the awful events in Manchester- some of them knowing those who attended on that night or who had thought of booking for the concert in question.
 Friday was so hot; I just developed an aching head and incredible tiredness and knew that I was going to suffer from "weekend syndrome" yesterday- sure enough I got up but had to go back to bed until noon and then went back for an hour's sleep in the afternoon. I feel much better today and have even been to the gym, most of the day I've just been pottering around though.
Tomorrow I am meeting friends for a meal in Manchester and will visit St Ann's square where the flowers are and think of the lives so dreadfully taken. When I read the words of commiseration on facebook it makes me sad to think that the world and media will quickly move on but for those families, the pain is only just beginning and will never go away.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Out-of-the-blue blues

It's so weird how you think you are starting to cope and then you feel you are back at square one. After a busy and coping weekend, I woke up Monday morning and felt complete shock and lethargy, it was incredibly hard to get out of bed. It made me ask myself if I've really faced up to things  or not. I just spent the whole day in a daze and was a bit of a wreck, even almost seven months up the road I can't believe that he won't just walk in. I wonder where he is. My stupid brain takes every sound at the door or car up the road to be his homecoming. I've also been having dreams again, not the really bad ones, just ones where everything is alright or where I am searching for him- usually in places we used to visit, shopping centres, holiday locations, National Trust properties, you name it, I am looking.
Think I'll be searching and looking for the rest of my life.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Carrying on

It is looking like Manchester is my second home at the moment. On Thursday a colleague offered me free tickets for the matinee performance of Twelfth Night  (he'd double booked with a family occasion.) I have loads of marking and prep this weekend but I wasn't passing up a chance like that. So yesterday saw me meeting with a friend in the Exchange restaurant ( nice but a bit pricey for my budget...)  then the show afterwards.  In addition, I'm attending my first evening meal in Manchester with the bereavement group this coming Friday largely because the other local members of the group don't take no for an answer.
After that, I really do have to buckle down and do some work. The students sit exams starting in only four weeks time (AS) and going through into early June (A2) so I am in a relentless cycle of preparing revision sessions on top of lessons and marking seemingly endless mounds of marking. *What, not another timed essay* I know I can get pretty exhausted just coping with work alone so really do need to rein it in soon.
Life is still not easy. I miss Kev every moment of every day and I feel bereft and broken by his death. In response, I am turning to the things and the people who offer  me help and support and help ease the burden. It doesn't take the pain away, but it maybe looks something like a life or at least like a coping, a carrying on, which for now will suffice.