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    Lily@Melbourne, Australia


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Never move on

The worst would have to be those who want to give you advice by telling you about a friend of theirs who was recently widowed, and how they are coping. This is invariably followed by: you must be getting over it. What is the “IT” I am meant to be getting over?

Is “IT” meant to be my husband of 45 years and whom I married when I was 17, who was my boyfriend, my lover, the father of our children, the much-loved grandfather of our beautiful grandchildren, my partner in life, my greatest support and companion, the man I went to bed with every night and chatted about the day, who always saw me as the girl he met. That pathway is now a dead-end.But, the well-intentioned say, he was battling cancer for 15 years, so you would have been expect this. Wrong, he was alive, he was well, he was strong and fit, apart from this alien attacking his body. There was no midway between life and death. There is nothing that can prepare you for this finality.

After 12 months, it is sinking in that Darryl won’t be back. I still have his shoes at the front door, just in case, and his glasses, watch and Sudoku pen on the bedside table, and the books he was reading. These are important symbols that he is still here and hasn’t just disappeared, and that he is still part of everything we built together. I keep these things because our grandchildren, who feel his loss terribly, love to go though his things, as if they need some tactile remembrance of him. But I still get caught by moments of beauty, such as the sun shining through the golden spectrum of autumn leaves – which leaves me undone. I choke and struggle to breathe because he isn’t there to share it.

If I am gone, who will keep alive the life of my dear man. I hope to find some bearable resolution to this sense of desolation. I don’t have the answer, but I hope that this experience of such profound loss and sadness will leave me with a deeper understanding of and empathy with the lives of others.




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