Remembering them 

I make a conscious decision to not mention his name too much throughout the year, (yes, I sometimes fail, it’s hard not to with a tiny version of him as my little shadow) but one month, I can’t help it. July has come around for the past almost 5 years now, and the second that month shows it’s face, I think of him more. I simply can’t help it. To me it doesn’t mean that I am slipping back into grief, (although some days I feel like I am) it doesn’t mean that I am dwelling on it, it just means, that for that one month, I feel it a little more, I remember dates, days, moments, even more than I normally do. 

I have also made a conscious decision to get on with things, to live my life as best as I can, to the “fullest” as I have now trained myself to do. You see, we didn’t break up…. he died. They are two very different things, two very different feelings. The love is still there, the nice memories, the feeling of loss, all still very strong in my mind. We all seem to be experts on how someone is meant to cope with such loss, we all like to tell people how to be, how to feel. The best way is to just forget, to get on with it, well that may be so in your mind, but not mine. I’m simply not able to. It’s not in my make up.

The best way I cope, is to allow myself to feel. I go through all the emotions, bit by bit. I often feel guilty. Guilty that I am here, but he’s not. Guilty that I have met a new man and feel happy with him, guilty when some days I moan because some days are just hard.

This year it’s especially pinchy on the heart strings. Due to 2 leap years, the date, the 31st, falls on the exact day, the Sunday. To most people that wouldn’t mean much, but until you’ve experienced it, please try not to tell me how to feel. 

I know I make people feel uncomfortable when I mention his name. I know I make people feel uncomfortable when I tell them I’m a widow. (My dark sense of humour does however keep me highly amused when I see their face). But I can’t help it. Just think for a moment of how hard it is to go from having someone in your life every single day, to feeling like you shouldn’t mention their name anymore. Even 5 years on. I would like to think that if I died, that you wouldn’t be afraid to talk about me, to remember me. I like to think I’ve “touched” all of the people who know me enough, that they wouldn’t feel uncomfortable when they mention my name because of what people will think of them. It’s like if you mention their name, you’re guilty of dwelling, of wallowing. I am not dwelling. I am living. But while I do that, I will remember my husband, the father of our daughter he never got to meet. I get out of bed every day, I work full time, I go for walks/events/weekends away with my boyfriend, tiny human & husky & family, I play hockey, I go out, I go on holidays (a lot, it’s what I look forward to!). Does that sound like someone who is wallowing? Nope, not to me!

So all I ask of you, is that you don’t waste another moment worrying about how I’m doing this, and just focus on the fact that I very much am, even if you don’t necessarily agree with how I go about it. 

Huss X 

Remembering the good old days..

I remember days walking in Dublin with my wonderful Nana. Walking down Henry street, hand in hand, watching everyone rushing around me. I was only about 3 foot tall but felt so safe with my hand in hers. She was a wonderful woman. The first one I would go to when I needed someone to talk to, the first one I went to when I rowed with my parents. We would get on the 11 bus and get off on O’Connell St. and stroll through the crowds. We’d pop into Clearys, and (religiously) into Guineys to check for any bargains, and always have lunch in the Kylemore Café. We would always get doughnuts at the kiosk at the bus stop outside the arcade on the way homeIt was our Saturday ritual. Sunday’s consisted of mass in Bird Avenue church, and buying papers from the boot of the mans car at the gate. I lived for those moments. 

As I got older those Weekends in Nana’s got less and less but we always had our time together. We’d sit in her kitchen drinking tea (and maybe the odd cigarette!) and we would talk for hours. When the sun went down we would play Gin Rummy (and she always let me win!), we’d watch the Late Late Show and then it was time for bed. I slept on the Camp bed, which lay along side her “side” of the bed. I always felt so safe, always. I have never seen a bigger smile on her face than the one when I told her I was getting married. It meant the world to me to have her there that day. To watch me walk up that isle. 

She started to get sick in 2011. Not long after my husband left us. She couldn’t get her head around what happened, so unfair, so cruel, but her way of helping me get through it was to tell me to suck it up, get on with it. At the time, I found it harsh, but now, looking back, it was her way of making me stronger. After I had my tiny human we’d call in after work every day to see her. My tiny one stood up for the first time in her sitting room. They would endlessly babble at each other, like they had some sort of mutual understanding. She spent the next few years in and out of hospital, each time it broke my heart to see her that way, she didn’t deserve it, she deserved so much more. 

She finally left us in January this year, after a good fight. She went in her sleep in the end. Exactly how I hoped she would go. She deserved that much, to just nod off. A part of me went with her that day. I will never forget the dart of pain in my chest when my Mom broke the news, but she was “happier” now, no more pain, no more loss of independence (she always struggled with that bit). I felt devastated and relieved all at the same time. I have never seen so many people at an “older” persons funeral. A true testament to the incredible woman she was. As I sit on the Luas, looking out at the sunshine, I remember her so fondly,  the good auld days, walking along Henry Street, with my hand in hers….

“Miss her but remember the glint in her eye, Remeber the good times you’d had.

Miss her but remember the stories you shared, The good times, the laughs, and be glad.

Miss her but remember the places you went, To Bird Avenue, Wicklow and beyond.

Treasure those memories so dearly now, For those moments gave all of us that bond. 

Miss her but think of her wonderful smile, And we must make sure to mention,

No matter what you confided in her, All she gave was her undivided attention.

Miss her but remember she’s happier now, Reunited with who she got to know.

Miss her but keep all those memories safe, Miss her, but now let her go”