Everyone said I was amazing, doing so well, so brave. Nothing could have felt further from the truth. Inside I felt numb, dead and mostly I just wanted to disappear. Every night I would go to bed and pray that I wouldn’t wake up the next morning. Every morning I would wake up and for a brief moment think that life was as it should be and that Paul would be downstairs making me a cup of tea as he did every morning. Then the reality would hit me. He was gone. Dead. My life as I knew it didn’t exist anymore. I felt like I had been hit in the chest and couldn’t breathe. There was no one here to take care of me. I was alone.
I could barely function, but the one thing that got me out of bed was my beloved Golden Retriever, Barley. He was just 2 and needed his walk and to be played with. Like me he missed Paul, we were both so very sad.
Somehow I existed, I felt as if I lived in a parallel universe, a place of utter loss. I had no idea who I was, and everything felt so utterly pointless. I could see people around me getting on with their lives, but I had no life to get on with. I had lost everything that I knew and I was exhausted.
Grief is emotionally exhausting. I’d also spent the last 18 months with the knowledge that Paul was dying, so my grief had already started, and I knew what dying from brain cancer looks like because 25 years earlier my sister had also died from brain cancer at the age of 39.
What made this even worse was that some people abandoned me, couldn’t speak to me and particularly one or two close family. People who I thought would be there to care for me disappeared. This broke my heart even more.