Wednesday, 20 July 2011

State of the Heart

It’s been a while since I wrote about how I’m “doing”.  My posts have been more about events and happenings.

Well the other day someone asked me “how is your heart?”

Strange way of putting it but a very deep question that had me immediately bursting into tears.

My heart is still fragile and broken despite the sticking plasters of activity, family and friends that keep it held together.  The pain isn’t always so raw as it was although sometimes the stitches break where the scars aren’t fully mended and I wonder when the tears will stop.

The days have blurred into weeks and then merged into months.  Time isn’t going quite as slowly as it did in the beginning and it is now over eight months since Andrew died.  Four more and we reach the one year anniversary.

People have said you don’t get over a loss but learn to cope with things on a daily basis.  Sometimes I think I’m doing well and then it hits me once again.  Just like the unexpected bottle at the concert!  OUCH!

My youngest son says he just pretends his dad is working away.  That’s how he copes.  Sometimes I feel like that too.  I get on with family life because I have to in just the same way I did when Andrew was off-shore.  Everything is solely my responsibility. 

Because I spent so much time without Andrew around there are moments when I suddenly think “I must tell Andrew…”, but I tend to leave those thoughts unfinished as I catch my breath with the realisation that he’s never going to ring to find out the latest news.

It feels like little pin pricks of rain on a summers day.  You brush them aside or find shelter quick less the tears turn into a torrent.

My oldest son just blocks everything out, shutting down and carrying on regardless.  Not opening the box labelled “Dad”.

Maybe each of us in has found our own way to somehow cope?

Now we are coming to the end of another family chapter.  The end of the summer term, which also happens to be the end of youngest son’s time at primary school.

The other week year 6 had their leaver’s assembly celebrating their achievements.  In her speech the head teacher read out a list of children who were the youngest in their families, the families that are leaving the school for good.  It was quite a list and the end of an era.

Time moves on, people move on.  Life is constantly changing.  As one door closes so one opens – that sort of thing.

I’m eager to start my own new chapter.  I still feel in limbo somewhere between the epilogue of one novel and prologue of the next.

The house is on the market and that is the next BIG change I see.

I want to move on.  Not to pack up all of my life so far, I want to pick out the best bits to take with me.

Youngest son, like his mother, is an avid reader and the books he likes best are the ones that are in a series.  I can understand why.  When you open a sequel you already know the main characters.  You want to continue reading about them in their next adventure because you care what happens.

The next bit of our story is just a continuation of the whole picture.  The last book was “What Sarah Did” and I can’t wait to see “What Sarah Did Next”.

However I know that a new house is not going to mend my heart it’s just a new setting.  A good beginning to a fresh start.

What I really long for at the moment is to have someone special in my life again.  I want someone to share my day with, an exclusive relationship where you are so in tune with each other you can read the other person’s thoughts.  That first person you think of when you want to share your news.  I want someone to care for me and someone to care for in return.

I miss having someone special around to bounce ideas off, to cook for, to rely on, to laugh with…the list goes on.

However this opens a whole new can of worms and experiences.

I have a very high specification for this new man in my life.  He needs to possess Andrew’s best qualities along with some new improved features I’ve decided I would like next time around!

Realistically I have set my sights way too high but maybe that is because I am not yet ready to find him.  I still wear my wedding ring - when is the right time to even think about taking it off?  Some widows wear their wedding rings for life, forever married.

Is it a betrayal to want to move on?  I always joked with Andrew I’d have a toy boy “next” time!  I know he wouldn’t want me to be alone forever.

But then there’s the thought of how do you go about dating these days?  I was pretty rubbish at it first time round!

Youngest son is adamant I am not allowed to find anyone else.  When I broached the subject with oldest son he said pragmatically and in a tone reminiscent of his father,

“Let’s get the house sorted first.”

When and how did he get to be so wise?

When I started “going out” with Andrew it was all so natural.  We were working together on a radio project and he left me a note on the mixing desk.

“Would you like to go out for dinner?  – no strings”

What started as “no strings” has ended in “unravelling edges”.

The note was unexpected, out of the blue.  I was happy on my own and for once not looking for the elusive Mr Right.  Andrew may not have fitted all my high ideals of the time anyway but on reflection we were always made for each other.  Complimenting each other’s personalities and bringing the best out of each other - mostly.

We were two halves of a whole and that’s why my heart still aches so much and needs careful repairing.

It is, bruised, battered, scarred but waiting and wishing.  Knowing somewhere there’s a brighter future but just like our British summer it’s impossible to predict with any certainty just when the sun will shine again.

I’ve just found out that one of my favourite Christian bands has reformed for a tour and consequently I’ve “re-discovered” all their old songs once more.   
These are the lyrics that express something of how I feel.

The skies have been unbroken since I can’t remember when
The sun it hasn’t shined all this time
I can’t believe that it’ll stay
This way until the end
So I’m lying on the seashore on my own
Looking up into the grey
And I’ll wait until that far off precious moment
When the clouds will roll away

Aggressive Sunbathing
Lying in the rain
It’s poured for forty days and nights
But I won’t give up the fight
While there’s hope in my heart
That some fine day I’ll see the blue
And I’ll be sunbathing with you.

                From Aggressive Sunbathing by Fat and Frantic

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