Life is so very different without Paul and these past four years have been a rollercoaster ride that I never could have imagined. Without Paul, the sad times are sadder, the hard times are harder, and the lonely times are lonelier. Negative emotions seem magnified without Paul because when he’s not here to make me feel better, I’m reminded of my loss all over again.
When there are happy or joyful moments, I find myself reflecting on the fact that Paul isn’t here to celebrate with me.
He’s not here to laugh with me. He’s not here to snuggle with me. He’s not here to fight with me. He’s just not here. Not physically, anyhow.
It’s getting easier, mostly. I’m no longer actively grieving, but I would be lying if I said I was done grieving altogether. In some way, I will always grieve for Paul. But I am learning how to live without him and I am learning how to create new traditions, without forgetting the ones we created together.
I suppose, if I’m honest, much of my sadness would be lessened if I had someone new in my life. And I suppose, if I’m honest, some of my sadness is caused by the guilty feelings of not having someone new, because I know that Paul would want me to meet someone. (No really, we talked about it once.)
The fact that I’m marking four years since Paul’s death is made more bitter by the fact that I’ve now been a widow longer than I was a wife, as he passed away less than a month before our fourth wedding anniversary. The gift I was meant to give him has remained unopened.
I’m marking the day with a visit to the cemetery in Billingham, where I will sit and chat with Paul for a while before meeting some of my family for dinner.
I’m not really looking forward to the day, but I am looking forward to the mind-clearing drive. And when I wake up tomorrow morning, I will make the drive back up to Scotland knowing that I’ve come a long way since Paul died. Emotionally, mentally, and geographically. And I know that he will be looking down on me with pride.
Paul: I know you’re here with me because I can feel you in my heart every day. But I still miss you, and I love you so very much. x