Friday, 20 November 2009

A Year

So its nearly a year since Richie left us. What a roller coaster of a year it has been as well. Grief is a difficult thing to explain and I guess one persons experience is very different from another.

In the early days numb is probably a good word to describe how I felt as well as shock, despair and a real pain that's indescribable. As well as the emotional feelings there were horrible physical symptoms too. Uncontrollable shaking at times, insomnia, being sick and a real lack of energy to want to do anything other than sleep. During this time I guess it was Becs and Harry that kept me going, they still had to be fed, washed and dressed, taken to school etc. The worst part of the early days was the fact that Christmas day was the week after the funeral. Celebrating Christmas and New Year was way down my lists of 'Things I Want To Do Today'! For the first time ever I turned into Scrooge and was bah-bloody-humbug to it all. There is still a big part of me that feels like that about this Christmas. However it was the children again that pulled me through it - they needed a good Christmas after everything that happened, so I plastered a smile on my face and we made it as special as we could.

As the new year progressed so did my fear of being on my own in the house - I have no idea where that came from but the thought of sleeping in the house without another adult was horrible. It has taken a really long time to get over that and its probably only been the past couple of months that I am back to normal on that one and can say I am 100% at ease with it. I started back at work way too quickly as well, as soon as the Xmas break was over I went back to work. At the time my head was wanting everything to get back to normal but the reality was I needed a break - the stress of Richies illness and then to them loose him so suddenly, arranging the funeral and then immediately having to cope with Christmas and New Year was way too much, but like an idiot I slammed myself straight back into work. The first week was horrible, I was on the edge of tears for most of it. Luckily I had an amazing boss who helped me out with a lot of the work I had on to take the stress out of those first few weeks back. Maybe it was good that I threw myself back into it - bringing back the normal routine for Becs and Harry etc, who knows, I guess the main thing is I'm still cracking on today!

The other change early on was my Jekyl and Hyde moments from feeling relatively normal to getting really angry - this was probably the period my friends suffered the worst! Usually after a few glasses of wine, I would find myself getting infuriated by the most ridiculous things and then just turning into a mad shouting woman. I was angry at everyone and everything. I hated the fact that peoples lives were carrying on as normal, and I struggled with peoples good news stories (engagements, births etc). However thats another phase that is thankfully long gone and these days I am back to the old Sam (hopefully a good thing, no doubt my friends will have some commentary around this!!)

I think overall we (as in me, Bec and H) are about as normal as we are ever going to get, Richie will always be part of our lives and be with us forever. There's not a day goes by where I don't think about him, mostly the good memories - the sadder ones are slowly disappearing and being superseded by the good/happy ones which is brilliant. Each day we all get a little bit stronger as well and sometimes I even think about what our future will be now he is not with us, but in a positive way and not the holy crap how do I do this without him way! Maybe that's because deep down I know he's always with us, and when he's not his positive influence certainly is.

Throughout the year there have been a number of charity type stuff myself and friends have been doing to raise funds for Lymphoma research - 10k runs, 3 peaks, Nottingham to Maidenhead bike ride. This Christmas the panto that I am involved with will be collecting money at the end of each show for Lymphoma research as well which is great. We have more events planned for next year - London to Paris bike ride and I am going to attempt my first half marathon.

The anniversary type dates are always the hardest - our wedding anniversary, Richie's birthday etc - I have always tried to make these special days where we celebrate the good times and try not to focus on how Lymphoma destroyed everything we had. Therefore December 5th this year will be about celebrating a wonderfully brave man and everything he meant to all of us - and in typical Richie style this means sinking a fair few drinks and dancing like a loon with massive grins on our faces!

1 comment:

KatyKangaroo said...

lady, another inspired blog post and very honest of you. I miss Richie lots and think about him often, i look forward to celebrating him with you in true richie style soon