I have been moody for the past few weeks. Nothing in particular seems to bother me but I am just moody. And it seems that even though I can not point a direct finger at Jane, it is because it is That Week, That Month. In 2 days, it will be two years since Jane died. And like last year, I am struck with a general moodiness. Low-level depression perhaps?
It is annoying to say the least. Because this is of course the time when I should be studying for my exams. But the past 3 weeks have been basically a waste of time with my concentration hitting a level I never knew I could sink to. And for someone with ADHD, that is saying something.
It is not that I am distracted by thoughts of Jane all the time. Just that everything seems gray at the moment. I moved in with Girlfriend last month and it is lovely, but I am constantly finding fault with the place we live in. Mostly it feels too small for us. Or rather, for me. So this irritates me. The fact that there is not a lot of day light in the flat irritates me. The fact that we have to dry the laundry in the living room irritates me. The fact that the street is messy irritates me. The fact that the sun comes up in the morning irritates me.
|Jane in her fencing gear in 2008.|
Sometimes I still can not grasp the idea that Jane is really never coming back. Of course I know this, I am not delusional. But perhaps this thought has been popping up more recently because my life is kind of back on track. I am living with a lovely, lovely lady with whom I hope to stay for years to come. I am working towards my degree. I have nice friends. And when I complete official forms, I no longer know for sure if I should be ticking the box for Widow when I am completing official documents (for the record, I do tick Widow because the other option is Single which I am most certainly not and apparently the law says you are a widow until you remarry).
Basically, after years of being a carer and then being a widow, I am now Me again: a totally unremarkable person with a totally unremarkable life. And yet I have had so much happen to me that nobody knows unless I specifically bring it up. None of the people I meet in this new life will know how it felt. How I felt. Who Jane was. She is just a story to many people in my ‘new’ life.
Until recently, when I thought about Jane, I would mostly think about the time she was ill and needed my care. I thought of the sadness of her illness, the heart-breaking times when she soiled herself in public and needed her wife to clean her up, both with tears in our eyes. Or the sadness I feel about not being able to ask her what she wanted in her last few days. The jealousy at other brain tumour patients who are more or less lucid until very shortly before their death. Basically, I have been dealing with the trauma of Jane’s illness and her death.
|Jane showing off her dry-land swimming skills in 2010.|
I am not sure I have dealt with the loss of the Jane I married back in 2006. Not that it is a case of me missing Jane all the time with everything I do. But there is now space for missing the Jane she was, not the Jane she became. It is just that I have time to think about Jane and the things we did and that I will never hear her voice again. Or see her smile. Or laugh at her jokes. Or meet her university friends. Or berate her for procrastinating at university. Or ask her for help with my homework. I guess I am now sad about the loss of my best friend; the funny, witty, promising, sporty, deadpan, smart friend. The idea of Never Again is taking hold.
Never is a long time.
|Jane with Bear asleep in the hospice.|
This week, on the anniversary of her death, I will scatter Jane’s ashes. I am keeping some of them, tucked away inside Bear, the teddy that was with Jane since she first went in to hospital in 2005. Unobtrusive, Bear will sit on a shelf somewhere. And I will set the rest of Jane free in a place that meant most to her. The place she credits with making her who she was. It will be only me and a couple of friends.
And when I come back home, Girlfriend will be waiting for me. We probably won’t say much but she will hold me and I will cry. Cry for Jane, cry for my loss and cry because I am so lucky to have someone who understands that none of this in any way diminishes what she is to me: Friend, Partner… Future.