For years and years it was Andy and I , together, a team. We weathered the storms and adversity brought us closer. He was my best friend as well as my husband, he was the first one I would turn to when I wanted advice, to share good news, to vent, to gossip. I would joke that I could never have an affair because I would want to tell him all about it. We were a couple, a team. Our circle of friends was other couples. We dreamed about the day when we would have our time again. It was never to be. Now I am no longer in the category called "part of a couple", now I'm an outsider, an intruder.
When I walk home across Waterloo bridge there is no-one to meet for a sneaky drink before going home, there's no-one waiting at home to take my coat and ask me how my day was. I'm in an alien world, I'm having to negotiate a new normal. I can't remember the last time I went out for lunch or dinner. We used to try and do that as much as our life with Daisy allowed. It was our time, a date over lunch, a quick visit to the pub during a hospital stay, a cinema trip when we had a respite stay booked. It was less time together than most other couples our age, but it was precious time together.
Now I sleep in an empty bed and remember how nice it was to have someone to cuddle up to. Someone to chat about the day's events to. Someone to notice if I am down or ill. To share my happiness, to celebrate my successes. They seem hollow and empty without someone who really cares.
I'm set adrift in an alien world and just when I thought I knew where I was the world became even more alien.
When Daisy died I lost my purpose. I lost my job. I lost my routine. I lost my tribe.
I am no longer a TPN Mum, a Costello Syndrome Mum, an epilepsy mum. I can now only share my knowledge of what I knew for us. I feel a fraud in the groups and forums I was once an active member of. I feel I should leave them, my knowledge is in the past now.
I'm set adrift from the world that sustained me after Andy died. The world of hospitals, of TPN, Catheters and IVs, of continuing care plans and respite stays and endless battles to sort out all the stuff that was part and parcel of Daisy's life. It gave me focus and distraction after he died, I needed to keep going for Daisy, it was my familiar world and caring for Daisy, for all my children, was my priority.
Now Daisy is gone, leaving an unbearable void.
Her death has blown me off course.
I've been trying to find a new place to settle. I miss my old world so much. I miss being a wife. I miss being a warrior for Daisy. I miss the people who were part of that world.
I'm hoping that 2018 brings us some stability. Some respite from the storms. I need to find my new normal, I need to find who I am now that my old world is no longer there for me.