The daily battle.

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I think a question that I get asked very often, whether directly or in a beat-around-the-bush way, is what it’s like to go through this. In complete honesty, I don’t know how to begin to answer this, but i’m just going to start writing and hope that my words are able to offer some sort of insight.

Last night I had a dream. A dream that Craig came back. I honestly didn’t care how, but he was. It was the best shock, and I went to wake his parents, call his family and friends, and get them over here so we could all share in this miracle together. Every little spot and stray hair on his face was perfectly placed, exactly where it should be. The atmosphere of overwhelming happiness, shock, disbelief and above all love was so real, so palpable. These are the hardest. Not a dream where you’re re-living a memory so you know that it’s not your current reality, but the ones that convince you that they’re real. Because once a single event, a brief moment, changes your life completely once, it’s a lot easier to believe your life can change again just as quickly. And it can. Unfortunately for me, not like this.

These dreams, along with memories that pop up during the day or events that trigger a thought, just seem to leave more questions. Last night made me think: what happens in ten years time – if I continue to remember Craig as he is now – but I get older and look different, what happens then? It’s a funny thought, and I know that largely the question is irrelevant, but this is what it’s like sometimes.. thoughts like this pop up. They make you contemplate the fragility of life, while serving as an abrupt reminder that this really has happened, it’s real, and there’s nothing any of us can do.

I think of myself as a fairly logical person. When working in healthcare and having to diagnose conditions, you have to be logical. So it’s confusing to try to describe the disconnection that is also often felt. I think of the things I feel, things that words fail when trying to string them together, and it doesn’t connect with the logical side of me that knows that he is gone, and he’s not coming back. Ever. It’s a fairly tough place to be caught between.

But it is logic that can maybe help to answer this question of what it’s like, and what it feels like to have gone through and be going through this. To say that it’s the toughest thing i’ve done is an understatement. It’s like when you want to tell someone how much you adore and feel for them but saying the words i love you isn’t enough, because your love for them extends far beyond those words. It’s like that. There are no words to describe these emotions that portray the true feelings and experience. But logically, it’s a lot simpler: i’ve lost the person that I chose to spend my entire with, my best friend. We never chose to be apart, we never gave up on one another or decided to end our relationship. In fact, it was the exact opposite. And unfortunately, as for this situation, we weren’t given a choice. So if you think about that logically, and all that it means and how you think you would feel in this situation, you’re most likely right.

But I don’t want to end on a sad note. Because very often, when I think of Craig, the thought of his passion for life fills my head. And it makes me smile. Craig loved life and had so many plans. Plans to see the world, and plans to change it. When Craig died, we were living our dreams, and i’m so thankful for that. So please, live yours.. I don’t care how many times I say it. Life is honestly too short not to.

“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.” – Winnie the Pooh

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Starting with why.

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It feels like blogs swamp the internet these days. Don’t get me wrong – i’m not portraying that negatively. There is great wisdom in experience, and it’s great that these are so readily available. I guess that I feel I should just explain why i’ve felt this urge to add to this growing pool of blogs. I’ve tried summing it up in the ‘About’ section, but basically.. let’s be honest:

This year, I lost my husband. We had been married for just 20 months. I’d just turned 24. We were living together in a different country than our families. Literally overnight (suddenly and very unexpectedly), I had gone from ‘blissfully married’ to ‘widowed’. Seriously? Firstly, yes, this most certainly does feel like i’m on a TV series in which this would never ever happen in real life. Secondly, what does this all mean? What do I do? How do I act? What’s the next step? So. Many. Questions. And the answers? Day by day, i’m slowly figuring them out. And i’ve kind of had to on my own.

Sure, I turned to the internet for a bit of help.. advice.. soul-searching.. The problem is, is that almost everything I found revolved around people that had been married for 10, 20.. 50! years, that had kids and grandkids and houses and everything to keep them grounded. They had wills and lawyers and accountants.. I’ve never used a lawyer in my life. We had no wills. When I breached the topic of getting life insurance with my husband, he responded with “haha yeah.. when we’re 60!”. My husband was 25 when he died. To say we were unprepared is the understatement of my life.

The trouble was, that despite the internet having vast information on pretty much everything including the nutritional disorders of anteaters (seriously?), it lacked massively in the one thing I was searching for – what does someone in my situation, and at my age, do? Where are the other people that have been through the same thing I have? What did they do? How did they go through it? Where are their words of wisdom? Can they just tell me what to do so I don’t have to try think for myself right now? And yet.. barely any could be found.

Don’t get me wrong – I am very lucky. I have the most (my blog = i’m allowed to be biased) wonderful, loving, supportive and caring family and friends. I never lacked support, love, comfort or anything like that – and i’m truly grateful for that. I received endless advice and words.. and they really did help immensely. But seeing as this blog is about honesty (which, by the way, is very scary to write because it makes you feel very vulnerable!) then I have to admit that I did wish, and often, that I had the opportunity to talk to someone who was in the same age bracket and position that I was, so I could ask them if they felt the things I was feeling, whether I was normal in what I was feeling or if there was something seriously wrong with me, and maybe to feel that I wasn’t alone in this situation. Of course I know i’m not and that there are so many others facing this very thing – but there’s a difference between knowing it and feeling it.

So here is my blog. My story. I’m not entirely sure how this is all going to go or what it is exactly i’m writing about, but I can only hope that if there’s someone that has stumbled across this blog in their time of need and searching for someone that has gone through a similar experience – here I am. Email me privately. Ask me anything. Read my posts. Whether it’s a spouse, a partner, sibling, parent.. it doesn’t matter. My age, younger, older.. also doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re most certainly not alone in whatever situation you are facing.

And for those who are currently very blessed in not having to face such circumstances, I hope these words encourage you to truly live. To take that next step you’ve been dreaming of. To not hold back and not let fear get in your way. This world is very big and beautiful – there’s so much to do, to see and to experience – so do it. We are here, we are alive, and we can do (pretty much) anything. There are those that no longer get this opportunity, but we do. So live, love, laugh and don’t stop.