Written in June of 2011
As I sit here typing, the house is silent and I am the only one awake. It is midnight, yet my mind is running with a thousand different thoughts. In group counselling, we discussed that grief has different stages. For those that are interested: There are 5 key stages of grief, according to the Kubler-Ross model. The stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and, finally, acceptance.
Grief is not something that can be labelled and neatly packaged into a box with instructions on the side. I am currently running without an instruction manual and it would be great if I could get my hands on one. Firstly, it can’t be healthy bashing away at the keyboard at midnight. Secondly, I’m on stage one and surely that can’t be right, if a year has already passed? People are cruel, as I have learnt, and some have not been shy to say that a year is long enough and that I should be “over” it by now. How could I be “over” someone as special as J? He was involved with every aspect of my life for the past eight years and I have grown up knowing him – from an awkward high school teenager, into a moody college student into a (what I hope) a dedicated teacher. He was the only boyfriend I have ever known and becoming his wife was one of the happiest days of my life.
Presently I am running on the façade that everything is perfectly fine. Anyone sane would be quick to tell me that this is not the case. But it is working for me. Avoiding the fact that the anniversary of J’s death is coming up is my coping mechanism. At first, I couldn’t help comparing what had happened a year ago. We went to Ceres for the snow. J was admitted into hospital. Jason had a CT scan. Jason had a lumber puncture. From there, it is all a blur. I have blocked out all the memories from then. And now, as the tears slide down my cheeks as I write this, I remember it all. The nightmare that was unfolding in my very life this time last year. The cold hospital floors and the doctors who refused to tell me what was going on. The trips back and forth to the hospital to try and find out what was happening to my beloved husband. I just can’t think back to that time now. It is too painful. So I will revert back to denial.
I pray that one day I will reach the stage of acceptance. I have felt the icy grip of depression and will continue to try and avoid that stage again. However, the thing about depression is it’s very sneaky and creeps upon you when you least expect it. Nothing specific happens, but for some reason one morning I won’t be able to get out of bed. Or I won’t want to talk to anyone.
Written in June of 2019
My previous school principal once told of a fascinating tale as part of his assembly. He spoke of an exquisite mirror that everyone had admired. Sadly, this mirror was in a terrible accident and it broke into thousands of tiny shards. Many thought it was irreparable. However, one kind soul saw the beauty in the broken slivers and glued the pieces together, creating a new masterpiece from the ruins.
His story is pertinent to me, as I feel I could be that broken mirror. You see, my story is not one of despair. It is the story of hope and courage. It is the story of a broken woman who has had to claw herself out of the pit of dark despair and grief and found a new life. It is the story of a girl who had her whole world fall out from beneath her, but she held onto her faith and belief that she would once again smile, with her heart full and happy.
Years passed, the sadness lingered. Moments of joy were short lived and I dreaded going home to an empty house. Friends got married, had children of their own; I felt hollow inside. I was acutely aware of all that was missing from my life, but I tried my best to be happy for these milestones in others' lives.
Just as my faith was waning, I met Duron. A humble, honest and humorous man who knew all of my past yet accepted me for who I was. He was that kind-hearted soul in my story who took all of my broken pieces of glass and put them together to create a new masterpiece.
Our love story is one of acceptance, understanding and patience. And lots and lots of humour. Duron made me smile and laugh at a time in my life when I'd lost all hope of finding happiness again. He is my "Mini", my best friend and my gibbous. I love him with all of my heart and feel so incredibly lucky that our paths crossed! I really do believe in fate.
Nunu was born in October 2016. Seeing the love that Duron has for our baby boy, makes me love him even more.
I learnt the hard way that you cannot plan your life, it is completely unpredictable and wildly unfair at times. One thing I have learnt, is that love, hope and faith are things we should never ever lose sight of and to live every moment to the absolute fullest and let those close to us know that we love them.