Haunted by Michael Bolton

On the way to Everest Base Camp
On the way to Everest Base Camp
Nepal Tea House, on the way to Everest Base Camp
Nepal Tea House, on the way to Everest Base Camp

Well Michael Bolton has moved in to my mind this week! Imagine this going round and round in your head:

“Tell me how am I supposed to live without you
Now that I’ve been lovin’ you so long
How am I supposed to live without you
How am i supposed to carry on”
Michael Bolton

Cheesy I know! But I can’t stop the words from endlessly twisting and turning.

I guess the words have planted themselves because I have asked Bob out loud so many times now ‘How did you think I could cope with this?’ Of course there is no answer because he was not thinking about how others would cope at the end. He just needed to find his own way of coping and his own peace. It was his right.

Music is a minefield. I love music and Bob and I had many similar tastes. We would laughingly squabble over whose I-pod got plugged in to the sound system whilst knowing that both our playlists are very similar. So now it is dangerous for me to play my music for fear of it reducing me to an emotional wreck. Any Runrig (one of our favorite bands) or U2 is particularly risky. And if I hear Be Still by The Killers (played at his funeral and absolutely perfect) I don’t think I would cope. I know the music will join with the memories and make me smile again one day though.

There is nothing much I don’t miss about him at the moment, I guess you really do idolise someone once they’re gone. Here are a few things I miss about you which have popped into my head:
-Watching you tie your shoe laces. So precise and such a long process! Always finished by three sharp tugs to tighten the knot. I would watch impatiently, smiling at you.
-Meeting you on Lymington High Street. I would go out to look at the charity shops. When you finally made it out of the house you would phone and meet me. You would always ask if I had found anything for you in the shops. We would stroll around and get lunch. I will never stop scanning the crowds for you.
-Having a little too much to drink at The Reindeer, falling out over something trivial, storming back to the house without talking; then waking the next morning, realising how silly it was and forgetting all about it.
-Your demands for ‘more tea!’. I would make you a cup of tea before I went to work each morning. As I left you propped against the pillows (as I did that last morning) you would always ask for ‘more tea’ knowing that I didn’t have time to make it.
-Waiting for you. You were always late and if you were going to be on time you would find something to faff at. You even seemed proud of the nickname I gave you; The King of Faff! I always hated waiting but now I would wait for weeks just to see you again.

In my attempts at forcing life to go on I have gone back to work. My bosses have been amazing at not putting demands on me. They have allowed me the freedom to come back when I am ready and leave the building if I need to. The first Tuesday was tough. Three weeks to the day that my world crashed. I can’t help but relive the moment. I was standing in reception and saw my parents walk past. I said to a colleague ‘Why are my parents here, I hope the cat hasn’t died.’ They walked into the office and tried to usher me into the back but realization was already dawning. And then my Dad said the words that tore my world apart ‘Bob’s Dead’. My poor Dad having to tell me. Oh I can’t describe the pain, the desire to run away from those words. But once they were said they could never be undone. I did try to run…I remember crouching on the kitchen floor trying to scream those words back out of my head. Not how I thought I would react to that sort of news; I always thought I would be calm and quiet.
So going back was never going to be easy however my colleaugues are wonderful and calm around me. They leave me in peace when they see I need it and keep me company at other times. But who do I phone up in my lunch break to see how their morning has been?

There are physical reactions too, I now gag everytime I try to clean my teeth in the morning; what’s that all about? Perhaps it is the spirit of a cheeky dentist messing with me?! I do feel that his spirit is around, he is not always here and certainly not on demand but there are times I know he is with me. The night before the funeral I was lying in bed and felt an arm around me…a strange sensation but a comforting one. My best friend told me that she had a dream that Bob and I were away with both of our families when Bob came to tell her he had to leave early. He asked her to look after me while he was gone. I will never have solid proof that he is still here in some way but I will take any signs and run with them.

Ok, fear not reader, the outpouring is coming to an end and I will leave on a positive note! Bob had certain challenges he wanted to do this year. It was to be his 60th birthday in June and he was determined to get even fitter than ever. Having cycled the Coast 2 Challenge twice in weekend events the plan was to do it agin…in one day! Bob had asked me to do it with him but I kept telling him I didn’t think I could get fit enough to do it. He always believed in me much more than I did and now I have decided to believe in myself too. I will do the challenge for him. Where I always relied on him to give me strength I will now find my own. I hope that others will join me, either in the one day challenge or, if they don’t feel up to that, by doing the challenge over a weekend. That way we could all meet at the end and celebrate achieving Bob’s goal together.

Who’s in?!?!

I now mainly write on my new blog; An Adventurous Girl. I would love it if you would join me there by clicking here.

Funeral Fears


I can’t think of a shopping trip I wanted to go on less…shopping for a funeral dress. How crazy to spend hours going round and round town trying to find the perfect dress. I so wanted to look good for him on his big day and yet I knew he would never see me. Bob always told me how attractive he found me (he was not gushing or romantic) and it meant a lot. Now I find myself getting up in the morning, showering, doing my hair and putting on my makeup. Then I stop, look in the mirror and ask myself why? I have spent the last seven years trying to look good for him (as he did for me) , now who am I doing it for?! I know people would say I need to do it for me, not for someone else. But when your biggest admirer is gone forever it is hard to see the point.

My Mum so kindly offered to pay for me to have my haircut (I think  she was sick of seeing me playing with my split ends) before the funeral. I now know the best way to silence a hair salon; Hairdresser; “What can I do for you today love?” Me; “Make me look nice for my partners funeral on Friday *voice cracking.*” at least there were no silly conversations about holidays and the weather after that!

The problem is my world has shut down. Nothing matters to me except his death and the absolute loss of him. I don’t want to make small talk or go anywhere. Sometimes I cope for hours on end and then I feel the grief build like a balloon inside me. It grows quickly and bursts from me in floods of tears. My poor parents, who are suffering so greatly themselves, have to hold me and watch helplessly until it subsides. This is where being British becomes an advantage! Whilst I cry quietly in River Island people politely avert their eyes and continue to shop around you. Some simply do not notice and others just remember they’re British and that it’s rude to stare…thank you Brits! It does make me wonder though how many unhappy and grieving people we pass each day without a second glance. I am lucky to have friends and family to comfort me, some are not so lucky.

And so yesterday was F-day. The day we went to church to pay our respects to one of the best people I will ever meet. One of my best friends and closest confidants, my travel and adventure partner, my cycle mechanic, my inspiration and lover. I truly cannot describe the terrible feeling of seeing his coffin lowered into the ground. I wanted to scream. My whole body shook as I was held up by his niece. I know that all sounds dramatic and silly but it is also fact. Of course I was far from being the only one suffering. His cherished daughter somehow made it through, how I do not know. She has certainly inherited some of his strength. His desperate family and disbelieving friends; the wounds were visible on all of us. Grief is not a competition and there are no winners, I would like to think that we all came together and worked as a team to get through the day.

Of course his life was celebrated by the scores of people who filled the church and attended the wake. How could a life so lived not be?! One of Bob’s friends told me before the funeral that I needed to be prepared for being treated like a celebrity at the wake. I don’t think I really understood until I got there. How wonderful that everyone wanted to hug and comfort me. That they all wanted to share with me their memories and photographs of Bob and that they wanted to acknowledge my role in his life. A bit of a nightmare when you were trying desperately to get to the toilets or to signal that white wine was definitely needed! I did not get to speak to everyone (not least my relatives who were travelling to and from Essex in a day to be there) but so appreciated the support.

I sleep each night curled around his pillow, willing it to turn into him overnight. I had hoped that the morning after the funeral it would feel different somehow. People told me that once it was over I could start to move forward but I don’t  think I want to yet. The enormity and finality hit me this morning just as it has every morning. I spend the night waking and sleeping, waking and sleeping. When morning comes I don’t want to face it but soon the demons in my head drive me from bed. Then I am up, showering, looking in the mirror and wondering who I am doing it for…round we go again!

I now mainly write on my new blog; An Adventurous Girl. I would love it if you would join me there by clicking here.

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Grief…the start of a new journey.

People tell me to write things down; write to him. But he never enjoyed reading and I think the writing has to be for me and not him.

I feel that one journey has come to a tragic end and a new one has started with a tragic beginning. I hope that this story will get happier and that this blog will be a record of it.

I am not clever with words and grammar, these will be my feelings, raw and recorded.

Since Bob’s death all I have done is talk. It is what I have needed. Talking about what happened, talking about the build up, talking about the inconceivable future and talking about the happy past. I have recieved counsel from more people than I could have imagined. People I had only met once before, people I haven’t spoken to for over fifteen years and my closest friends and family. Each message, poem, prayer and piece of contact has become part of the sea of hands keeping me from sinking. You have all held my head above the water and each and every one of you should be proud of your role.

Although each word helps some people say one thing that clicks. One friend gave me a phrase ‘comfort blanket’ what she told me about her comfort blanket made me understand Bob’s mind a lot better. The last few days I have told many people that I was angry that Bob took half my memories away with him. Everyone was sympathetic but then one person siad ‘no Cadi, you still have your memories and always will but the others were his to take away’…click!  Now it is up to me to remember alone the endearments he used when we were alone and the feel of his arms around me.

The thing that scares me the most is facing a lifetime with a hole in it. I always knew that the chances were I would lose him one day but in your head you have an expected time…this was nowhere near the time. I have had three dreams with him. They were all brief but involved him saying a few words and being close to him. Of course I want to believe that it is him coming to me but how do you ever know for sure?!

His sister phoned me a couple of days ago and said some wonderful things to me. I was so grateful for her words and wish I could express my thanks for them. I hope that Friday will not be the dark day I am dreading and that Bob’s spirit will shine through. So many of his friends have shown me why he loved them by being there for me and a little network has sprung up. I kmow we are trying to fill the hole he has left with each other but what else can we do?

So there is light. Bob has already left a legacy, his death has formed new friendships and given me faith in humanity. I so desperately wish he was still here so I could tel, him about it.

I now mainly write on my new blog; An Adventurous Girl. I would love it if you would join me there by clicking here.