Okay, I Hope.

I’m okay. 
Kinda.

I’m still going.

Though my friend put it beautifully when she suggested that life right now is just a series of distractions to keep our minds occupied from reality.
I spend my time either thinking about Jonny, or not thinking about him then feeling huge waves of guilt that I let him, somehow, slip my mind…

I’ve been making my own funeral dress. I don’t know if that sounds weird to some people? Jonny wanted stars and I wanted to give him everything. Turns out stars are quite hard to come by, especially black, funeral appropriate dresses also featuring stars in an equally sombre colour like white, that will be delivered in time AND fit me…
So I decided I’d make my dress. And I’d cover it in stars. And it would be completely appropriate and perfect and fitting and a unique tribute for my boy.

Jonny always loved when I was making things; over the years I’ve knitted him hats, made him personalised cards, customised clothes he already had in his wardrobe. He loved it, and so did I. Before he died I’d got into quilting. Jonny commissioned a big London themed quilt he could snuggle in during his winter months of chemo. Months we still believed he had ahead of him….

I didn’t finish the quilt. 

It’s one of those things now, that I use against myself. When I’m feeling bad, or down, I remind myself how excited Jonny was for the quilt that I would NEVER finish in time…. I bought it to him in the hospice, it was about big enough to cover his torso but had pins sticking out of it and no padding. I laid it across him whilst he slept each night just so I knew in a way, he’d had it.

He must have known something was going on.

He didn’t understand why everyone was coming to visit him or why I’d bought in all these things for him when I was supposed to be back in London going to uni each day…

No one ever told him what was going on. Not directly. He rarely asked. He knew. I’m sure he did. He knew he was dying and that upsets me a great deal.

I just hope he wasn’t scared. Or regretful. Or sad that his life was coming to an end. I hope he wasn’t worried about us; his family, me. I hope he wasn’t thinking about all the stuff he’d miss out on. I hope he wasn’t panicking over whether he should’ve been more religious. 

I hope, with all my heart, that he was’t frightened. That if he really could hear our voices that we soothed and comforted him. I hope he heard me repeatedly say I love him towards the end. I hope he heard us give him permission to let go.

I hope he’s happy now, I hope he’s safe and at peace. I hope he isn’t missing us and can’t see the pain and destruction that’s been left behind in the wake of his death.

I hope I see him again one day.

And I hope there’s a future where I’ll be okay.

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Grief

This is one of those nights where I’m not sure how I’m going to cope.

I probably shouldn’t write when I’m this upset but the grief counsellor said I probably find some sort of therapy in writing this blog so… Hey.

It really gets overwhelming sometimes. I know it hasn’t been very long and it’s allowed, but grief is a series of waves between unthinkable devastation followed by mild coping mechanisms that soon fall to pieces and make way for more tides of sadness.

I just don’t know how to do this.

Granted it’s late at night, I’m exhausted, I’m emotional, I’m crying my eyes out.
It won’t always be this way.
But right now it’s this way more often than not and that’s a damn struggle.

I made the mistake of reading through all of mine and Jonny’s old texts from the last couple of months as his health was declining and he was in and out of hospital. He was so sweet and funny and always saving face in all of them. Always putting me first and playing down his illness.

I don’t know how I do this bit without him.

I don’t know how I stand up at his funeral and find the words to explain just how much of an honour it’s been to be a part of his life. I want him to be there, holding my hand and reminding me we’ll get through it, like he always has done.

I want to cuddle him again. I miss his hugs.
I just really want it to not be this hard anymore. 

But grief is cruel and long and painful and cares for nothing and no one.

It’s just not fair.
It’s really, really not fair. 

Trapped In A Nightmare

It’s been a week now.
I genuinely don’t know how I’ve done it.
It still feels as raw as it did on the day and, if it’s possible, I miss Jonny more each morning I wake up without him.

I am completely uninterested in a life that doesn’t include Jonny Walker.

Don’t worry, I’m not suicidal! If anything I want to live more than ever before; why would I take my own life when there are people like Jonny who don’t have a choice?

There are people out there who are literally dying to be alive.

No one should ever abuse the gift of existence; it’s a cliché but it’s never been more prevalent to live everyday like it’s you’re last.
Especially for me; I’m going to travel the world. I’m going to work hard. I’m going to follow my dreams and jump into a career that brings me happiness. I’m going to take each and every opportunity that’s thrown at me no matter how scared I am. I’m going to climb mountains, walk the great wall of china, swim the channel.
I’m going to live like each second of my life is a privilege and a blessing and a pleasure to be a part of.

But I’d swap all of that to bring Jonny back. I would give my own life to have him here. I’d sign my soul away on the dotted line for Jonny to have a second chance.

Nothing is a consolation.

Not the memories, or the friendships formed out of this tragedy, or the fact I’ve ‘become a stronger person’.

I would trade it all in to sit beside him and look at his beautiful face again for even a second.

I can’t comprehend that he’s gone and I don’t believe it. If I think too much about the fact he is no longer of this world it blows my mind and it scares me so much I want to curl up and scream.

There’s so much pain inside my head I’m scared it will destroy me.

I’m having nightmares now. I can’t sleep. I can’t imagine a day where I don’t wake up crying. I can’t imagine a day where I don’t think about him. If anything it scares me; the thought that in the future everything will become so normal that Jonny only flutters through my mind every now and again.

What I do know is you never get over something, you just learn to live with it. The grief will never go away, it’ll just become so second nature that I’ll have no choice but to cope with it. It won’t get smaller in my mind, it’ll just become cluttered with bigger, happier things.

But even with all that said… It’s only been a week and I just bloody miss him….

Jonny dangling his legs or a canal in central Amsterdam, 2014.

Jonny dangling his legs over a canal in central Amsterdam, 2014; his bucket list holiday.

Love Locked

I’m going to write about the past. 
Jonny is very near the end and today is not the day to delve into how that makes me feel. He has not woken up for over 15 hours and when the time comes, he will go. And it will be right. And we’ll be okay. I think.

At the beginning of this year Jonny took me to Paris because I’d never been abroad. After a tricky few months of singledom it was an attempt on his part to win me back. It took me a very long time to decide to go; I thought at the very least I owed him closure on such an intense chapter of our lives.

The whole day was beautiful, we took the Eurostar there and back, running from tourist attraction to tourist attraction in a bid to do ALL OF PARIS in a 10 hour period.

It highlighted how different Jonny and I really are. For him it was happy go lucky, take your chances, jump on the metro and see where you end up. For me it was tense, unorganised and I got anxious every time I had to use my textbook French. I didn’t see the adventure or the romance in it, just the lack of structure and planning.

This cancer has changed me. I crave nothing more than endless adventure and freedom now. They say when someone dies it makes you want to live, and live hard, fast, wild and free. Mostly irrational; jump on a plane to anywhere, drive for miles, gamble away your life savings… 

But back to Paris… Whilst there we visited one of the bridges across the Seine, famous for being covered in padlocks. Now I got caught in the fairytale charm of this; locking away your troubles and throwing the key in the river. This was my closure.

Jonny and I bought padlocks, him a big one, representing the cancer, mine a smaller one to show my part in the whole miserable mess. Each had two keys, one to throw away forever, one to keep. Anyone who’s seen one of these bridges knows there’s no way you’d ever find your lock again. It’s all very sentimental, nostalgic and just the right side of corny.

We locked away the cancer.

Jonny first, then I locked mine onto his and we threw the keys into the water.

I know it was a sappy affair; something to soothe the psychological side. But it worked. I got closure, he won me back, we drew a line in the sand and moved forward with life.

Well, for a while.

And I know we were naive. And the cancer came back.

But I still wear the key around my neck each day and whatever happens I try and focus on the fact we had the chance to lock away all the pain from the past, present and future and that will live on.

That will stay with me forever.

'Locking away' the cancer in Paris.