In many ways today the blog has come back to where it was not long after I first started it, as a form of therapy.
Anniversaries are always difficult.
On 11 June 2012 my husband, Mark, passed away. We all knew at the time that he was very ill; the multiple myeloma had done a huge amount of damage to his internal organs and the stark reality was that it was a matter of time before something broke completely.
Last year I made the journey to his home town in St Ives, Cambridgeshire to visit his grave. I had entirely expected to do the same this year but, for whatever reason, I could not face the journey. Somehow, when there is something to look forward to, the 160 mile journey had a purpose and the 3 hours went by quickly. Unfortunately when the only thing to greet you is the cold slate of a memorial stone the emotions become rather huge.
We had a slightly unusual marriage, not least because of the geographic distance between us. Up until the end of May 2012, Mark was still working in Cambridge and I was in Manchester. We had all the plans to co-locate but were realistic all the way that time was not on our side.
It was something we discussed regularly. Trying to work out the best way for us to move forward. Sure, everyone around us had their own opinion on what we should be doing, but it’s all very easy to do when looking in on a situation you think you understand.
When I changed jobs in 2009, Mark dissuaded me from moving south as he felt it was the wrong thing to do. In retrospect his logic was simple – that he didn’t want to uproot me from my own environment and then leave me behind.
I had always promised that as soon as he wanted to stop working, that I would look after him in his final years. It was something I absolutely meant and it was something he knew was an option. He however loved working and was not prepared to give that up. The financial aspect of supporting the pair of us did not give me a concern although it bothered him, more from a pride thing I think, that he would be relying on someone.
The decision to get married in November 2010 was one which wasn’t taken lightly. In fact it was following a health scare where he was rushed into hospital that we decided it was the right time. Again, we didn’t want to have to spend time justifying our decision to anyone and we eloped, telling friends and family after the event. I know that this caused a little bit of upset with family as they felt left out. It was a hard decision to do it, but ultimately it was right for us. And everyone was welcomed to the celebration party.
To this day, I wonder whether Mark knew how ill he actually was. In the days before his passing he had a few falls and I found myself stranded too far away. Not that it would have helped as he only told me after they had happened.
Two days before he went he sent me this text:
Thinking about you and missing you. Being in love does have its good side too. Knowing you are there gives me a warmth inside. 🙂 xxx (sent at 11:33:29 on 09 Jun 2012)
It makes me very sad to read it again, but at the same time it’s like he is in the room with me again.
We last spoke on the evening of 10 June 2012. Mark told me that he had had another fall outside of his house and that he had been checked over by the paramedics and taken to hospital, where he had been given the all clear. He admitted he hadn’t wanted to tell me in case I worried about him, but his sister threatened to tell me if he didn’t!
My last contact from him at all was by text:
Aching all over today but at least I slept. I think I have whiplash. Having said that I am in good humour although yesterday is a bit of a haze. I will have a nice hot bath at 6.30pm and listen to the comedy. 🙂 xxx (sent at 17:12:03 on 11 Jun 2012)
I almost rang him straight back as I had just got in from work but figured I’d wait until the evening after he’d relaxed so that he wouldn’t feel rushed. I wish I’d replied to the text, but I didn’t as I knew I’d be speaking to him in person not long after.
At least I expected I would.
And 2 years on, whilst the world has continued to turn, the pain of the loss of someone so important to me is still deeper than I could imagine.
I miss him.