It was meant to be no more than 8 weeks.
We packed up our home, transported it back up north to the centre of Liverpool.
Giving us some time to reorientate our space.
Two and a half years later, with this Almighty Grief I am left to sort this unit out.
I don't have the energy nor do I have the space where I live.
Seeing our life inside each and every box and bag, sends shivers down my spine.
Having spent the past 2 years emptying my parents house out - every cupboard, every unit, behind every door, in every nook and cranny, the loft, the garage, and each of the 4 bedrooms, I emptied, sorted, gave to charity, took to the tip or skipped.
It is cruel beyond measure to have to go through this again, only this time without you here.
Looking through these items, revisiting an old Julia, one who has vanished, she won't return.
The Julia before all the pain of losing Mum, Dad, and then You.
I don't have the space for all this stuff in my tiny little apartment.
Yet, I can't just throw it away, it was our life.
This isn't about sorting and organising, clearing and decluttering, it is painful and heart wrenching.
This isn't a weekend worth of clearing.
Seeing you every time I open something up, in every box or bag, your shoes, your backpack, tools, your bike, our duvet, our dining room table, our dismantled super king size bed frame.
It is all staring at me.
At Mum’s funeral you were right there, by my side.
At Mum’s headstone unveiling ceremony, you were right there, by my side
Just 5 weeks after your spine stabilisation surgery and cancer diagnosis, you pushed yourself to come, to be there, by my side, you sat in a chair uncomfortably and pushed yourself to walk to the graveside.
At Dad’s funeral you were right there, by my side, holding my hand.
At Dad’s unveiling and stone setting ceremony you were deeply missed, not there holding my hand.
I faced it without you by my side,
I stood there feeling alone.
Where were your twinkling eyes?
Talking to me, without saying a word.
The closeness between us 3.
The Buns howls when I go out, like a wolf, I'm only going to buy food, pick something up, or an appointment, these days not going anywhere else.
The Tunes joins in, I feel it stresses her out big time when The Buns howls because she's not vocal nor cries like this but she joins in with her little squeals.
How do I know? The neighbour told me. I started recording them on audio so I can hear what's happening.
It is a lot to deal with on top of trying to stay up right.
Losing Mum was horrendous, it was so quick, followed by caring for Dad and his next steps, then your diagnosis, surgeries, treatments, Dad then passed away and nearly 8 months later, you.
2 years and 2 months
You're all gone.
I sit and observe myself, I am stunned.
The grief of losing you all, one after the other is cruel.
Losing you, my husband, is off the charts, it is an out of body experience.
I watch myself be. Talking, interacting, appearing.
I have no vision, I see the next moment and that's it.
The future and what it holds and what I want is blank.
I wanted to have a life with you.
We were going to grow old together.
You did a great impression of you and me as OAP's walking down the road together.
Tears flow rapidly, I look at your photo and they stream.
These two miss you we'd love you to come through the door singing 'Allo.allo allo allowalla walla.'
I am holding on to your medication, pulling it all together just makes me gasp.
We have something for everything. Including your oral chemotherapy Lenvima causing a horrendous reaction, aggravated the nerve endings of your still healing muscles after spinal stabilisation surgery - you were not able to move, ending up being mountain rescued down the stairs and taken to hospital, the rescue was appalling, and your hospital experience the worst ever.
I feel this experience of 3 days there, broke you.
You felt the same.
I can't let go of these just yet.
I am not sure why I can't.
I will know when.
Till then, I do my best every day to keep upright.
There was just a little bit left of your Jean Paul Gaultier Classic Homme after you passed away, I need to smell your familiar smell so I ordered a new bottle for Valentines Day because that's what I would have done had you been here.
It arrived yesterday
I sprayed today.
I feel you near me.
I remember the very first time I bought this for you, we had been dating just a few months and in fact, it probably was Valentines Day again in 2006. If you know the JPG perfumes they come in a can, only I didn't know that you had to be really careful opening it..... as I twisted the can, it stuck and I pulled and the bottle flew out and thankfully landed on the carpet outside the bathroom door.
It flew a long way.
We laughed and laughed.
From that moment on, you always wore it.
From that moment on, we always remembered me flinging the aftershave out the can.
Now it's my turn.
I did it r e a l l y c a r e f u l l y.
I miss you so much and wish you were here but I found your valentines card from last year.
16 years on.
I love you.
Hold my hand for a little while?
I don’t need you to save me
No need for you to fix anything
No need for you to hold my pain
But will you simply hold my hand?
I do not need your words
Nor your shoulders to carry me
But will you sit here for a while with me?
Whilst my tears they stream
Whilst my heart it shatters
Whilst my mind plays tricks on me
Will you with your presence let me know that I am not alone, whilst I wander into my inner unknown?
For my darkness is mine to face
My pain is mine to feel
And my wounds are mine to heal
But will you sit with me here, while I courageously show up for it all my dear?
For I am bright because of my darkness
Beautiful because of my brokenness
And strong due to my tender heart
But will you take my hand lovingly, when I sometimes journey into the dark?
I don’t ask for you to take my darkness away
I don’t expect for you to brighten my day
And I don’t believe that you can mend my pain
But I would surely love if you could sit for a while and hold my hand, until I find my way out of my shadowland!
So will you...
Hold my hand until I return again?”
Poem ~ Zoe Johansen
We started having real coffee beans about 6 years ago, it was our once a day ritual.
You always made a proper lovely mug of coffee.
I never quite got it the same as you.
Now I fill the cafetiere half way
There's just me.
It's never quite a nice as yours.
Reality is hitting me
seeping through the shock
facing the coffee pot.
PS The bees are for you.
We won't laugh again
about something silly
or debate, passionately,
or sing songs,
we won't get to have DJ nights.
We 3 are missing our 4th.
They comfort my tears.
Somehow I have to stumble
There has been no map
It has been relentless
Losing you has been the last straw.
Where Did You Go?
Writing my way through the grief of losing my Husband in Nov 2021,
Dad April 2021 and
Mum September 2019.