Well it has been an odd few days, I guess things are really starting to hit home now.
Yesterday was Fathers Day, a pretty grim one really for Steve's Dad this year and my Dad too as my parents have lived with us for 5½ years so they have got used to seeing Stephen on a daily basis too. I called up to see Steves Dad so he could have his present, Steve and I had bought it and bought cards last Saturday on our way home from a day out, we never knew then that this was one of the last things Stephen would ever do.
It was hard to go there, I don't know why but it was, I guess I feel guilty, guilty that I couldn't make it stop. I know it is not my fault at all but to see the pain in their eyes last September when I had to break the news that their little boy had a terminal illness was terrible and to see them lose their little boy so cruelly after just 9 months when things had been going so well and we were still some time off the 12 to 18 month prognosis was worse.
Focussing on them makes me not wallow in my own self pity, it stops me feeling bitter that our time together was so brief, they brought a wonderful guy into this world and I only got to share him for a short period of time. They have lost a son, a fantastic son but they also have each other to turn to for support and comfort. I have that too, a great set of friends and family but, as wonderful as they all are there is only one embrace I want to feel.
Going to bed at the moment is an ordeal in itself, it means having to re-live the grief all over again, I guess I may be being hard on myself as it is still just a few days since he died and I am entitled to get upset but not getting that hug before I sleep, or being able to give him a hug is torment, sobbing into your pillow so as not to wake the rest of the house then, when eventually you do fall asleep I wake with a start and grasp for the person next to me, the person who is not there, for a split second there is a feeling of relief when you realise he has just popped to the loo then it hits, like a ten ton weight on your chest, he's gone and wont be coming back, there is no morning hug this morning, just a pillow...
My thoughts over the past few days have been random, I guess to be expected but it is simple things that cut so much. On Thursday I went to register Steve's death, something I had dreaded. In reality it was not that bad, the registrar let me witter on about what a fantastic husband I had and how he made me so proud but that wasn't the bit that made me think. To go and register the death they asked that I take Steve's birth certificate if it was available, it was, if you have read Steve's blog for some time you may recall him mentioning it.
For as long as Steve and I have been together he had not been able to find his birth certificate, he had no idea where it was but knew it was in a safe place. Just after his diagnosis we had a day or two of "mourning", just tears for no reason and a mind full of thoughts of "what if" and "if only". Steve realised this was counter productive and decided that Cancer would not mark the end of his life but the beginning of his life. He was now going to go all out and have as good a time as possible, his Uncle Mike had given him some advice and was quite blunt with it too but it jolted Steve and Mike's story stayed with Steve. In fact he recalled the story to a friend not more than a few weeks ago as he has done many times before. that isn't the point I am making though.
After Steve had decided to start life anew he woke on monday bright and early and got dressed early, he decided to sort through a few things and generally started to make headway on clearing clutter from his life and focussing on what was important. On that day when I came home from work I was met by the most excited Steve I had seen for weeks, "it's a sign" he said, "I've had a sign", I thought he had lost the plot but then he showed me.
Proudly sitting atop a pile of papers on his desk was his birth certificate, the very same one he had not seen for years, it turned up in a random pile of papers. Steve took this to mean something, it meant he was right and that today was the start of his new life.
That was about nine months ago now and, whether we look at Steves life or the life he had since finding his certificate again it has not been long, it feels like days, we have done so much in this time but it still feels like so little. I curse the time we spent doing nothing, sitting, watching a film or staring into space as I wonder if maybe we should have done something more significant. I don't know what though but, each and every moment, each and every memory whether it is remembering how we would hit the snooze button "just one more time", or how Steve would chop the veg as I cooked food or even how he would annoy me by not taking his tissues out of his pocket before his clothes went in the washing machine, every single moment and memory is precious and that is what scares me.
I am scared I may forget those memories, I am scared I may forget how only he could hug me "right" and I am scared I will forget how his text with our special phrase made me feel...
I know now Stephen has ended this journey he has begun another, I know his memory will live on in me and those whose lives he touched and I know my next journey is only just beginning. Stephens legacy will live on, I hope his passion and drive will keep me afloat when I feel like I am sinking.
He is with me in my heart and for that I am grateful but, he has gone from this life and for that I am not.