You watch them go from a warm, caring, loving human being, smiling and laughing to a shell that you don’t recognise and then they pass from this world to the next taking all your hopes and dreams with them, you hoping that their life in the new world is free from pain and suffering. Your heart is broken into a million pieces, your mind a whirlwind of questions with no answers. The future looks bleak and scary and yet you’ve to got to keep going, arrange a funeral, tell people what’s happened, sort out paperwork and a million other things you never thought you would have to do. Everybody expresses how sorry they are for your loss and offer you their condolences. New people come into your life with memories of your loved one. Everyone says ‘I’m here for you’ and through tears you say ‘thank you’ and you believe them. A mans life is rapidly reduced to bits of paper and a wooden box. This is someone you loved with all your heart and shared so much together and yet while you grieve the world keeps turning and carries on as if nothing has happened when all you want it to do is stop so you can catch your breath. The weeks leading up to the funeral are busy, busier than you ever imagined they would be as people come out of the woodwork to support you. The day of the funeral comes and you feel that you can’t face it, you don’t want it to happen. You want them to come in the door as if nothing has happened and this has all been a bad dream but it’s not. It’s real, too real for you to face but you do face it and with eyes blurred by tears you say goodbye one last time to the man you have loved more than anyone else in the world. The next few weeks people come round to make sure you’re ok and then slowly people go back to their own lives leading you to live yours. Promises become broken, phone calls unanswered, invitations forgotten. The world becomes a smaller, lonelier place as you try to piece your life back together, returning to work, the gym and running. On the outside you appear your normal, old self. On the inside your stomach is churning over and over and over. You still expect him to come through the door, you think you hear his voice in a crowd, you see him in the supermarket and then realise it’s not him but a total stranger, you wake calling out his name and turn to an empty place where he once slept beside you. Your crowd of support continues to grow smaller and smaller. You look through all the messages of condolence wondering where they have gone, tears forming once again as you feel lonelier than you ever have done. And then a ping, a text from a friend. Let’s go for a walk and talk about you. You suddenly realise that you don’t need hundreds of people to support you as long as you have a few people you know you can rely on, people who will come to your house in the dead of night to hold your hand, people who will drive you hundreds of miles just for one view you shared with your husband, people who will sit and listen to you talk and talk and not judge you but offer you hope in a fragile world. You slowly begin to rebuild your life around those you know you can depend on and face the future with a few friends but friends who are the strongest people you know and who will support you through everything life has to throw at you. The feelings of loneliness begin to disappear. You don’t forget, you never will, but you carry on and live your life to the fullest sometimes thinking , he would be so proud of me’ as a single tear rolls down your cheek falling silently on the floor.
The Autistic FellRunner
I am a 52 year old male with a late diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome. I enjoy writing in all forms about people and life. I enjoy running over the moors where my mind can be free from the stresses of everyday life. I am currently studying for a PhD in autism and aging. I hope you enjoy my writing and please feel free to leave a comment. Thank you for taking the time to visit my site. View all posts by The Autistic FellRunner