It Ends and it Begins

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This is a blog about grief.

A place to record my feelings as they unravelled, somewhere to remember the love of my life but perhaps, more importantly, something akin to what I needed when I was looking for something to grab onto. Not a site with green fields and flowers as a background; nobody talking about ‘moving on’, ‘life’s journey’ or ‘getting over it’, just a (relatively) normal person talking about the crushing pain of losing the most vital person in their life.

I lost my Gail on 29th July 2018 and my whole world collapsed and died with her. I’m still living of course, I’m not suicidal, and I’ve set out to do some things I might not have done had she lived. This isn’t about ‘time healing’ or ‘coping’ though. I don’t believe that happens. I am pretty certain that on my last day, as I take my final breath, I won’t think ‘Well, I had a really good time after Gail died, I think that might have been the happiest time of my life’.

Sometimes you have to accept that things are not going to get better. If football is an analogy for life – and I think it is – then you have to accept that, for certain teams in particular circumstances, that cup win or league title will never be bettered. In football though, you may hope. In life, it rarely happens.

Everybody’s lives are different and everybody’s deaths are different too. There’s a story to be told here – I’m told it is an interesting one and hopefully it will be told over time – but the circumstances of our lives and Gail’s death are not really the reason I’m here. Rather this is my attempt to make some sense of something that seemed wholly incomprehensible to me when it happened and hasn’t improved a great deal since.

So why me and what can I add you’re probably asking? Well, all I can say is that alongside my usual job of running a one-man I.T. company, I’ve also carved a small side-line career as a freelance writer. Nothing too big – unless you call having a regular column on the world’s leading sports site big – but enough to garner me a small following and have a book published off the back of it. There’s no J.K. Rowling here but I think I can string a sentence together and I’ve found writing about how I feel has helped over the months.

With nowhere else to put these thoughts and feelings I’ve been using social media to wring out my bleeding heart and, through things like Facebook and Twitter, I’ve been able to chart both the awful days when you just want to scream at the world, the days when a sort of ennui overtakes you and you become philosophical and those other times when an odd gallows humour takes hold.

Late in 2018, five months after Gail passed, someone I’ve never met or ever likely to meet, someone who had followed me via my football column, wrote to me to tell me that the things I’d been writing had caused him to think about his life and his relationship with his family and he’d resolved to do things differently. I’d certainly not set out to change anyone’s life and, frankly, I still doubt I have the capacity to do that, but it made me think I wanted to use more than Facebook to keep these things somewhere and, if I did, then someone else might find something in what I’d written or – and this has happened to me on social media – I might myself get to speak to someone who could help me as well.

So here it is. My life, from the moment Gail passed, onwards. As long as I’m alive I will at least ensure this site remains.

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