29th July 2019. Exactly one year since Gail left and I sit here wondering what to do. Unlike last year when it was (appropriately) a miserable day weather-wise in what was a long hot summer, today is sunny and warm. A nice day to go out
I did have plans for today, but both my parents are in hospital and, as my plan involved a bit of travel and that would have meant I’d have been away for a few days, I’ve had to shelve that and stay at home in case I’m needed. Not that it will happen today. One of the advantages of being a bit of a loner is you can easily switch off the phone or refuse to answer it. I won’t even know if the hospital ring today. I’m fully incommunicado.
In some ways, the fact I’ve had to stay here today may have been the best course of action anyway. I feel the need to be near Gail’s ashes and I don’t ever want to have to take her away again.
Although this is the big one, I’ve found the best way to deal with these days – Gail’s birthday, my birthday, our Anniversary and Valentines Day are the major ones so far – is to do something life-affirming. I like trying the food from the country’s top chefs, so I try and book a meal somewhere special and just pretend Gail is with me. I’m quite good at that. I once spent six years pretending Gail was with me when she wasn’t.
During that previous period, the hope was that one day I’d be able to reverse things and we could be together. I was fortunate that eventually proved to be the case. There’s no such hope now, of course but I do wonder about that six year period. Can I last another six years without her? Or conceivably another 26?
I’ve looked online and seen the heartfelt messages about Gail. All her friends are missing her, no-one seems to have ‘moved on’, nobody thinks it has got any easier. None of them have known her anywhere near as long as I have; none of them saw her each and every day. If her friends can’t get past it how can I? More importantly, why should I?
One year. It could be one day, it could be a lifetime. It’s hell – but it’s another day. A nice day. I’ll go out. And pretend…