Saturday, September 27, 2014

Twenty one days later

So how do I pick up from here?

Here are the facts I guess.

My beautiful wife, Amy died on 6th September, just after 7.10am on a frosty but calm, Saturday morning in Canberra. Just eight short short days after getting the advice that there were no longer any treatments that could help fight the cancer.

Amy had been sick on Friday night and after a couple of visits from the palliative care nurse a decision was taken to rush her via ambulance to Clare Holland House (the hospice in Canberra).

I drove our car behind the ambulance while Amy’s sister Catherine sat with Amy.

Amy was incredibly weak when we arrived but still lucid and talking to us both. The palliative care nurse told me that she might only be in for the night and might be able to go home in the morning. I asked a few people after Amy’s death whether the nurse only told me that to help me out, but I was told that it was probably what the nurse believed at the time.

Catherine and I stayed with Amy throughout the night, her Dad, Mum and brother Ivor joining us in early morning. It was a long strange (and terribly sad) night. 

The nurses administered pain relief to help Amy. Having watched her give birth to our two beautiful children without pain relief of any kind I knew that the fact that Amy said she was in pain was enough to know that she WAS in pain, she was so so so strong. Amy slept for most of the night after they’d given her the drugs and then after a few hours her breathing changed, becoming shallow and less frequent before she died.

It was beyond awful. The absolute heaviest and deepest sadness I have ever known times one hundred.

Even in those last few fragments of time I hoped that Amy would wake up, spend a few minutes chatting. Right now I’d trade everything - absolutely everything I own for another five minutes of her company.

I brought the kids to see their Mum after she had died. Just strange. They didn’t stay in the room with her long. How unreal to see your Mum lying dead when you’re so young. As they ran out I turned to Amy and asked her to get up and come home, but she couldn’t. I cried some more.

So then a course of events which even though only just over a week or so ago seem blurry and lost in time. The funeral. A nice memorial. So many people probably 200.

Amy you were so loved, the enormity of your death sent ripples not just through our little local community but throughout the whole world. I received literally hundreds of tributes from people who knew and loved you.

The wake was probably the most amazing part of the day. The school mobilised into action, parents serving plates of food, ABBA and Duran Duran playing in your honour. Kids running free in the sunny evening. The only thing missing was you dear Amy and I know you’d have enjoyed the community, the support, the unity, the love. Thank you everyone.

And so everyone comes back home. Me, Audrey, Eli but not you.

The last couple of weeks have been so strange. I keep expecting you to come home from the shops. I want so much to hear you laughing in another room, chasing after Audrey with a hairbrush, tickling Eli on the bed.

There’s only three towels in the bathroom now, three toothbrushes. After all these years I’ve discovered it was you who swept the crumbs away under the kid’s seats and pushed their chairs in after meal times. I hadn’t noticed until now. Sorry.

There’s a million reminders of you around the house. Your shirt tossed on the top of one of the wardrobe doors, your sandals at the end of the bed. I don’t have the strength at the moment to imagine that you won’t be wearing those again while you take the kids to the park. The pictures on the walls that we chose together, your favourite mug.

Following a few requests I put together a website ( I’m not sure if you’d have approved, you never really liked much fuss.  

Before you died you started a ‘memory box’ it’s got pictures and letters in there. I know it’s incomplete, time ran away so so fast in those last few weeks. I tried looking through it today, so many lovely pictures of you and the kids. Happy times. You’re so beautiful Amy

So now I have to work out what ‘normal’ looks like. Try and comprehend how life looks without you. 

The kids need me to help them, equally the kids are helping me. Eli cried a lot last Thursday, he brought me a book to read because he knew it was one of Amy's favourites.

In what turned out to be your final week Amy and I lay on the bed and cried about how we wanted to get old together, I’m struggling to come to terms with the knowledge that it won’t happen now. 

Your death weighs like a stone in my heart. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

(*) :(