My beloved husband, Kent, died in January 2012, 3 years after diagnosis of a brain tumour. Our son was 2 1/2 and our daughter 3 months old. He and I were far too young. I am now hurtling through the black space of life without him.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016


I take a pill
to lift my spirits during the day
but at night
they raise spirits in my dreams
that leave me exhausted by morning
and add to the conveyor belt of dreams
of you dying and living and dying again.
"Your brain needs time to heal," she said.
I lie in a bath
waiting for the salt to sink in between my bones
but it can't seem to find its healing way in
to the pain in my heart
that lies wounded in its own salty sting.
I wrap my arms
around a little sleeping body
to try and fill the aching space in front of me
but it doesn't stop them from reaching invisibly
for you every morning.
I swallow potions
because the labels say
they will stop me from fighting and flying
now that there's nothing left to fight
but they don't hold enough magic
to lift the lid off the sky
so that I can see your face.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Thirty six at four

I have thirty six hours alone and as I walk along the sand, able to think, I can only think:

My beloved is gone and I'm losing a friendship and the world appears to be made only of lovers walking hand in hand, and the breaking waves are pure perfection.

Four years, all that, and today this is all I know.

Motel after midnight

I'm stuck in a motel room and this pain inside of me is as big as the city we're staying in, and the one who was keeping me afloat (and more) is no longer interested in being a boat. I silence the sounds of pain and sit and listen instead to my kids' breathing, their limbs sliding out of bed on this hot night, and I try not to think of the words that describe the feelings, and hope that the pain in my belly isn't caused by this city-sized, multi-storied-now grief... and I never was made to leave midnight far behind me.

(Written mid January, NP)

It still does

My arm stretches out across the place where you used to lie
and I can't understand how it can reach across
the entire breadth and being of a man.
You used to be alive
in the space of my one small arm.
You used to hear my hand reaching
out across the sheets in the dark,
and know that it needed yours. 

(Written mid January, NP)

Sunday, 15 November 2015

The future

Hi love.

It's me.

I'm in the future.

The future, this one that terrified me so much it made my head spin out. I'm here and I'm doing it.

The best news is, I'm surviving. I have survived the last few years. My heart seems to still be beating, and life is bursting around me. There are happy things. Our children, of course. My grief for their loss burns up my insides, but them - they are explosions of fun and laughter and life and delight. As you know. We have a lovely home and there are beautiful trees outside our windows. My friends care so much for me and I know they would do anything they can to make my life easier or happier. They have shed tears for me and that has shared my load. I have an old friend, you know the one, who makes me laugh and laugh, and even sometimes, you'll be pleased to know, snort. There is good conversation in my life too, good ideas, and maybe even some dreams, though I tiptoe around those. After some time, I even started enjoying food again and, can you believe, I had a curry just last night. Mum and Dad have been amazing of course. They will do anything. They do do anything. I need them so much, though I do get a little pissed off with them at times too, and I often think it was not them I chose to marry. It can get a little complicated, having them in my life to such an intense degree. I sometimes remember you telling me and Mum to play nicely.

It seems the church has forgotten me though. I wasn't expecting that. Most of those who represent the church have never spoken a word about God to me in 4 years. A couple have, and it has been incredibly painful for me, so I don't know what approach I need, but I am certainly surprised at the silence. It's the same silence of God Himself. I always believed He pursued and pursued the lost. But not this one. I think I've been left in the church's too hard basket, or perhaps it seems I have made my choice not to turn up and noone is keen to change my mind. Entering fully in to my story - our story -  puts ones faith at risk, I believe, so it's better to just create your own interpretation about it and leave me to one side. I guess there are millions of us, over to one side.

The pain has been immense Kent. I have a whole blog here where I have tried to put it in to words, so I won't try again now. But perhaps you don't need the words, perhaps you have seen it? I don't know how that works, how you can be in a place where there is all joy and no tears, yet know of the fires that have ripped through my insides these last few years, seen all the bits of me that have been changed forever, all the worst parts of me erupting to the surface, and all the bits that have turned to nothing but cinders and memory. The pain is different now, here in this part of the future. It is no less intense, but it is kind enough to wait below the surface a little. Letting me breath around it. My daily struggles are around doing all the work on my own, managing that undefinable anxiety, still a desperate loneliness at certain times of the day, that can't be filled by anyone who doesn't live in my home, and the complete disappearance of that huge part of me that was a wife, a lover and a best friend. I try to work myself up to being happier, but then it often comes crashing down and I realise my foundation seems to be unhappy. So I'm working on the idea of just having happy moments, never mind the overall feeling, just having some happy things in my day. I like to think about those happy moments increasing, and starting to hold hands with each other, though I admit I then get distracted by the idea of hand holding...

I told you once, when you were worried about me, that I would be happy again. I have regretted it many times. What was I thinking? I've wanted you to know that was such a load of bullshit. But I'll keep trying, because I know that's what you want. I've tried to be my best defender against myself too, as you are not here to do it for me. I've done it on your behalf. That's got a bit wobbly, as I have thought of the likelihood that I will be alone for the rest of my life, and the reasons why, but I keep trying to hear your voice. There's one thing I haven't been able to manage. Do you remember many, many years ago, before we knew of this future, you told me I was to never cry alone? I was always to come and find you? You're nowhere to be found now sweetheart and I have done nothing but cry alone.

Paris was attacked this week. Gunmen opening fire. Not randomly, specifically. There is so much searing pain in that city right now. I feel it so much for them. I wonder how people can feel in just a few moments all that I felt as I watched you die in slow motion. I guess that's what shock is for - they say that without it, we, the observers, would die too.  And oh, what they have ahead of them! There may be pain now, but what pain there is to come! It has been hard not to put us in Paris. Perhaps because we have been there. I imagine us getting up from our cafe table and running, or I see you being one of the ones not able to get up and run. I long for us to have been able to get up and run from that which was after you. I remember the joy of riding our bikes through Paris, and the desolation of having them stolen. I remember me doing all the talking (of course) on our long walk back to the camp site that evening, making plans for how we would live when we returned home. I remember, I always remember, you lying in bed that night quietly, thinking about your bike. "I just can't believe it's gone," you said. Can you feel that feeling again, a million-fold? That's a bit what it's like baby. Even now.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Tonight and yesterday

Tonight we will eat and drink
to remember and honour,
kissing each other on the cheek,
checking in my eyes
to see if I'm OK.
We'll make good conversation
and admire the children,
and catch glimpses of another face in theirs
and wish, wish that there was
another chair full.

How different to the other kind
of remembering, just yesterday,
stretched out flat
on a rectangle piece of grass
dropping tears down to bones,
cracking the blue sky
with the sound of a pain
that time doesn't take,
and asking him to make sure
that he's the first one there to meet me
when I arrive.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Thank you, my dear friends...

'If you're brave enough to live it, the least I can do is listen.'

- Cynthia Bond,