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.

Sunday, 20 January 2013


It was January the 17th the other day. Thursday. Like all other Thursdays, and all other days, I lived it knowing you were gone. I woke without you beside me, got up and got the kids their breakfast without you. We lived our day without you there, and I tucked them in to bed and kissed them good night and you did not. I went to bed in the silence of you not being here, and curled up in the dark without you. It was a bad day, just like all the other days. As it happens, I have been doing this knowing you are gone for 365 days. So we lit a candle for you this morning, and played a song. I sat at your grave under my big black hood for a long time, and later, with nothing else I wanted to do, I baked a cake. There is not one piece of me that misses you one drop less than it did 364 days ago.

It's been hard to know how to write over the last month, though on some levels I have wanted to. I always say that I miss Kent every day no matter what the significance (or not) of the day. But yes, Christmas was hard, the lead up especially. As well as missing Kent I missed the joy and excitement and let-go-of-your-worries-for-a-bit that December brings. Christmas Day was primarily another day without Kent, that's always the most significant thing, with Christmas just thrown in on top. On the day he wasn't there to (amongst a million other things) help me with my cooking, help Esther open her presents, play with Reuben and his new toys, hold my hand when we walked round the lake, and talk with me in bed about what a lovely day we'd had. I've tried hard to fend off envy of "everyone else" having holidays, time at the beach, family fun, taking a break, getting away from it all. I think over the last month, the difference between what my life is, compared to how it was supposed to be, has become even bigger, bigger than it has ever been. I suppose December and January will always bring this.

And January has brought memorial time, and marking of the 1st anniversary. In some ways it has meant very little; it was another day without him. They say that time heals, but I don't believe healing comes in one year increments, so the 17th was just another day in my journey of learning how to live like this. I am anxious about the idea that having done one year, it should be onwards and upwards from here. As I have said to some of you, I feel I have barely started this journey. I do give a nod to the young widow who commented that the first year anniversary was, for her, a positive day. She had survived the first year, and darn it, she would survive more.

One year also represents to me Kent being further and further in my past, which is a concept that terrifies me. The idea of him becoming a memory, and not a part of my current life, appalls me. Perhaps one day, as each year passes, I will think of it as one less year until I see him again... but I'm not sure that should be the focus or the attitude for a long time yet.
This afternoon we held a memorial service at Whenua Tapu. Peggy read a few remarkably appropriate words from Kent's 21st speech. Thalia sang Into The West (sung by Annie Lennox for The Return of the King), and we planted a small memorial garden.


400 times I have lain down in our bed without you. 400 times. I don't think I ever really realised there were SO many days in (a little more than) a year. I have recently taken down the calendar that I looked through a year ago, and discovered how long, blank and empty a year looks without you. 

And tomorrow will be another tomorrow without you.

Baking on the 17th of January                                

How wonderful life was, when you were in the world

Into the West


  1. Don't say, 'We have come now to the end'
    White shores are calling
    You and I will meet again

    And you'll be here in my arms
    Just sleeping

  2. The garden looks beautiful! I love succulents. I'm not sure what else to say that doesn't sound trite or trivial. I thought of you so much on the 17th. Much love.