Moving went as smoothly as possible, I culled a lot of old belongings like toys, baby clothes and little knickknacks. The new apartment is fresh and has a positive ambiance about it. My positive mindset however took its time to catch up.
I was undecided on whether or not I would hang John’s clothes in the wardrobe of the new house. As I happily listened to music and hung my clothes in their new space, I then came to John’s clothes. With no hesitation I hung them side by side with my clothes, as though it were an automatic reaction. Once they were all unpacked I stood and stared and cried.
Just as I sat on the floor of the bedroom in tears staring up at his clothes, my two and a half year old daughter walked in and said “mummy crying, I cuddle you mummy”. And she did. I held her and cried not just for myself and John, but I cried for what she had to witness. I felt guilty as a parent, that she was seeing me in tears with no real understanding of why. The moment both warmed my heart and broke it at the same time. I said “mummy is ok” and smiled at her as I wiped my tears away.
Not wanting to be alone that evening I invited friends over for dinner and a glass of wine. My friend’s partner set up and programed the television for me. For which I am so grateful. Earlier that day just the thought of trying to set up the television had me in tears and feeling anxious. I expressed my thanks but they will not understand exactly how much it really meant to me. And how much it meant for them to just be there. To just be present.
The new home looks like a step forward and a fresh happy start to people on the outside. However for me, this move was surrounded with anxiety and thoughts of “John should be here, it was supposed to be so different”. A new home does not change the empty space I feel when I cook a meal and there is a plate missing. Sadness and longing surrounds wanting to share my future with him and not being able to. Yes the new home is beautiful but I would give it all away to spend just a second with him again.
Then I find myself wondering does he know where I am, can he see that I have moved. Even the thought “he won’t know where to go” has entered my mind. As though he will just waltz back in and it really has all been a bad dream or misunderstanding. I am not crazy, I do know reality, but the thought has still crossed my mind.
I know it will take time to adjust to being on my own. Without the help that came with living with my parents, it will be difficult and challenging. So I remind myself people become strong, by first being weak. And we become ready, by first being entirely unprepared. Being brave is to feel pain not fear it. I was aware this move would challenge me, because any change big or small is a challenge now. Life is about taking the road that challenges us and embracing in the choices that allow us to grow.
With support, love and understanding I can get through this time just as we all can. I will remain grateful for everything and everyone I still have in my life. Grateful for the reminder “You’ve got this!”