Tomorrow I move onto my second calendar year without Ian. Moving from 2012 to 2013, to a year that was no longer the year I lost him, I found difficult, but got through with a small group of friends.
Tonight I move one more digit further away from the 2012 in which he left us.
I realised this morning that I will no longer be able to say 'he died last year'. I'll have to say 'he died in 2012'. And I'm not sure how I feel about that additional distance - if it's a turning point or a mill stone.
But I'm doing something simple early in the new year to try feel a bit better in general...
"How can I/we help?"
I heard this question a lot while Ian was sick. And thankfully I came up with an answer that would allow those around us feel like they were able to do something practical to help.
Ian received lots of platelets in hospital as he'd been on blood thinners, and the medicos needed to reverse the thinning in order to do the procedures they needed to. I can't remember how many transfusions he had, but it was a reasonable number.
So I was able to tell people "donate blood if you're able to, Ian's needed a lot".
Which is a bit hypocritical of me, as it's something I'd always wished I could do, but for my needle phobia. I'm bad enough with ordinary sized needles. Bugger going near the bigger ones they use for collecting blood!
However I had guilt about this phobia starting to gnaw away at me probably from about the six month mark after he died.
It's just a couple of hours of my time, 3- 4 times a year.
It's just a needle; nothing compared to what he went through.
It may help me with my healing.
Other's donations played a part in giving us those extra three months. Who am I not to give that time to someone else when quite frankly, I'm perfectly capable?
So I made my first donation around my 1 year widow-versary mark. And it felt good.
I've now booked myself in to make my 2nd donation on January 2nd.
As cr@* as it is that that pesky concept of time marches on, I'm feeling it's a positive way to mark the start my second calendar year without Ian.