So.......did I achieve anything during my week away?
Yes, I think I did.....
In fact I'm sure I did.
I know I did.
I am positive I did.
Of course, during the course of every single day I thought of John, always have done and always will.
He was there each and every time I saw a bird, any bird, there he was.....right beside me.
I found myself speaking to him, telling him what I was seeing, seeking guidance if I wasn't sure of the species.....
Oh yes, John was definitely there.
From the day John died, actually from the day John fell ill, I have cried every day. There wasn't a day that I didn't shed a tear for him, about him, because of him. While I was away I only cried a couple of days, particularly when I saw an exciting bird (Hummingbirds!!!!) and I desperately wanted him to be there, to see it/them, to experience it with me.....it was these moments, when I had to remind myself that I was alone, that he was dead and gone, that I cried.
And I cried......I did not hold back the crying like in England.
This was proper, no holds barred, flood gates opening sobbing.....
Oh how I cried for him....and how I have cried since returning to the UK, to this life, to this flat.
Before I went away, I felt like a wound that wouldn't heal, constantly festering, hurting, sore and painful.
I feel a little 'better'.
Oh believe me, I am by no means mended, healed or no longer in pain.....I don't think that will ever end....it will dull but it will never leave me - I don't want it to.
But....time away, not surrounded by our life, helped me to sort, file and organise.
I have made decisions that I WILL put into action.
John's clothes will be sorted and then either disposed of or donated to charity....and I will be doing this sooner rather than later, however I will require a willing female volunteer to assist me - I don't know why it needs to be a woman, it just does. Maybe I don't want another man touching John's clothes....I dunno....
What is the point of keeping a dead man's clothes in our wardrobe?!?!?!?! They're only collecting dust and, in my mind, it achieves nothing and doesn't help me in my grief, they just remind me he's dead.....and I have more than enough reminders thank you very much!!!!
I am going to de-clutter our home.
I am not and never will be a hoarder.
John was, he kept everything (which annoyed the pants off me!).
I am going to have a 'life laundry moment' and I am going to get rid of all non essential 'stuff', have a clear out and make the flat less 'fussy', more minimal.
I am going to change the flat internally too. Perhaps move or change some furniture and buy new things that make it more 'me' and less us.
I have some ideas and I will see how they look.
If they're not right I will not do it but I am going to give it a go.
There will also be an element of 'tightening my belt'.....I don't want to leave where I live, I like it and we lived here together for nearly 9 wonderful years.
However it is expensive and I will struggle but I think the struggle will be worth it in the long run.
Money is and will always be a worry but money isn't everything and is not as important as being happy and content, is it?! Plus, I lost my Husband, I don't want to lose my home too!!!
I'm almost excited about this 'new life', the chance to start again, a fresh start but at the same time moving on with John.
Do not fear, it is not and never will be my intention to 'erase' John.....why would I want to remove the Love of my Life???
Friends and family know that I will never, ever, ever consider not having John in my life in some form.
He is there in my life and in my heart FOREVER as are his family.....they are MY family too.
He will always be my Husband...no one can ever take that away from me, ever!
John will always be there in our home somewhere, he will just be less obvious to the outside observer.....to me he will ALWAYS be there.
I am typing this on the plane returning to London and as much as I am looking forward to coming home, having hugs and cuddles with the 'Kids' (I have really missed those little dawgs!!!), seeing how much the garden has grown, I am also dreading it.
I don't want to go home.
I don't want to face my old life again.
I want my new life to kick in and for everything to be how I want it....now.
Yes, I am being impatient and probably rather unrealistic because I know me and I know that I will have emotional moments, times when all I will do is cry and be unable to face the things that I have mentioned above.
Contradiction? Me? Of course!!!
I am John McKenna....it's how I roll, you know that!!!!
There's also my job.
Before John died I loved my job, I enjoyed it immensely.
I always thought myself very lucky to work where I do and to PA for such a wonderful CEO.
However, since John's death, working in a hospital has made my working life crap. I no longer love my job and I no longer have any motivation to do it.
John spent weeks in a critical care unit.
My office is directly underneath our critical care unit and, although I don't see it every day, I am reminded of it and all I think of is "John died in one of those".
So........what to do????
As far as I see it I have two choices......
1. Suck it up and get on with it. I have a good job, it pays well, I know it inside out and I work for a wonderful, understanding Boss who genuinely cares about me and my well being.
Yes, I have daily reminders of John's death but he didn't die there, in my hospital, above my office, did he?! And, I get daily reminders everywhere not just at work!
2. I leave...and find something else....and start again....
In my heart I have already made the choice.
I am going to remain in my current job and I am going to bloody well try to get on with it.
Why I put myself through the crap I do is beyond me sometimes.
I know there are stages of grief and everyone on this planet deals with it differently, it's not the same for any two people.
I also know that some of the things I have been putting myself through I really don't need to and shouldn't be doing so.
SO WHY AM I?!?!?!?!
This time away has really helped me mentally.
It has crystallised some of my undecided thoughts, ideas and decisions and it has helped me to remove some things that I know were not completely necessary or indeed right for my future.
It has helped me to sort my mind and it has given me direction.
Yes, I know I may and probably will falter along the way (remember those peaks and troughs!!!!) and there are tough times ahead, but I know that ultimately what I am doing is right.
I am not going to say "It's what John would have wanted" because none of this is what John would have wanted.
He would not have chosen to die and it's not something I will ever say.
That particular phrase really fucks me off quite frankly!
And then there's Men.......
I am 42, I am still relatively young.
I am indeed a grieving Husband but I am most certainly alive and I have needs, requirements and don't we all need to be held, hugged and appreciated now and again?!
Before you all start screaming at me, I am not saying that I am on the prowl for Hubby No.2.... no, no, no.....you can all sit down again, that is not what I am saying.
What I am saying is that as and when the opportunity arises, I will damn well grab it by the horns (no pun intended!) and I will go with it.
John is dead, I am not and I will not live my life like some celibate hermit.....I won't, so don't expect me to because it isn't going to happen.
I am not ready for a full on relationship, how can I be when I am still in love with John? But I will enjoy myself.
There is a wonderful man in Colorado called Craig.....we got to know each other, we spent some time together, we share similarity in our lives, we will be keeping in touch and we will be seeing each other again in the near-ish future if I have anything to do with it. I think he would like London as much as I loved Colorado.
If anyone thinks that this is ' too soon', it's negative to John's memory, etc, etc....all I say to that is Sod Off!!!! I'm not rushing into a relationship!!!
As I said above, grief is different for each and every person on this planet and everyone deals with it differently, everyone.
Some people have said that they know what I am going through and that they know how I feel......No they don't, no one does!
People can recognise similarity, they cannot and will never, ever know how I feel inside, they never will.
People can appreciate the similarity of grief but don't for one minute think that they know my mind, they don't.....it's mine and mine alone and the nearest they will get to understanding how I feel is by reading this blog!
I think that just about covers it!
Colorado is a wonderful, beautiful state, the mountains are stunning, the people are friendly (Have a nice day!!!) and I fell in love with it.
I am very much looking forward to returning......because I am going to!
All in all, my time away was AWESOME!
I will leave you with a track by Broken Bells....the album is my 'Colorado album' and was on daily repeat.....enjoy (and download it!!)...
P.S. That was one the worst kept secrets in the history of keeping secrets!!!!! Youngest son James was the first to tell me where I was!!!!!