Black Widow Chronicles

I got married today

Bronnie would have been 57 today and it would also have been our 17th wedding anniversary. I think that’s right. One vacillates between not wanting to do the numbers, then obsessively doing the maths to the point of blurred vision. A bit like doing the household budget every month.

On 10th June 1997, the day before the wedding, it was a blisteringly hot day. It was so hot the WPC (Wedding Panic Committee) had convinced us all the garden marquee would melt. Our wedding reception was to be held in the grounds of the farmhouse.

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Black Widow Chronicles

Looking up and discovering husbands and daughters

So, come to find out my daughter has been ‘looking up’ for years when out and about walking or taking a stroll. Apparently, it was a habit she had cultivated based on something her late father had told her when she was much younger.

Walking through the City one afternoon, she noticed I had a tendency to look down during the act of placing one foot in front of the other. When we lived in the country, I probably looked down to avoid stepping in animal feaces, living in the city, I look down to avoid stepping in human deposits. Typically, though, it is me in concentration thinking thoughts that are not yet properly thought through.

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Black Widow Chronicles

And we talked about some old times, and we drank ourselves some beers…*

Re-visiting old haunts and friends without the significant person you haunted them with is a surreal experience.

At a birthday party last night, friends and acquaintances over a 20-year span for me (other individual histories going back further) were gathered together in a beautiful old house in London. The evening housed friendships and acquaintances Bronnie and I had made, some cultivated, as a couple.

The intervening years for those convened contained the quotidian mixed bag of glorious triumphs and crashing defeats, with a few health scares and death thrown in to remind us we were still alive and gloriously standing, albeit ageing.

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Black Widow Chronicles

Hello, Grief, I thought you’d pissed off already

There are milestones in the year – birthdays, anniversaries, special times – which were celebrated in life and which are then necessarily commemorated after the death of a loved one.

It is these milestones which remind me every year that I am not in control of the grieving process.

Being one used to being in control of herself, events and others, this size does not fit well on me.

Wiser widows and widowers than me, believe part of my acute suffering (and it is acute, let’s just put that shit out there truthfully once and for all) is because I am trying to pre-empt the grieving process. To be in control of it. Disbelief (tick); Depression (tick);  Angry? (bloody tick).

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