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Wearing the armour

Friday 24th May:

This is so stupid.

Someone bought me  a really nice bottle of red wine for my birthday (which was 2 days before Claire died) and I’ve not drunk it yet. When they gave it to me I thought “This will be nice to share with Claire one Friday night” as we often opened a bottle at that time.

I couldn’t bring myself to open it before now, but tonight I did and I feel crap.

It’s great wine but I feel lost and lonely with no-one to share it with. It’s weird, when I shared a bottle of wine with my wife it felt special but when I drink it alone I feel like a craven alcoholic.

The only solace I can take is that this is the first time I’ve done it and I never have to go through it again.

Tuesday 28th May:

The kids wanted to go to Blockbuster yesterday to rent a film, Claire was the only one that had a card so we had to look through her purse to find it. I still haven’t done that yet, I’ve not sorted through any of her personal stuff, it’s all exactly as she left it when she left the house on 17th April to go to the hospital. Her purse is in her bag which is hanging under the stairs, her pyjamas are in her bedside table and her clothes are piled up in her wardrobe.

Next weekend we have a family reunion with some Australian relatives, the following week is my eldest’s 18th Birthday and the weekend after that would have been our 22nd wedding anniversary – I’m not clearing on those days, so I guess the job of clearing and sorting isn’t going to happen for a few weeks yet.

The waking world can seem very dark and cold at the moment. I’m not in the depths of despair or anything like that, but I can see how it could be easy to go that way. It’s like there is a bottomless hole opening up next to me, a hole that just goes down and down. Dark, cold and hard to climb out of.

There are days when I can look down in to that hole and see it as the easy option.

It’s tough staying above ground, it’s tough fighting to stay on top. It’s like when I’m out for a little jog, I reach the point when my body SCREAMS stop, and the easiest thing is to just giveup and sit down…. but I could be a few miles from home so I have to go on and fight. The difference is that with this emotional battle is that there’s no end point, no way of knowing when I can actually stop and rest.

I know the battle is entirely in my head, I know that in all of this the one thing I CAN control is what happens inside my head – I know I have the resources I need to firmly anchor myself to solid ground and keep from falling in to that hole.

It’s unlike me to quote scripture, but this came to me this morning (after some Googling!)

“But since we belong to the day, we must be serious and put the armor of faith and love on our chests, and put on a helmet of the hope of salvation.”

1 Thessalonians 5:8

That’s exactly how I feel, like I must put on the armour for each day. And if that’s what needs to be done, so be it.