On the day of the anniversary of Tim's death in February, I rang Tim's mum. I always do. But as soon as she answered, I knew that something else was wrong. They were at their local hospital, and Tim's dad was having a scan. It was the end of a story that had started around Christmas, when they noticed that he was losing weight. It was pancreatic cancer. It was terminal, and he didn't want any visitors. A couple of weeks later, I had the phone call to say that this gentle, funny, glorious, intelligent and talented man had died in his sleep.
Yesterday I went to his funeral. A tender, peaceful celebration led by a wonderful celebrant, and a few hours of talking to people I last saw at Tim and my wedding, and Tim's funeral. I spent the evening with a fellow widow, who just gets it.
A week before I went to the funeral of my cousin's son – my first cousin once removed – and it was another celebration of a gentle, funny, glorious, intelligent and talented man.
I've found that each new grief brings back the old griefs again. Funerals are a time to celebrate the people we lose, but I'd quite like a while without one.
I was widowed at 50 when Tim, who I expected would be my happy-ever-after following a marriage break-up, died suddenly from heart failure linked to his type 2 diabetes. Though we'd known each other since our early 20s, we'd been married less than ten years.