A few months after Tim died, I started to pick myself up and get back on with life. I was still heartbroken, but things started to return to, if not normal, a 'new normal'. I went back to work quite soon because as a freelancer I didn't have a lot of choice, and it gave me a structure to my week. However, I found that at around six or seven months, it felt like I'd gone right back to the very beginning. My mental health took a nose dive, I cried all the time, and I had to pull out of two major work projects.
Looking back at how I felt at six months, I think that was the point that the shock wore off and the reality kicked in. I was angry at him for dying and for leaving me so much to sort out. I was lonely. I had widow's fire but was too broken and felt too guilty to do anything about it. And the combination widow brain, depression and ADHD meant that my concentration was messed up.
The only way I could get though it was to go back to my early coping strategies – grounding, writing, talking to people in the grief and widow community and taking care of myself.
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.