I was watching a documentary about Rio Ferdinand and how he is dealing with life after his wife's death and being both mum and dad to his three children.
It made me cry - not just for him and his family, but also for me, as I realised that, even after nearly eleven years I have actually never come to terms with my husband's death and that, although I live a 'normal' existence from day to day, I don't see my life as a 'life' any more, since I lost Richard. I no longer think in terms of the future, except for the immediate future of the next few days.
Rio, in the documentary, talks to many people who are in similar situations and, although I didn't have young children to deal with, I can see that I have never properly spoken to anyone, not even my own family, about the grief that I felt and still feel. Maybe if I had had young children, I would have had some help in dealing with the emotional devastation, along with them. Because it IS devastation. When Richard died, my life, my future, died with him. And now, after all this time, I still feel the same.
Richard didn't have cancer or any other diagnosed illness, he simply collapsed on his way back to the car from having a drink with his friends that evening. In fact, he didn't drink the drink, because he said he had a bit of indigestion and was going to call in at the hospital down the road to see if he could get a doctor's opinion and something to relieve the symptoms. Perhaps he knew it was a bit more than indigestion.
The coroner (who, bizarrely enough was one of Richard's customers at his garage) said that Richard's heart had a fatty deposit lining it and a piece of this fat had broken off and blocked his aorta causing his death. Not your average heart attack, but with a fatal result all the same.
Richard was 45 years old.
We had been married for 22 years and, although we had no children of our own, Richard was close to my three children from my previous marriage and the younger two of them had lived with us until they grew up and married themselves.
The 19th April 2017 will be the 11th anniversary of Richard's death and I still can't make a new life for myself, despite, or perhaps because of, having moved to France.
Seeing the programme, and writing this, is not cathartic. It just makes me cry. I want my life back. I want Richard back.