A lot has happened since I last did any blogging back in June 2008! If you read my posts you would know my husband was receiving radiotherapy following a brain tumour. Rupert, my husband, tragically died on September 20th 2008 from this.
As it would have been my husband's 43rd birthday on 5th January, I decided to light a candle to remember him. I normally go to his graveside to speak to him but couldn't get there because of the snow. I was feeling guilty about this as I would also have liked to place a birthday card there & take away the Christmas decorations the kids & I had left there . We had kept the "DAD" oasis & covered it with tinsel & baubles which had brightened up his grave.
I find it so painful that Rupert can't see our kids Rick & Dean growing up. I just hope & pray he can see them from heaven & enjoy each new milestone they reach such as starting secondary school, becoming a teenager.
I feel so guilty as hell that it is him 6 feet under & not me. I ask"Why him? Why did he have to die so young aged 41 when his kids were only 12 & 10?" It must be so hard for them to come to terms with. As a christian I direct my anger at God. It was bad enough becoming a widow at 41, but I feel for my kids - all the things they will miss out on because they haven't a dad to teach them new skills such as tinkering about with the car, building a garden model railway as I'm sure he would have done with them.
I do know, that I can't fill the gaps. I can't be a Mum as well as a Dad. Their Dad must live on in all our hearts with everlasting treasured memories.
So many anniversairies year on year out. Just got through Christmas & the New Year & now Rupert's birthday.
I lit a candle at my dining room table & talked to Rupert as I would at the grave. Very quickly the flame of the candle started to die out. I felt bitterly disappointed. I already hadn't been able to get to the grave. Any card I bought had to be laminated. Choice of card has to be limited. Some words just aren't appropriate for someone who is 6ft under.
I felt desperate. Just as the flame was about to die out, I remember saying spontaneously, "Rupert, please don't die on me". For the candle to have gone out, felt like he had left me for good - total abandonment. I immediately felt guilty for having said this. After all Rupert was already dead. But what I meant was the candlelight.
As soon as I said this, the flame shot back upwards growing bigger into a strong flame. I felt this was a sign he was with me. I felt a rush of adrenaline go through me - a thrill of delight that he was with me & understood why I couldn't go to the grave on his birthday.
My kids were thrilled to hear this encounter & we later bought cards for him. This time we didn't put them on the grave. The kids put their's next to the big computer downstairs where Rupert would often sit. I put mine next to our bed, on the side where Rupert used to sleep.
This week-end I took the boys to Frankie & Benny's for breakfast to remember Rupert. This isn't something we would normally do but hey sometimes it is nice to do something different.
I also phoned my Mother-in-Law to let her know I was thinking of her as well which I think she appreciated.
I don't feel so bad now that I didn't get to Rupert's grave. This experience has shown me that it is therapeutic to do something different. I can remember Rupert wherever I am.
My next step is to sort out a head stone. Over a year has gone by & I haven't been able to do this yet. I'm just waiting for this weather to improve first.
The other thing I found difficult last year was my birthday. I became 42 & left Rupert at 41. As we were married for 18 years & I probably knew him for about 20 years, it didn't seem right or fair that I should have lived longer than him. I guess I have always known him to be a couple of months older than me.
As I will be 43 this year, it makes Rupert's death feel like he was really young to have lost the fight against cancer or even to have had cancer at all. There is a sense that I have left him behind. What a tragedy.
Bristol Harbour Festival
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