17 months of living without my husband by my side. 17 months of grief and heartache, visiting dark places and finally some more happy places. Memories. Over and over they return. How my heart and soul and body ache for him. So much has happened here without him, so much has moved on. I struggled so much with the feeling that I was leaving him behind, I felt disloyal, unloving and down right miserable. But I didn't have to leave him behind. I'm bringing him along with me, into my life, into our lives. I talk about him often, I think about him all the time, I miss him every single minute of every day, I recall our times together, I have photos of him everywhere, I talk to him sometimes too. I've been writing a letter to him for a few weeks now. Not in a mad way that expects an answer but it helps. That's the problem though, things like this only help. Nothing takes the aching away, nothing gives me a minute of my old life, my old self. The newness is so utterly scary and no safety net there for me. Its hard in a different way now to the early days.

How I miss my old life, I miss the safety of it, the normality. Nothing exceptional but it belonged to us, to us both. Now my life just belongs to me. I will never be the same person I was but the months have taught me to carry the weight of grief whilst functioning on some level. I've cried, I've laughed. But still it's always there - my grief. Sapping my energy, making me sad. But there are moments of lightness too, just they are enjoyed on my own now, no sharing with my wonderful man. How I miss him.

But to all those that have recently lost their husbands, especially those that were married for so long, I send you much love and strength. Hold on and know that others out there are thinking of you xxx The love of your man will be there with you, right by your side, every step of the way. Just as my dear husband is right by my side right now. Holding my hand.