23/05/2016 07:34 BST | Updated 23/05/2017 06:12 BST

Ten Surprising Things About Grief

I'm sorry I've not been around for a while. I've been preoccupied with grief.

My husband Pete died suddenly last year. His death was completely unexpected. Well to me anyway. But others have since told me they saw it coming. But I didn't. And even though he'd been ill for a long time, I thought he was going to live forever.

Consequently, the shock has been, at times, insurmountable and I wondered if I was going to get through it. But I am getting back on my feet. I've started peering outside and I can see that the sun's shining and there are baby birds everywhere.


Fotis Georgakopoulos

But I've also noted that there are things I've experienced that have been completely bizarre. Had you told me these were normal parts of grieving I wouldn't have believed you unless I'd had them happen to me.

So, let me share some of them the hope that you or others may have experienced something similar:

1. Time stands still. It's as if I've been suspended in a jar of jelly. I sit in the mushy bit with life is going on outside knowing my own life has stopped.

2. I can't remember anything; why I went to the shops, if I've fed the dog, which school my kids go to, appointments, my name, where I live, what my purpose in life is. Total memory fail.

3. I feel like a victim when I'm the one who's survived. That doesn't make any sense to my intellect. I mean who thinks that?

4. I'm terrified that cancer's catching and it won't be long until they positively diagnose me. I have two kids so I eat greens and meditate to within an inch of my life.

5. Feel annoyed when people say:

He's in a better place now

He's with his father

He wouldn't want you to cry for him

At least he's out of pain

You'll meet someone else.

To which I respond (in my head):

I think he'd rather be here

He hated his father

He might think it was weird if I didn't

He could tolerate the pain with enough drugs and I think he'd rather be with us, in pain, than dead


6. I have no future. Once the kids had left home Pete and I were going to drive off into the sunset together, forever, in a camper van heading towards Greece, dog in the basket and a wild desire to get to grips with the magic of Greek ferries. So, now what? Nothing else is coming into view.

7. Wanting to talk incessantly about Pete. And then realising that others' have bent over to let me speak but look actually bored.

8. Life makes no sense and death is perhaps an easier option.

9. Am I married? I guess not but I feel married and that Pete's temporarily away. I wear my wedding ring in the hope he's coming back.

10. The hardest thing to bear is that I can barely remember what Pete sounds like.