This post has the possibility to be cataclysmicly misinterpreted, but I'm going to write it anyway because I want to document how I feel and I know others feel the same way when they have lost partners.
Words can't express how lonely I feel at the moment, and that is very definitely 'lonely' and not 'alone'. Those two words seem to have the same meaning on the face of it but they are so completely different, I'm surrounded by wonderful kids, supportive family and amazing friends who are doing everything they can (for which I am truly and eternally grateful) but it doesn't matter what anyone does there is no substitute for the love that is shared between partners.
There is something about the love of a partner that is so very different from anyone else. There are conditions to the love from a partner, it's not handed out because they are family or because they feel sorry for someone, the love from family and friends is unconditional, it's kind of compulsory because of the relationship. But the love of a partner is conditional, conditional upon that love being reciprocated and it feels very different to all the other kinds of love.
The Love of a partner has to be worked at, it has to be noticed every day and it is completely two-way, and because it has to be worked at you feel it every time the other person extends their love towards you - and right now that love is missing. Not only missing from being given to me but missing in that I can't hand it out, and that feels cold... so very cold.
There's nothing that can replace noticing how beautiful Claire was, stroking her hair, giving her a peck on the cheek and then getting on with what ever I was doing. Even hearing the jingling of another woman's jewellery brings those emotions flooding back, or seeing someone wearing some clothes similar to what Claire wore reminds me that I can't just tell her I love her, give her a peck on the cheek - giving love and feeling love!
I posted this on Facebook last night, and I really mean it...
"If you have a partner, please go and hug them right now and notice how wonderful it feels to be so close to the one you love. I'm wishing I could do the same."