Soon after my wife was killed in November 2012 I decided to start a blog. Through it I would create a record of raw and live grief as it happened, as well as documenting my attempts at somehow rebuilding my life after the shock of becoming a widower at just 33.
Last night I admit to having bit of a melt down. I've been chatting with a great guy on Facebook that has also recently lost his wife and he posted a comment about the number of years that they had been together, and he started counting those years from the moment they first kissed.
Dunc liked to play music loud, whatever the genre, and I often found myself becoming slightly irked by the volume, particularly if I'd had a busy day or was feeling stressed. As a result, I was surprised that I felt the need to listen to a lot of music, and at quite some volume, in the early days following Dunc's death.
Sam, Thomas and I have just returned from a week's holiday on a farm in Cornwall. It was a big step for all of us. Dunc and I had booked it in January, in a moment of being unusually organised. When he died in April this year, I quickly realised that the holiday was looming.
I am fully expecting the most difficult 'empty chair moments' to be those in the future when I will sit and watch our boys participating in events such as their Christmas nativity plays, their graduations, or on their wedding days. I have every confidence that one of my many supporters will be there to sit next to me, but it should be the boys' daddy who is there to watch and be proud of them, alongside me.
I know that there are friends who would have done their utmost to come to our aid, but ultimately they all have families to attend to, and places to be. Dunc's unconditional love for all three of us is irreplaceable and its loss immeasurable.
Many of the events that occurred in the early weeks of our new life are a blur that I can barely remember. However, I can vividly recall the amount of energy that surviving them consumed and the overwhelming tiredness that resulted (and lasted for about nine weeks). The simplest of tasks seemed almost unmanageable, exhausting and strangely scary.
On the evening that Dunc died, he left for football while Sam, Thomas and I were eating tea. He kissed each of us in turn and told us that he loved us. Dunc did this every week before football, and every day before work. It was something that I had strongly encouraged, having worked closely with a family who hadn't had a chance to say a proper last goodbye to their child.
On 25 April 2013, shortly after his 39th birthday, Dunc went to his weekly game of football, and suffered a cardiac arrest. Prolonged attempts at resuscitation were unsuccessful. By 8pm, my gorgeous, dedicated, loving husband had died and I was officially a widow. Not just a widow, but a widow with two little boys at home.
Twin brothers who found out they were going blind have been euthanised by doctors in Belgium, despite not having a terminal