Just over a week ago, I said a formal goodbye to my husband, Sam. As I hoped, it was a large, emotionally charged gathering of friends and family from throughout Sam’s life; both before me and our life together.  

For everyone present, whether in-person or virtually, he meant something special because Sam was someone special. And it’s why I wanted his funeral to celebrate the wonderfully warm, generous and loving man he was, longing for the love to reach him wherever he is and show him what he meant – means – to us all. To celebrate the uniquely compassionate, funny, talented and clever man he was. 

Time after time, throughout that long day, people kept telling me how brave I was to speak about the man I had loved for nearly half my life. 

How strong I was. 

How incredible. 

Strong, brave and incredible aren’t adjectives I use to describe myself. I’m simply a human, touched by yet another loss of someone I loved with all my heart. 

I’m just trying to put one foot in front of the other. 

My life has to go on. 

I have no other choice. 

For the many years, my life was touched by his deep, unconditional love; Sam supported me through the best and the worst of times. 

His love encouraged me in everything I did. 

He inspired me to show love and kindness to everyone I met. 

He and his love willed me to do, and be, better.  

As I know from losing Mum less than a year ago, these are very early days in what is now my new life without him. Without them both. And, as a close friend – herself recently widowed – reminded me, grief is a dark bitch. One that sneaks up on you when you’re least expecting it. Hijacking a day that started in sunshine, sending you back to your bed to curl up in pain to cry.

And cry.

And cry. 

So I have to remember the toll all this is taking on every cell of my being. 

To allow the feelings to come, both good and bad. 

To be mindful that, as this long road has only just begun, it’s important to laugh when I can and cry when I must. 

Because each new day is another towards learning to live with loss. 

I can only hope and believe that healing will follow.