I hate to call it progress, as it doesn’t feel that way. Perhaps update is a more appropriate title? At any rate, here is what I have been up to Chez Benbow:

I get out of bed every day. This in itself takes a lot of effort. But I do it every day even though I don’t see the point. Add showering and eating to things I do that I don’t really care about, but feel I must do. I leave my house every day if only to necessitate the aforementioned showering. It’s bad enough being a 29 year old widow without looking homeless. So at least once a day I change out of my cat leggings and into something that is socially acceptable and walk out my front door and I face the outside world. I hate to do this as every time I open that door, I flash back to when I had to run outside to meet the ambulance as the paramedics tried to resuscitate Terry, and it serves as a visual reminder that the rest of the world keeps moving on, while I feel trapped in my grief. Sometimes I wonder as I walk through town if others look at me and know. Can they see that I’m a widow or do I just look sad? Am I putting on a normal face for the world? Doesn’t everyone walk through town crying? No?

Ninja does his best to keep me busy. His latest accomplishment is standing in the litter box and pooping outside of it – which serves as a momentary distraction and also a visual reminder that my life is, quite literally, shit. Ninja obviously has a deep grasp on his emotions, I only wish that he had a deep grasp on his upset stomach.

I am actively seeking out counseling. I have just gotten off of the phone with the last County organization that I have been referred to, to no avail. My last option is to seek out private therapy, which I am uncomfortable with for financial reasons – I hate to spend money right now until everything is sorted, but I can rest easy knowing that the Go Fund Me can help to cover the cost of therapy. Once again, thank you to everyone who has contributed. You are perhaps paying to help me keep my sanity. I will post updates when I find a bereavement counsellor. Soon, I hope.

Other than that, I spend a lot of time reading. Some books on bereavement, some not. I have watched the entire first season of The Blacklist, which is really good. There is a beautiful moment between Red, who has lost his family, and a character that has just lost someone they loved and Red says ‘It will be the first thing that you think about every morning when you wake up, until one day it’s the second thing you think about.’ I found this really moving. Strange that one of the best pieces of advice that I have received has come from a fictional character, but I find myself repeating it to myself most mornings when I wake up from nightmares having ripped the bed sheets off again. Seriously getting sick of remaking my bed each morning. I also listen to Kodaline’s All I Want while drinking either coffee or wine and cry. Such beauty to be found in music.

I went to school on Tuesday to meet with my head teacher, who recommended coming into school after hours to get the first trip back over and done with. It was really difficult, I found myself shaking on the drive in, but I did it. I caught up with some colleagues and even went out for a cup of coffee, which felt like such a normal thing to do. It made me hope that normal could be possible again. Even if I do cry into a cup of hot chocolate. I am grateful that they took me out. They said I was brave to come in to school again. I don’t feel brave. I feel very un-brave. I feel like a mess.

And so I am taking this day by day, although some days have to broken down into minute by minute just to get through. If this is progress, than I am making progress. It feels very much like survival at the moment. I have survived three weeks longer than I thought possible when Terry died. Surely that calls for celebratory chocolate? I agree completely.


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