This one is gonna be quite tricky for me. My closest friend, my absolute soul mate would have been 30 today, but instead of texting him making fun of how old he is (he’s 6 years older than me), I’ll be writing on his Facebook about how much I miss him and can’t believe he’s been gone a year. Grief is not an easy or nice thing to experience, there’s no right or wrong way to grieve, and there’s no time limit on it.
On Wednesday 29th June 2016, I was scrolling through my Facebook after chatting to Andrews mum via messenger asking how he was doing as he was in hospital (which was a regular occurrence for Andrew). About half an hour to an hour later, I saw “RIP Andrew” flash up on my news feed as I scrolled; I scrolled back and sure enough there it was- a relative of his had tagged him in a post saying that he had died (this post was very quickly removed as his mum wanted to ‘announce’ it once the priority people were informed). My daughter was asleep on the sofa, and my mum was in the kitchen making herself a drink- I flew out to the kitchen shaking saying “mum Andrews gone Andrews dead”, I pretty much threw my phone across to her for her to read what I’d seen, and I collapsed to my knees in tears and physical pain. My mum bless her has never been the best in emotional situations, not everyone is, she rubbed my back and told me to calm down otherwise I’d wake up my daughter and scare her from being so upset. I felt numb, yet everything hurt, every breath I took burned, every move I made was stiff. I honestly felt my heart physically hurt. A little while after my friend Lindsay phoned me to tell me what happened, but of course I already knew. We sat and cried together on the phone for a while, saying how fucking unfair it was that he’d died on his birthday leaving behind a daughter and people that loved him, how he never deserved the shit he had to go through because he had a heart of gold.
The next few days, I couldn’t sleep properly, I was forcing myself to eat because I knew that Andrew would be upset if I didn’t eat (he used to always tell me off for not eating), my eyes were red raw from constantly crying even though I tried not to cry while my daughter was awake but I couldn’t always stop the tears. I felt angry, angry that he had been taken from me, angry that he had to go through so much pain in his life that he never complained about yet it killed him, angry that I couldn’t be there for him, angry that I couldn’t say goodbye to him, angry that I couldn’t hug him one last time…I was hurting, and the only person I wanted to comfort me was Andrew.
After a few days, I told myself I need to get dressed, put some makeup on and try my damn hardest not to cry. Which is what I did, I even went for a walk with my daughter to the shop. This wasn’t easy though, putting on a smile to hide the pain. I physically ached from holding in so much emotion and anger. My friend Lindsay would message me every now and again make sure I was ok…she was the only one who did. A few people spoke to me a while after and said they just didn’t know what to say to me. Lindsay actually offered to pay for my train tickets and let me stay at her house for when the funeral was, which I was so grateful for as to me a funeral is a step in the way of closure in a sense, it brings you to the reality and there’s no denying it. This is when my heart broke a little more…Andrews funeral was set to be on the date of my daughters 2nd birthday, meaning I couldn’t go. I couldn’t go to my closest friends funeral and say goodbye to him, I couldn’t face the reality of it. Lindsay wrote a message on a card from me to put on the flowers, and I let off a heart shaped balloon with a message on it on the morning of his funeral and my daughters birthday. Trying to keep happy and upbeat for my daughter was difficult, obviously I was happy to be with her as she’s my world, but I was still hurting.
I became a blood donor in Andrews memory, I hate needles but I thought about how many needles Andrew had to have shoved in him all the time and how many transfusions he’d had and I soon forgot about my own fears. (I haven’t been able to do it since as I lost weight and no longer weigh enough to be allowed to donate). I bought a memorial necklace for him, and got a tattoo for him too.
I just wanted to do anything to have him close to me. In the September I visited my home town and went to his grave where I left a material blue rose with a letter in a clear protective bag for him. Even sitting at his grave I couldn’t bring myself to believe he had gone, but it also broke my heart knowing that he was underground, alone, in the dark and cold, when all I desperately wanted to do was to cuddle him.
Time passes by so fast, and even though I don’t cry every day, it does still tear me apart inside and really hurt that he’s no longer here. I still cry for him sometimes, I try not to as he wouldn’t want me to cry but sometimes I can’t help it. I have a photo of him in my living room so that he’s always there smiling at me, along with a memorial candle his family made, and a photo of us together from years ago, and on days where I feel in need a little bit of strength, I put on my necklace so that he’s with me.
I haven’t been able to visit my hometown since September, but once I’ve eventually passed my driving tests etc I’ll be able to get there easier and I’ve told myself that I will always go and visit Andrews grave whenever I’m there, and I plan to keep my word on that.
A year has passed, but the pain of losing him hasn’t and never will…Time doesn’t heal grief, it just makes you carry on day by day and not allow the heartache to totally consume you as I guess it allows your emotions to calm down from the initial shock and loss…life goes on as they say, we just got to hold on to the memories of our lost loved ones, and keep in mind that they wouldn’t want us to be upset, they’d want us to carry on and be the best we can be even if it means being without them. They live on through those they leave behind and the memories they’ve shared together.
This is a screenshot of a random Facebook ‘letter’ that you post in your states then friends fill in the gaps, it shows our kind of humour with each other, but also how much we meant to each other. Andrew was never really soppy, he’d always crack a joke to lighten it up but he would always say “I love you” at the end of every conversation, every phone call, and whenever he left to go home.
I love Andrew so much, I always have and he knew that. We both adored each other, but we never ended up together because of either my age at the start, or because of others interfering. But we always stayed close, and would be like a cute couple whenever we were together being all cuddled up watching tv, sharing jokes, theories, kisses and ‘huggles’ as well as play fights. If ever I was sad, Andrew would listen, he’d hold me so tight yet so gently, kiss my forehead then do something to make me laugh or smile to cheer me up. He was always the voice of reason in my life, and was the only one who could calm me down and snap me out of any stupid moods I’d got myself into. I’ll be honest, since he died I have struggled. Andrew has always been my only ‘constant’ in my life; we could go periods of time without talking much or seeing each other because of life just getting in the way, but we both knew we were just a call away if needed. So to not have that lifeline anymore, does make it harder on my down days, but I have to try and just imagine that he’s telling me to be strong and hold me head high, and stop crying. He hated to see me cry and wouldn’t want me to be upset. So I try my hardest to even have just an ounce of his strength.
I miss him, so fucking much it physically hurts. And the only person I want for comfort, is Andrew.
I am trying so hard not to cry today, I know that if I start I won’t be able to stop. I need to keep strong for myself, my daughter, and for Andrew. As I said, he wouldn’t want me to be upset.
I love you Andrew, far longer than forever, always 💙
🔹immeamy, you’re you, and that’s the best way to be🔹