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  • Sudha

The deep pain that is loneliness

I have just walked into an empty house. A very empty and lonely house. Both the boys are out with friends for Halloween and staying over. Feel like breaking out into Britney Spears’ ‘my loneliness is killing me’ song – and laughing at the stupidity of it.

I’m sure both the boys have stayed away the same night before but I don’t remember. Grief seems to have a tendency to addle one’s brain – no need for alcohol for that. Today seems to be particularly sad, lonely and frightening. I feel like how I felt the first night we came home from hospital after saying goodbye to Paul.

I’m desperate to ring a few friends who I know will welcome me with open arms and invite myself to theirs for a couple of hours. But I resist because in the end, I still have to come home to an empty house.

I am already dreading the day both the boys would be in uni and I will be home alone. I remember Mark’s words ‘take it one day at a time’; I push the future worries and anxieties to one side and look at my long list of things to do. I haven’t done very well since I wrote the list last week. I had great ambitions to march through the week ticking off items one by one.

All kinds of paperwork that I needed to sort out – finances, Paul’s will and death certificate to financial institutions, HMRC for probate etc still haven’t been done. Our bedroom floor is covered with piles and piles of stuff – at least, I have created some piles I guess (note to self: add item to list – separate paperwork into piles; and then mark it as done!).

I have been home alone before; in fact, there have been times when I have looked forward to having time to myself. One week every summer, Paul would take the boys camping and boy, did I look forward to that week!!! The whole house to myself, no mess, no stress – just bliss. When one of the boys had a sleepover, Paul and I would try and palm the other one off to someone so that we can have ‘us’ time without the boys. How I ache for those moments again, when my life was rock solid; my happiness was permanent and the fleeting moments of annoyance and frustration I felt towards the boys were just that – fleeting and passing. Now I feel like a boat without its anchor in the middle of constant rough waters, trying to stay afloat.

I read somewhere that Game of Thrones is where even major characters are killed off half-way through the story (advance apologies if this is wrong but that’s what I read a while ago and I haven’t watched it nor do I intend to). I always felt that my life was a little like a fairy-tale. There have been moments when I have taken stock of my life and my family and thought ‘Wow! This is good’. Fairy tales end with me living happily ever after with my prince. But it sounds a bit like Game of Thrones where a major character in my story has been killed off mid-way, totally unexpectedly.

I saw my mad friend, Alison when I dropped Andrew off at his Halloween party. She has a gift of getting me and my moods even when she's not with me. It is as though she could read my mind and asked me to go over to theirs for dinner tonight. I was tempted but it just prolongs the pain of feeling lonely again when I have to come back home. So, I turned down the tempting offer and instead am here sitting in the kitchen writing this blog.

The loneliness I feel is incomparable to any other feeling or emotion out there. It hits me hardest in the evenings and now with longer darker evenings, I know it is going to be a tough winter. By nature, I am a solver, a fixer. So, if there's a problem, I tend to work hard at finding a solution to fix it or circumvent it. This is one conundrum that has no solution and it is very frightening.

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