06 March 2017

Seven years and still counting

It's seven years to the day  and to the hour since Greg died. Or to be even more precise 2,557 days (and nights) without him. Why do I still mark the anniversaries? Does a time ever come when the date arrives and I forget?  Immersed in something else? Or I don't even try to remember the date in the first place?  Someone once commented on this blog saying I'll know you are on the road to coping with Greg's death when you start a new blog, all about you, leaving the old one with its running ticker of days since Greg died to count on quietly by itself.  I've long since removed the ticker counter from the blog, but I still cannot yet remove the anniversaries. Will that ever happen, I wonder?


I  don't particularly want to remember his last five years on this earth, as they were truly horrible, so why do I need to savour that last day and make it stick in my brain in case I should ever forget? Is to punish myself for things not said or not done to stop it? I suspect it is because we had 35 years previously to that which were wonderful and it is THAT which I don't want to dust under the carpet.  He was a good man. Kind and understanding to all he met. He would give the shirt off his back to help someone or defend them if unfairly wronged. A good father. A good husband.  He was not bad, only the alcoholism. I try to remember him as I first met him and not as he was when I said my last goodbye.

For the first time in seven years, Kay is with me (on a week's leave) to mark the occasion. We shall go to the chapel of rest together and lay flowers and look at the book of remembrance. She too still feels the pain of those last years, although our anger has mellowed. Ironically she is now working for two months on the liver ward of a large teaching hospital in London and seeing many cases of, you've guessed it, alcoholic liver damage. She's got past the stage of being upset about it. If anything, she is more understanding than any of the other doctors, because she grew up knowing how hard it is for an alcoholic to give up the alcohol. Alcohol becomes the master and the alcoholic is the slave. If anything, in Greg's case, alcohol was the one who gave him up.  It had no further need of him. He was wasted, done with, of no further use. It took what it wanted from him and then spat him out on an intensive care bed with a flat-line on the monitors. It's knowing he didn't deserve that which drives me on to remember him as he was and to keep on remembering.

8 comments:

Valerie said...

It's only a year for me but I think I will always remember the anniversary of Joe's death. I am sorry you have such sad memories but, as you say, there were good times and your husband was a good man so it is right to remember the date.

Polly said...

I'm so sorry for your loss Addy, I don't think you will ever forget because you loved him, had your daughter by him and had many happy times together, and he was a good man before the addiction changed him.

Trisha E. said...

March 10 will be 3 years for us. Everything you said about Greg's character holds true for Chuck as well. We will never forget the good times and will always remember the great father and husband and friend he was when not under the control of the alcohol.

afterthefire1964 said...

I will not forget the anniversary of Ted's death - it will be five years this upcoming June 5. Like you - I remember the pre-alcoholic years; you just cannot forget them even though the final six years were just God awful. My life was forever changed by my relationship with Ted and the two wonderful sons he has left behind.

DD's Diary said...

So sorry for your loss, Addy. Thinking of you and Kay. x

nappy valley girl said...

Like Polly says I don't think you will ever truly forget.
Kay might be just the doctor to specialize in liver disease - she will have a unique perspective an understanding of the issues beyond that of most. My husband specialises in the same disease his mother died of - not a deliberate decision, but he knows what the families are going through.

Maggie May said...

I don't think we'll ever forget. I don't think I'd want to.
I also still grieve for the man my husband was before everything seemed to change him and take him slowly away from me in mind as well as body. It is 18 months for me.
Hugs..... Maggie x

Yorkshire Pudding said...

You are still grieving after all this time. Trite advice is worthless when people say things like "You need to look forward now" or "It's time to move on". None of us can help who we are and we all deal with grief in different ways. It is good that your daughter is getting on with her life and she has chosen a profession that really matters. I suggest that her real father - the one who was not ultimately vanquished by addiction - would have been very proud of her progress.