It’s the funeral tomorrow. I’ve no idea how I’m going to get through that. Because the second week is a whole lot worse than the first one.
The first week you’re in shock. And you’ve to got to deal with a whole load of arseholes, most of whom seem to be in the wrong job and go out of their way to make things difficult for you.
But the second week is when it really starts to sink in. In between howling I’m raging mad. We had plans, damn it. They weren’t big plans. We’d never asked for much. We wanted each other.
I’d taken my redundancy, we were going to move house, buy a puppy and potter around arm in arm for another twenty years or so, enjoying some peace and quiet. It wasn’t a lot to hope for. But now, wandering around an empty house, Linda’s house, it’s all gone.
Unfortunately for me, Linda knew me too well. So when she was still lucid she made me make some promises to her, knowing full well they’re the only promises I’ve ever kept. I’m not to do anything stupid. Which was her polite way of saying don’t top yourself because she knew that would be my first inclination. Which it is.
I’ve not to start drinking again because that would lead inexorably to breaking the first promise. I’ve not to be mean to her mother. Which is easy because I’ll never speak to her again. You know the witch who when an 11 year old Linda ran into the house, in tears, because their downstairs neighbour had grabbed her and felt her up slapped her in the face and told her not to be a dirty girl.
And, somehow, I’ve to be good to myself. That won’t happen. She knew fine well the only reason I got up in the morning was to try and look after her. Something I failed at time after time. The last thing she said to me as she faded into unconsciousness was “you always made me feel safe”. But in the end I couldn’t. I’m sorry Linda.
St Columba’s Hospice Tribute Fund for Linda Hamilton