This year, I am fortunate enough to feel that now is the time to focus on happiness. I need to look back and remember the happy times Nigel and I shared. Two of the happiest days of our life together look me straight in the eye on a daily basis. We had our ups and downs, who doesn't, but the down parts are the parts I want to leave behind me now. Never forgotten, just kept at the back of memories, pushing the good ones to the front.
The last year has been very different. I have done so much, met so many wonderful people and developed new friendships, continued friendships from the past, dealt with my own sadness and decided what it is I want to aim for with my life with my two beautiful girls.
The night that Nigel died is still as clear as day in my mind, in fact it is so clear it could have been yesterday. Remembering that night doesn't fill me with fear any more, it has happened and I can't change that now. Sometimes a desire to change it has crept into my mind, but realistically I know that death really is final, can't be changed, no matter what. Acceptance of that is something I know many people struggle with, strangely enough I was able to accept that Nigel was gone much sooner that people around me expected. I have no idea why this was the case, and I know so many people who can take months, even years to accept that someone is gone.
Grief is a very personal thing, there is no right or wrong, no prescribed time for a bereaved person to 'get over' their loss. I can honestly say that I will never get over losing Nigel, for me it is more about moving in a different direction, using what has happened to help turn me into a stronger person. I have had to be both mum AND dad to the girls, a difficult job at the best of times. Military precision is the only way forward, unless anyone has any other suggestions!
Still, life is moving on, I think about Nigel in a happier way now. Of course I miss him, and I am often saddened that he did not see the girls grow up, and that they didn't get to know him as they grow up too. They have so many people that care deeply about them, and support me on this tricky journey that is life as a widow. I have experienced so many happier times in 2009, my girls are developing into wonderful young ladies, and I have a new partner to share my life with. He is very understanding and considerate of how life has changed these last three years, and knows me well enough to ask directly rather than ignore anything which arises about the past.
So here's to more happiness, life can be good again, I know the journey will not always be smooth, but it is a journey I want to make with a positive outlook. I never realised I would have room in my heart for so much love, for the girls, for M, and for Nigel.
We love you, I hope I am doing you proud in how I am bringing the girls up. If you could see them now, you would be smiling broadly. They are characterful, amusing, beautiful, clever, and little minxes when the mood takes them. You look right back at me through their eyes. Those eyes are smiling more and more now. Three years, seems like yesterday but also an eternity. Happy memories are here to stay now.