journal entry by a 20-year-old who lost her boyfriend to cancer #worldcancerday

31st December 2006

“It’s New Year’s Eve and I haven’t had the best day. I’ve really missed you and felt very sad that you’re gone. I’ve read a book by C.S Lewis and he talks about his grief and says that he feels like he goes round in circles feeling the same things over and over again in different orders – fear, sadness, anger, pain, peace. That’s how I feel and have related to that particularly today as I haven’t been THAT emotional the last couple of days but I feel like the initial sadness I felt the first couple of days after you died – partly resulting from the pain of your last moments – rushed back today and I’ve been thinking about when you died and if I was helpful to you when I was there, wondering where you are now, reminding myself of nice things you said or did. My disbelief that you’re gone has also flooded back, it feels surreal again all of a sudden. Well, I guess that never completely went away but I thought it had become more of a reality after seeing you on Wednesday. That was very painful, weird, scary, sad, confusing, disturbing and not helpful in the way I thought it would be. You looked so different, you looked fake but real at the same time and both of these things made the experience shocking and unsettling. Nothing could have prepared me for it and I was also a bit naïvely confident about it. Was it naïve? Who can say? How many people have seen the dead body of their 24 year-old boyfriend when they were only 20 years old? I was stepping into the unknown and I felt confident because I thought it couldn’t get more traumatic than what I went through at the hospital, and I felt a bit stupid at seeming so confident, but what can you do?! Considering the scale of what has happened to me I think I’m allowed to not be prepared for things and feelings! If you could see me now, I know you’ll be feeling so sorry that I’m going through this. Perhaps at some point you have felt sorry for yourself – if you’re aware that you’ve left me here and if you miss me? I wish I knew. I wondered what you thought and felt when you were dying and I was talking to you. Was it comforting? Painful? Frustrating that you couldn’t speak back? Did I say everything you wanted/needed to hear? Were you scared? I wish I knew that too. Did you wish someone else was there instead of me? Or as well as me? I don’t know. These are ramblings really, and I know that. I know you would have wanted me there, which is why you asked for me that night that you were scared and in pain. Argh! I can’t believe this has happened and I’m asking all these questions. Now I just feel like telling myself to shut up and just enjoy my memories of you and stop asking rhetorical questions. I had a nice chat with my sister about the affectionate moments we had when you were ill and some difficult things we got through. It’s when I talk about you and enjoy memories of you in that way that I start to feel a bit better. C.S. Lewis says that he feels closer to his wife when he is less sad, almost as if the grief disconnects him from his memories.”

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7 comments

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  1. Ruth

    You’re an incredible person Jeni. I didn’t know either Robb or your Dad but they were really blessed to have you in their lives xxx

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