For Grace

No copyright infringement or anything like that intended. That would be silly.

I looked at the calendar today and I realised something. Most people, that is, all of the people around me - the people I pass on the street, taxi drivers, shoppers, waiters, children, parents, grandparents, all of them are counting down to Christmas. But I'm not. I look at the calendar and note that it's one day closer to the day that marks the 6 month anniversary of the day you left me.

I knew it was coming, right from the day that we met I knew you would leave me, but I never knew it would be this hard. You've been gone for 5 months, 2 weeks and 3 days and for all of that time you've been all that I've been able to think about. The people I meet, the places I go, none of it means anything without you. I've tried, I really have, because I know you would want me to try, but nothing works. You made my life exciting, so without you it's empty. There are days that I wish I'd never met you, because then at least I wouldn't know how empty my life is, but I hate myself for thinking it. Partly because I can picture your reaction if you found out those thoughts had crossed my mind; let's just say, I still instinctively duck.

Everything reminds me of you. I see strangers with your hairstyle. I see your coat in shop windows. I hear your laugh in the park. And it hurts. It's the type of pain that never goes away, and I never expected it to, but I didn't expect it to hurt this much. Death is nothing new to me, but I guess none of those people meant as much to me. Maybe it's because I knew it was going to happen to you for so long before it did. Or maybe it's because I was there when it happened. Or maybe it's because you were my wife. I don't know. What I do know is that I miss you. Every minute of every day.

It probably doesn't help that I keep re-visiting the places we went together. I can't help it. If I go somewhere new it feels like you're missing out on my next adventure, and I know that the picture in my head of what you would have said if you were there will never be accurate enough. Besides, all I have of you is what is in my head and I have to keep it there. If I lose the memories of you then it's like you exist even less. I can't handle that.

I haven't visited your parents in a while. Your mum keeps calling and asking me to go and see them, but I don't think I can. I just keep thinking about the day I told them. Your mum cried, of course she did. Your dad just went cold and didn't speak. He never really liked that we were together, and of course, he took me delivering the news as an excuse to blame me for it. I didn't mind it too much, it's his way. If it helps him to blame me then I will not take that away from him.

It's coming up to Christmas and I can't enjoy it without you. I used to love it, but now I think it'll just be another day. And why wouldn't it. All of my special days were used up on you. Christmas is a holiday that you're meant to celebrate, and I have nothing to be happy about. I keep saying it but it's true. I know you'd hate it and I know you'd tell me off but it is what it is and I can't do anything about it.

I still wake up some days thinking that maybe it was a dream, but that is happening less than it used to. And I don't have those fits of anger any more. I just am. I don't feel anything but the pain of your absence. I know you'd want me to move on, but I can't. It doesn't work like that.

I still miss you.