Friday, June 17, 2011

Jamaica Say You Will

Joe Cocker - Jamaica Say You Will

I feel empty.

And nothing can satisfy the emptiness.

The hunger.

only you ....

I hunger for him.

This pain ... it's unspeakable. It's too much. Every cell in my body. My mind. My heart. My soul. All in unison ... screaming and screaming for him.

It's been more than tough recently.

I bet he never thought that at 2 and a half years into this new world, made to appear ugly and unsure at times by his absence, that I would be quite so bad. Or maybe he knew. I'm amazed that after 30 months, more memories flood into my heart and mind, and take my breath away. Sometimes bringing a smile. Sometimes bringing me to my knees, mouth open - expelling breath ... no sound, even though I am making the sound, it doesn't come ... instead I expel air from my body ... which culminates in a need to start gulping air after a while. Too stunned to cry. It reminds me of when I held my breath as he took his last, and how I despaired when my body would not let me join him, there and then.

Yesterday I remembered him saying to me (right at the beginning - 17 years ago), "don't worry, it's only infatuation." He was trying to convince himself too. We both fell hard and fast. And I remembered how excited I got every day on my way home from work, because I was going to see him. After 15 years with someone, that's pretty cool ... and rare perhaps. I remembered him giving me a handful of 20p pieces the first couple of weeks we were seeing each other, as we said goodbye in the morning before work. I stood there and must have looked puzzled. So he explained, "you have to pay 20p for your drinks at work don't you?" I was stunned. Neither of my ex's would have even thought to do that. And he looked after me like that for another 15 years. Spoiled. Yes I was. Happy and safe. Yes, the happiest I've ever been. And I know for sure that I'll never feel the same again.

Angeline (Joe Cocker)

Angeline (Joe Cocker) lyrics.

But he is worth every second of this pain. And I'd do it all again in a heartbeat, just for 5 minutes with him. Just for a taste of him.

... and whilst searching for that song on YouTube, I discovered Cocker released a song (and album) back in 1975. No way can I listen to it yet, but it's called "Jamaica Say You Will" (where we got married). Never heard it before and don't think Cliff did either ... but I'm glad Cocker was such a big part of our lives ... our life together, and still is. Today, think Soul time, Let the Healing Begin, Have a Little Faith ...

I am beyond hurt. Sometimes it hurts too much to cry. Like when you're in so much physical pain that you daren't cry ... because the act itself will add to your pain.

and recently ... I've been feeling like he's around. Almost within reach. Trying to be visible. I see a shape in my peripheral vision ... then turn around and ... gone. But I can FEEL him here. Or is it because I wish it so ... and I'm imagining the whole thing? There is a Celtic saying that heaven and earth are only three feet apart, but in the thin places that distance is even smaller. It was suggested that spiritual places such as forests and canyons, places of wild beauty, were the best places to seek these magical-sounding spaces ... just to sit and remember, meditate or talk to your loved one. Well, you won't find me trundling around a fucking forest looking for somewhere to sit and be still. Not unless I can drive my car and tom-tom (GPS) through it. Because the universe would only laugh at me and I'd end up slipping in bear or bambi-poo, getting lost, and forgetting which side of the trees the icky slimy green stuff is supposed to be on if you're heading in the right direction.

I think my "thin" place is in my heart and in Stockbury. I find him here, in the picture above each time I drive down to the coast. I found it in the Blue Mountains and Uluru. I see him in sunsets and stars. I find him everywhere ... I don't think I need to go searching for that which I know better than anything or anyone else. I don't believe in god or heaven, but I do believe in goodness and an after-life. I know that there is something after this life ... something greater, more magical and beyond our limited imagination here on this Earth.

I'm struggling big time.

No one mentions anything positive. Only the negatives. So out of proportion. I'm sick of explaining stuff to people who have already formed opinions based on incorrect information, yet feel qualified to tell me what's wrong with me, don't listen when I tell them the actual facts, then repeat their original words to me, as way of letting me know that I'm wrong ... or my memory is ... or perhaps I'm stupid? Or worse, lying. It's insulting. I'm sick of being considerate to everyone, but most not returning the sentiment. I'm sick of politics and fucking games. Just because I don't play them doesn't mean I don't see exactly what they are doing. Since Cliff died I seem to have inherited his ability to predict what people would do before they even thought of it. Sad. Not nearly intelligent enough to see that though ... they want to be careful out there, or else

Don't sit down cos I've moved your chair

(the lyrics are here).

what else am I sick of? People talking to me like shit. People moaning I haven't been in touch or visited them. FFS. Some days it's too much fucking effort to brush my hair. I know I can't expect them to understand. I also know that I had an extraordinarily close relationship with Cliff, and they might not get that either. No, fuck it. You know what ... I don't go round making assumptions based on heresay or jackshit, WTF gives them the right to? Arrogance, delusions of grandeur? They wouldn't survive 10 minutes in my world, yet I can thrive in theirs. Come and play ... you have no fucking idea. None.

And it hurts when old friends of his don't think of me when they must have thought of him. There is no such thing as a coincidence in this world. Because when one of them discovered that I wasn't interested in jumping in the sack with him, he's become invisible and mute. Nice. NOT.

I'm sick of duplicity and moving goalposts.

I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I'm sick of people not saying "thank you".

I've been searching for something, I don't quite know what. So, I've been going through drawers that I haven't really opened for the longest time. It was like taking a peek into my previous life. With him. A blissful time of happy and innocent oblivion. Amongst many other things, I came across these mini-Winnies and a lovely necklace that he bought me and ... one of Hammer's (our rottweiler who we lost 3 years before Cliff died) last cuddly toy, all safely wrapped in plastic. Of course it had its eyes, nose and mouth missing, along with one leg. A gorilla. I breathed in his smell ... and my heart called out to him and Cliff ... for that wonderful life. My two boys.

And then I did something really stupid. I thought I'd check out a dating site and while I created my profile, I felt nauseous. And when I had to upload a profile photo, I kept touching his face as I trawled through the images on my laptop looking for a suitable image. (Images of me before and after - in case you're wondering I chose an "after" picture. Anything else would have been subject to the trade description act.) I was going to have a look then delete my profile. And, I forgot that minor point. So each day I've been avoiding going onto the site to shut down my profile because then I'll see all the photos and messages. And I'm scared. WTF? It's not like they can see me, right? I wish I'd got that black cab driver's number.

Three things have had a profound effect on me this month:

1. Being reminded of what arseholes Margate Police are. They overtook me (I was doing the speed limit) and they didn't even break, just swerved a bit, when a racoon (or something ... do we even get racoons in the UK?) ran out in the road. I managed to avoid it by braking, letting it cross to the safety of the other side. But I think it was hurt. I saw the look on its face and started screaming, "no, no, nooooo you fucking bastards". They didn't even slow down at all and carried on driving to ... get their fucking coffee and donuts or whatever (because I saw them turn in to the place) without a care in the world. I wanted to go check on the critter, but was too scared in the pitch black to do so. If he'd been with me though ..... sigh.

2. The nightmare I had. Cliff told me that he was in love with another girl. I was heartbroken. He showed her to me. She was happy, confident, healthy, balanced. Everything I'm not. I hated her. Then I woke up and realized the other girl was me. Before. And I hated her even more. Was he telling me to go on and live?

3. The view of Margate seafront when I drove down a couple of weeks ago. I knew they were building an art centre there. But I somehow didn't think about actually seeing it. As though it would remain invisible to me. It isn't. And when I saw the seafront ... changed ... not Cliff's seafront that he was a part of in so many ways ... not the view his eyes drank in, it broke me. I was howling unashamedly in public for the first time in ages. I managed to reach the sanctuary of my friend's home and then broke some more. She got it. But then she's a widow too.

and I need to kick this behaviour ... for the past couple of months, when going shopping for essentials like milk etc after work, I've been sitting in my car in whichever supermarket car park for ages. I check facebook and blogs on my iPhone. I sit and stare. Sometimes wasting hours there. It's like I don't want to go home. I sob and shed those healing tears. Then exhausted, return to my dogs and my otherwise empty house. Home is with him. Not here. It's hard to engage in life when you don't have emotional investment in it. When the only thing you want is not here.

But I shall. I will. I promised him I'd be alright. And I can't let him down.

Just need to get over that little thing next month. Our wedding anniversary.

Jamaica Say You Will? Oh baba, in a heartbeat.


  1. So much of this sounds remarkably familiar. . .

    Sending you big squishy hugs (well, as squishy a they get with two fairly 'unsquishy' gals like us!) from across the globe <3


  2. cried and nodded my whole way through, and might I add, crying HAS been way too painful for me since I came home from Australia. Been almost 2 months and I've been walking around like a numb zombie trying to figure out who I am/where I am with all of this "new" pain/grief/anxiety/loss/desire. And then you said it just perfectly, as you always do "It's hard to engage in life when you don't have emotional investment in it. When the only thing you want is not here." Once again I find myself wearing the same exact shoes you've got on over there. They're smelly arent they, Boo? :( Miss you, love you xoxoxo

  3. Chels and Kim, whilst it is awful to know that you feel and think and react in such similar ways, there is equally so much comfort in knowing that I'm not alone in this quicksand ... we all know that we can pull each other out and throw a rope to help :-)

    Yep, unsquishy and stinky shit shoes xxxx Who would want to walk in ours?

  4. Oh Boo, I wish I were closer so I could just come sit with you and talk and hug and be silent together - just be, just be. I have tears in my eyes and heart after reading are so loved - just beaming and streaming golden light your way - across the miles between xoxoxo Suzann

  5. I missed this when you posted it.

    "too stunned to cry" - yes ma'am. I have been feeling that. And the hard to engage life when you are not emotionally invested in it. I was telling someone a few weeks ago that I have no fired up passion for anything, and she said - it's hard to feel fired up when you are soaking wet.
    I feel so indifferent, and non-attached, a very "yeah, whatever" about this life. Seriously - why plan? Why get all la-la over anything when what will be will be? I think for me the thing will be to have that outlook, but say it with far more goofiness and love than irritation and apathy.

    And the parking lot thing - me too. I pull over and park somewhere, and just stare. When is your anniversary?

  6. Boo, I have not been keeping up with blogs over the past few months, but decided to try and catch up. All I can say about this post is could be writing about me or I am certain any other widow. That post was so very, very powerful, emotional, raw, accurate, precisely relevant. My heart aches for you....for all of us who are alone together as we meander through this unfamiliar territory.


  7. Lonesome Dove, it is lovely to hear from you after so long, was wondering how you are? Thanks for your words, it helps to write doesn't it. Hope to hear more from you if you feel like writing xxx