2nd March, 2016
My John is dead six months now. Heart attack at 39. Isn't that unbelievable? Or maybe not. I blame it on his long hours driving that bloody number 13 bus and the daily fry-ups. Or his long hours watching back to back episodes of Eastenders, slumped on the living room couch sipping orange flavoured hot chocolate.
"Mandy love, take your time to mourn . You're suffering a big loss here and you can't rush grief," says Mum every time I pop in for a cup of tea.
"Mum, you know I hate people feeling sorry for me or worst still feeling sorry for myself," I always reply.
"Passengers still miss John, you know " his friend Paul tells me over a coffee. From Mrs Bailey who gets the number 13 bus every afternoon to attend her bridge class to the drunk guffawing teenagers occupying the back seats on a Saturday night. "Had a drink too many," writes one of his passengers on my Facebook wall remembering John's talkative nature.
You see, I am only 29. I feel incomplete without John the same way as I feel incomplete when half the library shelves are empty and I can't wait to restock them every evening just before I clock out at 5:30pm. I still cry when I listen to John's Roy Orbison and U2 CDs, but this doesn't mean that I wallow in my misfortune .
I am the glass half full kind of person and although I feel jealous when someone like my colleague Michelle announces good news about their other half (engagement in her case) I still yearn for the energy to move on in life and believe in hope.
How long does it take to get over your husband's loss? A year? Two years? Five years? I don't know, but one thing I do know is that I won't let John's death defeat me.
I visit his grave every month and always lay a different bunch of flowers, depending on my feelings. Red roses when I feel the love or purple hyacinths when I am engulfed by sorrow.
The London Eye - John's favourite spot in London. Through the window of my capsule I can see the reddish-orange sunset casting silhouettes over St Paul's Cathedral and Buckingham Palace.
I close my diary, step out of the ferris wheel and make my way towards the cemetery. Today I lay a bunch of daffodils.
I leave a note among the flowers : 'John, this is the last bunch of flowers from me. I love you dearly, but I am just too young to let life pass me by. I'm sure you agree. I love you with all my heart now and always. Mandy.xx'
I head home, switch on my laptop and google ''best cities to live in'. Dublin came up - one of my favourite cities. I power down my laptop, walk into the kitchen and boil the kettle, while I look forward to pastures new. HOPE.
(Written: April 2016)