Nick in healthier times

8 years on…

Isn’t time weird??? I felt like I just wrote this post a few months ago and yet its been 12 whole months since I wrote this kind of post and also 8 years since Nick left this world. Crazy????

So, again if you’ve just stumbled across this, i’m Michela and I lost my first husband to pancreatic cancer 8 years ago today. You can read from the beginning if you like by clicking here.

Or if you’d like to read my previous posts and how the years have rolled by, you can click on any of the below you fancy:

7 years on

6 years on

5 years on

But back to the current year at hand, I still struggle to believe so much time has passed. But yet, I look around and so much has changed since 2011, so who am I fooling?

Nothing stays the same, we change, we evolve, we learn to live another day, month, year and before we know it, the time is passing. And just when you thought you couldn’t feel any better, you survey your life and realise it really is ok. The worst has passed and you didn’t even notice.

This has been my experience and I hope if you’re reading this, having just lost someone close to you, that you will feel the same way soon. And truthfully, the waves of emotion still come for me, but they are further apart and shorter in time. While i’ll never forget Nick (who could!) i’m just better at remembering the best of him and our memories instead now.

But, it’s taken time and recently we lost Nick’s mum and I felt like I went a little backwards. It’s still very raw and recent, and we have always stayed close since Nick passed, especially as i’ve been apart of his family for nearly 20 years. I do take comfort in knowing she is with her son and i’m sure making up for the past 8 years they lost together. They were so close, though she was never the same after he died, but she managed through life and soldiered on to the end, she had the same bravery I saw in Nick, the same determination and the same fight in her.

Nick and his mum
Nick and his mum

But, it inadvertently bought back so many emotions in me, that I had pushed to the far back of my memory. I started to re-live so much of Nick’s being sick and how difficult it was, including the day he passed and how my get it done attitude was really the disguise for my grief.

And while I’ve experienced people passing since Nick died, including my grandmother last year, this one hit a nerve, one that I thought was healed. I found myself crying both for my mother in law and Nick. Being in the same church, with the same priest and many of the same people was a trigger to my emotions. One I wasn’t prepared for, but completely understood where it came from. I just had to be patient with myself and allow the feelings to come and pass. Ones I probably didn’t allow myself 8 years ago. I was also emotional at seeing how far i’d come since sitting in that church all those years earlier. I was so scared of what the future held, not knowing what I was ‘meant’ to do next.

My husband John, has been my sounding board, he’s heard so many stories I had ‘forgotten’, as the memories came flooding back. Things I thought I forgot, flashed back in such clear detail, it was as though it happened the day before. I remembered conversations, what I’d wore and who was there etc. And shout out to John, for letting me talk it out and being by my side, as I started to feel like a ‘widow’ all over again. I don’t know too many partners that are content to be with their wives first family and to listen to all the stories from their past.

In my mother in law’s final days, I would sit and chat with her, she knew it was the end. I asked her to send some messages to Nick for me, mostly that I loved him and that I knew he was still around, and that i’d catch him on the other side. We spent time laughing and crying together. I kept my daughter home from school to spend one last day with her. I felt extra emotional knowing she was going to be with Nick soon and maybe even a little jealous, but I know it’s not my time, not for a long while yet.

And so on Nick’s 8 year anniversary, I know he’s happy. I know he’s still watching over us and keeping tabs on what we do. I still talk to him daily and ask his advice, I subtlety hear his responses. And I know he would be so happy with the way my life has panned out since he left. And through the trials that life has thrown at us, I know he’d be so proud of my ability to get it done and go about life.

I miss you Nick…. yesterday, today and all the years left in my life. And say hi to mum for me, I know she’s reading this along with you! xxx

Michela xx

8 thoughts on “8 years on…

  1. You are truly amazing. I lost my brother to pancreatic cancer as well he was 51. Left a young family but unlike you his wife chose not to have any contact with us after his passing including keeping his children from her husbands family. my brother too was very close to our mother so we not only lost our brother but his children as well. Never easy for any parent to lose their children just not supposed to happen that way. they don’t recover. all the best.

  2. Beautifully said as always lovely lady. Sorry to hear about Nick’s Mum. I hope his dad is doing ok.
    8 years on and I think of you and Nick every day. You’ve done the most amazing job of handling it all and being beautiful Mum to your girls and probably helping lots of people deal with grief eveyday.
    Sending you a million cuddles xx

  3. Sorry to hear about nicks mum Michaela, I’m sure there both happy to be together. I can’t believe how quick the years have gone, it seems like yesterday we were going out for our dinner night’s , talking and joking over the phone. Man I miss that guy. Im glad to hear you and the family are doing well. You guys deserve all the best in life. Very nice words hun keep up the great work.
    Kind regards your old old long time friend

  4. Thanks for letting us know the latest Michaela. I can imagine the uprising of old grief with this new death. I’m not young, and am not yet a widow, but started reading your blog all those years ago to learn how to do it when my time comes. I’m so glad for you that your life has progressed and that you got things done. It sounds as though you have been blessed by having two great husbands. I wish you the best of luck for the future

  5. Beautifully written as always. So sorry to hear about the loss of nicks mum. Hope u are all ok in this difficult time. Take care and catch up soon xoxo

  6. Gah Michela I should know better than to read your posts while in work, the tears always roll!! I cannot believe it has been 8 years and I am so sorry to read about the loss of Nick’s mum. As you know I have pointed many people towards your blog over the years, and it is required reading for my staff. I’m not sure you truly understand how much your writing has been able to help so many people, both those who have been bereaved but also those who help and work with them, like me. Sending much love to you and your family as always, until the next time… Gemma

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