On Love and Loss.

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This will be my one and only break-up post about Damon and I.

It’s close to two months since he broke up with me. When I was in Europe I did some dumb things and cheated on him. Stuff I apologised for the next day but stuff that obviously hurt him.

I had gone away thinking I was the luckiest girl in the world. I spent five weeks pining, and was almost jumping out of my skin for the whole two days travel back home. I literally ran across the tarmac to see him.

The next week was an uncomfortable one, something had changed.  He acted like a completely different person around me to what I had left. After I found out he had feelings for someone else, he told me he hadn’t wanted to see me or spend time with me when I got back. I felt like, and I still feel like, he broke up with me for someone else.. this has only been compounded by the fact that he met her while I was away, and has been seeing her since we broke up.

To put it lightly- I was/am devastated. I thought we had the best relationship I could ever even hope for, he was my best friend, confidante, lover and partner in crime.

I cried so much over the next few days that my lips were bleeding from dehydration.

BUT you know what? Things are going to be okay.

Because I finally understand what it means to feel happy being single, what it feels like to feel happy about who you are, and that I’m capable of good, passionate things.

I had to learn (quickly) to put everything into perspective.

Two weeks after I was broken up with, I got a call from my mum saying my grandpa had had an aneurism. It was the day of the One Billion Rising dance at MONA, and I was feeling so empowered and liberated that I was going to dance in revolt to past violent experiences. I danced and I danced for everyone I have ever known to experience sexual assault. I felt empowered and I felt great.

I rang mum in a mixture of happiness and apprehension. She said I should come to Melbourne as I might not get to see Grandpa again and it was more serious than she first told me. I boarded a plane that night. I wasn’t sure how conscious he was going to be when I got there and I was so angry and so full of regret for not spending more time with Grandpa. He had always been so kind, humble and loving.

The plane trip went quickly but painfully. After doing a Heathrow-Abu Dhabi-Melboure-Hobart trip two weeks before I was well and truly over travelling. And planes. And flight attendants. I cried and cried because it reminded me about how happy I had been just two weeks before when I thought I was coming back to my old life where I felt safe and loved.

My parents met me at the airport in Melbourne, they had previously spent almost three months in Brisbane before heading down to Melbourne to see Grandpa. Grandpa’s girlfriend/companion of over ten years Mavis had died a few weeks earlier and he had stopped eating. He was ready to die. It broke my heart when I went to the hospital and he was in a deep sleep, his feet twitching and his breath heavy. His body was wasting away. He was clammy and his skin looked papery. I was in a bit of shock I think as it took me ages to unwind.

I slept in Grandpa’s bed that night. The sheets had been changed but his room had his musty old man smell still. Although he had a two bedroom unit, he slept in the smaller bedroom, in a single bed, without any windows and just a skylight for light. All over the walls were pictures of his (our) enormous family- he loved us all so much. There were pictures of him and Grandma on their wedding day, photos of Grandpa from the war, photos of my dad and his siblings looking cheeky from fifty years ago, pictures of my cousins and I when we were children, and pictures of his great grandchildren. He was probably lonely, but every night I’m sure he was comforted by the photographs of people he loved and who loved him too.

Life was suddenly put into perspective when I crawled into his bed that night. Mum burst into my room at five in the morning. Grandpa had taken a turn for the worst.

At first I wasn’t even sure if I was going to go to the hospital as I was exhausted. But I’m so glad I did because Grandpa was conscious and registered we were there. I stood over the bed in my white fluffy eyelash jumper and probably looked like an angel to him, but at least I got to say hello-his eyes flashed recognition.

Half an hour later his breathing stopped and my dad’s eyes filled. Something had changed in the room, and he was gone.

I went home the next day back to Hobart. Between then and the day of the funeral is a blur. I wasn’t able to attend the funeral but my sister read out a poem she had written about Grandpa for Grandparent’s Day at school, year six. The same poem he had kept on his wall in his bedroom for over ten years. I heard the funeral was beautiful, but I had said goodbye in that hospital room.

Since Grandpa’s passing I’ve been trying to make the most of every day and little things.
I’m having lovely hot baths with epsom salts, I’m dancing around my room naked, I’ve taken up surfing, I’ve (attempted) knitting, I’ve been getting passionate about causes that matter.

Yesterday I went and got my last script for anti-depressants. My doctor told me it was almost two years to the day I was first prescribed medication. While I’m still grieving my loss of my relationship, every day is getting easier and easier and I’m enjoying being single for the first time. I feel ready to go off medication because I’ve slowly come to realise that my life is worthy of living. Grandpa died at age 92 with four children, fourteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Love is infinite, and I intend on living for at least another seventy years so I’m opening my heart up again to loving and receiving love.

And I was lucky enough to inherit something beautiful and sentimental from Grandpa; the glass bowl he would keep full of Sherbet Bombs to offer guests. There is nothing greater to remind me of Grandpa’s humility, love and kindness. 🙂

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5 comments
  1. Oh Laura, what a lovely read.
    Thankyou for the small and beautiful insight into your family, I was sorry to hear of your Grandpa’s passing. I loved reading this so much and it made me wish I had been closer to my grandparents while they were alive.

    I related to this in so so many ways. The single life, the loss of grandparents, the feeling of going off anti depressants! I told my doctor the other day that I had broken up with my boyfriend of two years and she suggested it was great I was managing med free.

    You go girl; there are so many things waiting in the world just for us xx

    • L said:

      Oh you sweetie! Thank you for your kind words of wisdom. We are like two peas in a pod !
      I definitely wish I’d spent more time with Gramps and Opa (he died when I was 17). Do you know how brave Emma is? I was too scared to talk at Opa’s funeral when I was 17 so she did instead when she was 13!!!! But life is too short for regrets Miss Mary, we must survive and thrive onwards and upwards 🙂 sending love to you x xo

  2. I stumbled upon your blog in my search to find some new ones to fill my reader. I just wanted to leave a note to say that I’m sorry about the loss of both your relationship, and your grandfather. Having gone through many losses both through break-ups or death, I am certainly sympathetic to your situation, and also really inspired by your attitude.

  3. L said:

    Thank you! x

  4. L said:

    This post was edited on March 27 to include the fact that I cheated on Damon and he had left me in part for someone else.

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