I once travelled happily alone. Then the most beautiful thing happened and suddenly I was half of two; two became one. But before I could start to document our life together, his life was tragically gone. My darling Ems is now in the bright lights of Heaven and I remain. This is the story of my journey from here. Gratefully a journey that One whose ways are above all of ours takes with me. One day I'll reach those bright lights for myself but until I do, join me on my journey, keeping memories close.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010


Since Ems died I've been lost as to where the term 'good grief' must have come from. I just can't see anything good about grief.

Grieving for Ems has been so all-consuming. Just like my love for him was (is). I guess that's why grief is that way. The love doesn't just go away. It's there, oh wow is it still there, but he's not here for me to shower it on.

I miss Ems with everything I am.

I miss his look. I miss his cute, adorable face and tall, dark handsome looks, his individual dress sense & his 'this one's just for you' smile. I miss the way he looked at me and the cute sleepy face I'd see each morning.

I miss his smell. I miss the 'tuck your nose into that part where their neck joins their shoulder and inhale' smell. I miss the smell of his Nivea for men after-shave lotion (it doesn't smell the same in the bottle). I miss the way he'd smell my hair when he was cwtching me.

I miss his sound. The voice, the whispers, the laugh, the music, the song, the things he'd say, the way he said things, the enthusiastic 'mmmms' when I'd cooked a good meal, the jokes, the 'i love you's.

I miss his touch. Not just the intimate. The hand holding, him stroking my hair when I had a headache, me playing with his hair, the way we'd cling on to one another when we went for walks, the way he'd hold me.

I miss him in every sense and with every sense.

I miss telling him how much he means to me and how much I love him.

It's no wonder grief is so all consuming when love is so all consuming too. There is nothing good about grief except the love that existed to cause it.
Ems and I loved each other with everything we had. Those of you that have read the articles in the paper since the inquest will have seen one common phrase repeated throughout - "Blissfully happy" - that's what we were together.

All-consuming love sounds like such a dangerous place to be. It would be exceptionally so if it was one sided. You'd be consumed. But the extraordinary thing about being in all-consuming love with someone who is in all-consuming love with you back is that you never get consumed. You never get consumed because for everything you give, you're also getting. You don't give to get. It's not like you consciously receive something and then think that you want to do something back. It's not like you 'take turns'. You are both in this simultaneous state of giving everything you are to the other simply because you love them. The love you have for them holds them in such high esteem in your eyes that you want to be a better person just so you can please them even more. Yet, the security you have in the love they have for you leaves you completely free to be exactly you who are because you know they love you that way. True love is a phenomenal thing.

Be careful who you give your all-consuming love to, lest you get consumed. My heart was in very safe hands.

I miss everything about Ems and I miss Ems in everything. I miss sharing everything with him. I miss telling and showing him how much I love him as much as I miss hearing him say and show me his love.

Don't ever hold back from telling and showing those dear to you exactly what they mean to you. We were created in the image of a God who is love and were designed to give our love away. May we live with the pain of losing those we've loved with all our hearts rather than regrets that we held back.

'It is better to have loved and lost' has become so true in my experience. 'Better' is not always the painfree option, sometimes it leads to exceptional pain, but it's still better because of the love that never dies however much pain may come along after.

[Memory #7 the "hair drying" episode
This memory isn't a one off. It was something Ems did on many occasions and I miss it.
Ems & I shared a car to and from work and so would get up at the same time. Ems was always ready before me (it's a girl's right!). He'd be dressed and I was just starting to dry my hair.
For no particular reason one day he decided to sit behind and around me as I was drying my hair at the end of the bed. He held me as I dried my hair, getting the odd blast from the dryer. He just wanted a cuddle. He wanted to cuddle me. It became a regular morning habit of his. He'd just sit there and hold me.
When I finished drying my hair I'd turn to hug him back and we'd head down for breakfast together.
Everytime I dry my hair I miss him. I miss his cuddles and the way I'd feel even warmer inside than my head did from the dryer.]

Sunday, 24 January 2010


I've battled with whether to post on the subject I'm about to write about.

It has been the big question in my mind since Ems died, perhaps on your minds too.

The question. How Ems died.

Death isn't questionable. We'll all experience it one day and what lies beyond it. What has been questioned in my lovely boy's case is not the means of death but the cause of it.

I want to be sensitive in how I broach this subject because it is a sensitive subject. I know that full well having lived and experienced it for almost 2 months now.

Why is now the time to write about it? We had the inquest into Ems death on Thursday. Everything is now out in the open and finally we can stop asking questions and know what happened the night he died.

The verdict of the inquest: Ems' death was an accident.
The verdict of my heart and soul: Ems' death was an accident.

Why didn't I know this before?

Ems left this world for the next when a train hit him on the 30th November. That was the means of death.

At the time this was all we knew, along with the fact that Ems suffered with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This meant that for the first 5 weeks, it was assumed he'd taken his own life.

Most of you will fortunately not be able to imagine the horror of this. For those that can, I am sorry. I know how devastating it is.

From early on I knew that Ems had made no plans to take his life, that it would have been a momentary thing, that he was fine the last time I saw him (2 hours earlier) and that it would have been under the influence of the severe depression that could plague him from his SADs. Nothing could sway me on these facts.

However, as time went on and the coroner's officer conducted more research, facts emerged that raised the possibility that Ems' death could have been an accident.

Just under 8 weeks after his death, the facts presented at the inquest found it to be an accident. Information we had no idea of at the start proved critical.

To keep it simple, Ems had made his way across the line to a sewage works that was situated along side the line. This sewage works was one he was due to be responsible for redesigning in the coming month (he was a mechanical design engineer). It was on his way back across the line that he'd been hit by the train and made an attempt at diving out the way.


Some things we never know the truth about. With others, just because we think there isn't more to know out there, doesn't mean there isn't.

I was convinced Ems' death would remain 'open verdict' in my mind till I left for heaven myself. At the start of the week I'd simply prayed that if I 'needed' to know, one way or the other, that it would be revealed somehow.

The questions that I'd had when I heard about his death suddenly made sense. It was an accident. He had no way of knowing what was ahead so of course he'd been fine when I last saw him. We didn't know anything about the sewage works at the start which of course gave the reasons for his death being where it was. It doesn't make the fact he's gone any easier, but it's one less question to worry over; a big question at that.

He was keen to get back to work and checking out the works on that full moon lit night would have actually left him feeling pretty good, having made constructive use of his time.

Ems didn't have more than a couple of seconds to know he was on the way to his death. It was a good job he was prepared.

Jesus once said 'You will know the truth and the truth will set you free'.

I think He was getting at something bigger than just situations like this, but the statement is nevertheless true whatever you know or think about Him.

Knowing the truth about something can set you free.
It can be painful sometimes and yet set you free from something infinitely more painful.

Other times knowing the truth brings freedom with solely positive benefits.

Some unanswered questions are also made bearable by the fact other things are set in stone.

Jesus described Himself as 'the truth'.

Ems knew the Truth. As a result, Ems knew who he was. He was free to be that person. Ems is now completely free.

For the questions you have that you don't have answers to, may you know the truth that leads to freedom. Where the truth cannot be found, may you know peace.

[Memory #6 The "hide and seek" episode
Ems always was full of surprises.
Friends know that it doesn't take much to make me jump. This 'low jump threshold' seems to lower even further as the night draws in and it gets dark outside.
I remember getting ready for Ems to pick me up one night. My parents were out and I was in the bathroom upstairs, beautifying myself for my beloved's arrival.
I thought I heard a car arrive but listened out for the door and heard nothing. The house was completely silent. A few minutes later I thought I'd better check and went to my bedroom (at the front of the house) to see if Ems' car was in fact there. I looked as far right as I could in front of the house but could see nothing. It was dark and there was no sign of any light.
I spent about 5 more minutes upstairs before heading downstairs to await his arrival. I switched a light on as I got to the bottom of the stairs but the area beyond it (near the front door) was dark.
As I walked forward, thinking myself to be all alone, all of sudden a loud roar sounded as Ems jumped out from behind an armchair. It scared me witless and I screamed my girliest ever scream - I have never jumped so much in all my life! Ems couldn't stop laughing while I genuinely thought my heart had stopped!
After I beat his chest a few times saying "don't you ever do that again" (he was still laughing), I started laughing too. Slowly I realised my fears which had caused me to jump in the first place were unfounded. It was only my lovely Ems, no one out to harm me.
In fact he almost got away with looking like the hero as he held me tight until my heart reached a normal rhythm again!
He used to laugh every time I repeated that story.]

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Changing things (as sung by the man himself)

It's been a wordless few days. I insist on not forcing words out for this blog so I hope you'll forgive a few days silence from time to time. I started with a commitment to honesty and it will remain that way. Sometimes the words just don't come.

As I don't have anything of my own right now, I thought I'd allow someone else to say a few words...He's sung them for you.

I only found out that the following recording existed yesterday. It's Ems. Nobody else's words could go hand in hand with mine like his. I told you his life would still speak through my experience.

This is the last song he wrote, well the last one that got to the stage where he'd perform it (there were always hundreds swimming around his head). Ems had covered many genres of music in his time and this is one of his quiet acoustic songs. He and I wrote this together (i.e. I helped with a few of the lyrics*) to go with a message I was giving in church the following Sunday. Far more people will remember his song than they will any of the words I had to say...and many more will hear it now.

Music has power. Ems music told his story. One of Ems wise, insightful friends has commented on this since his passing. As one who'd known Ems far longer than I, he said something like 'before Ems found his faith, his music was his way of getting out his frustrations at life and at himself. Once he found faith, he didn't have those frustrations anymore and was free to just enjoy his music.'

Ems faith poured out through his music. Ems tells three stories in this song. The first is a woman who was desperate to have a child. The second is of a man who stood alone for his faith against everyone around him. The third is Ems own story.

Incidentally, this was just a rough recording he did so a friend of ours could learn the song to sing it with him. I didn't even know he'd recorded it till she brought it round yesterday (thank you so much - you know who you are). I've loved hearing it again.

I've put the music to some photos of Ems with his guitar. Don't let them distract you - he would hate to think any image had distracted you from the music itself! I've also pasted the lyrics below.

Prayer changes things. Never have I known that more than the past 8 weeks.

Lyrics to 'Prayer changes things' by Emrys Davies

Weeping & hungry. Downhearted & lonely.
Through water & fire, Her one desire, stays unfulfilled.
Childless & aching. Her tender heart breaking.
Yet through the tears, all of her fears, she gave to God.

Barren. Empty. Weeping. Hungry.

Prayer changes things
God changes things
Holy God
Rock like no other
He answered her prayer.

Full of faith, waiting. Alone for God, fighting.
His anticipation, to see his nation, open their eyes.
He readied the altar. His faith never faltered.
O how he yearned, for their hearts to turn, he called out to God.

Desperate. Grieving. Eager. Believing.

Prayer changes things
God changes things

O Lord our God
God of the fire
He answered his prayer.

Far away, longing, the wilderness calling.
I wandered confused, broken & used, I cried out to God.
The darkness surrounding. The silence resounding.
Alone on the floor, He opened the door, brought light as I prayed.

Desperate. Distant. Lost & defeated.

Prayer changes things
God changes things
Light in my darkness
Strength in my weakness

You answered my prayer

Prayer changes things
God changes things
He knows & hears us

Take it to Jesus
He’ll answer your prayer

[Memory #5 The 'Songwriting' episode

I don't think there are many moments that excelled the excitement of writing a song together. Both of us using our creative skills to bring something together for other people.

I'd muddled with poetry but had never written a song in my life before. Ems was a pro but said he always found the music easier than the words.

We worked together on the words. I left the music completely to him.

I still remember being amazed with what he'd come up with in a short space of time.
And by the time he came to play and sing the song to others, he'd developed it further.

There was nothing like seeing Ems singing his heart out. The fact I'd had a little part in this song he was passionately singing, naturally was a great joy for me too.

I'll always remember fondly the evening we spent writing this song together.]

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Sing Sing Sing

GarethJonesPhotography 2009

I wanted to share a breakthrough with you.

Thursday morning, for the first time since my lovely Ems passed away, I truly sung.

I don't have a beautiful or gifted voice but I've always been a singer. I used to sing my heart out in the car, the shower, all around the house, I sung.

Ems had a real talent for singing and for all things musical. He sung and played in church - leading, following, solo, or group; he'd played at youth events to hundreds; he'd belted out a number of his own songs by himself (Shipping Forecast) or with various bands (Haybarns on Fire, Rayburn & the Radiators, Venturi Channel, Teeny Bopping Commanders, to name a few - help me with any I've missed guys!); he'd belted out covers with Meica & the Mechanics (with colleagues) and Seren Gwib; he was the music man. Yet when it came to the car or the shower or the house, he sung far less than I did.

Don't get me wrong, he'd sing at times*. He'd come in to the room and ask me what the next line of a song was, or how something went. In my bird like tones (some people have likened them to a crow), I would sing the next line or the rhythm. He'd also sing and play in preparation for the next church service, event, gig. When he sung, it sounded good. When he sung, it was because the lyrics were screaming at him and he just couldn't help but join in. I could never out sing him in quality, but I usually did in quantity.

I'd ask him if my singing got on his nerves but it didn't. I'm sure at times I ruined the odd 'classic' for him as I sung my heart out, but he'd usually just smile over at me. He knew I was singing because I was happy and free and relaxed and he loved that. Those times when he did join in, he'd harmonise brilliantly and it would make the singing all the more pleasurable for me.

When Ems died, I didn't feel like singing.

At his funeral though, I sung my heart out. I remember before his funeral saying that I didn't know if I'd feel like standing or sitting, whether I'd be able to sing or not. But as the music started that day, I knew I wanted to stand, proud that I was his wife, and sing loudly, so thankful that God had brought him into my life and blessed us in the amazing ways He had.

Since then, I have sung at church services. I've meant what I've sung. But I haven't truly sung. I haven't wandered around the house, my heart lost in a song. You know those moments when you're singing your heart out because there's something in you that has to get out?

Until yesterday. Yesterday, for a moment, as I dried my hair, I could hear my singing, even about the noise of the dryer.

I was singing.

It wasn't forced. It wasn't planned. It was my heart overflowing.

I had spent the last 7 weeks looking forward to Heaven solely because it would mean an end to all this pain. I can honestly say that yesterday I was singing, not just because I know I won't have any pain when I get there, but because heaven itself is beyond anything I can see, hear or imagine. And despite the darkness that surrounds me right now, there is hope. Hope, because Ems and I shared the same faith, that he is there now, and one day I'll join him and it will be amazing [understatement of the largest scale].

The dark moments will still come. I've cried since then. I'll cry again. There'll be times when I don't feel like singing, but I'm not going to lose my voice entirely. I'm going to remember Ems when he'd come to church feeling low but sing his heart out in spite of it all, grateful for grace. I won't sing because I'm forced to or because it's what everyone's doing. I'll sing because my heart does.

For all those who have lost loved ones suddenly and tragically in Haiti - my heart goes out to you.

[*Memory #4 The "Early morning sing song" episode
Ems suffered with Seasonal Affective Disorder and one of the symptoms was a cruel disturbance of his sleep. As such, getting out of the bed in the morning could be even more of a struggle than it is for most of us because of the bad night that had gone before. One night when setting his alarm, Ems decided he was going to try and get up at 6am and read the bible for a little while in front of his light box before getting up to face the world.
At 6am Ems jumped out of bed enthusiasically. I was so happy to hear him get up so easily, there was no way I was going to get cross at him for waking me in the process. He left the bedroom, I assumed to go and read elsewhere, and I buried back down into the duvet to snooze for another hour.
A toilet flush and a couple of minutes later, and the door banged open and Ems noisily returned to the bedroom, switched on his light box, and parked his skinny but lovely posterior at the bottom of the bed. I realised that meant he was going to read and do his light therapy in the bedroom, but I was still grateful that he was up and ok so I didn't mind too much. I just buried a bit deeper into the duvet and attempted to snooze.
Then, he started to read. He read out loud! I'd forgotten that little quirk of his. He'd often read out loud to help him concentrate and this was one of those times. I just lay still and smiled at another of his eccentricities.
Just as I started thinking that reading out loud probably wouldn't prevent me snoozing because he was doing so quietly, he spontaneously burst into song!
He started to sing. I buried deep, but when he couldn't remember some of the lines to the old hymn he'd pitched up, I could almost feel him looking at me through the duvet, waiting for me to help him with the lines. I didn't first time around, trying to kid myself I'd still fall back to sleep, and he filled the gaps with 'la las' and 'mmm mmms'. But when he reached that part for the second time, I couldn't help but sing my heart out with him, filling in the lyrics he didn't know, and smile, because not only was he out of bed and ready to face the day, but his heart was overflowing with a song, and so was mine.
What's an extra 45 minutes in bed when you can sing with the one you love instead?

By the way, the above photo, that's us, our hearts overflowing with song on our wedding day.]

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Winter Days

More snow has arrived.

While many excitedly prepare for another 'snow day' off work or school, I find myself dreading the isolation that comes with the snow.

I'm staying at my parents for the forseeable future. This means being 'home' in the house I lived in from age 0. Yes, not many live in the same house all their lives these days but other than 4 or so years of uni, work placements, travel, etc, I'd lived in the same house from newborn to last June when we got married and moved in to our new house together. I never imagined that being at that home would ever feel so wrong [N.B. no disrespect to my parents who have been nothing short of amazing these past few weeks, thank you]. It's just being with Ems was home in every sense of the word.

The house I was brought up in is situated in the countryside with a couple of miles of lanes before you reach anything you can call a 'main' road. When the snow comes, access becomes a problem, as the gritters are focused on sorting out the well used routes rather than our lesser used lanes.

Thus, snow makes for isolation.

In past years I've welcomed this news when it would prevent me getting to school or work and just meant a day of carefree snow games with my sister and anyone else who could get anywhere near.

This year it's a different story.

It's not because my sister's been long gone to a home and family of her own. I can't even blame the fact it means I can't get out to see people. It's just that the physical isolation just accentuates the isolation I feel inside. I have been isolated from the one I want most in the world to see. I can't get to him. In not being able to get to others I am reminded again of the loneliness that grief has brought with it. No one else can fill the gap that Ems has left, but not being able to see anyone else certainly adds to it and also prevents welcome distraction.

It is winter outside. It is winter inside.

I'd love to have a few 'snow days' with Ems. It would've made a great bonus to what would have been our 1st Christmas together as man and wife. I can well imagine the fun we would have had together, the walks together, and naturally, the snowball fights! The lovely thing about having known him so well is that I can still imagine what the days without him would have been like if he had been here. Ems would have loved it.

I shared one snow day with Ems last February after we took his brother out to celebrate his 18th birthday one evening. Despite protests from both mothers that we shouldn't go too far with the snow forecast and it being mid-week, we ventured 30 miles, had a great evening, and yes, struggled to get back to their farm on our return. Needless to say my car didn't get back up their farm's track and I gatecrashed for the night. The next day was a 'snow day' as one of Ems' colleagues came to pick us both up for work in his landrover, only for us all to be sent home again seconds after arriving in the office. It was like being a kid again. I watched Ems and his brother pelt snowballs at one another (see photo), and then sheltered when I became the target.

This season's snow has given me much time for thinking (sometimes too much). 3 such thoughts I share here:

Firstly, I've realised that in years gone by, when the snow has brought nothing but joy to me, it may have brought pain and anguish to others to whom I gave no second thought - those injured on the ice, old people isolated in their homes, perhaps others grieving or lonely, unable to be reached. It makes me think of the first 6 months of 2009 when Ems & I had one focus - our forthcoming wedding. We knew nothing but joy and excitement in our own lives and, though sympathetic, I didn't stop for any length of time to realise that there were others out there whose lives weren't as unbelievably happy as ours were at that moment in time, some lives quite the opposite. Now I am stopping. Now I am realising. Now, in my grief, I've seen friends who are experiencing the very best times of their lives. While some people's dreams come true, others have them dashed. When some people find success, others find failure. While some meet, others part. While some face death, others know new life. It's not that we should all live somewhere in the middle so that we're all in the same place at the same time, we'll all know different extremes at times, but I choose to spare a thought to those less fortunate than I when I finally know joy again, just as I choose to find joy in other's dreams coming true while I am in the midst of my pain.

Secondly, even though the snow brings isolation, it also brings peace. The snow brings problems. However, when I look up and around at the snow covered landscape, it looks so beautiful and peaceful. It doesn't have the colour of summer, but it makes everything appear so clean, tranquil and light. When the sun shines on it, I get teeny weeny glimpses of what the brightness of heaven may be like (I wonder if there's snow there?).

Finally, it is a season, not a permanent state of being. Winter may be here but spring always follows. In a way it fits that the winter of my life comes at the same time that we are experiencing our nation's first proper winter snow in decades. Just as the snow has stuck around for a long time now, I know that the winter season I am experiencing in my life won't be a short one. However, it is a season. In nature, there aren't winters without spring to follow, there aren't nights without a new day, and it's the same in our lives. Winter may bring death but spring will come in time and with it new life.

'For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven...' Ecclesiastes
'Weeping may last through the night but joy comes in the morning' The Psalms

[Memory #3 the "nothing will stop me" episode
Ems was brought up on a farm with a track that was pretty treacherous when icy and some hazardous country lanes to wind down in order to reach the safer 'main' roads. In the Christmas of 2007, just a few days after we got together, I remember the risk of snow being mentioned. One evening as we said goodnight & he said he'd see me tomorrow, I responded that I guessed it would depend on whether it snowed or not (not that I didn't want to see him for one second - I wanted to see him all the time!). His sweet reply was that nothing would stop him getting to me, that no weather (or other!) condition could keep him from getting to me, even if he had to walk or sledge across the fields (it was a 12 mile trip!).
I'm not sure whether he was mistaking himself for the 'milk tray man' or was just plain crazy (crazy in love maybe?) but fortunately for him that year, the snow didn't come and he arrived safely at my house in his little green Clio.
Having said that, knowing Ems spontaneity and love for an adventure (and of course his desire to see me!), he probably would have got there by foot and sledge even if it had snowed!]

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Anticipation on toast

I have some wonderful friends, I spent yesterday with some of the best of them. People I love; people who love me. People who Ems loved; people who loved Ems. There is such comfort in being with these people and I have immense gratitude to them for all they've done for me, done for Ems, for who they are. It is with such people that I can honestly talk about how I'm doing. I can talk about Ems and get knowing nods and smiles. I can also cry.

I had spent the day enjoying their company and doing all I could to be myself (whatever that is right now). As the evening drew in & we sat struggling with Trivial Pursuits, I could feel the emptiness silently creeping around my heart. I knew that in an hour or two would come the journey home. The journey home alone. The journey to my parents, not our home. Another journey without Ems.

I did my best to fight the feeling, knowing full well the tears would come when I got home. Then of all the people that could set me off - I got upset by Carol Thatcher! Yes, as we talked over 'I'm a celebrity - jungle Kings & Queens', Carol Thatcher (Queen of the Jungle once upon a time) said something that I thought was devestatingly sad. As she'd celebrated winning, she told Ant & Dec (or Tom & Dec as my friend put it yesterday!): "I will never be this happy again."

How awful. Imagine enjoying a wonderful moment and at that very moment thinking it would be the last time you'd feel that good. It hit me, and as I attempted to share my reflections on this with my friends, the rivers gust forth unexpectedly and I sat and sobbed.

I can't imagine how such a feeling would tarnish the happy moments. Surely if you felt it was the last time you would feel that happy it would bring a tinge of sadness to what should be a solely happy moment?

True, looking back at some of the incredible moments I shared with Ems, I do wonder whether I will ever feel that happy again while on this earth. That is not a suprising thought to have. My lovely boy who brought me so much joy is no longer here. I can only imagine how much worse it would have been though, if in one of those incredible moments, I had thought that I might never feel that happy again. How that would have taken away from the happiness of the moment.

Our wedding day for example. Wow! Full of happy moments. Truly, the greatest day of our lives because the whole day was spent focusing on the amazing love God had given us to share. How much more awesome it was though because it also held the anticipation and excitement of all the days ahead that we would share together, all the happy moments to come. If either of us had for one second thought we would never feel that happy again it would have been a sorry start to our marriage. In reality, though we never spent another whole day in the company of friends, celebrating our love, we celebrated in our own way every day. Every day had happiness in it, even if just because we had each other. Never was any moment tainted by the feeling it could be the last time we'd feel that good. Part of the fullness is in knowing there is even more to come.

The last time I saw him* was not tainted by such a feeling. Not for one second did I consider it could be the last time I saw Ems or felt that joy from his company. Not for one moment did I think 'I will never feel this happy again'. Not for one moment would he have either. How sad it would have been if we had.

As I poured out my heart and tears on the sofa with my friends, friends Ems and I have hung out with numerous times over the last couple of years, friends I can hardly remember not knowing, I was well aware that things would never be the same again. I couldn't remember spontaneously bursting into tears in their company before yet was well aware it will likely happen many more times in the future. Yet though I can't imagine feeling that happy again right now, I thank God that never was a moment with Ems spoiled because I'd thought in that moment that 'I'll never be this happy again'.

And I thank God that Ems, his huge contagious smile bursting with joy, is in a continual unimaginable state of happiness right now, and that one day, I will join him, and I will be forever wonderfully, ecstatically, indescribably happy for eternity. Once more, because of this hope, I know that there'll be days ahead on this earth that aren't so bad either. I'm just taking it one moment at a time.

'That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever.'

May we never ruin good times by thinking that they'll never be equalled, because between this world and the next, there is always always always more for the taking.

Memory #2 "the toast episode"
The last time I saw Ems was actually a really cute moment. His mum was round the house and I only had half an hour between getting in from work and leaving for a youthwork committee meeting. Ems and I were always pretty soft with each other & so even though we'd see each other when I got back (or so we thought) we still managed to grab a sweet 5 minutes with each other to ourselves. We messed around outside (even though it was freezing), cwtching (Welsh cuddles for those out of the know!) and teasing one another, full of "I love you"s and catching up on how one another's day had been. On going inside and me announcing I would have to go in 2 minutes, Ems was suddenly overwhelmed with concern that I hadn't eaten since lunch time and started to make me some toast. Despite reassurances from me that I would be eating at the meeting, he lovingly insisted. He made me 2 pieces which I turned down, explaining I'd be too full for dinner. He then tried forcing 1 1/2 pieces on me before we eventually agreed I'd take 1. He put it in some tupperware (he never did like cling film or kitchen foil!) and sat down to eat the other piece with some re-heated roast dinner. I thanked him, kissed him on the forehead, we exchanged some more "I love you"s, and I left. The toast tasted good and I text him to thank him, telling him I'd call him before leaving the meeting, and again reiterating that I loved him (told you we were soft!). His last words to me came by text 'Ok my lovely sweetheart, I love you'. I smiled, full of love, never once ruining the moment by fearing those words would be his last.]

Friday, 8 January 2010

From the start

I never wanted to write this blog. I want to write this blog.

Had I been given this subject to cover 2 months ago, I’d have turned it down in an instant. It’s not something I ever desired to write because losing my husband was my greatest fear in life. The fear, however, became reality, and in losing him, in feeling all I feel, remembering all I remember, believing all I believe, fighting through all I am fighting through, I want to write. I want the world [a.k.a. those who take the time to stop and read this] to hear.

I’m a private person in many ways, but if there be any strength that another who is weak can take away, any hope that another in despair may see a glimmer of, any light that one in the dark can use to light their way, then let my story be shouted from the rooftops. Let the lamp come out from its dusty hiding place.

Ems was the most wonderful, beautiful man I could have asked to spend my life with. I was blessed beyond measure in just knowing him, ecstatic at being his girl. Life though it wasn't to be (for me at least). We had just 2 years; they were 2 phenomenal years.

Our story was one of the fullest, most powerful, wonderful, beautiful love stories possible (you’ll see glimpses as my blog entries continue). We daily thanked God for our story.

Yet 5 months from those sacred words ‘…till death do us part’, death did just that, it parted us. Suddenly and tragically. I still daily thank God for our story.

I am only at the beginning of my difficult story and I don't know how it's going to go. Ems left for heaven under 6 weeks ago and it is, beyond comparison, the most painful time of my life. It is also a time when I have known peace beyond understanding.

We always journeyed together and now I find myself behind.
He is in heaven. I am heaven-bound but still very much on earth.
He is gone from this earth but his memory is still here; his life is still enfolded with mine; and his story will still unfold in my experience. To some extent, this is still 'our story', I’m just doing it alone now. He was the lead role in many key chapters of my story. What chapters evolve from here, only time will tell.

As I write these entries I will remember the look in his eyes and I promise to be honest, just like he was (brutally at times*).
When I cry, you’ll hear my tears.
When I smile, you’ll see my teeth.
When I stop, you’ll catch your breath.
When I start to run again, you’d better keep up.
Follow me…

Memory #1 “the sauce was a bit tasteless” episode
That was Ems’ honest and classic response to my asking him for his thoughts after I first cooked for him (along with about 20 others). It left me speechless. He then added sincerely (in consolation?) “I guess that’s why you put the salt and pepper out though”.
It may sound rude to those who didn't know Ems but he was a truly gentle soul, never wishing to offend. His honesty was endearing and this world is in want of more honesty like his.]