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.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Anything can happen

Over two years into this blog and, with great embarrassment, I've just noticed a grammatical error in the introduction above these posts. I've corrected it but did wonder if anyone had noticed it before. Perhaps you all had and secretly wondered how someone with an error in their introduction could win a best writing blog award. Either you're all too polite or such details have been lost in the abundance of words. Where did that come from? Why hadn't I noticed it before?

Such moments of bewilderment are reasonably common in this journey. Unfortunately, they are not all as simple as finding a grammatical error alongside a blog award badge, and they're not all easily masked in an abundance of words either.

In my life I have experienced the most horrendous shock possible, the worst kind of surprise, the most unexpected, unwelcome twist in the road I was travelling on. I don't think much, if anything, in my life ahead could compare to that dreadful moment when Ems' life on earth was done and mine, unrecognisable as it was, carried on.

While it is an understatement to say that dreadful moment of shock stands out, it doesn't stand alone. While I know from the death of my husband, soulmate, best friend, that life is not always within my control, I still find myself surprised at twists and turns in the journey that leave me looking up in wonder and bemusement. You'd think I'd have learned by now. Even if we know deep down that we're not in complete control, we still fool ourselves on the surface.

Surprises, life's full of them.

I'd like to say that nothing surprises me anymore but it does.

Sometimes it's been things I've done numerous times since Ems died seeming a lot harder than I expect them to be. Sometimes it's things I haven't done since Ems died passing without the anguish I've anticipated.

Sometimes it's the big decisions that bring the pressure. Where is he? My teammate and fellow decision-maker. My heart still looks to discuss decisions that arise with him only to be corrected by my head which, by now, knows better.

Sometimes it's the simple shock of a dead bird falling down your chimney (almost into my lap i might add) leaving me frozen in panic, wondering what to do! He would've just got on with it, unphased.

It's the reactions of others, good or bad, to circumstances not of my doing, and my own reactions to things in life, surprising myself and giving me fresh understanding of others' reactions.

Surprises lurk everywhere. In situations, in relationships, in finances, in life and death, in love and loss. I remember thinking when Ems died that nothing else could hurt me but alas that wasnt the case. I also remember thinking that I'd never smile again but that wasn't the case either.

Surprises will arrive. Some will throw me to the floor and others will leave me

looking up in bewilderment at the craziness of this journey. The experience of widowhood can be shaky ground when storms rage, and sometimes even when the sun is shining; it's a fragile place. But the love and security of a man who loved me with all his heart and was / is loved by me with all of mine doesn't shake at all and its blessing surrounds me through the victories and tears.

Sometimes the thing that most surprises me is that the thing that causes the most pain - Ems absence - is also a reminder of one of the most comforting things in my life - Ems presence. Imprinted like the scribbles on a school desk 'Ems was here'. I would never be without it.

As it happens, the dead bird only needed a shovel and a box. My actions tentatively followed the only decision that could be made.

And sometimes the surprises are like that. There is only one thing to do - get on with it. With each surprise along the way I may be reminded again of so much being outside my control but I also know that one thing is always in my control - my reaction. Sometimes the only reaction that seems possible at the time may be to lift my head in disbelief to the one thing that never changes, but it's still my reaction to choose.

The latest big surprise has come in the form of an invitation to join Mr Jeremy Vine on his BBC Radio 2 lunchtime programme this Wednesday. This surprise left me shaking my head in a disbelief that bordered hilarity. Like the grammatical error that's been there for two years unnoticed, where did that come from?

Many have reminded me how proud Ems would be and I agree. I think he'd also be amused at this next surprising step in his "little wifey's" journey, but, particularly from the perspective from which he now sees things, very unsurprised and entertained by my ongoing surprise at such things.

Thoughts far above my thoughts. Ways far beyond mine. Anything can happen.

You can listen in to my radio interview on the Jeremy Vine show, tomorrow at 1pm here.


  1. I woud agree that things will appear hard for you, jobs that Ems would have done, times when you may need reassurance for a decision you may have made, times when you just need to talk, I respect that I have never been faced with the loss of a partner, I can only hope that things will become easier for you.

    I am sure that Ems was very proud to hear his wife o the radio, perhaps not so much the knowledge that the love of his life is still in so much pain & grief, but your Ems will be looking don on you with pride, passing his inner strength on to you from afar.

    This may sound harsh, I hope it doesn't, but although Ems is not on this earth, I am sure he would like you to carry on your life as positively, hopefully happily, contentedly as possible, he certainly would not want you to remain upset, his presence will never leave you, neither will his love, in the same way that you love him.

    I hope that in time you will see your life change for the better, you will always have Ems in your heart & he is such a lucky guy & you such a lucky young lady to have loved in the way that you both do, you were very young to have lost the man you love from by your side, but although he is not here in body, his spirit will always live on whether it be in memories, your thoughts, your love, Ems is always by your side, day or night, he will always be there for you.

    Life is always a challenge, there are more things that we all have no control over than things & situations that we will have some sort of control over. You sound like a very level headed person & for any & every challenge thrown your way, I am sure you will overcome it all, not just because of your own inner strength but also the inner strength & love of Ems to help you on your way.

    You won a lot of hearts yesterday on the Jeremy Vine show, your strength & courage shone through, you should be very proud of yourself, without even knowing you, I am proud of you for continuing to soldier on, for the love of your family & friends, for your love for those that mean so much to you, Ruthie Davies, you too should be very proud of yourself, you are a very courageous young lady, I hope that you have a positive life ahead of you, may good come your way.

    Much love & best wishes to you

    Andy G

  2. Yes, Andy is right - you won a lot of hearts on Jeremy's show yesterday. I NEVER listen to that show as there is often so much negativity but Radio 2 was on when I got into the car to take the dogs walking and I just started to listen.

    So thank you. Even more than just telling your story, you've inspired me to continue telling mine. I have a blog too and some years back I started writing about my life of miracles - and also, like you, being engaged one year and widowed the next. Having heard you, I've started writing it again. We all have a voice and we need to speak, whether or not we have been heard. You spoke, we heard. So thank you, thank you very much.