}

Friday, October 04, 2019

This story has ended

The story I’ve told on my blog and in my podcast ended on September 20, 2019, when the love of my life, my beloved husband Nigel, died after a short battle with very aggressive liver cancer. He was the entire reason I started my blog and, later, my podcast. What now?

I had never even remotely imagined this happening, not so soon. We were supposed to grow old together, and that was the only thing we’d ever planned for over all these years. We had no Plan B.

At the same time, though, we’d also been realistic that something bad could happen that would change everything. We talked about literally everything, right up to the end.

Nigel had been unwell, though we didn’t know how unwell until eleven days before he died. At the beginning of August, he went to the doctor with a sinus infection, followed by what we thought was a reaction to the antibiotic. We began to suspect it was serious, and it turned out we were right.

We started talking about what we would do, what he wanted when he was gone, and pretty much everything else. We left nothing unsaid. He told everyone that the only thing he worried about was that I’d be okay, and that was very important to him. It was also just like him, worrying more about me than what he was facing. Everything went much faster than we thought, hoped, and faster than what I begged for.

I was at his side holding his hand when he took his last breath, though he was in a coma at the time and almost certainly unaware of anything. But, I was there. I promised him I would be, though he never asked me to be. It was something I needed to do for him, and for me. I was there at the start of our story, and I needed to be there at the end, too.

My blog and podcast have always been about me and my life in New Zealand, and the entire reason that story exists at all is because of Nigel. He was the entire reason—the only reason—I came to this country. While our story has now ended, clearly my own story hasn’t. I have no idea what that new story will be, but I intend to document it here and in my podcast—eventually.

In the time since Nigel died two weeks ago today, I’ve been sharing what I’m thinking and feeling on my personal Facebook page, which is private. Over the coming days I’ll share those posts here on this blog, perhaps slightly edited, and with the original publication date at the end of each one. Sometime after that, I’ll start original blogging again. But not today, and not soon. Everything is still too raw.

So, the story I told has now ended. I’ll have new stories to tell, different stories, ones that I can’t yet even begin to imagine. But I’ll tell them, too.

The photo up top is of Nigel and me at the Celine Dion concert in Auckland in August, 2018. It was a good night.

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