Loss made everything sharp. Words, sunshine, the wind. All of my own plus others’ emotions, sharper, pointy. Hostile.

I have suffered from, as one fellow widow sister put it, the inability to behave better under stress. Why is that? What the f&$k was I doing the first few years and why didn’t anyone stop me? Why do I still feel so alone? I have never known loneliness like it.

Surrounded by people. Painfully lonely.

By myself. Hideously lonely.

Sometimes when I’m alone I feel more connected to him, to myself. To our energy. People just get in the way with their ‘at least’s and ‘you’re still young’s.

“Oh I thought were feeling better now cos you have a boyfriend.”

Yes that’s right. I had a catastrophic accident and my arm blew off. But I have a prosthetic arm now and can sometimes hold down a job. Much better. Fixed!

Until we have known traumatic loss, we can never know the kindness required. There is no one who could stick with it. Years of suffering; who would choose to be friends with that? No wonder we are lonely.

A truck load of exercise and meditation and breath work and yoga to make myself tired enough to go out and face work; dull, a painted smile, the remnants scraping shallow under my skin. Tired is calmer than bristling with the crazies. Less risky.

The loneliness and the terrors are faithful companions. Yes dear, that’s called PTSD. Four years and three psychs later, it wasn’t “just the grief.”

It’s good it has a name now. Not just my own comparison-fuelled labels.

I’ve been so naive.