Amie Richardson: Love isn't a word that comes easily to a widow
OPINION: This week was a big week. My baby started school, my novelist mother launched a new book (and I missed it), I watched a man jump off a bridge 430 times and I realised I was falling in love.
Love is a word that doesn't come easy to a widow.
When I was little, I remember finding a tiny blue speckled bird's egg on the ground. I picked it up, holding it between my thumb and forefinger before transferring it carefully onto the palm of my hand to look more closely.
On my way to show my brother I tripped and bracing my fall, the egg took the weight of my seven-year-old self and was obliterated into hundreds of tiny pieces. I watched the yolk splatter on the ground, both happy and disappointed there was no baby bird inside.
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Wayne's death obliterated my blue speckled heart-shaped egg in the same way as that fall – and finding all those tiny fragments of shell and putting them together again is a Herculean task.
It happens gradually. A few dates. Laughter. A lot of that. He's weird. Like me. He's dreamy. So dreamy. And what is that? Those old feelings stirring. I want to run.
The pieces don't fit together in the same way. Jasper and Oli are in there too, carefully collating the tricky jigsaw. I watch them relax when I talk about him. Get excited when I say he's coming to visit. Oli stands for 20 minutes in the cold just so he can be first to alert us that he's arrived.
It's worth the wait. He is armed with stealthy ninja-like moves and gentle affection. He treads carefully – engaging with them on their terms, taking their hugs, ignoring their moans, riding alongside them on their scooters, playing the monster, wasting us all in a water fight, and sharing his beautiful 12-year-old moon with us. She instantly welcomes the boys like brothers and me as a friend.
Wayne never spoke of me finding someone else. Neither us wanted to have that conversation, there was no point to it. Instead he told me I needed to keep living, his favourite adage, that 'life is the prize'. I guess he knew love would be part of it.
But still I am wracked with guilt. Not because I see this new relationship as a betrayal, but because I am here – and Wayne is not. He will miss every one of Jasper's school days. Every family event. Every book launch. Every celebration. He won't ever have the chance to fall in love again. And for this I'll always be sorry.