One Brutal Autumn

Moving on is easier said than bloody done.

Move on? Erm – sorry, but how, exactly? How do you move on when you’ve been with someone for twenty-one years and have never been apart for more than a couple of weeks in all that time? How do you move on without them when you know all their funny little ways, when you’ve stayed with them through thick and thin, reared a child and extended family together, when you remember the good, the bad and the ugly, when you miss the passionate past and fear the fading future, but still never imagined it could possibly ever be a future without them; when you seek their advice, exploiting their keen philosopher’s brain, when you feel so easy and comfortable with them, and also irritated at times, and offended by their indifference or harsh words, but still feel so easy with them that they’re just like an appendage to your own body, one that would never turn gangrenous on you, and certainly never be amputated from you, and then …

And then one brutal day, when summer has barely had the chance to re-paint itself into autumn, they’re gone.

Gone. Just like that. Poof!

And suddenly, everything becomes a lie. The past twenty-one years now have to be re-assessed. Where once there were tender memories, now there is a vacuum. Where once there was belief in great love, now there is mockery. Where once there was hope in a better future, time together once the children have left home, time to do more things, to travel, grow gently into the autumn, now there is fear. Fear, loss, disbelief, and death. All because one brutal autumn everything went pear-shaped without even the chance to talk, rage, cry, and possibly forgive. Before any final decisions were made.

Finality. That is what happens when your husband moves out and you suddenly realise that you don’t know him any more. And you face an entirely new future all on your own.

So how to get on with remoulding that terrifying future? Here are some suggestions.

  • Wallow in self-pity and despair.
  • Just get on with things, once you’re done with all wallowing.
  • Pour your heart out into your diary.
  • Pour your heart out into your blog and hope that people you know won’t be too shocked. (Well, sod them if they are.)
  • Pour your heart out into your next novel, hoping that this will finally be THE one.
  • Rejoice in the thought that it will be too late for Hubby to share in your novel’s success.
  • Pour your heart out in the piano, or whatever else has the power to transport you to another existence.
  • Go out and do things. Make new friends. Make merry. Make the most of your looks while they still last. Do NOT become a hermit and gradually lose your mind to premature dementia.
  • Meet someone else. After all, in a planet of 7 billion inhabitants, that isn’t so unlikely, is it? Is it?
  • Do not, at any moment, discard all the above options and give up altogether. The world will still move on, whether or not you choose to be part of it.

So I choose to be part of it.

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