On Wednesday, I had a counselling session. It’s not easy to sit and talk about private issues to a stranger, no matter what anyone tells you. I felt nervous, and when I’m nervous my mind goes blank. This isn’t good when I’m supposed to be talking.

However, the woman I was with knew her job and she asked the right questions to get me started. When I finally got going, I found I had so much on my mind and I couldn’t talk fast enough to get it all out, so it “fell out” in a jumble.

I was all over the place. It was obvious, even to me, that I was confused. My mind wouldn’t focus and what I wanted to say got lost in a frenzy of pointless words. It was frustrating and I got upset about that, as well as all the pent up emotions I had been holding in.

Sifting through the mess must not have been easy for the counsellor, but she listened…and she even cried at one point. She apologised and said as a mother she felt for me and could only imagine what I was going through. I appreciated her words and compassion.

Finally, she told me that my family are going through profound grief. She said that it was in my nature to make sure that everything was being done correctly and that I was trying to hold everyone together. And in making sure everyone else was coping, I was neglecting myself. She told me to be kind to myself. She told me that whilst some insensitive people would expect me to “carry on as usual”, most people would accept that my life has changed and I needed time to adjust.

And then…without warning…I blurted out what was really troubling me and I broke down. It is guilt related (and at this time I’ve decided not to go into the details) and whilst my head tells me I’m being silly, my heart is deaf.

Having regrets is a terrible thing, especially when you can do nothing to change things now. This is a hard lesson to learn at the expense of losing Barry. He took something I treasured and loved dearly, yet he gave me a precious gift in that taking. How am I supposed to live with that?