Today is my birthday. It’s my first birthday without Barry. I felt his absense more than words can say.

My family wanted to take me to lunch, to celebrate, as families do. However, as the days snuck up to this day of celebration, I knew that I didn’t want to go out. The past week has been stressful. The past four months has been a nightmare. I know that life goes on, and I’ve helped celebrate other people’s birthdays, but I didn’t feel like doing anything special on my own birthday. I know this makes no sense. Maybe next year will be different.

Yet my family are a persistent lot. We did meet my parents for coffee and ended up having a simple lunch together. My brother and his family showed up too, which is a rare occurance. Daniel came over for a long visit. And several people phoned me and/or emailed me their birthday greetings. Everyone has been thinking about me, and I’m so lucky that they care. I did have a lovely day afterall. Simple, yes, but lovely.

And Gary bought me a beautiful gold locket. It is inlaid with mother-of-pearl with two golden hearts in the centre. I will place Barry’s photo in one side of the locket and strands of his hair in the other. I’ll wear the locket on special occasions and maybe I’ll feel Barry’s presence in future, rather than his absense.