A year on this date you passed away. I decided to get up for the sunrise and climb Dumyat to capture the beauty that is life, to remind us that the sun will always rise and set only to rise again.
Let me tell you now I am so unfit, Rory would’ve been laughing at me all the way. We reached the top and it was just gorgeous, freezing but gorgeous. We sat and had hot chocolate as we watched the sunrise and appreciated all the things we have in life. I am so grateful that Rory gifted me with Jamie, I couldn’t of done it without him.
As we were walking back to the car I noticed a small heart shaped stone, I took that as a sign Rory was with me.
And as mental as I may seem when I was making a sandwich there was a heart in the ham as clear as day.
A year in a lifetime seems so little like no time passes at all. This year without you has been the longest year of my life but at the same time the quickest. As part of my healing process, I am going to relive the terrifying and soul crushing moments that was Tuesday the 28th of September 2021 in order to take away that last image, to take away all the dread and anxiety, I feel I need to relive it and the best way for myself to do that is by writing. This will be a hard read.
11th September 2021 06:00am- 12th September 2021 23:00pm
Around 6am we got the call. Rory had been able to stay this weekend so on the Friday night he decided to go out with his friends, he rocked up to the house at 2am steaming and we got the call at 6. We were both surviving on 4 hours sleep, we jumped out of bed and finalised packing, we called who we needed to call, and we went downstairs to wait on the ambulance to take Rory to the airport. It was a long and anxious wait, this was our last chance to be properly alone together, we had so much to say to each other, but no words could describe how we both felt. I could tell Rory was nervous and rightly-so, he was about to face death itself in the hope it gives him a new life.
Rory didn’t believe he would survive this transplant, he said this would be his last and that if he were to die, I wasn’t to be by myself, I was to find love again. I said, “well maybe in like 10 years but not straight away”, he said “nah I would give it three months and then get on with your life.” I told him he wouldn’t die and when we grew old and if I were to die before him, he wasn’t to get a new girlfriend because I’d come back and haunt him. I now know why Rory was so persistent on me moving forward and finding someone else, he knew he wouldn’t survive, and he didn’t like the thought of me being alone, he wanted me to have the life he couldn’t give me.
In some way I knew we would get the call that weekend. I was meant to be going to TRNSMT and at last minute I decided the week before not to. I also remember saying “I bet you get the call when I start my next uni placement” and he did, 2 days before I was due to start in A22. Maybe that’s why Rory decided to have a big piss up with his friends because in some way he knew it would be their last.
It was taking longer and longer for the ambulance to get to the house and the later it got we were both starting to tire from the lack of sleep. I decided that if I was going to make the 7-hour journey to Cambridge by myself then I would need to leave soon. I gave him a kiss and promised I’d see him before he went into surgery. I stopped in Carlisle for a pee when Rory phoned to say he has been picked up and he was on his way. I arrived at the air BnB that Donna and I were staying at before travelling to the hospital together as Rory had arrived in Cambridge.
With COVID still around he was only allowed one visitor, but they allowed Donna and Ian and his dad Ewen to say their hellos and good lucks before letting me sit with him until he had to go to the ward. Rory had finally sobered up and all we wanted to do was cuddle in and go for a nap. When the doctor called to say I had to leave I walked him to his room and gave him our last proper hug. The one thing I regret is not giving him a kiss like he wanted because I thought the doctors would give us a row due to covid now I wish I had. Rory’s room was surrounded by glass, I guess because it’s the HDU unit they want to be able to see their patients in case they crash. I waved goodbye with tears in my eyes, and he watched me walk away. He didn’t go into surgery until around 11pm that night and the surgery lasted 23 hours. During those 23 hours Donna, Ian and I decided to walk around Cambridge and distract ourselves, the longer time went on the wore our anxieties would get and all we wanted to do was chill at our Cambridge home. We sat outside under the stars with the resident cats and relaxed, patiently waiting on the phone call. At around 9pm we got a call to say Rory made it through the surgery and they were just finishing up which would be another hour or so and would call us once he was in ICU. It had been a long day and night so as soon as we knew he was safe and comfortable in ICU we all headed to bed.
12th September 2021 23:59pm – 24th September 2021 21:20pm
Rory was kept asleep in a coma for a few days to give his body a rest after such a long and tough surgery. I got to visit him for an hour a day for 6 days out of the 7 and his mum was allowed in for the other one. I am so grateful that Donna allowed me to visit more, it must’ve been so hard not being able to be by your child’s bedside 24/7 while they are ill. Rory stayed stable, occasionally while I was there, he would fight against the anesthesia and would struggle with the breathing tube, he done this so much that they had to restrain him to prevent him from hurting himself. It was hard to see, difficult knowing I couldn’t do anything to help him. It was heart breaking having to watch the clock to see how much time I had left during my visit, I hated leaving him not knowing and just hoping that nothing happens while I’m away.
The next few days Donna, Ian and I enjoyed Cambridge as much as we could considering what was going on in the hospital and to our boy. After a couple of days, the doctors woke Rory up and he was petrified. He was so paranoid and watched all the doctors and nurses like a hawk. He wouldn’t talk to anyone and if he did it was very quiet one-word answers, I tried to distract him and tell him about Donna and I’s adventures, but he would jump at every noise and would never take his eyes of those around him. Again, I hated to leave him knowing I couldn’t bring him any comfort. The doctors were getting worried that Rory wouldn’t speak and ordered neurological tests and speech and language were involved but they found nothing, he was choosing not to speak. Eventually during one of my visits he told me its not because he couldn’t talk its because he believed that if he spoke something bad would happen. Looking back, I believe when he woke up from the coma, he didn’t fully believe he was alive and that he was just waiting for reality to hit and that he wouldn’t really be here, I can only imagine how terrifying that must’ve been. The next day after Rory spoke was the 24th and at around 9pm Rory was texting me and was explaining that he was in pain, and I just tried to reassure him because there was nothing much I could really do. I continued to message him even though he wasn’t replying, I just thought he had fallen asleep like usual, little did I know he was on the brink of death.
25th September 2021 02:00am
I woke up to my phone ringing, it was the hospital. The doctor was talking to me, but I wasn’t listening, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I had to get him to repeat himself, this time I put it on speaker so Donna could hear. The doctor explained that Rory had become unstable and had to be resuscitated, not in the way of CPR but with oxygen, blood products and everything else that would keep him alive. The images that were running through my head were awful, I was in a state of shock. Rory had started to bleed uncontrollably and lost consciousness, he was then rushed to surgery to stop the bleed which they did. Unfortunately, too much blood had been lost to the organs, his body had taken a huge hit and it was very touch and go. The reason for the bleed was due to infection between the transplant graft and his aorta. Once he was as stable as he could be, he was taken to ICU where the next morning I was able to visit him. The next couple of days were crucial, I never gave up hope Rory always managed to pull through. Due to his body taking a huge hit they had to leave him open and would go back to stitch him up in a couple of days, he made it through. My parents travelled down and stayed at my uncles in Retford to support me. Each day he stayed stable, good news was few and far between, his blood pressure was the main indicator that he wasn’t coping. The doctors were increasing the medicine, then his BP would stabilise and then drop again and then they would need to give him more. There was only so much medicine he could have before it wouldn’t work anymore. I never lost hope yet something inside me knew it was going to be the end soon.
28th September 2021
After leaving Rory the night before because unfortunately I couldn’t stay with him all night. I was booked in to visit him at around 11am, I was on the bus to the hospital when I got a call from the hospital. “We think that you and the family should come in”, these are the words that any nurse or carer knows is not good news which is why my stomach dropped when I heard them. I was already on my way in, so I phoned Donna and she phoned Ewen who then came down the road with Rory’s brother as well. I got to the hospital and made my way to the ICU, the doctors had a chat with me, and I could see from the monitor that Rory was struggling, his BP wouldn’t stabilise, his heart rate was high, and his bloods weren’t showing any improvement, the organs didn’t fail him it was the loss of blood.
We waited and waited; we had chats with the doctor who at the time was waiting on blood results to see which way the day would go. At this point I decided to call my mum and dad who fortunately were only an hour or so away. We were all together when the doctors had that last chat with us, he wanted to know what we wanted to do, he wasn’t getting better, and his heart was starting to struggle. This was the hardest thing to here and the doctor’s words replay in my head all the time, “We all know Rory’s heart is the strongest part of him but even that is struggling now”, this broke me. Rory had already told me that he “didn’t want to be a vegetable” so I knew we had to let him go, his mum also agreed. We made our way back to Rory’s room where the nurses started to stop the medicines, they were giving Rory and turn off the machines. At around 6pm they turned the monitor around so we couldn’t see the decline as we were focusing on it too much. I managed to lie my head on his chest with the help of the nurses, I was hugging him as he died.
I couldn’t hear his heart stopping due to the ventilator, its whooshing sound as the air went in and out his lungs hid the beat of his heart which I wish wasn’t a core memory of this time. His eyes were still open due to swelling, his big beautiful blue eyes staring into space, the visual cemented into my brain. His arms and body still warm, I wanted to kiss his forehead before he got cold. I told the nurse he needed to open the windows, but he couldn’t, so I had to settle with the door and the curtains being left open. We were asked to go to the family room so they could freshen Rory up. When I got to go back in there was no noise, but it wasn’t quiet, I went to Rory’s left-hand side and spoke a lot of nonsense to him, I can’t even remember what was coming out my mouth apart from telling him to follow me out the hospital. Looking back now I wish I had stayed longer, I want more time, I want more time with him even now, even if it is to have one more cuddle while he lay there in his eternal sleep. We left and went back to the air BnB where it had started pouring down and my dad said to me “they’ve got him, they are crying with us”. This honestly was the worst night of my life, I went between crying to sleeping to crying again, I couldn’t eat, and the thought of food was making me feel sick. Every time I thought I was finished crying I would start again. We went to stay with my aunty and uncle before heading back up to Scotland. I wanted to wait until Rory was leaving the hospital, but I needed my own house and my friends, and we just didn’t know when Rory would be released.
Waiting for Rory and imagining him in a morgue and travelling up in a big, refrigerated van crushed me it was horrible to think that. The funeral director asked if we wanted to see him, but I wasn’t sure, I didn’t want to traumatize myself even more, so I asked him for a sign. The funeral director then called and said he had changed colour, so I took that as he didn’t want me to see him like that, now though I wish I had just for that extra time. Organising his funeral was easy enough, he had already planned it, so I just had to add a few things with the help of his family and friends.
There isn’t much else to say about this part of the story, I’ve touched on what has happened since in other posts and let’s just say it’s been one hell of a journey. I think my next piece of writing will be about Rory’s communication from the spirit world, communication that I greatly appreciate having. Thank you to all my friends and family for their support over the past year, I couldn’t of done it without you.
Rory, now I have written what I needed to write, please take away the images of these traumatic events from my mind and fill me with loving and healing white light, thank you for all you have done for me and still continue to do. My guardian angel.
Recently life has been pretty up and down. I’ve had really good days enjoying life and adventuring but there has been a cloud of grief hanging over my family recently which has put a damper on things. I thought I would take a moment to remember those that I’ve lost.
When I was young I lost my nanny Nell, I remember playing snakes and ladders with her, helping her move to her new house and listening to her sing me nursery rhymes that may or may not have had a bad word in them👀.
My uncle Tommy passed during my time in high school, he was a great man, passionate about boxing and Celtic. He was a funny man and his personality still shine through when I get a reading as he’s always popping in to say hi.
I lost my Grandad Iain while I was still at high school, I enjoyed his company and often wish I could’ve had more in depth conversations with him about his travels over the world and his life in general but I wasn’t at an age where I thought that was important.
I lost my Nana Joan 2 years ago before the start of the pandemic. I have great memories of her as a cub leader, staying at her giant house in Mansfield as a child, doing her nails and eyebrows for her, trying to solve the gas, electricity and water puzzle for hours on end. The most prominent memories I have or her and my grandad was when I stayed with them for a week and they took me on a bus tour of London or when we all went on holiday to Jersey which to this day is still my favourite place.
Before my Nana passed her dog Milo took the trip over the rainbow bridge. He was one of my best friends, I grew up with him, he was one of the many dogs my nana and grandad had.
In May 2021 we lost Rory’s gran Anna. She was a kind soul, she loved my “red hair” that she thought was natural. My favourite story of her is when she ran out of wine and decided to drink the bottle of buckfast that was chilling in the fridge. Her passing solidified me becoming a proper cat mum as I gained a son in the form of Sketch aka the devil incarnated aka Skoosh.
In September ‘21 my darling husband Rory passed away leaving a gigantic (pun intended, he was 7”2) hole in my heart. There is so much I could say about the gentle giant who gained his wings far too soon. He was a one in a million miracle man who could put a smile on everyone’s face. I will always love you sweetheart.
After only a couple month of heavy grief my Granny Rena passed away in January 22. My gran was a massive part of the family, always there when you needed cheering up or a cuddle. She always made sure everyone gave her a kiss and a cuddle before leaving. She would fill you up with cups of tea and custard creams. Lavender, August and cats are some of the things that remind me of her. She would always say that the best people were born in August and if you were sad she’d say “smile, it might never happen”.
My aunties best friend passed not long ago. Darlene was part of the family, she had a long hard journey battling breast cancer and sadly it was too much. She was there for me when I found a lump in my breast which thankfully was nothing serious but I’ll always be grateful for that support.
A few weeks ago my great Aunty Bridget passed away. I didn’t see her often but I have fond memories of her giving us crisps, juice and sweeties when we went round to her house or seeing her at family parties.
Ma boy George died unexpectedly after being completely fine and happy playing in his pool. I will miss him so much, the house is not the same without the pitter patter of his paws across the floor and the sound of a squeaky toy.
On the 28th of July my Aunty Susan passed away unexpectedly. She is another who will leave a big hole in the family. She had such a big personality and a warm, kind heart. She gave me my first alcoholic drink, a Buck’s Fizz at new year. She was always up for a dance and a drink and the songs, “Proud Mary” or “Blow my whistle bitch” wont be the same with out her.
On the 12th of October my great aunty Mary passed away. She was some woman and a massive character in our family. I will always remember going round to her at Halloween dressed in a bin bag to cook for apples and when it was your birthday you’d get coins taped to the inside of your card. She will be greatly missed but she’s now back with her Tommy❤️
Life is cruel in many ways. Although I believe in the way of thinking that Dolores Cannon explains in this video https://youtu.beFhjoEnG4gww (it is a long video but it really is interesting) it still doesn’t make it any easier or stops you questioning why.
Grief teaches you lessons you never wanted to learn but it helps you remember to never take anything for granted and always tell your loved ones you love them. I haven’t even started grieving half the people on this post, you don’t get a chance to when it’s one after the other. I know it’ll come and when it does I’ll deal with it healthily like I have learned how to do with Rory.
There is so much that these people will miss, weddings, births, parties but we know they’ll be there in spirit. Our family won’t be the same for a while but the good thing about my family is that we are so close and we will all hold each other and strengthen each other together.
That last few months have been a bit hectic and I haven’t felt ready to talk about it all but I’ll give it a go today. A lot has happened, physically, mentally, spiritually, the whole lot.
Around the middle of April I started to feel the full effects of everything really. The 20th would’ve been 6 year that Rory and I had been together, work was getting stressful, I was dealing with new emotions surrounding a strange and unexpected situation I found myself in and just life in general. I could feel myself starting to tire a little and my social and mental batteries weren’t being charged like they should.
At the start of May I went away to Anstruther with a good friend soon to become partner and enjoyed some good company and quiet time away from all the stressors of life. The middle of May I moved house without any time off from work. The end of May I was working a lot but managed to go to an ABBA night at the dobbie hall. It never clicked until about an hour or so in that I was dancing in the same place I held my husband funeral. I started panicking but Jamie was quick to react and took me outside explaining that he had been waiting for it to click with me where I was and made sure I was okay. Coincidentally when I realised where I was the song Wagon Wheel came on, this was one of Rory’s favourite songs and we danced to it at our engagement party. It just proved that he was there. After a wee cry I felt okay, I started enjoying my night although felt a bit crazy laughing to myself that I was dancing where Rory’s coffin once was. Later on that night we ended up in Sportsters where I met some of Rory’s other friends and as Fraz and I were talking about him, their favourite song started playing and again Wagon Wheel was played, what are the chances?
The Monday back at work I felt drained, my battery was at an all time low and I had no patience, I was so stressed and everything was getting to me. By the end of the shift I was ready to crack and on the way home I started to cry, dreading going in the next day knowing that as soon as I stepped through the door I would be an emotional wreck. I phoned in sick and the doctor gave me a line and upped the dose of my antidepressants. The days after that were a bit of a blur, I struggled to get out of bed, to do work around the house, talk to people, all I wanted to do was sleep. I would cry often, it felt like I was beginning the grieving process all over again. With the upped dose of medication meant that things would get worse before they get better, it amplifies everything around you. My flashbacks increased and would be triggered by small things like hearing Jamie’s heartbeat and getting sent right back to lying on Rory’s chest hoping to hear his for the last time but being drowned out by the noise of the ventilator. I felt numb and lost. Jamie helps, he comforts me when I’m down that dark rabbit hole reliving everything, he calms me, he lets me grieve however I want, he’s been a saint.
The tablets start working and I’m taking time for myself to understand all that I’m feeling and I’m opening up about it and I start to feel better. The time off has been just what I needed to recharge and feel myself again. I’m still anxious about going back to work but I know I have plenty of time off and plans to look forward to should I become overwhelmed again.
It begins with a J
Not everyone will understand what I am going through and that’s okay. Some people may think that I’m moving on too quick or how can I be with someone else when my husband only died nearly 9 months ago. Let me explain.
Rory told me through a medium that he had put someone in my life, who would be my next potential partner, he said he’s not going to pick an asshole for me but “you can’t replace perfection”, who I have a good friendship with that we wont want to take a chance and ruin that but I should go for it and he gives me the okay. At this point in time I had no idea who he was talking about but as time went on it became clear he had been talking about Jamie. It was also confirmed by another medium that there was a new person in my life with the letter J, hard working and self employed but who was overthinking a lot about the current situation. Not going to lie, when we both realised we had feelings more than friendship it was an unexpected, difficult, confusing but an exciting situation. We communicated a lot and it was a rollercoaster of emotions on both sides for a good while before everything settled.
One question that might be on your mind is “do you not feel guilty?”. Well no, not really. Don’t get me wrong I have felt guilt but more so with the fact that my mind wasn’t occupied with Rory 24/7 anymore like I was somehow losing my connection with him but that wasn’t true at all. Jamie and I find great comfort in grieving together, we can talk about Rory openly, Jamie wants to hear about Rory and I’s relationship, it’s so nice to be with someone who was one of Rory’s best friends it really is comforting. Jamie respects my grief and the journey I have been through. What touched my heart was that when one of Rory’s friends was playing basketball on the TV, Jamie sat and watched it with a picture of Rory by his side and enjoyed the game with him.
A man named John polo described it perfectly what it’s like to move forward with someone else, I’ve posted the video below.
The connection Jamie and I have is something I never thought I would have after losing Rory, it truly is magical how the universe works.
If you haven’t heard, Jamie and I are travelling the world together next year. We both feel it’s needed and the right time for us and a huge opportunity to reset essentially. I still have a few hills to climb this year, one in particular I am dreading at the end of September but I’ll get there. Jamie and I plan to have a celebration for Rory sometime near the end of the year to show he may be gone but will never be forgotten. ❤️
Realising that the 6 month mark (29/3/22) was coming up hit me like a bowling ball to the chest and realising that I haven’t seen or heard from Rory in 6 months is mind blowing. Last week I dreaded today, I dreaded the feeling of sadness and the overwhelming grief I would feel. Now that the day is actually here I don’t feel sad, I feel alright actually. The build up to today seems silly now but I think I was thinking about other stuff as well like the fact that I’m needing to move out of what was for a little while ‘our home’ even if Rory was hardly there, the need to rehome Sketch or having to sort through his clothes and decide what I am giving away. Maybe it’s because in another 6 months it will be a year and time will continue to move forward when all you want to do is make it stop and rewind. Maybe I’ve put my grieving on hold for too long and it’s all just catching up to me.
That last sentence doesn’t resonate with me today, I have been grieving, I grieve everyday and some days it’s worse than others. You can’t move on from something like this you can only move forward and learn to live with grief, because grief is only a side effect of love. So I am, I am living my life how I should be, making the most of everyday and doing things I never thought I’d do.
I also think last week hit me harder than today because I’m completely rethinking my whole life goals. Do I want to spend the next two years full of tears, sleepless nights, anxiety, no social life and stress? No one would willingly pick that and as much as I would love to be a nurse, the nursing we have these days is not what I want to be doing. I want to be less about paperwork and more about the care of my patients. Continuing my nursing this year also doesn’t fit into my plan of travelling and living my life to the full! How can I be stuck in university, tied down by a course I’m not in the right headspace to complete when tomorrow is never guaranteed. I will become a nurse one day but maybe not how I originally planned.
I made sure my day was full of plans so I wouldn’t waste it being miserable. Started the day off with the gym, going out for lunch with my mum, dad and Donna, taking sometime for myself to paint and do a bit of self care and then going out for dinner with some old friends. I’m really treating myself today ae!
I dreaded today, but there is nothing to dread. My feelings are valid and reasonable. I didn’t want today to be sad and so far it hasn’t been.
The next milestone I’ll hit will be the 20th of April, the day we officially got together. This year would’ve made it 6 years crazy how much has happened during that time. Now I count the months we’ve been apart.
Okay that was a bit depressing, let me tell you what I am proud of doing this month. I went away to Loch Ness all by myself for an over night trip to scatter some ashes.
I survived Mother’s Day.
I went wild swimming with Katie.
I recently went paddle boarding in the sea which I would never had done in a million of years since I am shit feart of the ocean.
If you ever take a message from these blog posts let it be this, “life is too short to not go out and do what you enjoy, to be scared, to miss out on adventure, not to be happy to be stuck in a boring 9-5 job. Go out and change your life, make memories and live life to the full. What’s stopping you?”