My dearest Lindy is gone. I’ve never felt so bereft and desolate. For over 25 years it was always Linda and Stuart. There was no Linda. No Stuart. We were one of those annoying couples who were inseparable. And now she’s gone.
I don’t know what she ever saw in me. She was beautiful, funny, full of life and mischief. I was and and am a dour, cantankerous drunk. But the second last thing she said to me before the brain cancer put her to sleep was “You always looked after me, no-one else ever did that”. And she meant no-one. Because underneath the smile she was lonely and after we became a couple she told me how she would cry herself to sleep at night. That broke my heart.
Until she fell ill last Christmas I don’t think we’d spent a night apart in over a decade bar some hospital visits and once she ended up in St Columba’s Hospice I spent every night with her there until she passed. I was with her when she took her last breath and she was still the beautiful girl I met all those years ago.
She had a pretty shitty life. As she would say “there’s always a fly in the ointment”. Whether that was an evil mother ruining her childhood, a teenage wedding to an utter bastard, caring for elderly relatives with dementia and COPD or after the hospital fucked up her knee and misdiagnosed a damaged ankle so that she was never pain free for the last six years of her life.
We made grand plans last year. I took my redundancy and we were going to move out of town and get a dog as we wound down into later life. Even when she was diagnosed with cancer and underwent 10 lots of chemotherapy and 30 lots of radiotherapy, some of which hospitalised her again, we still hoped.
Then the final kick in the teeth. Just a couple of weeks before the follow up scans were due to see if the treatment was successful we found out the cancer had spread to the brain. And there was nothing they could do. Her last few weeks were horrible as the paranoia and confusion had her in tears and if euthanasia needed any more justification spend some time with a brain cancer patient in their last few weeks. Sometimes she would forget she was dying and then the reality would sink in. It was only a fortnight ago that she looked and me and said “I’m never going to have a puppy now, am I”. And we wept.
There were a couple of good weeks in the hospice and the staff and volunteers there managed to put a smile on her face. But after weeks of torture she fell asleep and passed away five days later. If you feel like it you can give some money to the St Columba’s Hospice charity here.
This was always her favourite picture of the two of us. It was taken a couple of months before we started winching and she always said that she knew back then that I was the one for her. She was my Lindy, my dearest and I don’t know how to survive without her. But she knew how much I love her. Aw the way to Morrisons. And back.