Bye bye 2017, you tormenting beauty

A few days into 2018 and I've been able to sit down and publish the drafts that have sat in the back of this blog for a few days. My heads clear after a hectic holidays. My hearts strong but wavering often - my resolve firmer and dragging me forward.

I'm writing this post from a café in Galway that myself and Liane loved. It has changed hands a few times since we were last here but sits on the same corner at the top of Middle Street maintaining a sort of hidden away feel to it. It seems an appropriate place to think about Liane, to dream of her and what we miss so keenly. I'm staying with friends in a house, room and bed that I shared often with Liane. I feel at peace here. There's something about the pace of Galway life, the salt in the air, the winding streets and the lack of Dublin worries that calms me. Much like it did Liane (

I've a lot to say about 2017, and in turn, I suppose, about the years that went before and the years that will follow.

"Fuck 2017". "Glad to see the back of 2017". "Roll on 2018". I've seen lots of variations on this sentence/thought and it seemed to briefly resonate, at least to my anger and my sense of injustice. But it simply doesn't ring true. It's not what Liane would think and it's not fair on so many others.

Yes, I lost my wife, my soul mate and the woman I'd built so much of me and her with. My family and her family are reeling. Her friends are reeling. There's pain at so many turns because of her death in April 2017. It would be remiss to see that moment as defining a year.  

During 2017 I gained friends. I saw new family born. I was lucky and honoured to gain two beautiful godchildren. I felt a deeper love and a deeper understanding of my life and my relationships, learning more about myself than for years previous. I saw friends marry, fall in love, get engaged, raise children, travel, succeed in so many fields of work and generally inspire. 

I also saw others lose people. Parents died. Grandparents died. Siblings died. Children died. I saw people face pain and lose to it. I saw people go through hurt I will never comprehend. And yet still here we are, alive and living. All is not lost. And 2017 certainly isn't to blame. A year when so much good happened, when so many thrived - it would be unfair to tarnish all that with one brush. 

I don't know if I'll always feel this way. My emotions and experiences change and develop. But right now, I'm happy with what I have and that I had Liane for as long as I did. I was lucky. A lot of people are considerably less so. To those people, I hope 2018 brings you good fortune.