I Lost The Reason For Being
by Mark Oborn
The beautiful Claire and I on our wedding day 22 years ago
I am an organised person.
I run my own business helping dentists with their marketing and I have trained as a business and life coach so I have (correction 'had') a great big life goal.
We were going to grow old together, we were going to live in a house by the sea working only two days a week each and spending the remainder of the time travelling the UK & Europe in our campervan with our little dog.
The house was on the market, we have found a new one 15- minute walk from the beach, we'd been to look at some campervans and last year we bought our little dog - it was all slowly coming together after the years we have dedicated to bringing up our children now aged 14, 16, 16 & 18.
And then she died.
My name is Mark Oborn and I had been married to the wonderful Claire for 22 years, we had even been dating six years before that, since we were 16 years old. We only ever had each other and we were the love of each other's lives.
Claire who was 43 had been in good health, so we thought, but on 17 April 2013 she woke up with a headache and mild sickness, we'd been for a curry the night before to celebrate my birthday and so weren't overly concerned. By 10:30 she was vomiting heavily and I took to her bed. When I got home from work at 17:30 she was so ill that her sister, who was visiting, decided to take her to the local hospital accident and emergency.
By 18:30 she had had a cardiac arrest and was on a ventilator, they sedated her and took her for a CT scan for her head and stomach to find out what the problem was.
She never made it to the scan as she had another cardiac arrest, and by 19:30 she was gone. The doctors fought to save her but because she deteriorated so rapidly they have absolutely no idea what was wrong with her and so had no way of treating her.
She was my life, my reason for living, my passion, my love and my everything.
It's now August 2013 and it's been three months since Claire died, I started to write my own blog (http://lost-without-her.com) as a personal diary and a way to express how I was feeling. Here's what I wrote yesterday.
“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.”
I read those words yesterday and they hit home, they hit home pretty hard.
I enjoyed lunch yesterday with a good friend (thanks Emma) and we were talking about the ‘when/then’ game. When the kids have left home then it would be better. When I’ve moved house then I can relax. When/then.
Claire and I used to joke that we would write a book called “It’ll be better when…” and then make jokes about all of the times that we had used that expression or heard other people use it, perhaps that’s a project of the future, but thinking about it now really does make me stop and consider things.
What has opened up for me now is a completely new chapter in my life, I thought I knew where the story was going until I turned the page on 17 April and the great author in the sky decided to take the story in a different direction. I can see now that those early chapters were leading me in a direction and I had made up my own ending, I was pinning all of my hopes on chapters I was yet to read, life was going to begin in those chapters.
But as I sit here writing this down I can see the entire book, it’s closed so I’ve no idea where the story goes, but I can see that this IS my life. It doesn’t begin over the page, it began at the beginning of the book and I’m in it now, this is it, these obstacles ARE my life.
There is a lot to be said for writing the end of the book ourselves and creating our future as we go, and there is also a lot to be said for reading the words of the page that we are on, reading them slowly, reading them with meaning and most of all enjoying them.
I’ve no idea what is over the page, at the moment I have no idea what the next paragraph says, but I do know that for the time being at least, I’m going to read those words very slowly.