For those who don’t know our incredibly romantic love story; we met in a pub in Dublin, Temple Bar on Valentine’s Day 2012, while I was on a mini holiday with a university friend and Will was on a stag do. We spent the whole night talking and the next week Will had a rugby match in Twickenham where I was studying and came to see me for the weekend. The rest, as they say, is history. I totally believe fate brought us together.
The bleed happened a week after we celebrated our one-year anniversary, so our relationship was a relatively young one. At no point throughout this whole time have I ever considered any other option than being beside Will every step of the way because although our relationship was only a year long I already knew how lucky I was to call Will my boyfriend. The best thing to come out of this awful situation is that Will and I have a bond that is unique, unbreakable and unconditional.
I am struggling to find the right way to describe that first night when Will was taken ill. It is hard to remember the details firstly because it is a blur but secondly because, to be honest, I don’t want to. I think that being the girlfriend or partner of someone in ICU is completely different than it being family; watching your brother, your son, your nephew. Not any worse, not any better, but very different. For Will’s family they might be losing a person they have shared a lifetime of memories with, whereas for me as the partner I might be losing a lifetime of potential with the one I love.
This loss has been the hardest thing to come to terms with for us both. All the questions that you can’t help but ask yourself; where would we be if this hadn’t have happened? How much would we have done and achieved? Or not?
There is a grieving process that you have to go through because although it is not a measureable loss we have to grieve for the future that we will never know. I am not saying our future now is bleak because it is not; it is what we have been fighting for these past months!
However we are in a state of limbo, Will’s recovery is still ongoing, we do not know if/when Will’s memory will improve or what independence he will have. This sense of unknown is frustrating for Will and makes planning of our lives really hard. We do not know if going back to work full time is achievable or not, nor do we know if it will be realistic to go for another job or move from Cheltenham to be near either our families. Obviously I believe Will can achieve anything and everything he wants to, but sometimes reality does sometimes put up huge stumbling blocks.
Life now is a balancing act of trying not to let Will’s injury define our lives however at the same time accepting that it is now a part of who he is so therefore a part of who we are.
We are also incredibly lucky to be blessed with two amazing families who are a constant source of love and encouragement, who are helping us every step of the way in forging our new life together. We also have such wonderful friends who are always there to make us laugh and listen when we need to vent.
I am very conscious that I don’t want this blog to be a sad one because although it is rubbish that this has happened, Will is still here! And that is amazing! Our journey has not been conventional or easy but I am thankful to go through everything with my best friend and favourite person.
Happy Anniversary William Wood, you are an inspiration.