Seven years gone: A letter to Lidia

Zoetemelk-Lidia

Iris’s partner Lidia was killed on the road on 23 May 2013. Iris has kindly given permission for us to share a letter she has written to Lidia, seven years on from this tragedy. Brake provides support to people affected by road death and serious injury through the National Road Victim Service. If you need support, we are there for you. Find out more and how to get in touch at www.brake.org.uk/victim-support.

Saturday 23 May 2020

Dear Lidia,

I can’t believe today marks seven years since I lost you. I’ve been aware of this day since the month began. It’s the month that changed everything for me.

The build-up to the day is always the worst. I’ve been wearing your necklace, wearing our rings, and listening to songs that remind me of you. No wonder I’ve been an emotional nightmare this past fortnight.

But now the seven-year anniversary has arrived, I’ve found it easier to keep busy on your death day, trying to distract myself of all the memories that are forever ingrained on my soul. In the past, I usually take time to reflect. But now I try and distract myself of all the memories of what I was doing, our last conversations, the police showing up at work to tell me of your death, and the emotional roller coaster that followed.

But I did find myself looking at old photos of us today, of you. And I decided I wanted new photos of us in the photo frame on the wall. And I took comfort in sorting those photos, and thinking of you.

I really don’t know if it gets easier with time. A few months ago I found myself standing under the shower, crying and feeling the same depth of despair and trauma I did seven years ago today. I can’t remember what triggered it. It doesn’t matter. Your death has become a part of me. And I have changed as a result of that.

Does time help with healing? It does to a point. What I do know about grief and loss from a road crash, is, it forever changes you. That sudden, violent, traumatic death changes you. My once broken soul, now mended with time, has learned to live with losing you. But the healed cracks and jagged edges will always remain. And sometimes they become loose, holes appear and the grief comes again.

It might be seven years gone today, but you now live forever in my heart, where you will always belong.

Love,

Iris

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