He’s the master of dropping in when he needs to. His messages are clear and I very rarely have to decipher them because he speaks directly to me, shows me or makes me feel something in particular.

Right at the beginning of this journey, I saw a medium (one of MANY) who told me Russ was assuring me that for the most part, I’d stay on good terms with his family. That we’d support one another and grieve together. Except for one of them. I knew who straight away.

I’d already had an altercation with one of his family members who had taken all his grief out on me, didn’t hold back, just spat nasty at me because he was feeling shit. Unjustified, unfair, hateful and just plain fucking rude. But that was to be expected I guess, he is just fucking rude.

A couple of months after that session with the medium, Russ came to me in a dream and told me not to worry about this family member. To forgive. To do what he’d do. So, I did. As best I could. I allowed him to grieve. I forgave him his callousness. I wondered when he’d stop having it out for me for no reason. I couldn’t work out why… Some of the things he said were quite disgusting. And yet, I would swallow them as best I could, because my partner had told me to. I was honouring him. Anything. For him.

Each time, though hurt, I’d excuse his behaviour (as did others, oddly) and put it down to his grieving and being incapable of processing it all so I became his scapegoat. Up until we lost Russ, I had welcomed this family member into my home weekly to stay the night as he was working in Sydney but living elsewhere so he stayed up here alternating sleeping places. Every single week, Russ would call me and ask me permission for this person to stay and every single week I said the same thing. “Of course. It’s your home too baby, you don’t need my permission.” Every single week, he said the same thing back, “It’s OUR home, I just want to make sure.” I asked him one night when this family member was camped out on our couch why he rang me every week when he knew I was never going to say No. He told me that just because I would never say no, didn’t mean he wanted me to think that it was just expected of me to always say yes. That if I wanted, I could say no and that would be OK.

I would never have said no. Ever. But, I appreciated the call. Russ valued our partnership, that’s what it was, a partnership. We were a family. Him, me and my two girls. I was the person he thought of first whenever anything happened. Happy, sad, funny or otherwise. I was his motivation to live a good life. I was his person. For him, I was HOME. In turn, he was those things for me too.

I went about my business doing things that felt right to me, distributing ashes, money, possessions and including this family member in things I didn’t have to do for him or anyone but especially him. I owed him not one fucking thing. I even gifted him Russ’ prized possession, his beloved bike, because I know that’s what Russ would have wanted. Even with all these things, things I did FOR Russ, even these didn’t coax him out of his vile words.

Sometimes things pop up in my Facebook feed or in Rusi’s timehop that I have on my phone and I think he [family member], and others, might like to see them. So, I share these maps to the past. I don’t do it for me, I do it to share Russ with other people who mattered to him. I recently shared something pretty special with this family member and I got nothing in return. Self entitlement. EXPECTATION. Like it’s just a given that he treat me like shit and he’ll just continue to get these things. Well done, you’re off the list.

A whole bunch of stuff has happened recently, including he and I becoming closer (apparently he was “forgiving me” because “life was too short” – Ha! Good one dickhead) and then even more recently, ceasing that again.  I don’t think I’ll ever stop being amazed at how he gets away with his blatant bullish behaviour with everyone. The fact that no one expected anything different of him is quite telling really. “That’s just [family member].” Cool, well watch me be me and tell him to fuck right off.

This is where it gets really good for me though. This morning I had an awesome dream. I got to hang with my bestie. We were fishing (wtf?), chatting and laughing at silly little private jokes. I asked him if I was allowed to stop allowing [family member] to treat me this way? He dropped his rod and came right over to me, kneeled in front of me and grabbed my face. His eyes were so blue, like they used to be when he was tired or hungover. Like massive bright blue pools.

He said, “Baby, Cut [family member] out. He never valued what you are to me and he never will. You tried. Im surprised you tried for so long. I thought he was better than that. I’m really disappointed in him. LET ME DEAL WITH HIM NOW.”

Then I woke up. Let Russ deal with him? Yes please.

I know Russ, his way of “dealing” with this will be to send him someone he loves so hard he’ll forget what it’s like to be a miserable old grumble guts. He’ll send someone he values. I hope he does.

Just like that, I’m free. I owe this guy nothing. I never did but owed it to Russ to try because he wanted me to and now I’m done.

Russ is right, this family member doesn’t value what we had because if he did, he’d have never said the things he has. I was Russ’ person and he was mine. We were a team, a family of our own creation and WE valued us. That’s all that matters.

The best bit is, it doesn’t matter what this person says or does anymore, the facts are this:

He chose me. I will always be his wife. I will always be his favourite person. He valued me. He was always on my side and would continue to be if he were here. He’d support me in the decisions I’ve made since he left, even if he didn’t agree, because that’s what your person does. He’d be disappointed in this person with whom he looked up to.

To the family member who has been a complete and utter twatpuddle throughout this… I tried. You’re a twat. Good luck with that.

I have had nothing but affirmation that everything is currently in my flow. That everything that’s blown up, fallen over, worked out, come about recently is without a doubt exactly what was supposed to happen. A.MAZ.ING! Interesting how things come about, huh?