Truly, Madly, Deeply

About 6 weeks  ago I watched Truly, Madly, Deeply – it’s one of my favourite films.

It’s a film that hasn’t been on TV for a long time so I bought the DVD (it was bloody expensive, but I thought sod it, I really want to see it again)

Watching a film about someone dealing with the death of her fella is possibly an odd choice of viewing , especially as it’s just over a year since my own fella died.

People who knew Bob will also no doubt think I’m torturing myself even more because Bobby bore an uncanny likeness to Alan Rickman…he really did!

alan rickman 1 Bobby

I remember the first time this was pointed out. A  work colleague had texted him…(possibly emailed but I can’t remember if we had e-mail then) ….

“Why did nobody tell me Bob Barnes is starring in a film with Bruce Willis?

Alan Rickman wasn’t particularly well known then really. He burst onto the screen as the baddie in Die hard – My Bobby was a dead ringer!

alan rickman 4

It’s weird when people say you look like someone, sometimes other people see it but you don’t… more often than not actually. We watched Die Hard and both thought Blimey!!! Especially because a few years before Bob had sported the exact same style of beard.

I have to say Alan doesn’t have Bobby’s sexy chin dimple but apart from that, well yes pretty bloody close  and  many people have commented on it over the years.

anyway, back to the film…

In the film, Jamie (played by Alan Rickman) comes back to help Nina (played by Juliet Stephenson) get over the fact he’s died and help her move on without him.

I watched Nina sobbing to her counsellor – tears and snot dripping down her nose. I recall looking that attractive many times in the early weeks/months after Bob died, but all I could think about when I watched is – I’m glad I didn’t have a counsellor. I’m glad no one was calling time. My friends were and still are my counsellors… Must be feeling better!

Also, Nina’s new love interest in the film is a chappy who works with people with learning disabilities….another coincidence …it was starting to feel that this film had a message after all and not simply the grief fest I anticipated with my recollections of past viewings.

At the end of the film Jamie stands at the window and watches, tearfully as Nina goes off with her new chap. Starting her new life. She was ready and now he could leave. All the ghosts cheered! Jamie had come back, brought all his ghost friends with him, turned up the heating…irritated her to the point where he was getting really annoying. She loved and missed him but eventually realised he was dead and life goes on. A brutal synopsis possibly but kind of the gist of it.

I’ve never been spiritual and I don’t think for one minute Bob’s been looking down and watching me. If there actually is some kind of spirit moving on shit, I hope he did it straight away. I personally can’t think of anything worse than watching your loved ones in pain and not being being able to do anything about it. I did feel somewhat envious though at the thought of full on visits – I’ve willed Bob to come back over the last year. I’ve gone to sleep desperate to dream about him, but so far only managed it twice …both times were matter of fact, him just kind of being there, in the background, just being himself.  Disappointing, because I wanted a message, something more profound and at the very least I wanted him to be the main feature!

All I can say is it’s helped in the grieving process. There’s no new chap for me! I’m not quite that ready for that yet but, it’s helped me think about moving on. Not away from everything we had. That will always be there. I’ll always miss him. I’ll always wish he was still here…but the fact is he isn’t, I still am and life has to carry on! That’s me getting tough with myself by the way! – And because I know it’s what he would want me to do.

After watching the film I made some decisions.

I decided I was going to sell the house. Not only sell the house but move out of the village too. I’ve decided I want to live in Town. I think I’ve probably always been a towny at heart. I decided I should live somewhere smaller and more manageable (financially and practically) …’s a BIG DECISION FOR ME! 

I’ve had estate agents round to value the house. Had the advised three different valuations from different estate agents and I opted for the one in the middle – watched enough TV programmes on this stuff over the years to at least pick up some tips.

A big test for me is that usually when I’ve, cleaned, tided and decorated – I fall in love with it all over again and don’t want to leave, but this time I didn’t feel like that. – good sign I think!”

 The ‘For Sale’ board went up just over two weeks ago.


The photos are done and online and I’ve had 4 viewings in the last two weeks and another one booked.

When the board went up the girls were both here. Ollie posted a picture of the board and commented on how emotional it was and what a great place to live this had been… what great parties we’ve had here and what happy memories – If only you could sell house on happy memories we’d have people queuing to buy it.

It’s going to be very tough leaving my home of 21 years. The home I brought my kids up in and where we all lived as a family. A place with so many happy memories. The only family home my children remember living in. A house and a village I love – a place I feel completely comfortable in.

But, it’s also the place where Bob died. It has particular memories I don’t want to have any more and struggle to erase…. and yet it’s conflicting emotionally because it’s a place still full of his DNA  – leaving it will feel a bit like I’m leaving him. I’m telling myself it’s only bricks and mortar but so much emotion is invested in the bricks and mortar of this house.

I’m pretty scared too actually, so much to do and on all on my own. I’ve never bought or sold a house before (I kind of left that to Bobby in the past!) I’m pretty scared of leaving and starting again somewhere new. It’s a big step and a massive challenge.

I’ve heard all the other cliches too,  like…’home is where the heart is’  but the reality is my heart isn’t here anymore. Life just isn’t the same here without Bob. And, although I’ve loved it all, (truly, madly, deeply I have) I think it’s time for me to start the next chapter of my life somewhere new.

Tough one, but it has to be done I think…and I think I’m ready

About Oxfordshire Family Support Network

Oxfordshire Family Support Network (OxFSN) is a not-for-profit organisation run by and for family carers of people with learning disabilities – both children and adults. Oxfordshire Family Support Network (OXFSN) was set up in 2007 by family carers who wanted to use their experience to help others in the same situation, based on our belief that family carers are experts by their lived experience.
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8 Responses to Truly, Madly, Deeply

  1. Took a deep breathe before I clicked and read this one as I know the film very well. But…….instead you have given me hope and even a little smile. I raise a virtual glass to you in salute Gail – good luck with your house move (remember it’s a)take it with you, b) to the dump c)charity shop and d)ebay. Everything in the house will fit into these categories!

  2. wisegrannie says:

    Good luck with your search. There’s a place that’s meant for you out there!

  3. emptynestmum says:

    Thank you…I do hope so x

  4. Brenda Phillips says:

    Go girl! Onwards and upwards!

  5. Magi says:

    Sending warmest wishes on a bittersweet new start. You carry all the best memories with you regardless of where you are xx

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