Apparently, my grief is stuck.

I've been having a bloody nightmare. Too often I have found myself blundering around, on a different planet, incapable of remembering something that happened last week or five minutes ago.

Sometimes the pain is unbearable.

I've felt things build up through the day, going from a mild feeling of unease in the morning to what I'd call a complete disconnection and a head full of fuzz, by the time it's evening.

All the time I am wondering if I have slipped into a clinical depression.

With emotions so close to the surface, my temper has been short and I have yelled in desperation at the smallest thing. I've doubled up in tears and got a parking ticket on a day I ventured out in connection with official matters. I've been buried in mountains of paperwork and after an initial spurt of 'getting back into it' at work, I was forced by way of being a bumbling wreck, to spend some time by myself at home. I felt safe in front of the telly, watching crap. There have been painful tears, helpless crying in supermarkets as I remember stuff from this time last year or the following months.

Songs on the radio have me in floods.

Flashbacks are coming thick and fast.

I felt that the more time that passed since we lost Neil, the further away he feels and I can't bear that. I remain grateful for all I do have, our beautiful children, wonderful family and friends and remind myself how much worse off so many people are.

I have answered my own question about whether my state of despair comes from grief, depression or perhaps both. I am clear that I'm not depressed. Any whiff of that and I would be straight to the doctor, I have always promised myself that, but sometimes it's hard to know the difference.

My grief has turned messy - violent snot-filled episodes of holding a jumper I bought Neil to my chest and howling in the small hours. It helps to let it out.

Our lovely grief counsellor says she would like to see me more often and that I will bring Neil closer again by thinking of good times. She acknowledges how hard that is but that  I have to try.

There have been times when I have been able to think of Neil and smile, on the aeroplane when we went away for a week, for example, as I imagined him there with me. But most of all, recalling how much we loved each other and the laughs and care we have shared, just makes me worse. It hurts too much and sometimes, I get furious that we can't still do those things.

But today, for the first time in ages, I have not only found my way into work, but returned after a lunch break. I realise how lucky I am to have been able to build my own work to the extent I can still be paid and not be here. I need to get on with it.

So that's what I'm doing.

Now when I feel stuck I think of the fact that Neil wouldn't want me to sit there doing nothing. I know he would want me to be kind to myself and to take my time. I don't think there's anything wrong with still grieving for the love of your life months or years after he is gone.

But his words that I shouldn't become a victim are ringing in my ears and I am simply doing my best. Writing it down helps. Thanks for reading.

Why can't I say the W word?

That's widow by the way.

There's a new book due out called A widow's guide to sex, love and relationships.

It's a novel -- not a self-help book :) -- and has reportedly bagged the writer a $700,000 advance.

Here's what author Carole Radziwill says about her work:

I couldn't help but wonder...Can sex and love co-exist peacefully? Are widows the new virgins? Are men biologically hardwired to spread their seed? The Widow’s Guide to Sex & Dating is a novel about death, sex and love, in that order.

And here's an opener about the plot:

While Claire Byrne is on a writing assignment in Texas, her philandering husband Charlie is struck dead in an absurd collision with a rare bronze sculpture. In the odd weeks that follow – funeral, Xanax, a swarthy undertaker, and mounting bills  -- Claire braces for her new life. She surrounds herself with an eccentric chorus of friends, psychics, storytellers and Jungian shrinks to guide her way. 

Described as based on real life but not autobiographical, it's tapping into a fascination with how widows relate to the opposite sex.

The salacious tome has already grabbed the sort of column inches more earnest authors can but dream of.

But it makes me feel a teensy bit queasy. When do we ever hear of widows as anything other than a stoic older woman forever living in the past or at the other extreme, a sex starved predator for whom other people's husbands are easy prey?

I'm neither and nor will I ever be.

"Are widows the new virgins?" what on earth does that mean? I don't know but I do know the answer's no.

I'm interested in finding out about how we view widows and how stereotypes may be challenged.

Do you know of anyone or anything I should read about to help me as I find out for myself what it's like to be a widow? What resources would you recommend?

I'd love to find out more -- even if I can't bring myself to say the word out loud.

Thank you.