Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Girlie time!

Yesterday I had a shopping trip with my sister Claire and baby Sophie. I had a few presents to buy and after the unsuccessful tries in the last few weeks to get them I decided to be kinder to myself. How?
  1. Go with company
  2. Go to neutral territory, i.e. where I hadn't been with Clive
  3. Have only two things on the list - focus!
It worked! First stage was to look presentable. The day before had been a washed out day - hair not freshly washed, no make-up and tears every now and then. Today I had my cry over the dancing music - 'I hope you dance', then I perked up.
Making the effort to have tidy hair, some make-up and smart clothes on does help.

I met up with Claire and Sophie. First on the list was a present for Clive's nephew's new baby Teagan. We had lots of fuss in the shops as Sophie is such a smiley baby! It was a pleasure to be out. I saw things I would like for home but until everything is sorted out I need to be careful. Instead I pictured myself a year from now - successful business, freedom to treat others and myself and without the need for tears at everything I see and hear. Clive's words of 'you become what you think most about' keep on ringing through my head. I refuse to think sad, broke and lonely!

I also got a present from The White Company for someone (not saying who as it will spoil the surprise). Excellent customer service when they asked if it was a gift  - then wrapped it in tissue paper, a box, bag plus ribbon at no extra cost.  I shall be back there!

I was doing well until we went in an independent gift store. You know the sort, with loads of beautiful gifts and cards. The sort of card shop that when you go in you cannot think of a single person you need a card or gift for when you are surrounded by them - and then two days later you suddenly remember who you should have got them for!  We both had a mooch then I wandered upstairs (not pram friendly) and was drawn to the wedding and anniversary section. Looking at all the 'love' cards and gifts just provoked a wave of upset. Instead of wallowing I took a deep breath and we left. In the street Claire reminded me that it is only just over three weeks since I had had the worst shock of my life. That's why company is good.

We then headed into Marks and Spencer for a drink (thanks Mum for the vouchers!).  Claire stayed in the queue whilst I found us somewhere to sit. Sophie was being adorable blowing kisses to anyone who cared to look!  I confess to getting a vain buzz when asked at almost 48 how old my baby daughter is! I usually put them right if it is easier than explaining! One elderly lady on her own was fascinated by Sophie and as she had her tea and biscuit ensured she kept her attention and watched every item of food Sophie dropped on the floor!

When we left the cafe the elderly lady commented what a gorgeous baby Sophie was. Instinctively I gave her a hug and a kiss and told her she was too. She beamed! I wondered how long it had been since an apparently lonely lady like her had been given a hug.  Clive would have done just the same. I recalled the first time we had been out for a pub lunch together. He had made an elderly couple of ladies feel very special whilst in a banter over apple pies. I loved the way he was so warm and friendly and could light up a room just by being there.

I had a negative moment when I surveyed the other cafe users - mainly retired couples who looked fed up. It was a peevish thought when I speculated why Clive had to die yet all these people seemed to just be killing time. My Clive still had so much to offer the world. Is that really so bad of me? Yes it is.

I also admit that the awful scenes and news from Japan make me feel almost silly to be making the 'fuss' I am in my bereavement. There whole families have been swept away; their homes; roads; schools. And here am I so upset over the loss of one man. Surely I should be counting my blessings, quit whinging and just 'get on'?
I still may have a home. I have the rest of Clive's family and my own plus so many supportive friends. Am I not lucky? How can we compare pain? How can we compare loss? I am aware every minute of every day others will be facing the shock of what happened to me. Why am I making such a big deal out of it?

Yet when I get home there are a sea of messages waiting for me again due to my blog. So many positives are coming out of my ramblings? So perhaps my 'single' loss will ultimately create countless blessings for others?
So I continue.

So what helped me 'get through' today?
  • I have made more plans in my diary
  • I made myself look smart
  • I have had a stream of texts, calls and emails from people asking if I am okay
  • I answered some messages which were overdue
  • I have had a break from the admin side of Clive's death
  • I planned and had a successful shopping trip
  • I spent time with my family
  • I have made exciting plans for the next day

I found these pictures of Claire and I when she was a baby:-

 Her Christening Day. I was so excited to have a baby sister!

And as she grew I idolised her even more!

Now she has her own daughter - double the joy!

Thanks for a lovely afternoon girls!

Just as I was about to go to sleep I received this message:-

After hearing of your loss, I was hugely shocked and deeply saddened too.. At first I was so angry in the fact that God took the best first, but then told myself over and over that it wasn't true. Every time I saw his name crop up on Facebook my eyes would light up, but then realising it obviously wasn't him... At times of need again more recently id think about Clive's speeches and realise how much I missed his love for life and how much I missed hearing him speak and hearing everything he had to say about how to improve life, I was longing for his inspiration again... I noticed your blogs and started to have a nosey (and lots of tears!) It's wonderful to see how Clive's spirit is living on inside of you and I have been taking great pride in reading your blogs and reading about wonderful times you'd spent together. Its so amazing to see how positive you have kept and how you are making sure Clive won't be forgotten! It has been truly inspiring reading your blogs, and has giving me that motivation I craved from Clive but couldn't find anymore... Thank you! 

Wow!  Guess I have started something!

I went to sleep smiling.

Elaine xx

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