We had planned to drive off from Cheshire early, have a walk in the Lake District before checking in at a timeshare near Penrith at 4. Mum and Dad, Claire, Martin and Sophie can't come until tomorrow so Dom and I can use it.
I did feel sad as we drove up the M6 as I know Clive would have joined my family in this. But I also know I want to enjoy my son so I need to appreciate him too. My lip did quiver as we turned into the A road by Penrith as my last trip to The Lake District had been with Clive. We had walked but he had struggled coming down hills due to his knees. It was as a result of his suffering that trip that he then admitted he needed them looking at. We both loved walking. We loved the freedom and wilderness of being in the fells. We both loved dressing up for speaking and social events but embraced the relaxation of 'scruff' on trips like this. We had walked in the wind and rain on our trip here. We had dined in the hotel and snuggled up invigorated by our walk later that night.
Dom and I decided to ask if we could check-in today earlier than the specified 4 p.m. By 12 we were at reception and I asked nicely about our accommodation. We were booked at an apartment to sleep 6. I was polite and friendly and explained that I knew we were early but just thought we'd ask if we could be earlier to check-in. The receptionists at Whitbarrow village were charming. I also asked if there were larger units we could have. Initially it was 'no' but I asked if I left my number would they give us a call if anyone cancelled. 10 minutes later as I re-parked the car, they rang and told me someone had just rung and would we like a 4 bedroomed unit instead! Yes please! We went to dine and the receptionist came to find us with the key - 3 hours earlier! Outstanding service!
Dom and I ate and then explored the huge apartment. It is lovely! I feel relaxed and much less tearful. The deep sadness remains as I know how Clive would have embraced this whole situation. We should have been enjoying the three of us here in this luxury. But Clive has gone. I keep getting flashbacks to finding him blue in bed. The sight of him in the coffin. The extreme coldness of his body in the coffin. The stitches from the postmortem just under the buttons of his rugby top. All such a stark contrast to the 'larger than life', warm, friendly guy that was Clive. I hope the cold images fail.
I just wish it wasn't true. Bit by bit reality sinks in. He has gone. No matter what I think or do he will not come back. All that romance. All those plans. All that adoration. Gone.
Meanwhile I have to go on. A second life wasted would make the loss more futile.
So Dom and I made home. We both chose a single room. A small bed is easier to cope with.
Then we headed into Keswick for a few groceries. Just driving in the mountains is a comfort but also sadness.
Now a Saturday evening of relaxation, Doritos (that Clive had bought and hidden in the breadmaker whilst he was losing weight!) and simply being with my adorable son. He is affectionate and keeps asking if I am okay.
My answer is 'yes'.
Six weeks ago, 42 days ago, the love of my life left us all.
Little by little I feel 'me' emerging from the shock and overwhelming grief beginning to ease.
Life without Clive is possible. It's just not what we'd planned.
What have I learned today?
- By being early and being polite a free upgrade is possible.
- Relaxation and 'just being' is possible 6 weeks into bereavement.
Time for making a meal! Then to watch one of our favourite films 'The Transporter 2' with hunky Jason Statham!