Monday, 4 July 2011

1st holiday after bereavement - Part 1

Amongst the many decisions to be taken when your loved one unexpectedly dies is what to cancel and what to continue with.

Initially I had wanted to go on the cruise we had booked for September and take Clive's sister Lynn instead as Clive had wanted to take her on a holiday. I also found an envelope written by Clive for me in the holiday paperwork which is sealed, addressed to me with the comment 'to be opened on the balcony of our cabin.' It is still unopened.

The decision to cancel that holiday was tough. It signified the deep reality that my life and the plans I had for it had all been turned on their head. My soulmate had gone and all that we had been looking forward to. That cruise may have also been our real honeymoon.

Part of me wanted to go but to take Lynn away from Rod for two weeks was too much. I also would have tortured myself with 'should haves' and 'this time last year'. Too much all round. Posting the cancellation letter and insurance claim were also hard.

My tips on dealing with cancelling a trip? Plan something else on the day of planned departure. Lynn has booked that day off and we will be somewhere special for the day for me to open that letter.

The other booked holiday was for Vilamora in Portugal.  For several years now Clive and a group of his golfing chums have flown to the sun for the first week in July to play a few rounds.
The boys in Vilamoura July 2009
Three years ago he came back early as he couldn't bear the snoring of his room-mate and we had chance to meet for a drink!

Two years ago he decided it would be a romantic treat if we both came to Vilamoura a few days before the boys and then I flew back on the flight they'd come out on. We did and it was a beautiful few days. Our first sunshine trip!
He blogged about it here

Last year it was Benidorm! I arrived after the golf and found Clive somewhat aghast at what he'd experienced! More blog here.

So the plan was back to Vilamoura early again. This time with our friends Nip and Ellie. I chose the hotel - on the basis of the padded sunloungers by the pools! The Hilton Vilamoura also had a spa and golf course. The plan was 3 nights for the four of us then Ellie and I would return.

So do I cancel or go? The three of us reviewed the bookings. The hotel was all paid for and non-refundable. They suggested I still went but took someone else. Clive's flights were cancelled but I agreed still to go. These last weeks have been the most challenging I have ever faced. Some sunshine, good company and relaxation would be good for me. Mum booked her flights and the trip was on!

That was why I was bikini shopping last week. The days leading up to the trip I was increasingly excited. On Wednesday I awoke extremely giddy and wanting to pack. Bit by bit I worked through my pre-trip list of business essentials. But bit by bit my giddiness dissolved into upset and anger.

Each dress I took out of the wardrobe reminded me of Clive. Each item I packed reminded me of him. I downloaded music to my iPod - each track reminded me of him. I didn't cry but boy was I ratty. PMT magnified 100 times! Had anyone called I would have gone for their throat!!

I was upset that Clive wasn't packing with me. He had been SO excited about this trip. He had been counting sleeps to it from Christmas! We would have left the house spick and span, lists completed and a huge sense of anticipation and fun.

I was angry because he wasn't here doing it all with me. So blinking unfair - for both of us.

To be quite honest I could have easily cancelled the whole thing! I was also supposed to be flying to Amsterdam the day before but that had been called off! Now I had what Clive would have called a 'stolen day', i.e. unexpectedly free time.  Perhaps this time the extra time created extra thinking time?

Tip number two? Maybe have a busy day the day before so you can't dwell?

I had also arranged to stay at Nip and Ellie's that night and we were taking my car to leave at the airport. I took my red roses from me to me and a few fridge bits to Michelle and both she and Jemma gave me a huggle (hug/cuddle).

Such a contrast from leaving for our holiday last September when we'd driven through a dark and sleepy Tadcaster singing 'we're all going on a summer holiday'.

Last Wednesday with a sniff, a quiver in my lip and no music in the car, as I couldn't bear it, I set off on my holiday.

Without Clive. 

Elaine x

No comments: