Monday, 11 July 2011

I should have know by now ...

On Saturday  morning I wrote my previous blog and was feeling strong and positive. Then for some reason I decided to Google Clive's You Tube videos. I wanted to hear his voice. I found this and played it.

Blimey. Suddenly I felt as if I had been hit by an avalanche. Wallop! The relative highs of the last few weeks evaporated in an instance and my whole body was hurting. Boy did I cry. The ache for his voice, touch, mannerisms, our life together, our laughter, our love, our plans,  EVERYTHING about him crashed down on me. Is this what grief is? Just as you think you are 'okay' it sneaks up and floors you?

I wanted to go to sleep, wake up and find these last few months have actually been a nightmare and that Clive is still with us. Why, why, why? I asked myself. A little part of me feels that maybe this was my punishment for  another broken marriage. Yet those who believe in God tell me that he does not operate in that way.

I had a few awful hours but the fact I was seeing Dominic was the reason I carried on my plans. My friends and colleagues from were all going to an event in Murfield called Rock the Rectory. The group that played at Joe's charity launch where Clive had been MC would be playing.  See that evening's details here.

I packed, as Dom and I were going to stop over at Chris's and drove to Huddersfield in tears. I got even more upset with thinking that Clive would have been going tonight. I would have been so pleased to have him, Dom and my dearest friends from the Foundation together. Ann and her husband Iain were bringing Dom over as they were literally passing the end of the road.

I arrived at Chris's but he wasn't there. However, his parents were and Carol, his Mum, just held me as I sobbed in her arms. With some tea, sympathy and empathy I began to feel a little better so at least when Dom, Ann and Iain arrived I wasn't quite as pathetic!

Chris and his lovely girlfriend Clair arrived and after a drink and chat we headed off to the Rectory.
Dom had been invited to be the photographer for the event. Luckily the weather was kind to us and the grounds of the B and B were filled with families enjoying food, company and music.

The turn out was incredible. Dom set to taking plenty of pictures. Dinah and her family joined us and she was a whirlwind all evening selling things in aid of Joe's Foundation. Her Dad entertained children with arty balloons. We all ate and drank and relaxed. Yet I was only a breath away from tears the whole time. I was 'putting on' a brave face but really my heart was breaking.

I chatted to Clair and beamed with pride at how Dom efficiently and confidently took some amazing pictures.
I was doing okay until the band started - with Summer of '69!! Clive's chosen record for his Celebration!
The sobs came from my toes and shook all of me! Dinah just held me and eventually I recovered enough. Dom hugged me too. Ann and Iain were also fab. Dinah's Dad said I'd feel better when they played Showaddywaddy!

I felt disappointed in myself for being so upset and spoiling the night. Yet I was with some of my closest friends and my darling son, so I was just being 'me'. I kept thinking of Clive's film (above) and his discussion about having 'enough'. We weren't being greedy in life - quite the opposite as we shared a theory of abundance. We didn't want to be mega-rich. We didn't want to work and work. We had 'enough'. Little did we know last year that we didn't have enough of something vital - time.

I still smiled though on Saturday night!

Me and Dinah

Me, Chris and Clair

Me and my boy
More photos are here

As the evening wore on we had the opportunity to buy lanterns which were set off as it went dark. This was another emotional moment for me. The first time I had seen these was two years ago. Clive took me to the Firework Championships at Stanford Hall. We had an incredibly romantic evening with a picnic followed by watching the fireworks, set to music. They set off these lanterns that evening too. For the final set of fireworks we got back into the car, put the roof down, drove to the empty end of the car park field, and snuggled up, watched the lights in the still, dark night. It was another event we had wanted to take Dom to.

Candy floss at Fireworks night
The tears flowed again as I thought of that night and being snuggled up. Dinah made sure I had a lantern and after an unsuccessful first attempt, the second one stuck in tree before finally floating off into the sky.

The evening ended and we went back to Chris's. Clair, he and I enjoyed a night-cap in the hot tub and I finally got some sleep. Next morning we all had a bacon butty and looked at Dom's photos. Hopefully the evening raised some funds for the charity.

Dinah text to say that her village had a 'scarecrow trail' on so Dom and I drove over to Totties and had lunch in the excellent Olive Tree. The afternoon passed very pleasantly wandering around the village looking at the scarecrows with Dinah and her family.

I took Dom to Huddersfield station and as were were comfortably on time the train was delayed!

I drove home feeling drained and sad. I never like saying good bye to Dom. He is on work experience at the moment. However, I did my 'coping strategy' for leaving him by making our plans for next weekend. It makes parting so much easier.

Once home I accepted how tired I was so just put my dressing gown on and slobbed in front of the television. I didn't want to put my computer on or speak to anyone. I wanted a wallow!

I also wanted to 'opt out'. I wanted to sleep and let the world pass me by for a while. I turned my phone to silent and closed the office door so I could not hear the main phone. 'Marley and Me' was on television but I could not watch it. Clive and I had done so last year and as a dog lover he was devastated by it! He would fill- up if you even mentioned the name of the film! Being so low I knew it would be a bad move to watch it. Instead I could see on Facebook the comments of others. I wanted to post a 'rant' along the lines of 'get a grip! It's a bloody film! Loss? Try losing your soul mate! That'll give you something to cry about. Upset? You don't know the meaning of the word. How about trying to breath life back into your darling who is blue and cold in your bed?' ... etc. etc. etc.

I am sooo glad I didn't! I guess that was the anger side of grief. I did think of drowning my sorrows but I knew I would feel even worse when I was sober. I did text a friend but I was just prickly. I was very pleased when sleep happened and I hoped today would be better.

I stayed in bed all morning. My mood was no better. I dosed off every now and then but each time I woke reality was still there. I stroked and hugged Clive's pillows. I got myself deeper and deeper into grief and distress.

I knew I should get up and do something but I didn't want to. I physically felt 'too heavy' to move. I didn't even make myself a drink. I debated if I was right to wallow like this. Is it better to do this and hope that my overall healing would be quicker than pretending I am okay? I don't know. I do know that by holding in emotion that in the end it can be more detrimental.

Dinah text to say she was having a tooth out and asked how I was. I replied that I was still in bed (it was 1 o'clock!) and that I couldn't be bothered with anything. I got a prompt text back telling me that I HAD to get up, showered, etc. and to get myself sorted to see 'Bridesmaids'. Tonight. No excuses. She also said that although Clive may be dead his love and legacies ARE NOT. He has left me surrounded with people who when I have a slump will remind me of him and his messages. Mum has been telling me for weeks to go and see it! 'Clive would not allow it and neither will I' was the message. Flip! Better get up then!

Just as I got out of the shower Dinah rang me and played me this down the phone ..

Next Chris phoned me to confirm my suspicions ... having lost his wonderful wife last year he knows the 'ups and downs' well. I have had a very busy couple of weeks. Physically and mentally I am tired. There have been many 'ups', such as Portugal, and they cannot be maintained just yet. When I was in London last week after my photos and fun afternoon I must admit that the thought crossed my mind that sometime I would 'pay' for it by having a 'down'. I just didn't think it would be so far.

By the way, see Ann's blog for Wednesday's shoot here.

I also tried some 'Clive talk' by asking myself the question 'what do you want to happen and what small steps can you make to help it?'
There were three things I could think of that would help.

  • I am still waiting to hear when I am on BBC Breakfast. I haven't made plans this week 'just in case'. That is unsettling.
  • I would like a new speaking engagement in place.
  • I needed to plan some social things in this week as my diary is blank. I need my friends.
So I text the BBC journalist. It is still on the cards but probably not this week - that's fine so I can make plans.
I have another workshop next week in a new area. I shall sort out the preparation for that which is then likely to lead to more.
I have sent some texts and some fun and company is sussed.

I also have given myself permission to take it easier today. I have pampered myself. 

I have a good evening to look forward to and as the saying goes, tomorrow is another day.

My main lessons today?
  • Clive may have gone but his spirit and influence remains
  • I have amazing friends if I allow them to be
  • Although I have so much support I still have to take responsibility and do something myself.
And you know what? When you do life seems happier.

Elaine x

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