Tuesday, 16 August 2011

What did you learn today?

One of Clive Gott's values was 'Lifelong Learning'. He did so on a daily basis - literally the day he died he learnt he had pushed his body too far. Since he died I have felt that I too am on a massive learning curve.

One of my friends posted a message on Facebook about what had happened to her in a supermarket -

Day dreaming whilst doing my food shop the man who was stood next to me asked " which one is best to clean the kitchen ?" 
As I looked at him he continued, " my wife died and she sorted this sort of stuff .. I don`t know which one she used. " 
I told him which I bought and he thanked me as he put it into his basket .. Bless him :):)

When you have shared a home with someone and they are no longer there, you do realise who was the one who made sure the shower tray didn't go mouldy, who emptied the bins, etc. I have learnt many things about running a household since being on my own for the first time. I do have a growing sense of pride and achievement about it plus sadness.

After our birthdays and the BBQ at the weekend I had also suspected that my strength, optimism and efficiency would suffer on Sunday through tiredness and relief. I have learnt that is what happens now and I try to build in a safety net, e.g. have company and keep busy. Sunday I was fine but whack! It hit on Monday instead. I wonder if other bereaved people feel like they too wake up with a drink induced hangover, except you haven't drunk? That's how yesterday morning felt. My body seemed heavy. My head and eyes too. I had planned on being super-efficient at my desk but every email was like a 3,000 word essay, even if two lines.

I applied various 'self-motivating' ways. I was cross at myself for being unable to focus. I kept repeating Clive's saying 'When you don't feel like doing anything just do something'.

I also put on the radio in an attempt for 'feel good' music. Then this track played:

That prompted me to open one of his wardrobes, surround myself in his sleeves and cry, wail and sob buckets. Clive had a fur-lined hoody - I wrapped that around myself and had a smoochy dance with it, just aching to feel his arms around me. Why does it still hurt so much?

The rest of the afternoon I continued to cry at ANYTHING! I miss him so much. Life feels so hard and overwhelming in comparison to what we had planned. The cruise we had planned for September (and I have cancelled) is coming closer along with my huge disappointment and memories of our idyllic one last year. I have plans to spend that time now elsewhere. I know that other people have much tougher lives and times to deal with and I have much to be grateful about.

My best tonic was to smarten myself up - just taking time to dry my hair properly and put some perfume on helped. So did talking to a few friends. The day passed.

Today was beautiful! I was looking after my niece Sophie and asked Chris if he and Emily would like to join us. The four of us met at a shopping precinct and the hours drifted away with drinks, mooching, toddling, eating and just being!

Who's your friend?
I love my Daddy!
I like it here!
We're not a bit tired!
Today I haven't felt tearful once! I find it quite amazing how my mood can change so much. Perhaps being with these adorable little girls today and feeling so relaxed in Chris's company had much to do with it? Having a true friend is priceless. We both were quiet today but it was therapeutic to be with such wonderful babies. Thank you to their parents for giving me their permission to include them here.

The innocence of youth! All they are concerned about is if they are loved, warm, fed and comfortable. I am that tonight.

I also found a note written by Clive in my Filofax. I remember we'd had a challenge sometime last year and later that day when I opened my diary this note was there:-

YK = Your Knight
We are all on a learning journey. The speed and skills that Emily and Sophie are learning is incredible - it's amazing how clearly they can say 'Yes' to the question - 'would you like an ice cream?'

I am learning that although I am getting stronger I still have to allow myself 'off days and moments' to grieve.

Spending time with my young relatives and friends is a pleasure I shall continue to indulge in. I did my sister a favour today but really it was the other way around!

When can I have her again?!

What did you learn today?

Elaine x

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