Friday, 2 December 2011

Moving out and moving on

Regular readers of my blog will have noticed that I am not writing as much as I did earlier in the year after we lost Clive. I guess I used the September holiday with my parents as a significant turning point as after those dates (which would have been when Clive and I were on a cruise), everything in my diary was down to ‘me’.

I also knew that I had to take responsibility for my own life. I have to accept that Clive Gott has died. No longer will I hear his voice; feel his hugs; see that special look in his eye for me. So I have put my energies into positive aspects. I cannot bring back the past. I could chose to spend the rest of my days dwelling on ‘what might have been’ but what good would that do anyone, least of all me? I also know Clive would be furious with me! He would say I was ‘bang out of order’! ‘Did I teach you nothing?’ he’d say.

So the past few months I have begun to focus more on my own work and life – without him. I feel that I have now delivered my adapted messages in my talks and received great feedback. My rebrand is well underway with more developments coming soon.

As all this has taken shape I have become increasingly unhappy in what was our home. Several weeks before Clive died we were having a walk together. Out of the blue he declared ‘If ever I wasn’t here, you’d have my full blessing to pack up and move back to your family’.

On increasing occasions now I have left my son, parents, sister, niece and brother-in-law in Cheshire to drive across the M62 back to an empty house. No longer does Clive sit waiting at the bottom of the stairs for me. No longer does he wait like an excited child, so happy to see me. The house is dark, quiet and empty. Returning after a speaking engagement is flat and lonely. And pointless.

Of course I have Clive’s family and some wonderful friends in Yorkshire who I have made over he last three years but I need to be back with my own family – where I belong.

At half term I was especially upset only to see Dom for around 24 hours. It simply won’t do. I have missed out on so much of his life in the past 3 years. I don’t want to miss any more.
So I looked on Rightmove and fell instantly in love with a 2 bedroomed cottage. I contacted Cheshire Relocation and they have done a sterling job for me. I move in very soon!

I am sooooo excited! If you draw a triangle between Dom’s house, my parents and my sister I am right in the middle, around 7 minutes from each. Dom can cycle to me. I have never had my own place before. I have either lived with my parents or a man! If I want a pink bin in the bathroom I can!

Packing up is a dichotomy of emotion! I can open a drawer and cry over memories of a dinner party that we bought the table mats for – then I am excited at the prospect of entertaining in my new home. I smile at the memory of choosing the cushions for our new bedroom that he never lived to see done, with a sense of loss, then get giddy at the thought of unpacking them at my cottage! Wow! What a tough ride it is.

I am aware that I may be judged for leaving; others have said they are surprised it has taken me so long. I have learnt that no matter how you react to bereavement, someone won't like it! Again one of Clive's famous sayings from the platform was 'whatever someone else thinks of you is none of your business'!

I arrived back after my hectic week of speaking to the cold, empty house. I knew I had to begin to pack more. I sat at the bottom of the stairs where Clive would wait for me. Dom was having a party that night and I wanted to be ‘on hand’ in case he needed me I wasn’t. I felt a bad mother. I felt overwhelmed with the amount of packing that was facing me. I felt angry at Clive for leaving me, something he vowed he never would. I felt I couldn’t handle it all. I began to sob, sitting on the stair where he would wait for me.

Then I realised what I must do – change my thinking. This would be the last weekend I would not be near to Dom. His Dad is an incredible father to him but I need and want to be there. This move enables that. Too much packing to do? Put on music and do it little by little. I began with the bathroom and from there the only way was up! I applied Clive's tips of 'don't run 26 miles in a marathon but run a mile 26 times'.

I shall miss the friends and neighbours I have made in Yorkshire and especially Clive's sister Lynn and brother Malcolm and their sons and daughters. It has been easier leaving with their help, support and memories. Yet I remain a phone call away and certainly intend to maintain those relationships. Thank you to you all.

In my pretty cottage with a blue door I shall continue to heal and grow. I do not regret my time with Clive, as in his words we 'had a ball'. I learnt a great deal from him, not least about relationships and 'letting go'. He would often comment that some people live their lives in bitterness, and self-inflicted pity, blaming others for what happens to them. As he often said 'it's not what happens to you in life, it's how you deal with it.'

As I pack up in the kitchen the notice board catches my eye - it has the huge list that we had compiled of what were going to achieve in 2011. Again my emotions are mixed - some will never be achieved now, some I am proud that I have done without him. Yet it is the last line which gives me the strength to proceed with this move ..

'Live our purpose on the wall and remember today is the only time we have.'

Clive had begun to be increasingly aware of 'time'. It is so very, very precious. The best way I can honour Clive's memory is to live by what we believed in. These are the words on the frame he bought me last Christmas, which says it all :-

'Remember when you go into the world to keep your eyes and ears wide open. And be kind. Love one another. Take care of each other. Tell the truth. Always do your best. Listen to the big people and the little people. Explore new paths and have fun. Know that you are loved like crazy. Give thanks for all your blessings. Above all else, love and you will do wonderful things in this world.'   Rebecca Puig

I intend to make my remaining days count in these ways - do you?

Elaine x


Rob Brown, Reputation Expert said...

You're right to move on, to family, support and finding your own voice again. God be with you, Elaine.

Bernard said...

Elaine, your openness and willingness to share exactly how you are feeling, without getting bogged down in the mire of self pity, is an inspiration to anyone who has suffered loss.
Take care, and best wishes for all your future Todays.