I have finally decided how to mark the anniversary of Clive's death next Sunday, 19th February.
It comes down to the three areas that I have identified over the past year in living without him - choices, communication and kindness.
He used to talk about authenticity from both the platform and in his writing. I agree with him that in our role as speaker and author we have to 'walk our talk'. I have been inspiring myself (and others, judging by the feedback you give me) so I would be letting us all down if I did not apply these principles for next Sunday.
I could choose to be morose and miserable, reliving the day and awful evening. I could choose to hide away and cry myself silly. Yet I ask myself, what good would this do? I could choose to wallow in what a dreadful time I have had since he died so suddenly and ignore anything that has been good. I could be bitter and angry, cursing everything and everybody. Instead I shall choose to smile as I remember what a special man he was; how he is missed by many for his inspiration, laughter, hugs - or even annoyance! He was the first to admit that he was Marmite - people either loved him or otherwise! I have to remember that he did not suffer a long and painful death - something I feel we all hope we avoid. I will choose to remember the happy times we had. I also have to accept it is in the past and has gone.
I also choose to acknowledge some of the positives that have come out of the past year. I have met some incredible people; had some fantastic opportunities and done some wonderful things in spite of the severe grief I have experienced. I have been able to help, support and inspire others. Although I loved being with Clive I always pined for my family back in Cheshire - I am now back living amongst them, which brings me joy and contentment. Sharing love and laughter with my son and niece on a regular basis is especially wonderful. I love my own home and enjoy the time I spend here either on my own or with company. If I don't learn to love myself how can I expect others to? Clive's death happened - I have had to deal with it.
I choose to acknowledge that I am happy again and excited about my future.
So next Sunday I choose to move on and put more of the past behind me. When Clive and I were creating our home together we sold many of our 'old' and unwanted possessions to create a new living room - television, furniture and soft furnishings. His notion was that why hang onto 'stuff' that you no longer need - let it become a means for others to enjoy and make new memories. So we had a clear out and were thrilled with the room we created. He also used to joke from the platform about how as Brits we have a habit of moving boxes from loft to loft when we move house and never even open them!
When I moved a couple of months ago I did this! So I am in the process of opening those boxes and letting go. I have a heap of my old clothes on Ebay and bit by bit am working my way through my possessions. Next Sunday there is a local table top sale. I have just booked a table and shall spend the bulk of the day finally selling the jewellery and cosmetic stocks from when I did Virgin Vie sales. Clive got fed up of me intending to do it and I never did! I can see him rolling his eyes and saying 'about time too'. I shall be amongst other people and have to be sociable. Have you ever noticed that if you, smile the world smiles with you?
I intend to make my family a meal and then settle down to Dancing on Ice and The Midwife on television. At 8.50 pm we shall raise a glass to him. I am arranging for my Ebay sales to finish between 9 - 9.30 pm so I shall have something exciting to look forward to immediately! Then parcels to sort!
By the end of next Sunday I should have a few pounds to then treat myself to some new clothes for the spring, in line with my new branding. I should have a wardrobe rail that is less packed and some empty boxes. I should slide into bed that night feeling that it has been a productive day and one that I am proud of myself for. I shall remember Clive but looking forward to the future.
So communication? Well I have told you about it, sent the booking email, invited my family and later today will do my Ebay listings. Targets and goals are far more likely to be achieved if you share intentions.
Caring? I care about myself (I have to first so that I can care for others). I want to avoid the tears and upset which we all know I have had over the past year. As my wonderful Mum would say to me 'why torture yourself Elaine?'
I care about my family - I have caused them much worry and concern over recent years. I want to continue to change that. I want to add to their happiness and contribute to their lives. I want to spend part of next Sunday with them.
I care about those of you who have followed and supported me. I want to avoid giving you a reason to cry, a reason to mourn and be upset again over Clive. His purpose was to make this world better for him having visited. He undoubtedly did that. His legacy has to be a positive one.
Whitney Houston died today. She was 48, as I am. I know I haven't abused my body with drugs and alcohol as it seems she did, but the news reminds me that none of us will live forever. Whilst we are here we therefore must celebrate graciously each day we are privileged to live.
If this was to be your last day, would you be happy with how you have spent it?