Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Four weeks on...

Four weeks ago my gorgeous husband died. Four weeks. So, how do I feel?

forward looking....

I feel that I am more able to think now, to plan, to begin.

I have been joined by a rather sweet little lady: Pepper's mum Solitaire. She is keeping us all busy, and is definitely the boss of Pepper! One day I will tell the story of how Pepper and then Solitaire came into my life...

Anyhow I thought I would share the top tips, from my personal experience, to support bereavement:

Take something: Tissues, toilet rolls, cake, teabags and milk are all brilliant things to take, as is a simple meal you have cooked or can cook there. If you take flowers either take a vase or flowers that don't need a vase! The best and first thing to take is a pen and notebook.

Do something: If you are close enough walk the dog, put a load of washing in, wash up, clean the bathroom...

Write something: It is so hard to send cards, what to write? Put your address, email address and phone number in, and write a little personal note. These really help. Don't worry about making the recipient cry, we are allowed and it is lovely to have happy memories resurface. It also helps later on when the cards are re-read.

Send cards/email/phone in the weeks to follow as well as at first.

A pack of writing paper, envelopes, biros and stamps are very useful too as there is so much paperwork to do. Assistance with that is useful too.

I think I have learned just how many true friends I have. I have learned even more that if someone offers to help it is because they want to help, because they have been touched by the loss too. They have lost a friend, a brother, a colleague, a chance to go and do, or go and be....

I am off on my adventures, I have no idea where I will go, or what I will do, or who I will become, but I do know that I have been very blessed over the last five and a half years, blessed by an amazing passionate love, and I feel so much better for having had it. I will carry Mick's sunshine with me.

Someone sent me the link to this wonderful picture today of Mick taking the final salute at an event just under three years ago. It seemed very fitting for today, so I thought I would share it with you.

Go and count your blessings xxxx

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Reminding ourselves we are alive

I have had the most amazing day. Together with my daughter and some good friends I have been swimming in the sea near Bridlington, East Yorkshire, this morning! When we got there is was a bit grey and misty, but that did not deter us, we parked our car and set off down to the beach.

As we got onto the beach we got some funny looks from a dog walker who took these snaps for us.

We were shrieking with laughter, buffeted by the waves, swimming up and down, and howling with joy as the huge waves lifted us off our feet. We sung "bring me sunshine" at the top of our lungs, and enjoyed the exhilarating feeling of being alive in the cleansing water.

As we got out we noticed a man with a long lens taking pictures, we smiled, and ass wee passed him he said, in a rather bemused manner "did you enjoy that, was it for any special occasion?" so I explained that  I had just lost my husband, that we were celebrating his spirit, and reminding ourselves that we were alive.

His face changed from bemused, to confused, then a big grin took its place as he grasped our choice of activity and the reasons behind it. 

I am now home to a silent house, my first homecoming after a night away without Mick here to greet me. The cards of sympathy are still around the house, and I have to yet begin the difficult and painful job of sorting his affairs, yet I feel enlightened, joyful and fresh, ready to face the task ahead.

There will be many more tears, more sleepless nights, yet I know that I will come through it all, just like today in the sea, with the huge waves crashing down on me, I will swim out to meet it.

Friday, 6 July 2012

So, how do you feel?

I don't know how I feel to be honest, such mixed emotions following a fantastic day of celebrations for Mick's life.

The overriding emotion is pride: that such a wonderful man chose me; that his family are so loving and close and supportive; that so many people came to say goodbye, and those who couldn't come sent their love; of our children, that they played such a role in the funeral.

Also a deep, raw numbness and sorrow. I am just such a mess, how will I manage without him?

People say I am "brave" and "strong" but I am scared and alone. Just bobbing along, then the wave hits.... Luckily I am a strong swimmer, and actually maybe that description is right?

Mick taught me how to be happy in my skin, in my aloneness, because I was, and am, loved. We did lots together and lots apart. I am missing the bedtime tot of whisky and the chats and giggles! When I went into his hanky drawer to get a hanky for the funeral, the one I pulled out had a knot at each corner, as we had at some point sat in bed with them on our heads. This also accounts for the kazoos and bubbles! Five years, six months and twenty days of sunshine.

I have created a list. Not a "bucket list" as that is all the things to do before you die. This sounds somewhat like it: a "f*cket list" and it is all about doing things because you are ALIVE. It is about making the small changes which make a positive impact on your life, as well as finally making the big changes in line with my golden rules: 

  1. Grab every opportunity you can to be positive
  2. Have fun
  3. Walk in the sunshine (and dance in the rain)
  4. have lots of good sex
  5. if you are not happy do something about it

A lot of good friends are joining in with the spirit, and they are writing personal lists as well as joining in with the group events. We are swimming in the sea on Sunday, and being pirates in August.... Writing lists is cool, BUT you must act on them

I ticked off the first item on my "f*cket list" today: I had my tattoo done in memory of Mick and in celebration of his lust for life, his love of our family and friends, and to remember the good times. For that reason I now add number 6

  1. Grab every opportunity you can to be positive
  2. Have fun
  3. Walk in the sunshine (and dance in the rain)
  4. have lots of good sex
  5. if you are not happy do something about it
  6. Count your blessings

So it's  that time again: Count your blessings. If you are really, truly aware of what it is that makes you happy then you can keep doing it xxxx