Me and my councellor

I’ve been seeing a councellor for three weeks now.

I wasn’t loosing it, I wasn’t angry, I wasn’t bitter or having twisted thoughts, I wasn’t crying all of the time, I wasn’t tired or depressed, I wasn’t suicidal or struggling with my marriage or at work.

But I don’t want any of the above to happen if i don’t have the toolset to help me cope with that.

I don’t want to be bitter.

I want to face grief head on.

 

It’s good too.

I like speaking about Dad. Remembering and enjoying telling a stranger about how amazing he was. Sometimes it all sounds to good to be true, like I am making it up. This makes me appreciate how truly lucky I am to have him.

Don’t get me wrong, its not all silly anecdotes and fond memories. Some feelings are raw and hurt very much. I need to learn to express and work through these feelings too. They are just not as easy to come through, when I am so used to looking for the positives all of the time.

I’m just saying, I’m pleased I am having councilling.

I am not ashamed of it.

I think it is a fantastic and free resource available to everyone and anyone and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

Every week I feel more and more accepting of my new reality.

Farleigh Hospice really do life changing work, with all that walk through their doors.

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immortality

When you loose someone close to you, you are reminded that we are not going to live forever.

This reality check gives you two options:

  1. be sad about the idea of dying
  2. live everyday you have left to the fullest

I don’t know about you, but number two sounds far more tempting!

Im going wild this year. I’m leaving my well paid and steady teaching career, I’m shaving my head, I’m painting my skin, I am starting a business, I am travelling the world, I am becoming a parent… all in 12 months.

Have no regrets.

Life is too short.

My aim is to inspire you to do the same, okay you don’t all have to shave your heads, but my challenge to you is to live life to the fullest. Everyday. Not just on Saturday.

Say yes not maybe

run don’t walk

forgive quickly

and love everyone

 

because life is short and living life is wonderful.

 

 

 

 

The same black dress

 

I didn’t think yesterday would hurt as much as it did.

But it’s still so soon. It seems like only a fortnight ago we had the whole family round for my Dad, and now this.

I woke up in the morning with a huge knot in my stomach. With gritted teeth, I put the same black dress on I had worn last summer. I painted on war paint. Heavy makeup so I couldn’t cry. Nothing could pass through my mascara. Like filling a hole. Like glueing my insides shut. Nothing would get in, nothing could seep out.

I got in the car.

I told Jim that I wasn’t going to cry. I was determined for this not to get under my skin. Not to reach me. I would build a wall where no emotion could pass. Self preservation at it’s finest. I didn’t take tissues in with me. I didn’t need them.

I sat through the Crematorium part of the ceremony. I was in a daze. My mind kept drifting away. I wasn’t concentrating on the words or what was in front of me. Like it wasn’t really happening. I stood up and walked away. I gave no-one eye contact. I refused to let them in.

I kept moving, flitting from one group to the next. Avoiding small talk, questions and conversation without looking alone. All a tactical ploy. All part of the plan. I swerved conversation to happy things and I dodged the curve balls.

It was working. My mascara hadn’t moved. I felt in control. Now onto the church.

I opened the order of service.

It hit me.

The same song. The same song as last summer. Sitting right there. How could I possibly sing that? How could I hear others sing that? I flicked through the pages to find other songs repeated. How could I get through this? I felt like I had been set up.

I decided I wouldn’t sing. I would stand crossed armed and closed mouthed. I would let the words pass over my head and then sit back down. no one would even know.

The organ introduced the first few chords.

My throat felt like it was going to burst. A single tear leaked onto my right cheek. I didn’t wipe it away. I just felt it trickle down my skin.

But then more started seeping out. This time from both eyes. I closed them shut and leaned into Jim. I felt my shoulders shaking and my fists tighten.

I lost it.

I cried more than I had since my Dad was diagnosed fifteen months ago.

All of my anger and sadness and confusion and frustration poured out of my body.

My sister passed me her tissue.

Why was I crying? I was so angry at myself. I wanted to be strong. I thought I could do it.

 

My eyes kept leaking right into the evening.

I was a mess.

Over nothing and over what happened then and now and everything.

I couldn’t even put into words why I was so overwhelmingly sad. Only that everything I had been holding in all this time was bubbling up and I couldn’t stop it.

 

 

It was lovely though. The day. Everyone being together.

 

I finally got home, slipped off my black dress.

And went to sleep.

 

I am feeling more myself today. I think I still have more to let out.

But that can wait for another day.

Back to reality.

I start back at work tomorrow. Back to reality. I’m worried. 

Worried I can’t do it, and worried if I can.

 I’m worried people will want to talk to me and hug me and tell me I’m doing great. 

I’m worried people will have their own problems and not worry about me at all. 

I’m worried I won’t care about the little things anymore, and I’m worried they will matter too much. 

I’m worried people will think I’m doing better than I am.

I’m worried people will put demands on me, I’m worried people won’t treat me the same as the others.

I can’t win. 

And you can’t help me,

Because i’m making it impossible for anyone to do the right thing for me, because every eventuality will be hard. 

The fact is it all will be hard. No matter how I cope, no matter what people say or do or how they treat me, it’s going to be really hard.  

So, if you see me tomorrow, just smile. No more. That will help.

 It lets me know that you know. 

It lets me know you care.

If you don’t see me tomorrow, please think of us all. Please pray that we have strength, patience, energy and courage.

Thank you so much for caring. 

Thank you so much for thinking of us, the cards, the flowers, the dinners and everything. 

You guys are the best.

Grief

I lost my Father eight days ago. 

I do not feel how I thought I would feel and am not doing what I thought I would do. 

Either the sadness of it all hasn’t hit me yet, or I am peaceful because my Dad was peaceful.

Of course I am hoping for the latter.

My life is changed, but it is not anger and hate I feel. 

I think I was most angry, confused and upset when my Dad was first diagnosed. I was shocked and there were so many unanswerable questions;

Will my Dad be pain free?

Will my Mum be able to cope? 

Will Dad see Easter? 

Will everybody get to see him that wants to?

Will my Dad cope with chemo?

Will my Dad be okay with this?

It brings me pride and peace to tell you the answers to all of the above uncertainties are a big fat yes. 

The fact is he coped amazingly and now so are we. 

I don’t know if I will continue feeling this way, but I am pleased I am feeling it today. 

Watching him fade away from us was far from easy, but it gave us time to come to terms with what was happening in our family. 

I still feel thankful and blessed that it all happened in this way, and am still searching for why we deserve such peace, when others suffer so. 

Maybe there is no answer.

There are some new feelings I have been feeling this week;

I am feeling impatient with people’s dramatised everyday and mundane problems. I honestly don’t care, it doesn’t matter. I can’t bring myself to even pretend to care.

I am also feeling nervous for Dad’s funeral, seeing all of those dispairing faces.

On paper the funeral looks lovely, ‘a celebration’, a perfect tribute for such a Man.

If you wish to attend it will be held on Friday 2nd September at Christ Church Braintree, London Road at 3:00pm. 

I am hoping you will bring smiles, memories and cake.

I know he would be proud how we’re doing. All this has brought us even closer and given us a new perspective on life and living. It’s what he would want to come out of all this.

I do not know how I am going to feel next week or next year, but this is how I am feeling now. 

I know there is no right or wrong way to manage this, I am just doing by my best. I am focusing on what made Dad peaceful and sharing the message to others.