Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sleepless Wednesday /Thursday

Woke for some reason and haven’t been able to fall back asleep. The anniversary of Grenfell Towers and all those stories of lost lives and futures somehow haunting me. We plan to join the silent walk tonight to pay our respects. Families have spoken with such dignity about their memories of loved ones and a year ago. Shouldn’t have happened. The inquiries continue. The search for who and how and why.

And soon it’s six months since Dad died. Feel his loss so keenly still. The grief is always there, just comes to the surface more strongly sometimes than other times prompted by a thought, a memory, a photo, his hat on the back of our front door, so many things. So many times I’ve gone to phone Dad to tell him about something I’ve been doing, seen or heard about I knew he’d like to know. ” Must tell Dad” I caught myself thinking when there was a trailer for a nature programme from East Africa just the other day and then sad all over again to be reminded of the loss of him. So long since my last kiss goodbye.

All these months and all these bits of my life I haven’t been able to share with him. All those breakfasts and chats and times I haven’t been able to have with him.

I miss him. Every day.

Advertisements

Steamy Thursday

It’s a spa day birthday treat. A massage done, a swim, a steam and a facial to go. Lovely relaxing treats.

In the quiet space that the spa opens up i am feeling full of grief for Dad. Waves of loss. Sparked off perhaps by the images on the estate agents site of a spruced up empty flat devoid of all that made it Dads home. Perhaps that was the spark. Or maybe it’s just that there’s been a quiet space just to be and muse … There are Dad moments every day of course. Moments of loss and sadness. And I still carry round all the time a sense of heaviness that comes with grief. And just sometimes I can get completely absorbed in doing something – making bread, taking photos, a film, a gym class- which gives a break from that heaviness. It’s a relief.

Its two and a half months now. Not long at all so all very raw still. Just going with it and giving myself what it feels like I need.

But I miss him. Every day. All those Never Agains are so tough. What I wouldn’t give for one last stay with him, one last breakfast, one last ring of the phone to see his name come up, one last watching him snooze…

Things will get easier … that I know … just not yet

End of an era

Black bin bags full of the things that are no longer needed or wanted. The accumulations of a life. Odd socks. A jacket the moths have been busy with. Broken light bulbs. Pens that no longer work. Worn sandals.

Watched the postie drive away your 24 year old Rover. A gift for his son. Another generation learning to drive as we four did with you all those decades ago.

Couldn’t quite let go of a few of your clothes to the charity shop so back to London they come with me for a while. Remind me of all those days I saw you potter down the corridor ready for breakfast, our favourite time of the day.

Your flat is now empty, almost. Those things that made it so much yours are no longer there. It’s an empty space, an echo of your home but no longer that. Painters come in tomorrow. Fresh white and new carpets. A blank canvas for those who’ll live there next and like we did they will enjoy the view over the boats and the early morning sun streaming in.

A rushed practical sorting things couple of days overlaid with so much emotion. Memories aplenty. Thoughts of things that will never be again. The end of an era. Dad doesn’t live here any more.

Getting used to it…

So now it’s getting used to:

living without you there

not worrying about you

not hearing your voice

not phoning you when I arrive somewhere

not buying little things I think you’d like or that would make your life easier ( though Amazon doesn’t yet know you’re no longer around and keeps on making recommendations)

planning my time around Devon visits

not needing to have my phone with me always just in case you call and want a chat

not being able to share happy experiences with you

It’s just getting used to the start of a life without you. I knew it was coming but it’s still been such a shock. Life with a hole in the middle. Starting to get used to that.

And for the first time today since you died I felt happy. Sunshine on my face, eating fish and chips on Lyme Regis Beach watching the walkers, the waves, the light. Just for a little while I was completely present and was just there on the beach, your loss wasn’t there and I felt happy. It was good to feel happy again. Sadness and grief crept back in soon enough and wrapped themselves around me again but that’s ok. More simple happy times will come and will continue to catch me by surprise for a while yet until one day they just come and go and it’s not surprising any more.

Another farewell

Today a call to say our much loved friend Martin had died in the early hours this morning. 75, his birthday just celebrated in style at one of his favourite spots in Edinburgh, live jazz playing as people ate fine food, drank too much wine and told tall tales.

We knew all of him – his light and his shade. He hid nothing. He was exasperating, rude, combative and thoughtless. He was a tremendously loyal friend, wonderfully charming, funny, quick witted, irreverent, generous, full of life and mischief, a man who seized life and got the most out of every last drop of it.

A brickie to trade from a Scottish working class family he got involved in the communist party and then trade unions and through that got an education finally at university. He loved the arts, theatre, dance, music and generously took us all to see shows with him. He wore outrageous red suits, purple suits with dragon flies on them, suits with alternating blacks and whites on jacket and trousers. He loved being the centre of attention. Everyone in Edinburgh knew M and those that didn’t often found him introducing himself.

He had such a zest for life, for company, for fun.

Everyone has a tale to tell about M that makes them laugh.

And he came to stay in China with me for two weeks at the end of my marriage – he came to show support. Amazing loyalty and caring.

So this morning his heart finally gave out and my friend of 30 years, this larger than life,unique, incredibly brilliant man ended his 75 years on earth. What a life he led and how he will be missed by many.

I mourn my friend and feel keenly the loss of all he was.

Bye pal.

X

A farewell

And so the day started. Sunshine over Sutton Harbour. Dad always liked such days as the sun rose over the boats and poured in through the window.

He would have enjoyed his farewell. Lots of people came to mark his long life and to say goodbye. His military service recognised by a standard bearer who followed him in to the church and stood respectfully by his side throughout. My sisters poem and words reminding all of his passions. My brother’s eulogy, beautifully crafted to bring to life Dads humour, his spirit of adventure and zest for life, his hard work and his love for and support of his family and friends. The vicar got tangled in overcomplicated analogies about departures, airports and prisons but that was but a small blip really – surprisingly some others seemed to find it helpful. Wine, sandwiches and stories about Dad were shared.

I cried at almost everything of course. One of Dad’s pressed white handkerchiefs came in handy. John held my hand tight at my most wobbly moments. Following Dad in and out of the church was incredibly emotional. My Dad, my much loved Dad. We four so very different individuals said farewell and he would have been proud of our combined efforts to make a fitting farewell for him, such a very fine man, our father.

The sun held til our return back to Dad’s flat. Perhaps appropriate that the earlier bright scene was replaced by rolling clouds and later rain.

Bye Dad. I shall miss you always.