Tag Archives: grief

Beaten


Feel free to move on right along without reading this post dedicated to self pity and misery. To be honest, it’s not really for your benefit so I’m not even going to try and make it upbeat, grammatically correct or well written. It’s just a self indulgent misery fest.

Really it’s more of an aide memoir so I can look back in a year or two and laugh and laugh at the tough times* she said drily*

That’s it. I’m down. After finding it harder and harder to get up after every punch I’ve had thrown at me recently, the universe has finally beaten me. I am now that woman walking along the street with eyes downcast, shoulders slumped, looking like she’s had the spirit beaten out of her.  You know you’ve had enough when you think you’re washing your hair and suddenly realise you’ve been standing in the shower holding your head and crying for the last five minutes.

Regular readers know that Boofuls and I have become professional funeral goers this year. The death roll is now well into double figures and it saddens me that there have been so many deaths this year that I can’t even instantly recall who they all are.

It started with a friend of over forty years, then it was Boofuls’ brother, followed by my cousin, a few friends and acquaintances, our lovely dance teacher of over fifteen years  and the most recent, my brother.  In another few days/weeks Boofuls’ best man at our wedding will lose his wife.

Our gorgeous daughter has had her own issues this year and all we can do is stand by and watch. It has broken my heart.

Seven years, oh yeah, S.E.V.E.N years after this lovely  house we live in went on the market – almost on the day the housing market crashed, it is still not sold.  Drop the price? Oh yeah, we never thought of that. We’ve dropped the price by £165,000, is that enough for you? Now we find ourselves in a position where …..never mind. Suffice to say I have never felt more like we are living on a knife edge.

I truly don’t know why it isn’t selling. It’s in a gorgeous position, it’s well maintained, it’s got land, barns and stables and planning permission for conversion.  Even now when I come home I look at it and think ‘what a lovely place we live in.’

Turning down a buyer for the business after trying so hard to find one wasn’t feasible but who would have thought all this time later we’d still be here and not in Devon?  Retirement was great when I thought it was only for a couple of months. If we don’t sell the house  soon I’ll have to get a job working on a checkout in Netto.

Then to cap it all, Boofuls, me and Douggie set off to Wales for a heel work competition this weekend. We checked into a lovely hotel yesterday, met some friends who were competing as well and had a great time, we were really starting to relax and unwind and I realised I was actually having fun for the first time in, well, ages.

Until….Douggie woke us up to four o’clock this morning to let us know he was going to have  a seizure. He paced the floor, whined, barked, let out an almighty howl and eventually jumped onto the bed. The trouble with having a five stone dog is that if he decided that’s where he’s going to have his seizure, that’s where he’ll have it and there ain’t nothing to be done about it.  So, he had his seizure on the hotel  bed, weeing all over it as he did it.

Then, just as he began to come round from his seizure he went straight into another seizure and then another. I really thought he had gone into status epilepticus and we were going to lose him. It was terrifying.  When he eventually came round he was hyperventilating and very distressed. He needed to be cooled down and calmed down. FAST.

The other hotel guests must have thought there was a major domestic going on as they heard all the scuffling going on in our room.  Douggie also managed to knock everything off the bedside table,  when he fell off the bed, what a commotion.

We spent the next hour and a half walking a whining, barking, distressed dog round a hotel car park in the early hours of the morning  in the pouring rain while Boofuls tried to get hold of a vet.

Curtains twitched, lights went on and voices were heard. Great. We’ve woken the whole hotel.

When the staff arrived for duty around 6.30 a.m. I explained and apologised profusely to the hotel management about the whole sorry incident, obviously paying for the extra night we decided not to stay for and ensuring that they checked the room  before we left so we could pay for anything Douggie may have damaged. Luckily, I’d had the presence of mind to strip the bed after he weed on it so the mattress was ok, that would have been pricey.

Needless to say we didn’t compete. Shame, his rehearsal the day before was brilliant. Damn me for saying to Boofuls, “I hope this isn’t a  case of good dress rehearsal, bad performance”, or as it turned out, no performance.

Instead we have come home.  Douggie has been restless and difficult.  Boofuls and I are both punch drunk, physically and mentally at the end of our tether.

If you believe in karma then Boofuls and I  must have been some proper bad bastards in a previous life. I know life isn’t a bed of roses but come on, this is way beyond a joke now.

 

 

 

 

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The post I don’t want to write


This is the one I’ve been avoiding all week. The post that makes me fill up with tears every time I think about writing it.

Of course, I have to do it if I’m to fulfil my commitment to myself about documenting the events of daily life to preserve the memories that we create every day.

The trouble with documenting things for posterity is that by the very nature of life some will be happy memories, some will evoke an emotion and some, like this one will cause the tears to fall.

Where to start? I’ll keep it in chronological order and I’ll start at my cousin Ann’s wedding in late 2012.

Just six weeks after her mother had died. Everyone put on a brave face and  chatted, sang, danced and  made the best of the celebration even though the tragic loss of the bride’s Mum to cancer was the massive elephant in the room.  

At that wedding the brides sister, Hilary confided to me that she also had cancer but was hopeful about beating it.

My poor uncle just spent the day looking lost and forlorn. Every now and then he’d take a photograph out of his pocket and  stare at it.

Last Saturday Hilary married the love of her life.  A lovely chap who we’d met for the first time at Ann’s wedding.

The marriage took place on a special licence. They were married in the hospice with only a few close family members present. I’m sure you can join the dots.

While we were all happy for them it was heavy with sadness as we all knew that they’d only have a short time together.

Then on Tuesday, Boofuls took an early morning phone call to say that his brother had sadly passed away.

It wasn’t unexpected, he’s been ill for some time, hence our many trips to Devon in the last few months. Isn’t it funny though? Even though you know it’s coming it still hits you like a sledgehammer.  I’m not sure it’s possible to prepare yourself for someones death.

As deaths go it was as nice as it can be, lying in his own bed with his wife’s arms around him as he slipped away.

Boofus and I are going down to Devon on Tuesday for his funeral. On the way back we planned to pop in to see my cousin.

About an hour ago I got a phone call to say that Hilary had died.

Eight days after her wedding and two weeks short of her fortieth birthday.

I can’t find any more words.

So many tears


And a few light hearted moments to help us along.

Just a few days ago a dear friend  lost her father and yesterday  DIL lost her grandmother after a long and painful illness.

Even when everyone knows the end is near it doesn’t make it any easier when it happens.

All that can be done to help is to be there when you’re wanted and stay away when you’re not, hard as that is.

The phone call that DIL had been dreading came and she and The Rev  made a hasty dash across the country to Leeds  to be there with her Grandma when she passed.

That left the logistical issue of what to do with the children who at school unaware of the drama unfolding around them.

That would be my cue to step in: “I’ll pick them up from school, I’ll feed them, they’ll stay overnight, I’ll get them to school tomorrow. Don’t worry about the dog, I’ll take her as well. Just go.”

Easy enough, feed them, tire them out and get ’em to bed. Sounds like plan.

Of course it being Monday, I had Munki with me just to spice things up a bit.

While we waited for school to finish, Munki and me took the dog for a run on the field. Now what do you wear when the weather is bright, a bit breezy and it’s early enough in the year for there to still be a chill in the air? Everything!

Eclectic fashion Mix

Munki chose an eclectic mix of clothing for the outing, including my scarf.

It’s been a few years since I’ve done the school run. I’d forgotten how frantic it all gets. Trying to play down the drama of the situation, I kept the kids as informed as possible, trying my best not to upset them. Being bright kids though, they worked out the score in seconds.

So that gave me three alternately upset, hyper and mischievious children, as well as a daft dog to feed, clean up after and entertain.

That was the school bit done, so far so good. Next part of the plan: Food.

Pasta and garlic bread, works every time. Some kids got messier than others so I decided a bath might be in order. Munki played happily in the bath.

Clingon No 2 came in, looked a bit wistful for a minute before asking if she could get in too.

Clingon No 3 then came in, looked a bit wistful then asked if she could get in as well. Why not? The more the merrier! Shove up, I’ll get in ( only joking).

In went the kids, in went the bubble bath, on went the jets.

Result: A lorra lorra bubbles

Bath Time
Up to my neck in it!

Munki left about 5.30. And then there were two (and the dog).  Agility class kept Clingon No 2 and the dog amused for an hour or so, Clingon No1 went to Lashes’.  Before we knew it it was bedtime. Thank God!!

That was all good training for this morning. OH MY GOD!!

Did I really used to get three snail pace kids up and ready for school every single day?

The circular conversations; ‘Have you done your teeth? Have you washed properly? No you haven’t go and do it again. Where’s your shoes? Make the sandwiches etc. etc. etc.  My God, never let it be said that being a Mum is an easy life.

And all the while the dog bounded round. “Take me out, take me out, take me out”  I pretty much just wanted to sit in a corner and rock.

For some bizarre reason, Cligon No 1 told me that they leave for school at 8.20 for an 8.45 start. ‘Bloody hell’, I thought, ‘the traffic must be bad in the morning, it’s only a few minutes away.’  “We’d better leave at 8.15 then to be on the safe side.”

Safe side?

We turned up at a deserted school at precisely 8.21. WHAAAAAT?

After a  20 minute stroll through the woods I shoved them through the school gates with a sigh of relief. Can I go back to bed now?  ‘

Still the dog bounded around so it was back into the woods to take her for a proper walk before returning her to her rightful owners who were now back from Leeds, emotionally and physically drained.

I was glad of the walk in the park, it gave me a chance to reflect. The morning was cool and dank and felt like autumn. It suited my mood perfectly. The daffodils looked garish and out of place in the calm, grey stillness of the deserted woods. Too late for the schoolkids, too early for the dog walkers. There was only me, the dog and a few pigeons coo cooing gently in the trees. Perfect.

I wished I’d taken a proper camera with me, it’s always the best way to calm my nerves, taking photos. Still, the phone doesn’t do a bad job. Here are today’s offerings:

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