The cluster

cause_and_effect_4361I’ve come to the realisation that the past few months have been so hard because of all the festive stuff going on around me.

Since Paul’s death, all of this has happened:

  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
  • New Year’s Eve and Day
  • Australia Day long weekend
  • What would have been our 11th wedding anniversary
  • Valentine’s Day
  • March long weekend, and coming up in a day or so —
  • My birthday
  • Easter long weekend

Apparently this is a thing for widows – a cluster of events occurs that stirs up anticipatory grief and then full on grief. And what a cluster it’s been.

Any long weekend sucks. Because I don’t want to bother friends who have plans. I remember that Paul and I loved these times together, alone, and I don’t want to horn in on people.

This year at least I can afford to get down to Tasmania and spend time with a dear friend there over Easter. And because Easter falls early and my birthday is on a Thursday, I’m able to make a 5 day weekend out of it.

I had something really profound to say about all of this, but it’s sort of drained away. Just staring at all of that makes me tired.

After Easter, the next up on the pain parade is Mother’s Day. I’ve already promised Paul’s mum that we are going to have a good time that day (or whatever day she doesn’t spend with Paul’s brother).

To break things up, I’ve scheduled a Day of Gratitude in the form of a house-warming party – to thank everyone who has been supporting me and who helped me move – for the April long weekend/Anzac Day long weekend.  Planning and working toward a day to give back is going to make my April a lot easier to bear.  Then I have a few months of classes plus I’ve decided to dip into savings a bit and bring my only sister out to spend a few weeks in June around the time of the anniversary of Paul’s diagnosis.

I’ve applied to join a widow’s support group, have a new grief counsellor lined up and last week even re-visited Mary Potter Hospice to talk with the social worker there.

THAT visit was something else. I nearly couldn’t go in – then I found myself fantasizing about Paul still being there and then just was happy to be in the last place he’d been alive. After my session I walked out into the peace garden where I’d spent some time in the past and just read all the signs and sat quietly in the cool of that autumn afternoon and stared at a tree of life mosaic as the warm, late day sun put it’s gentle hand on my shoulder. I left a bit subdued but oddly, uplifted too. I spent 15 minute sin my car staring at the green of the golf course and the mellow, autumn colours being cast over the Adelaide skyline before driving home.

Now that I’ve contemplated life’s deep questions and my journey over the past months – it’s time to go fold laundry.

Those sorts of juxtapositions stun me. I can be sobbing in my car, calling Paul’s name and then get my shit together and go in to buy kitty litter. Or have a night where I’m thinking any release from this pain and sorrow is better than bearing it and then wake up the next day and go to work. Or I get lost in a tree or view and feel temporarily healed by their beauty and then have to try to focus on a spreadsheet or some coding.

But gotta go – laundry is calling, it’s 930 at night and the kitchen needs tidying too.

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