Our son climbed Mount Elbrus this week. The highest mountain in Europe, one of the seven summits. Now, while this in itself is remarkable for anyone to achieve, it was something else for Philipp. Not only had he lost his dad just three months ago, he is also very ill. He doesn't talk about it much, it's not an illness one likes to talk about. Is isn't a visible illness either, so if you'd see him, you wouldn't notice. He's a bit pale, a bit too skinny, maybe. He wouldn't tell you that he is ALWAYS tired, that he's running to the loo ten times a day, every single day. He wouldn't tell you that he is in pain. He wouldn't tell you that he was hardly able to leave his room for two years, that he had spent his teenage years pumped full with high doses of steroids and tons of other meds.
I've been watching the 2016 Rio Olympic games from the start. I've loved watching many sports over the years but, to be pretty honest I've lost my mojo for getting into all things Olympic because of all the doping and corruption scandals. I began to watch last week with a huge dose of cynicism. Today I shed tears while watching the rowing finals. Ireland's O'Donovan Brothers have won a silver medal. It will be the first medal in Olympic rowing that Ireland has won. I felt very emotional and move
Raging against the dawn. Why now? Why me? I’m overwhelmed and feeling angry just about everything. I can’t understand why I’m so angry with life? It’s six years later after the death of my husband I am angry beyond any bounds every day and often at night. I am twisted with rage against the world. Can’t understand why this is happening now after all this time. My therapist advised me to let my feelings out. Free them and they would set me free. I answered by saying I was not an angry person. I accepted the trials that life put in front of me. I was a world class avoider of all things menacing and confrontational.
It piddling rain here in South Galway and I'm in my living room covered up with a soft Pennys throw. It's darkish outside and it really feels like winter. Maybe we've bypassed autumn all together. I've been making pot after pot of my not world famous apple & ginger chutney. So, it must be autumn. Right!! The house is so quiet. Even Daithi the cat is staying nearby. I think he and my dog Lola feel the loneliness of the empty nest that I'm surviving in. Denis the goldfish hasn't really changed his routine so I'm pretty sure that he is oblivious to my plight.
What a month this has been! I was dreading it and so looking forward to things that happened this month. First Philipp's adventure. And I am still on a high about how well that turned out. (Did I mention just how proud I am ) And then there was the last weekend. I was so looking forward to seeing Rodney's friends. And, OMG, how I was dreading it. For many reasons. There was the obvious question - would I be able to let Rodney go?
Everybody’s grief is personal to them, and everybody grieves differently. There isn't a template, and there is certainly no handbook that will guide you.
After Rodney left, after his party, I had so much energy. I didn't know what to do with myself. I just wasn't tired, even though I had very little sleep, it didn't bother me. For the last month I have been just so exhausted, all the time. My sleep is completely fucked up, as Philipp would put it. Instead of being awake until 4:30 AM, I am now staying awake til 6:30 or 7 AM. The amount of sleep I get is even more reduced, from 4 – 5 hours to 3 – 4 hours. I stayed awake for more than 2 days last week, eventually I fell asleep and slept for 14 hours. Waking up about 6 times, checking the date on my phone – yep – not the time, Rodney is still gone – back to sleep. Somehow my tired brain must have thought if I just sleep enough time will revert back. Didn't work.
If you did a straw poll and asked folk what is their favourite season I'd hazard a guess that a lot of the answers would be Summer and Spring. After all they are the two seasons of growth and renewal. What's not to like about Summer? The days grow long. The sun shines and it's holiday time. Spring is the beginning of the end of Winter. Daffodils poke through the cold, wet ground and Mother Earth awakens from her Winter sleep. So, what about poor old Autumn/Winter? I like being different. I am not a great fan of Spring or Summer. There's too much light around. I love the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness that poet John Keats wrote about and and the Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.
I talk to my children about their Dad very regularly. Tell them funny stories about my life with him or stuff he told me about his younger days. I’m trying to fill in the gaps. I edit out the bad stuff because that was between him and me as I’m trying to keep a positive set of memories alive in their heads. They have lost a male role model. Someone who was there to teach them to drive, teach them how to make pancakes, teach them how to survive life and all its difficulties. A father offers a very different relationship to his children than the mum does. Of course, we both loved our kids and raised them together but, each parent brings their own skill to the job of parenting.
So, we had a bird in the bathroom yesterday. The joys of living with two cats. I would have thought they had killed every bird, shrew, rat, mouse in the neighbourhood by now. Nope, Eliza managed to find another one. And brought it in the house. Because it is so much more fun to play inside. What was I thinking, leaving the backdoor open?? It’s like an invitation, right?
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