Sunday, August 30, 2015

Being sad

Yes - this, really. I've been pottering around, getting one or two bits and pieces done, thinking I'm managing quite well, and then up pops another wave of sadness.  Michael Rosen says  "it comes along and finds you" - and he's right.

It found me a week or so ago, when an elderly friend of John's called in. During the visit, he remarked sadly that the older he got, the fewer friends he had. As he left, we both had tears in our eyes, and, as he drove off, it somehow felt like a real goodbye.

It found me one morning, when James came sleepily into the kitchen, saying that he had had a dream. I listened, although knowing, as he told me that his Dad had come back, and when he woke up, he thought for a moment that it was true, but then knew it wasn't. We both cried, but - oh - how can I know that longing he must feel ...

It finds me in all sorts of places - the officious wording of a business letter can make me feel vulnerable, turning on a TV show that he used to like, but not being able to watch it, treating myself to a danish with my coffee, and remembering that the last time I did this, he was right here, sitting at this table with me. I wonder what has happened -  to this man who was so full of life - such a strong personality - all that intellect, all that energy? Where has it gone? 

I know there will be many moments like this - there are lots of first times coming up - other things I have avoided, or can't face yet. But, I suppose we'll get through them, somehow. A friend, who lost her mother last year, called, and she talked about the idea of grief as seasonal - you have to go through the 'winter' and then 'spring' arrives and you begin to feel a bit better, then 'summer' is better yet, but autumn and winter will follow again, and so on we journey. I suppose for me it has been a bit like that, only massively speeded up - sometimes the seasons change several times a day... I'm just drifting with the flow, and really - what else is there to do?

I switched the TV on the other day, as I sat down to fold yet another gigantic pile of laundry. Where does it all come from? Anyway, flicking through the channels, I came upon a documentary film of Ethel Kennedy, and the story of the lead up to and eventual assassination of her husband. There were contributions from her children, who were all young at the time. It was hard to watch, with  those emotions still so raw for me, but I gave myself up to it, and mechanically folded tee shirts and underwear, tears coursing down my cheeks. I never knew about her, or the family. I was too young to remember much about those times, even though I am named after her sister-in-law. But what an inspiring woman - 11 children, one (the filmmaker herself) born after her husband's death. There was just something about Ethel Kennedy that touched my heart, and I felt her loss, and the world's loss - but I also felt some of her strength, saw how her great faith sustained her. I was sad, but comforted, and somehow it was a good thing. 

 September is almost here, and I do like the autumn. I have a few plans in the making, as we head towards the end of the year - a couple of trips, some projects - nice things to look forward to. I'll be back blogging normally too - I know I said I would only be posting pictures over the summer, but I must have forgotten about that bit. Thanks for dropping by, over the last couple of months, I'll reopen for comments next time, Until then, I wish you all a wonderful and happy week ahead. xxx  

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