Last minute dinner in the park....

Man and cat.

The Monday just gone was the third anniversary of Gerard's death.  Predictably I was sad and forlorn but unexpectedly I was also a bit angry. It's hard to write about this. Yesterday I stopped at the end of the last sentence. Today Grace has given me 30 minutes before she wants to use the computer to play Sims so I am going to try and bash a bit out. The day before the anniversary, I posted a photo of Gerard on Facebook with the words, This is four years ago, almost a year before he died. It's a funny and kind of sadly prophetic photo. Gosh, I still miss Gerard but sometimes I hear him in my head telling me to pull my finger out.... Did I want sympathy? Maybe. Did I want people to know that I still feel stuck? That I feel a bit crap about that?  Maybe. Maybe. To be honest I think three years means that I should have moved on a bit more than I have. That I should be right in the middle of the new life I am meant to have. The one I can see with a new or renovated house, more socialising, more work, more life. If I had been the one that died, I reckon Gerard would have re-partnered by now. He might have fixed the house a little too and I reckon he would be working more. It's not that he would have been any less devastated but I think he would have been more practical about getting his life back together. I know that's what he thought I should do. But I haven't. It took me until I was 35 to meet Gerard and settle down into a long term relationship. He had serial long term relationships right from when he was young. Although I had a serious relationship in my twenties, it ended badly and after that, for various reasons, I was somewhat unlucky in love. So now I think at 54, it's unlikely that I will re-partner. I feel that I had partnered and that we were going to get old together, that that was one thing I had sorted, after all.

Back to the anger. I have been pretty low for the last couple of weeks. Coming home, feeling isolated, missing my family in Queensland, the hot weather, anxiety about the changes I have made to try and build a new working life, walking, injuring myself by walking too far too soon, not walking, not sleeping well on hot nights, sleeping in, lethargy. Culminating in a feeling of quiet desperation. A feeling of wanting sleep all the time and not wake up. And then the anniversary. Always another fucking anniversary. I seem to get myself on track and then I am undone by yet another anniversary. If my life was a bit more developed perhaps I could just feel sweetly sad on the day and go about my business. But no, the anniversary pulls me under like a nasty wave in the surf and then dumps me before churning me under again.  Maybe three years isn't that long in the scheme of things.

Anyway. The week has progressed and things are a bit more back on track. I had my volunteer shift at the neighbourhood house and it went well. Very well even. Well enough that I feel optimistic about the track I have placed myself on. I was skim reading something on the internet via Facebook about noticing happiness and joy and making a note of it. I think that's something I used to be good at, so now I'm trying to notice moments when I feel happy and content. It might be as simple as the moment I sit down to a nice dinner with Grace and there is a pretty sunset out the window. Or when Rupert snuggles up to me in bed and rests his snout on my belly. Or the feeling of a class well delivered. It sort of works.... I also tried another thing I skim read somewhere, about bounding out of bed by saying  in your head, 5...4... 3...2...1 get up. Sadly that did not work. Look, I suppose I shouldn't grumble so much. Things are happening. Even during the low period, I was still doing things, still hanging out with people, procrastinating about stuff, getting on with my life. It was not as drear as it sounds. But I was kind of low inside.

1 comment:

Lori said...

Oh Janet. So very many things to say in response to this post. All the 'shoulds', the tyrannical shoulds. I should be doing this, doing that, etc. When my granddaughter died, people were so liberal telling me all the things she should be doing (and the corollary, the should nots -- she should not still be grieving, etc), and I just wanted to shout FUCK YOU ALL. But I also understand your thoughts about Gerard, and how he would've repartnered and your sense that you won't. When Marc and I seemed to be divorcing, and I moved from NYC to Austin, my voice still hung in the air and he was filling out his profile....for when he felt ready. That was a knife in my heart, because I had no plans to have another relationship. Men do that, I think. They move on so much more easily.

And "always another fucking anniversary." You took so many hits in a short period of time, so when an anniversary comes it brings along others, too, and who wouldn't be overwhelmed by all that.

I'm so glad you are still doing things, hanging out, getting on, even though the inside feeling is still low. I know you will get there one day. Sometimes it's easier for people outside ourselves to see our progress than it is to see it ourselves. I know you will get there. xoxo