Hi there lovely Newsletter Family!
Here’s my latest open letter to Doug. As per usual it comes with a trigger warning of grief and loss.
I’ve been lost in my own head a bit and went missing in action for a bit. I appreciate the messages of concern. I’ve been okay - just needed to lean into a few things.
Let’s pop the kettle on and have a chat shall we? Also, a big warm “Welcome to the Newsletter Family” to all the recent subscribers. Your virtual Tim Tam Biscuits to munch with a cuppa while you read are plated on my best fine bone china ready for you to dig in.
With love. Xx
I woke feeling heavy wondering why I felt like crap. Then I realised it was Wednesday.
It happens every Wednesday.
You died on a Wednesday.
If I could stay in bed all morning I would. But life goes on without you Doug… just like you said it would. Responsibilities fill the air around me. I’d rather not breathe them in today.
Each day of that last week with you has its own event assigned. Conversations, decisions, dramas, laughter, sobbing, thoughts, realisations. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday… gone.
Each day I wake up with a slightly different feeling, for slightly different reasons. They cut right through to my bones.
I’ve tried to write about the significance of each day. From the Thursday when we were told the cancer had returned and nothing more could be done until the coming Wednesday when you took that last deep breath… but I only get ‘so far’.
The fear of forgetting crucial moments of those precious days torments me when my attempts to record them fail. Then some days I wish I could forget them all because remembering means feeling them all over again.
Some days even the nice memories hurt. Like the day I thanked you for loving me and you replied “It wasn’t hard to do”.
The fog was so thick this morning Doug. It can hang around here until almost lunchtime in the Winter. Not like our old home town where it receded quickly allowing the morning sunshine to glisten on the dew. The dreary days are when I miss our old home town the most. Gloomy weather does nothing for my mood.
We’ve had another State-wide lock down since I wrote to you last. It hit me hard.
During your hospital admission for pneumonia there was a night where I couldn’t be with you AT ALL due to visitor restrictions in Emergency. I do understand it was to keep everyone safe from potential Covid infection. My anxiety, however, didn’t understand how the decision makers of visitor exemptions couldn’t understand that I was not just a visitor – we were indeed an extension of each other – I was your voice, your mobility, your protector, your memory, your life line.
I almost became one of those animated people I’d see arguing with frontline workers and security guards in the hospital entrance and corridors out of pure frustration because a stranger, who doesn’t know your loved one AT All, is telling you that you can’t be with them.
Each person feeling helpless in the moment.
Hostility, hopelessness and despair hung in the air creating its own atmosphere. Heavy energy. No joy. No good came from any of their irritated behaviour, no matter how remorseful they were moments later.
I chose not to add to the already toxic atmospheric pressure. I fully understood the emotions creating it albeit vented at people who didn’t want to be living and enforcing such realities either.
Such an unfortunate hot mess.
I chose to trust that I’d done everything I could to inform the doctors of your medical history and your personal needs and that SOMEONE would contact me with questions and progress updates when they could.
They did. You survived that night. So did I.
Not sure I would again with out drama.
Controlling my emotion fuelled urge to fight tooth and nail for your rite to have me with you and care for you and for me to be HEARD rose like a primal instinct from deep within. It took unbelievable restraint not to act on it. I’ve never felt anything like it before and I hope not to experience anything like it again.
Deep despair that had no outlet.
The thought of loved ones, partners, families, those in nursing homes and front line workers going through another episode of these lived horrendous circumstances played way to heavy on my heart and head making my soul ache.
Yep, the thoughts of lockdown 4.0 hit me hard.
We’ve had flooding rain and one hell of a storm recently. We lost two of the young trees we planted in the ferocious winds Doug. No damage to the house. Only more damage to my heart – more losses that weave back to moments in time of planting and planning and dreaming with you.
Frisky little lambs skipping about playfully in the adjoining paddocks are proving to be welcome distractions. Well really they’re cute time wasters, but ‘welcome distractions’ sounds more justifiable given how often I stop to watch their antics.
I loved nothing more than having the sheep in the front paddock during lambing season on the farm.
So many times I stood at the kitchen window laughing out loud at clouds of white running full pelt around the ancient redgums, leaping from fallen branches and then veering off mid-course to launch at their mothers and butt for milk.
So long ago, in another life, but I can see and feel it as if I’m there right now.
How you loved the family farm.
Oh how we loved living there.
I’ve been out of sorts again these last few weeks as you can probably tell from the tone of my letter. I’m functioning okay but living each day as it comes hasn’t been coming easy.
My creative flow has gone missing as has my usual injection of humour. I won’t stress about it. Maybe it’s just weighed down by the heaviness of this damp and cold winter. The sunshine, when it comes, shall thaw it out.
One thing is for sure - your dry wit is sorely missed on these miserable weather days.
Wednesday is now done. I’m on to the Thursday feels. Best get sifting through them so I can do the day. Another Wednesday will come around soon enough.
Feel free to share this post with anyone you feel it may resonate.