Sunday, October 7, 2012

Adjustments, realisations, alterations ...

Already it's over a month since he died!

I've realised I need to get out of the house and be among people, if not every day then most days. For that and other reasons, I now shop often for small amounts, instead of doing one great big shop per fortnight. Although I didn't always use it, the Coles online shopping service was very useful when Andrew was at home and couldn't be left. Now I can't imagine using it any more unless I become sick. A friend informs me that what I'm doing now is 'the French way — buying everything fresh'. (It's certainly necessary from that aspect too, as otherwise food would be going bad at the rate I eat it.) 

My friends are very good. They ask me out or phone to check how I'm doing, making sure I'm not too much alone. I'm accepting invitations and enjoying them. Coming home again to my own company is sometimes a bit of a let-down.

I've always talked to myself, and to inanimate objects, so that's not much of an adjustment. But I've been doing it a bit more lately. And I'm talking to him perhaps a little less than I did at first — but still quite often. 

I still haven't had the 'good long howl' people advise. When I get weepy moments, I think I will — but then my mind progresses naturally to the many happy memories, and the tears dry up. So I am shedding them little by little instead. I can't seem to help this, but I don't know that it's a good thing. My body has always been inclined to give me messages that put me in closer touch with my emotions, and what it's manifesting right now is fluid retention! The message could hardly be clearer. Obviously I haven't shed nearly enough tears yet.

Sorting through his notebooks and unpublished writings, I find that several times in the last couple of years he wrote about being ready to die — partly because he was sick of the pain in his body, and partly because he longed to be with his father and brother again. It's clear from what he wrote that he hung on for my sake. I'm so grateful that he did! The gradualness of his deterioration gave me time to become resourceful and self-reliant enough for life on my own. His health scares and hospital stays which didn't result in death, but looked as if they might, allowed me to confront the possibility and motivated me to get wills and things put in place. 

He didn't always feel ready to go, however. Much of the time, even in his last days at home, he was keen to stick around and get on with his life's work — which was, essentially, inspiring people to embrace their highest potential. His gift for writing was simply one means of doing so. He was particularly motivated to work with youth — hence his children's books, and his role (before I knew him) in bringing to Australia the Discovery accelerated learning course for teenagers. 

Since his death, many of his friends old and new have mentioned what an inspiration he was to them. Several have credited him with being a mentor to them.  I hope he knows now how well he did perform the function he so wanted to in people's lives. I don't think he ever quite believed it when he was here. I said to a friend today that he under-estimated himself. 'The good thing was that you never did,' she replied. Getting him to believe me was a challenge, though! Now I have been coming across birthday and Christmas cards from his daughter, telling him over and over again what an inspiration he was to her, what a guiding light in her life. He kept and evidently treasured these cards, so perhaps her words got through to him.

I am making some changes to our home. 'You must make it your own little nest now,' said a friend who was widowed a few years ago. It started when I bagged up his clothes to give to the opportunity shop and spread into his wardrobe as well as my own. Various other changes have followed, and will follow. 

Pretty new couches have replaced the ancient armchairs which we only kept because he was still able to haul himself out of them. 

I was given a beautiful painting of an angel. (Long story.) Putting it in the perfect spot meant removing another picture, altering the placing of yet others.... In the course of this I realised I want to make the whole place into a more magical space now, instead of confining that aspect of my life and being mostly to one particular area. I've started with a small altar in the bedroom, even though I have a main altar out in the garage — which I'm never likely to use as a garage, it being my library, temple and consulting room. 

His office, which has the spare bed in one corner, will become a more comfortable guest room. When there are no guests, which is most of the time, it will be a pleasant work space for me to iron, draw, practise my Tai Chi, or meditate. Oh yes, I've started Tai Chi lessons again, after two years when I simply couldn't leave him in order to attend. 

I've resumed Tai Chi, daily walks, and meditation, and I've stopped the evening glass or two of red wine which I'd got into the habit of. After all, I have now had an excellent demonstration of the importance of maintaining good health into old age!

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