Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Things I'm Noticing

(Jotted down over several days.)


  • I hate it when a car drives up, because it's never going to be him. (Not that he drove the last couple of years.) It's not any old car but the sound of a familiar one, like my neighbour's in the back unit, coming up the driveway. Takes me back, I suppose.

  • I'm afraid that, as the years go on, I will lose the immediacy of my memories and my sense of connectedness to him; he will just become for me The Past. I can't bear the thought of that possibility! On the other hand, I'm afraid of getting stuck in the past and not moving forward and evolving. Also I believe that he, as a spirit, must evolve too and not be hindered by my emotions holding him back in any way. Academic questions, perhaps. I can't try and control things either way. I can only go on day by day, being in the moment and reacting spontaneously. And what will be will be.

  • I feel lonely when I do things for one that I used to do for two, such as making morning tea.

  • I was having a tearful day when I went out with my friend. 'You cry so lady-like,' she said affectionately. 'Have you had a good howl yet?' I laughed.' Oh yes, at home I wail and sob and swear.' But then I thought, afterwards, 'No, I haven't had a real good howl yet. The wails and sobs and swearing last only a minute or two at a time, and then I pull myself together and get on with whatever's at hand.' I can't produce a good long howl to order, but next time I find myself getting teary, if I'm home alone I'll go for it.

  • Everyone says how wonderfully I looked after him, and I certainly did my best. But what they don't realise is that he looked after me too. Tonight I choked on my dinner; a lump of food went down the wrong way. A scary moment! I reached around and thumped my own back, and after a lot of coughing and spluttering, it came up. He would of course have done that for me if he'd been here. On one of his last nights at home, I had an uncontrollable fit of sobbing. 'I don't exactly know why,' I told him, 'It's just that everything's a bit much.' He cradled me in his arms, murmuring endearments, until I was soothed. I felt cherished and safe. That kind of looking after I'll never get again. Maybe the memory will sustain me.

  • My appetite at mealtimes has diminished considerably. This was unexpected. I tempt myself with things I like, and paradoxically I am putting on weight, though just a little. 

  • My eating is altering in other ways. I used to make meals we both enjoyed, but there are things I love which Andrew didn't, so I am buying them now — salt herring, sardines, cottage cheese....  Instead of big tubs  of yoghurt, which now take forever to get through, I have started buying the tiny, individual ones. I haven't fancied tinned fruit, although I always used to. Luckily I still fancy fresh. I have largely given up trying to cook for one. I make stir-fries and get two meals out of them. I cook up big pots of soup and freeze most of it in individual containers — that gives me six or seven meals. I am sticking to the Oatmilk Andrew used, which I learned to love, but I don't go through it very fast as I don't have milk in my coffee and eat cereal only occasionally. Luckily it keeps. One packet now lasts as long as four used to. I have got in small UHT packets of dairy milk for visitors' cuppas.

  • There are times when I become aware that subconsciously I still expect him to return home after a short time away, as if death is just some kind of trip he's taking.

  • Freya still sleeps on the bed. She used to squeeze up between us and purr her little head off. Now she either stretches out on his side, or comes close to me for a cuddle. She does purr, but never so ecstatically loud and long as she used to when she was with us both.

18 comments:

  1. Rosemary - I absolutely adore this site and think that it will be a terrific project for you and a wonderful meeting place for others to share. Now how do we get the word out?!! Congratulations on a wonderful way of dealing "beyond the dark room" .... :)))))

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    1. Thanks for all your caring, Pearl.

      I'm told that clicking the g +1 button at the bottom of the post gets it into Google search engines. Also there are other buttons, to share a post on fb or twitter.

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  2. Dearest Rosemary - what a fine idea ... everything you write brings home anew the truth of your loss, and I find myself appreciating again how much I admire the way in which you've handled it, and are continuing to. ...You confront widowhood head-on with honesty, grace and class and I look forward to following your new blog.

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    1. Dear Sharon, I'm a healer as well as a writer, and I know I must heal myself before I can give out to others.

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    2. You are a wise healer - not all "healers" have learned this important lesson :)

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    3. Sharon, you stated that so well and I totally agree.

      Rosemary, you are a wise woman.

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  3. As always, I am struck by your absolute honesty. I re-read Helen Garner's "The Spare Room" recently and it struck me that you both have that same quality - the unflinching eye that can chronicle such a difficult time without giving way to the very human tendency to want to make ourselves look saintly. I am in awe yet again - your humanity never fails to shine through everything you write.

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    1. I feel quite overcome! It is how I want to write, so it is moving to be told it is so. And the comparison with Helen Garner.... Thank you.

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  4. Oh Sapphragette - You said that so beautifully!

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  5. Congrats on taking this initiative, Rosemary, in this difficult time.
    Best from one of the poets--glad we have met along the way!
    Patricia Anne McGoldrick from Canada

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  6. This is beautiful. I lost someone in my past and never thought I would get to today. For the longest time, I'd wake at night expectant. Sometimes memory fades until something sparks a memory, sometimes it is here as though time never moved. Blessings to you.

    These lines linger with me:
    'I don't exactly know why,' I told him, 'It's just that everything's a bit much.' He cradled me in his arms, murmuring endearments, until I was soothed. I felt cherished and safe. That kind of looking after I'll never get again. Maybe the memory will sustain me.

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    1. Thanks, Beth, for sharing your experience. I take heart from it.

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  7. I am certain that your memory will sustain you at the times you need it most, though I can understand your fear that eventually memories will fade. My own experience with close loss (though not a spouse) is that the ability to recall on demand has diminished in intervening years, but not the more intuitive flash of memory that comes very unexpectedly. And never have the memories of the feelings dwindled; they will always be yours to cherish.

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  8. Thank you too, Cheri, for sharing with me what you have learned.

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  9. Rosemary...every ounce of my beings want to reach out and hug you...this has moved me beyond on words...and that, my friend...doesn't happen often.

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  10. What a beautiful, touching post!

    Once again, I'm very sorry for your loss!

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  11. Thank you, Madeleine. I appreciate your comment. Hopefully the time will come when I feel like limericks again.

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