What a lot has happened and it still yet to happen. Over the past few months my teuxdeaux list has not helped manage my time or my mind with so many things happening unexpectedly and all in a rush.
Mr G and I spent the longest time we have ever spent together and without any children, ever. We stayed in towns and Premier Inns we had never visited, got used to what is ‘normal’ in hospice life, met people whose stories will be held in our hearts and minds for a long, long time and watched and waited with Mr G’s mum as she died. We now understand that dying is not one single act but lots of tiny ones, incremental nudges along the path as everything slows and changes.
As the days went by I began feeling that this kind of end we were seeing is a mirror of the beginning. Physical signs of birth begin slowly over time with the swelling belly, then the weariness, the anxiety and calm in waves, then knowing that it is real and it is really going to happen. There are signs that labour is nearing, small changes which gather in number and in pace. Then big signs come and there is no turning back, the stages are noted, some passing easily and others being more of a struggle. In death, as in birth, the baton is finally passed to the next generation to carry on.
We left the hospice feeling fundamentally altered and the normal world felt odd. We have both experienced this jarring feeling of grief before with our dad’s deaths but perhaps because we shared this experience with other families on the same journey and with staff who were such kind and patient companions we felt alone in more ways than just the obvious.
Our business clients have had to be patient with us as we’ve slowly tried to pick up all the things that were dropped for a fortnight and have taken longer to get back on track. We came back to a super tidy house thanks to my mum keeping the children on their toes and the washing up and laundry under control which makes me wonder why I can’t do that.
El Famosisimo was here one evening in the week and he and Mr G were joking about all sorts of things including getting a hot dog stand in town and calling it Abingdogs when G says that he can’t be bothered with the business any more as he was only doing it to prove to his parents that he was good at *something* and now they aren’t here, there’s no point. EF, somewhat gobsmacked but recovering his funnybone replies that he might have to keep up the charade for a bit longer as that’s going to be a difficult one to explain to all our clients then they both fall into hysterical laughter about how it’s all been a charade anyway and I’ve been the only one thinking it was all for real!
Eek! I sense changes afoot but not unwelcome ones. What could we do if we didn’t have to do what we are doing now? The possibilities are too many to contemplate so I’ve started sewing again to steady my nerves.