It is two weeks today since the funeral. My daughter and family are still here and go home tomorrow. Then the house will be quiet and empty and I will learn what it is like to cope with that for however long I need to. I still have that moment when I look at the clock mid-morning and say to myself: "Time to go and see Ray". It is like an automatic reflex and remains programmed into my brain. I still listen for his breathing in the night come to that and it has been well over a year since he has been here at home.
Spring is shudderingly cold most mornings still. Daylight Saving started at the weekend and so we have longer days but still cold nights. We will eventually get summer I know but half way through Spring I want it to be a lot warmer than it is. As part of the grandchildren visiting we have been on picnics and to the local beaches and seeing young children playing in the surf amazes me when the water temperature is still low but I guess we did it as kids too. The two here plus the other three grandkids played in the surf last week when Shirley and family went on a picnic with Pam and family of course they were only to paddle but managed to get wet all over and came out shivering but happy.
People have been so kind. I am still getting cards through the mail. Just on 200 people attended Ray's funeral and yet I get a couple of people each time I go to our local shooping centre come up and express their sorrow and tell me they would have come to the funeral if they had known sooner, if they had not had a medical appointment, not had to mind the grandkids that day (school holidays) or had something else pre-booked to do. I understand as I have been there too.
I am still sorting out paperwork, have found some documents and are still searching for others. It is an on-going task.
I visit Mum still twice a week, Shirley has been with me a few times, it is easier with two of us. She is mostly in bed and mostly asleep but we have had a few visits where she is out sitting in a chair and we have wheeled her outside. I often wonder what she sees, hears and experiences in the depths of dementia and with no ability to communicate. Her sightless eyes still turn towards us at the sound of our voices so maybe she is conscious of our presence, maybe not who we are.
A couple of people have been buried from the church since Ray died, it has been a busier year than most. The flowers off the coffin sit under the altar on the Sunday after a funeral, a reminder to the living. I have not had the energy to do anything in the church since Ray has gone. I will get back to it. I have to go to an old friend's funeral on Thursday. Death, like life, goes on.
Our Lions Club wants to do a tribute to Ray so I prepared some material for that. No-one knows him like I do. Isn't it sad? They were good to Ray so I want to do what is right. There seems so many little things to do. I have just posted off a few cards to friends afar, those who are not on the net and so have not heard. I remember I had to do a lot after Dad's passing, not so many this time as our friends are younger and more computer-savvy.
My friends are sometimes worried about what I will do and feel when the kids go home. It is back to one-day-at-a-time. I am telling them; "be prepared to be asked out to have a coffee". I have always got by with a little help from my friends. I know some relationships will change, I have that experience from the strokes, the illnesses, Ray's year in a nursing home etc. I know some people are avoiding me as they "don't know what to say". Really we all "don't know what to say".
I am remembering to breathe, weeding the roses, getting some time in the sun some days when it is not clouded over.
I know I will change. I think I will call myself: "The Widder Wilkinson".