– Truly Madly Deeply (2)

More Bereavement tips, stuff I forgot to include in the previous blog.  I don’t know if any of it is typical but all happened to me.

• Every day since Maureen stopped breathing (I still can’t accept she’s dead, rather it’s she’s just gone away for a while), something has broken or worn out.

• The dead don’t come back to help or haunt you.  Which is sad, because that was what made TRULY MADLY DEEPLY so special for me, and more so because Maureen and I never had the chance to say goodbye.  Strange too as I’d only just got round to the idea of there being an after-life.  Previously it seemed totally improbable, where would all those dead people go?  Well seems like my problem was scale, apparently since the first man/ woman walked the earth there have only as many since as there are alive right now.  Crazy but true.  So it is quite possible that they could all be living here right now, among us, though in another dimension of course, plenty of room.  However, if anyone reading this has encountered the return of a loved one please get in touch.

• Fear of driving.  After spending a considerable amount of time and money (far more than our ancient van was worth) getting the paperwork changed over into my name, I now find I am unable to go anywhere further than around town in it.  Also every time I have tried, something major has gone wrong.  First it was all the locks refused to open or close and the only key got bent in the process.  Then the power steering failed and it took a month to find someone to get it sorted.

• Living alone.  In town it’s possible, I guess.  But out here in the countryside the bare minimum has to be two.  I didn’t quite appreciate this until last week when I fell off my bike.  Entirely my fault, I shouldn’t have been cycling in the dark, on a forestry track, at speed, and without headlights.  The first thing I knew I was on the ground and unable to move.  Further investigation revealed my shoulder had taken the fall followed by my side acting like a brake in the deep sharp gravel.  Since then I haven’t been able to use that arm or cycle and am constantly in pain.  If this had been any more serious I wouldn’t have be able to continue living here.  Jobs like chain-sawing therefore will have to wait until I find a new partner.

• Am losing weight, don’t know how, if anything I eat more now than I did before.

• Each day I see/ hear at least ten things I would want to tell Maureen about.

• Two other films we both really liked and watched often (I no longer watch ANY films and don’t have a tv) were DAN IN REAL LIFE and SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE.  They have come back to haunt me as well, as both featured widows whose wives had died tragically young, and touch on another problem at the moment, sex.  It’s been a long time.  And this is going to sound really old-fashioned, but I don’t believe in casual sex.  For me it has to be ONLY within a meaningful relationship.

• The bureaucracy and paperwork continue.  Seven weeks now after her death, and no end in sight.

• I have had two colds, very unlike me, and lack all usual drive/ energy to be out doing monumental earth-works in the garden.

• This week we would have celebrated 35 years together.

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1 comment
  1. Truly, Madly, Deeply is one of my favourite films. It moved me to tears when I saw it decades ago and still does whenever I watch it again. It’s a perfect film, impossible to better.

    Bereavement is very hard to get through when there is a lot of time to think about things. Some people successfully adopt a “life must go on” approach and busy themselves with things. Sometimes that took a while for me, other times much faster. But losing a life partner can be like nothing else. I’ve lost family, friends and close acquaintances since the 80s to accidents and illness. Going on doesn’t get any easier, but it hasn’t got any worse either. It’s part of the natural world, that you describe Phil. Since we all go, one way or another, it is a matter, I think at this moment, of timing and degree of comfort. For some it seems to come so terribly soon. Some of the best, warmest, nicest, least-deserving-of-dying-now, unexpectedly do and it is all the more shocking when it does.

    When the thoughts “what is life for?” or “how should I live my life?” cross my mind, I’ve converged over time to the understanding and answers “to leave the world a better place than I’ve found it” and “live with joy wherever possible”.

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