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out of time. Mum at end stage.

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4am, tired, but don't want to sleep. Listening to music and planning what I need to do tomorrow and Monday. Sleep usually means unpleasant dreams, so I find myself not wanting to, and appetite is still gone. I've lost a stone since mum passed, although that's a good thing, I needed to shed that anyway. But it's made me a rubbish host.
You need sleep to function properly and not go insane. Lack of sleep will not help you deal with this in any way and will only make things worse. If you can't get to sleep after trying sour cherries and relaxation, there are certain plants that can make you really sleeping and give you the munchies, although they aren't necessarily legal in all countries. You don't need a lot but a cookie or fudge brownie half an hour before bed can help you sleep right through the night. This is only for adults not for kids. You kids under 18 shouldn't read this. Everyone under 80 should go to bed so us grown ups can talk.
I like talking to myself :)
 
Feeling a lot steadier now that my bestie is here. He's a rock.

We went for a walk with Pixie this morning, met a gorgeous young goldie that came running across the field to meet Pixie, then stopped and looked unsure what to do when she was pooping as he reached her.. she was looking a bit unsure too!

But they got on pretty well, and we got to fuss a beautiful 18 month old Goldie that was a typical lovebug and wanted belly rubs from his dad while we chatted.

Then we made a trip to a large chain store for pets I won't name, didn't look at fish (and wouldn't buy fish from that store anyhow) since we were a bit pushed for time, but we saw TWO rough collies (Lassie dogs, for those old enough to remember Lassie), a corgi puppy that was just adorable, and picked up a bunch of toys for Pix and the parrots, then to Tesco to stock up on groceries, some essentials, and I got a couple of houseplants (mother in laws tongue, two varities) and some stuff to plant in pots.

Pixie didn't like us going out without her, but my bro dogsat and eventually managed to distract her and she was thrilled with a new toy and us both returning once we got back.

Just went through some photos I had on onedrive to share some of Pixie (and Jack) with a friend, and thought I'd link it here too, if anyone wants to see doggy pics. Was nice to look at the photos for sure.

Have to follow the link and scan down to see all the photos. :)

My friend has just left for a while after a quick bite to eat, to visit a friend of his here who has just lost her husband. Bless him, his weekend is all about supporting grieving people. I don't know what I did to deserve a friend like him, but I'm so grateful. Going to see if I can nap now for a couple of hours while he's out. Have chilled music playing softly, for myself and the puppers.

Thank you guys. Whenever I'm rocky, you're always there for me, and it helps so much. I'm so grateful for all of you as well.
 
I’ve been bawling my eyes out all night, I needed to read this

I'm so sorry hon. Sometimes you just need to let it all out, and there's nothing wrong with that. Let yourself cry and experience the feelings, while knowing that you will get through. That you're loved, and it's okay to cry when you need to.

I'm not great at taking that advice myself... but I'm working on it. ;)
"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love." – Washington Irving

It's beautiful, isn't it? I'm thinking of including it in my reading tomorrow. Just really resonates with me. ♥️
 
One day at a time. Cook with your friend. Eat, it will help your mood. Make that pot of coffee. And take slow steps, many foreseen problems never actually happen. Keep your focus on today, not in the dark tunnels of past or future. Peace be with you
 

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there." - Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451​

"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love." – Washington Irving

“May each tear and each fond memory be a note of love rising to meet you.” — Jennifer Williamson
 
You can shed tears that she is gone
Or you can smile because she has lived
You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
Or you can be full of the love that you shared
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday
You can remember her and only that she is gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

-David Harkins

When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom filled room
Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little, but not for long
And not with your head bowed low
Remember the love that once we shared
Miss me, but let me go.

For this is a journey we all must take
And each must go alone.
It's all part of the master plan
A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick at heart
Go to the friends we know.
Laugh at all the things we used to do
Miss me, but let me go.
- Christina Rosetti


To the living, I am gone,
To the sorrowful, I will never return,
To the angry, I was cheated,
But to the happy, I am at peace,
And to the faithful, I have never left.

I cannot speak, but I can listen.
I cannot be seen, but I can be heard.
So as you stand upon a shore gazing at a beautiful sea,
As you look upon a flower and admire its simplicity,
Remember me.

Remember me in your heart:
Your thoughts, and your memories,
Of the times we loved,
The times we cried,
The times we fought,
The times we laughed.
For if you always think of me, I will never have gone.
-Margaret Mead



If I Should Go​

If I should go before the rest of you
Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone
Nor when I'm gone speak in a Sunday voice
But be the usual selves that I have known
Weep if you must
Parting is Hell
But life goes on
So sing as well.
- Joyce Grenfell

I Heard Your Voice in the Wind Today - Anonymous​

I heard your voice in the wind today as I turned to see your face, the warmth of the wind caressed me as I stood silently in place. I felt your touch in the sun today as it’s warmth filled the sky, I closed my eyes for your embrace and my spirit soared high. I saw your eyes in the window pane as I watched the falling rain, It seemed as each raindrop fell, it quietly said your name. I held you close in my heart today, it made me feel complete, You may have died, but you are not gone and will always be part of me. As long as the sun shines, the rain falls and the wind blows, you will love inside of me forever, for that is all my heart knows.
 
This feels awfully like a homework assignment that I'm having to do the night before it's due -which is not a feeling I like to have associated with sharing the grief of losing my mum, who I love with my whole heart.

It also isn't strictly true, since I've been searching for and attempting to write, either the right words to say from the heart, without breaking down, or for a reading, poem or prose that felt right. With dad, I found two that I loved and felt just right quite quickly. And this isn't just last minute, I've been looking for the words that feel right since mum passed. But while some of the above would do, most just don't feel right. I'll know it when I see it.

But some of the short quotes resonate for me a lot more, and I'm tempted to link them together, since I feel like the sequence by putting them together works somehow? @Alice B , @Colin_T , @GaryE @TwoTankAmin or any other writer type brilliant persons, I'd love any feedback on what you think of this plan.

I go to the podium and say that I have words from Ray Bradbury, Washington Irving, and Jennifer Williamson that I would like to link together and share, because I see, feel and know my parents in everything around me, and within me.

"Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that you flower you planted, you're there."

[pause]
There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love."

[pause]

"May each tear and each fond memory be a note of love rising to meet you."

Simple, fairly short - but my brother said tonight that he's found a short reading he wants to do, so it also makes sense to keep mine short, but more significant to my mind than any of the other poems I shared above, and since he's willing to speak too now, it would probably be too much if I did two longer readings, like I did for dad's funeral.

Even typing that, feels wrong. It's not that I don't have anything to say. I have too much to say, my usual problem, but this time also too deep and painful to stand and say them publicly without breaking into a sobbing mess. I think mum would understand, and know that it's not like, a favouritism thing or anything silly like that?







 
Thinking of you today!
Thank you! <3

Was just about to post. Feels surreal this morning. As if it's still not really happened.

I didn't manage to sleep the night before last, but still struggled to mentally switch off enough to fall asleep sometime around 4am, set an alarm for 8, just in case. Pix usually wakes me pretty easily just by jumping off the bed and leaning against the bedroom door, which makes a gentle bumping sound, and that's usually enough to wake me to go get her breakfast/first pee break, and my coffee, but since I knew I might oversleep from being over-tired, I set an alarm, just in case. Poor girl had her breakfast late, since alarm clock didn't go off until 8:25am! She's usually fed between 6-7am, poor girl. But she managed to wait and have it a couple of hours late this am, bless her fluffy puppy feet. Sorry Pixie Poppet.

Funeral is at 1:45pm. I have plenty of time to get ready. Uncle Mike came over last night, so I made a quick and easy pasta bake and salad w/garlic bread for the four of us last night, then tried to hit the hay a bit early since I was pretty shattered by that point, but Sam and Uncle were chatting til pretty late, almost 11pm before Mike left last night.

Had another bit of an emotional break last night when we were all looking through photo albums. It was nice, we were laughing at the pics of my bro and I as a kid, of my Uncle Mike after I'd plastered his face in hideous coloured clown kids make up once, etc. It was semi-emotional, but we were all having a rather nice time, and I do like hearing his stories too, about when my parents were younger, when they had their business and first met Uncle Mike etc, and how the haircuts I'd been given as a child were appalling, even for those years :lol:

But then of course, Uncle Mike, who has a heart of gold, but engages mouth loudly, often, and sometimes forgets to engage brain before speaking so can be accidentally tactless, even though he'd never, ever intend to hurt me, managed to do it again, and it hit me hard enough in the feelings to give me another gut punch of grief and a flash of anger.

He'd come across an out of focus, half framed photo from the early 90s-ish of dad; side-eyeing the camera with a pretty grumpy face (he often looked grumpy even when he wasn't, lol, he wasn't a natural when posing for the camera, much preferring to be the other side of the lens!) on a rare occasion where he looked like he had more weight on him than was typical. Wasn't a great photo by any means, nor of him. He was a slim and active man as a young man, and again as an older man. Daily walks, working hard, and always being occupied doing something, he rarely put on any podge. But he definitely had a bit more weight in his face than he usually did in this pic, and Mike said about how he looked better with a little more weight on him, and Mike remembers him like that. Which can't be true, since every other photo of dad in those earlier years has him obviously slim, tall and wirey, always more on the lean side, but fair enough. Will and I had been discussing how we don't look at each other and see our real current ages really - I still mentally think of him as in his 20s, as he was when we met, and it trips me out when he says he's 47 now, and vice versa, kinda thing. So I know what Uncle Mike meant. He personally thought dad looked better carrying a little more weight on his frame. But it's not how my brother and I remember him, but mental pictures we carry of people can be like that.

Interesting, fine, just another of those random side discussions you have on occasions like this. But poor Mike didn't engage brain, and said "you should have used this one in the order of service. He looks much better than in those photos. In that one you used, he looked so old. Like an old man. This one would have been much better."

I said "well, yes, but he I picked it because it was a rare photo of him looking directly in the camera, with a slight smile, and I'd loved the expression on his face in the photo I'd chosen."
Not to mention that all the neighbour friends attending, myself, bro, my bestie etc, all remember dad that way too. I didn't know him when he was still in his 40s the way Uncle Mike did. Dad was late 40s when I was born, so he was often mistaken as my grandfather when I was a wee bairn, bless him. My folks had us later in life. But even when he was 85, I didn't think of him as an old man. He was still "dad", even when I had to urge him to slow down, and not be hard on himself that he couldn't just get up a ladder and do the things he did easily at 40-60 years old!

Anyhow, Uncle Mike didn't drop it at that, like a sensible person, but repeated that this one would have been much better for the front, how he'd looked so OLD in that photo, I should have used this one instead.

And I snapped that if someone else had helped me with ANY parts of dad's funeral arrangements, then they could have chosen other photos themselves then, but since I'd had to do all it, make every decision like that alone, just as I've had to do again with mums, then maybe they could have chosen the photos THEY wanted instead.

Then went outside to smoke a cigarette and sob, try to get myself together, because even though I knew Mike didn't mean it in the critical and sneering tone it came across, it still hurt like a gut punch, and hit on a sensitive topic.

There are more than a dozen large, packed photo albums that mum had put together of their lives, our childhoods etc. I still haven't revisited every single one. Because it's bittersweet and emotional, especially doing it alone and trying to choose photos for the order of service while desperately grieving. I also had included one from when he was younger than that even, from when my bro was a baby, with my dad holding his first baby in one arm, a dog tucked under the other.

But the front cover one was objectively a nicer photograph, and a front facing camera close up of him alone, in grey tones, but much better and more advanced focus, and more current, was the right choice for the front of the order of service, and I'd actually gone to some lengths to get that photo ready! Had a friend edit out the messy and unattractive background, so the part with my dad was clear, but the mess behind him now magically removed, and I'd been so grateful they'd been able to do that for me! Because there are so few photos of my dad as the subject, and I'd taken that one, and it was a rare good one, among a dozen not so good photos I'd taken at the same time. It wasn't often that dad was willing to sit still and be photographed, so I must have insisted he let me then, haha.

I did immediately feel bad for snapping like that. I know how good my uncle's heart is, that he didn't mean it like that really, and was just thoughtless and tactless at times, but never malicious. But having to do it all alone, both times, IS a sensitive topic for me, and especially a photo I'd personally put that much effort into being rejected like that hurt. So even once that initial pain and flash of anger wore off, I couldn't stop crying pretty hard for a while, needed to let that grief go through me for a few more minutes, and better out in the fresh air alone for a bit, than inside making everyone else feel low.

Will came and checked on after a few, hugged me hard and said that he hadn't meant it like that, but he gets it, it was tactless as heck, hurtful, and quietly said "he's wrong anyway, that photo he likes is a terrible photo! The one you chose was a really good one, and that yes, his expression was lovely." I was like "I'm just relieved that you see it too, and I have someone else normal around who can see that I'm not taking offence over nothing, that sometimes, my fam can be a bit accidentally hurtful, and pile a lot on me to do, so I'm not insane for feeling hurt, even as I know it wasn't intended that way and telling myself not to be hurt!


Uncle Mike and I did of course immediately hug and say sorry (at the same time, for different reasons!) that we'd never want to upset the other. He knows he puts his foot in his mouth sometimes without meaning too, just doesn't think it through and weigh his words or their impact sometimes when he gets carried away, and assuring him that I know, that it's not in his heart or nature to mean to upset anyone, that's we're all grieving and it's hard, and I don't mean to lash out when hurt either.

Have taken a diazepam this morning to try to navigate today with more grace and patience!
 
Thank you guys <3

We all got through it, it was a lovely service, again, and touched by the people who did come!

I had one really rocky moment where I almost went into a panic attack during the service.. had to breathing exercise my way through it, but I knew I was surrounded by people who care, would expect me to be upset, of course, and most know about my anxiety and panic disorders, so I got through and back on focus, and yeah, in that weird way, it was also a relief to grieve with a group, get those hugs and comfort, then able to escape to the pub! One drink and a meal was plenty for me though, then my cousins had to leave again to get their train home, but we actually managed to have some fun and laughs at the pub afterwards, they're such lovely people. Horrible circumstances, but I'm glad that I'm getting to know them better, and grow that relationship more.


Since I hadn't been sleeping well & how emotionally difficult the day still was, it hit me physically more once we got home. Sore and aching, like the day after a hard workout, but I think that was the tension leaving my body somewhat, plus the tiredness catching up to me. So we had another hour or two at the house before Will had to leave to make the 3 hr drive home before work today (have I mentioned that he's an angel? Because he's an angel!) and Uncle Mike was visibly flagging too, so he left not long after Will did. I fed the Pixie pup, who hadn't been happy about being left alone, I don't think, but also wasn't in the state she had been when I'd had to do it previously, so that's a relief, but once Pix had been fed, watered, loved on and had some garden time, bro and I both retired to our own rooms and I was in bed by 7:30pm, lol.


Didn't sleep for a few more hours, but there is some relief that the funeral is done, and some closure there, to borrow a pop-psych term. Got a few hours sleep, and will probably nap on and off today, but feeling a lot better than before, when I was beating myself up for being human. Much love. <3
 

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