wings and things


on November 15, 2017


Every time I think I want a blog break, I suddenly want to blog again. Go figure. Yesterday’s post was so negative it left me feeling uncomfortable and I woke up this morning thinking “Pull yourself together, Julie! Stop moaning! Get on with life! Smell the roses! Enough of your whimpering! You are boring the hell out of people! You know what to do to feel better, so do it!”

The above photo is of my mother at a place called Canal Rocks which is about an hour’s drive south of here. We were away for a couple of days, celebrating her 83rd birthday and every moment was a delight. We ate out, we ate in, we walked through the magnificent gardens of the place where we were staying,  and I went for a couple of long solo walks through the bush and down to the beach. I took my blender and made us raspberry and mint ‘cocktails’. We watched movies, read our books, and I began a new writing project. It was wonderful fun and so refreshing.

But coming back home was not so wonderful despite how great it was to see Ming and the dogs. I wasn’t expecting to feel so flat so my sudden change of mood surprised me and I wanted to go straight back down south. The dull ache followed me into today and I know for sure that writing that pessimistic post yesterday has done nothing to help. I want to delete it (as I often do) but I’m leaving it there as a contrast to what I’m about to write here.

I have discovered so many strategies to help with my grief: cooking inventive recipes, watching comedies, writing in a different genre, reading about topics I’ve never read about before, making cocktails, socialising and catching up with old friends, talking things through with Ming, going for long walks, meditating, looking for an interesting new job, picking flowers from the garden, communing with the dogs, relaxing guiltlessly, and so on. The constant impulses to go and see Anthony in the nursing home, before remembering with a jolt, that he isn’t there anymore, are lessening and so are the nightmares.

I don’t want to write about my grief anymore but I probably will. Instead, I want to write about all of the good things – the wonder of my many friendships; my beautiful ever-extending family (my niece has just had her second baby); the brilliance of my marriage; my funny, wise son; the recipe book I might write; the jigsaw I might buy; the volunteer work I will soon resume; the hilarious moments of life; the dialogues with Anthony that I haven’t written about yet; the beautiful farm where I live; going out for breakfast or lunch; and even the possibility of travelling further afield than I have been able to for years because I was always afraid Anthony might die in my absence. Recently I was able to visit my brother and his family who live four hours south of here and stayed three nights.

The gratitude I have for all of these many things is huge and is actually a lot bigger than my grief and, yes, I am curious about this new life I am embarking on without Anthony’s physical presence. I carry his photo in the back pocket of my jeans everywhere I go and this is a source of strange comfort, and most of my memories are full of joy. And despite what I wrote yesterday about my regrets, I do realise that I did my best.

C.S. Lewis said that grief is a lot like fear and this is so true, and fear is a monster of a thing but somewhere in the Bible it is said that perfect love casts out fear, and this is also true. Someone else said that grief is love with nowhere to go and, even though I understand this, I’m not sure if I agree entirely because I still love Anthony and this is how I am tackling the fear monster.

Ah – I feel better already!



24 responses to “Afterthoughts

  1. Anonymous says:

    Don’t believe it was only raspberry and mint Jules! I hope not

  2. It’s amazing to see someone like you filled with this much of positive energy at this age.

  3. Vicki says:

    Gosh Julie, you should know by now that blogging is an addiction that none of us want to give up. After all, except for a bit of RSI – what harm does it do us. We can say what we want and get it off our chests. A problem shared is a problem halved.

    There should be a meeting for BAs – Bloggers Anonymous.

    Must be even harder for you because you’re a gifted writer (who even lectured in Creative Writing at Uni).

    You sound so much more positive and rejuvenated today. Perhaps you should go away for some more DWs with loved ones. (and I don’t mean Dirty Weekends, I mean Do-it-with-family Weekends).

    Or DWFWs – Do-it With Friends Weekends?

    Whatever takes your fancy. Is it too soon to write a Bucket List?

    Just take some breaks (from the daily routine). Find new Outings. New Destinations. New Hobbies. New drinks. New food – you’d never dare sample before. I’m a bit partial to Anchovy and Italian Parsley sandwiches these days.

    How about an M & S weekend – (Mother & Son Weekend)? Or is the endearing and delightfully funny Ming out with a new BFF.

    Life (and everything in it) is all Yin & Yang, Black & White (with a few dirty blues in between).

    Life is full of surprises. All you need to remember is to open your heart and let them in 🙂
    Vicki xx

  4. ksbeth says:

    so good to hear and nothing wrong with the down days, either – just shows you are alive and human

  5. Hello Julie. It’s good to see you. And your mum. And your words, whether processing your grief, or acknowledging your way with grief, or enjoying a lovely time with your mother….it’s all part of what is “Julie”. And it all matters. And it’s all beautiful.

  6. Rhonda says:

    I love this. It’s full of questions with answers and what’s not better than asking a question only to realize you already have the answer. Love that. Your awareness of self and optimism is a pleasure to see and feel. There is no feeling of your getting over the grief, just a real sense of coming to grips with it, embracing it, pulling it into your heart to be melded into the happier times, past and present, because that’s where that grief was born and where it shall return…your happy place. Proud of you Jules xoxo

  7. So good to see and hear you are feeling better it showed through

  8. I actually really like that quotation by Lewis. I have felt that.

  9. speak766 says:

    Lovely post. Your energy and enthusiasm for life is inspiring. Wish you all the best – speak766

  10. Your Mother is a blessing, Julie but you know that. I believe you can face the fear and achieve whatever comes your way.

  11. Read this today and thought of you Julie 💚

    “She once believed that the damage to her mind and heart were permanent, until she met wisdom, who taught her that no pain or wound is eternal, that all can be healed and that love can grow, even in the toughest parts of her being. ”
    Yung Pueblo

  12. Cherylann says:

    I read the post you feel was so negative yet I only saw it as a part of the grieving process. While grieving so openly feels selfish and self centered if when we’re grieving loss of dear ones it can’t be all about us then when can it.
    You will know when the time comes to stop writing about your grief because you’ll recognize you haven’t done it for some time. Maybe someone in blog world needs to know it’s ok to hurt and long for what’s no longer. I, for one, enjoy the posts and am not afraid to see grief so raw and real! Keep posting your truth!

  13. dogdaz says:

    Keep walking through the ups and downs and soon there will be more ups. You always inspire

  14. Take care Julie. Thinking of you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: