Uninstallation

Did you know I used to be a software engineer? I did, you know. Back in the days before marriage, and children, and divorce, and Matt, and holy crap so many years ago. In fact if marriage had worked out, last week would have been our 25th wedding anniversary, which is beyond weird as concepts go. Sometimes I feel like hundred years old. So much water under the bridge. I can’t even imagine it now. When I look at photos of Matt and I, even that seems surreal somehow now. I don’t recognise that happy carefree person. My life now is so far removed from that. That world is just…well…a world away. It’s quite literally unbelievable in so many ways…I guess maybe that’s because a part of me still refuses to believe that this is my life now.

Anyway, where were we? Ah yes. Software. I was a software engineer. I analysed, I programmed, I created and sorted databases, wrote user manuals, etc., etc. And over the years in between, I’ve spent a lot of time on computers. Working. Communicating. I’m a dab hand with them most of the time. Websites, social media, marketing, sorting software tech problems for people…that’s me. Yep. I’m a closet geek. Well, ok, probably I’m not very in the closet with that, but that’s neither here nor there.

In case you were wondering, there is actually a point to this. I’m just taking a while to get there, because I don’t really want to think about it, and I’ve been doing my best to keep very busy and constructive and focused all week so as to keep my emotions at bay. I’m not ready to open the floodgates, because I’m not sure I’ll be able to close them again. Having said that, tomorrow all bets are off. Prepare for the flood, build me a f*cking Ark, get ready to ride the tsunami…

Tomorrow, Matt v.48 will be uninstalled from my house. From our home. Right now my house is full of boxes that are full of his stuff. And then there’s all the stuff that won’t fit in boxes. There is a whole heap of stuff, and then some. And it’s all going. See, now you know where I was going with the all software metaphor.

Luckily both the kids are able to be here for the day, as are a couple of other friends, along with the all star man with a van, Kevin. I will not be on my own, I will be amongst family and friends. The Rule of 6 may be an inconvenience in many ways, but it turns out that it has a silver lining. Thanks to the Rule of 6, no-one else is able to be here, as we’d be breaking the law. Handy that, no?

So the van will get loaded up here, shuttled up there, unloaded, maybe once, twice, whatever it takes. And then it will done. Yes, the house will be much much emptier. But the memories will remain. His presence will remain. Taking his stuff away doesn’t wipe that out. For all that I don’t want to let any of it go in some ways, it doesn’t really matter. It’s just stuff. And hey, it’s a small house. Maybe it will look a little less like an episode of Hoarders without Austin’s stuff (which went a little while ago) and Matt’s stuff in it…?

Doesn’t matter whether it will or won’t, it’s going to happen regardless, so I guess that was a rhetorical question of sorts. The actual process of watching it all go, and all the memories that are going to be triggered by seeing all those things, is going to hurt like f*ck. I’m going to cry a lot. Like a river. But it won’t be hanging over me anymore. It’ll be done. And that’s a good thing.

Nonetheless, the chances are you’ll find me at a local hostelry somewhere after that, drowning my sorrows. and crying into whichever poison I’ve decided to drown them in. Matt would approve. He wouldn’t approve of the rest of the above. Man, he would be SO furious with how it’s all gone down though, like me, not surprised. But he’d approve of rounding it all off with a few drinks. I’m sure we’ll raise the odd one in his honour, in memoriam, too.

I was not me until I
Discovered you.
You are significant

So, here it comes I guess… Deep breaths.

Three simple words.

Been dreaming of you lately, so waking up has been hard, because I’ve wanted to stay where you were, however weird it was.
Been out a couple of times today, seen people, chatted, played normal.
Been trying to ignore the fact the the kids are away next week, which is I guess my first trial run of being here, home alone, all alone.

There’s lots I could write or say.
But it basically just boils down to the one thing.

I miss you.

All the time.

I miss you, and I don’t know how I’m going to survive without you.

This was supposed to be our time…and now it’s just me.
And I don’t know if me is enough.

Sunday’d be too late

So, it’s been seven hours and fifteen days… No it hasn’t. It’s been 367 days, or is it 368, and however many hours, but I’m not Sinnead O’Connor, quietly dripping one beautiful tear down a flawless cheek. I’m a messy, lost, emotional, rudderless, ugly crying, me. Sunday marked a year since you left us, and still, nothing compares to you, and nothing ever will.

I had so much to say on that anniversary day and I still do. So much. But I just haven’t been in a place where I could do it. I’d battened down the hatches, and didn’t want to open the floodgates. I have been lucky enough to be able to talk to, and spend time with, some very important people over the last two days, which has helped. I have been reaching out left, right, and centre…to friends and family…and then I realised, *face palm slap*, that what I was actually trying to do was to talk to you…so it’s no wonder that nothing was quite scratching that itch is it? If only… I live in a world of if onlys…

It feels like it’s been forever, and also no time at all, and yet it is also still so surreal that maybe it never happened at all. Sometimes I wonder if it’s all some kind of sick joke…and I’ll wake up and it will all be over. But, as that song says, I’m still here, and I’m still not dead. And you are. It’s still all far too real.

It would have been the worst year of my life even had it been the only tragedy to have happened in it, which sadly it has not. Every time someone has said things couldn’t possibly get worse, they have. It has been a year of complete h*ll, and it hasn’t suddenly gotten better just because that year has passed. I am quite honestly surprised that I am still here, no thanks to some, and heartfelt thanks to many.

Being neither Sinnead O’Connor, nor Prince, I don’t do lyrics. So I thought I’d try a poem. Maybe this would be his song

And I did write one. But I just couldn’t get it. Because there just aren’t the words. However I tried, it all felt clichéd and trite and it’s all been said so much better by others… I’m no W.H.Auden, no AE Houseman, who both say it better than I ever could. As ever, I’m just me. I tried, I did my best, and I was going to put it here. But I just couldn’t do it well enough to say it all in a way I could be proud of.  I couldn’t do you justice with my words, and I didn’t want to get it wrong and let you down. So many others have done and continue to do it better.  If I could, I would write you a poem, I would sing you a song…but I’m not talented enough. You’d get it though. You always did. We always knew what each other were thinking, but when we were apart we didn’t always have the words we wanted. Being apart was always so hard. It hasn’t gotten any easier…

I guess that’s why we used songs to say things to each other that we couldn’t say quite the way we wanted to ourselves, something you can probably tell from the links that have been scattered throughout my blog entries. We shared so many songs, so many lyrical words, and I am so glad I still have all our playlists, all those songs, for when I am able to listen to music again.

I couldn’t have this played at your funeral, though I wanted to. It’s a song you sent me a long time ago, but it would have been considered inappropriate, and I was only permitted so much influence over your farewell. But, whatever some may say, this is what we were underneath it all. Pure f*cking love. Just so as you know, I’m going to carry on being me, for you, because that’s what you would have wanted. In the meantime, here’s the song that said it when we laid you to rest…another one that you chose to send me. And I’ve still got love, so much love in my heart for you, and, come what may, I can’t and won’t let it go.

Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, we fought our way to be together. It took a long time, and it sure as h*ll wasn’t easy. Juggling everything we had between us sometimes made walking our life together a tightrope, but I’m so glad I got to walk along it with you. I’ll never let you go. And while I’m here, quoting away like mad, here’s one more song for you… Like so many films, but this one especially, your favourite, I can’t watch it without you. Your crazy still matches my crazy… And hey, I’m probably a whole heap crazier now than I was then. Grief tears you apart, and when, if, the pieces come back together, you’re just not the same, and never will be. There is always a crucial piece missing, and you are always broken in a way that can never be fixed.

I have no idea who I am now, but I am apparently a world of clichés and quotes, so why stop now? So, if the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love, and to be loved in return, we were that for each other. Man, to be loved like that, and to love like that…just amazing. One year on I still love you as much as ever, if not more, and I’ll love you forever, to the beach and beyond. You were my new day, and you are still the little birdhouse in my soul.

We marked your passing in many a typical way, including a beach, with fizz, just the three of us. It all hurt like hell, and it still does. Life may be better at the beach, but being on a beach without you was a very hard step to take. It may have been an anniversary, but it was not a celebration. Just an acknowledgement of the time that has passed. And if there was anything celebratory about it at all, it was just that I am still here a year on, and I have made it through the many many times when I thought I would not, when I would cheerfully have gone gently into that good night and joined you.

So here we are. One unimaginable year later. Who knew you could cry every day for a year? I have been forced to learn so much about life, myself, others in that time… And here I am, still expressing myself by writing it all down, and since I’ve always been able to say more in the written word, be they mine or those of others, than those spoken in person, it’s helped, in so far as anything has, so I guess I’ll keep on doing it. In the meantime, here I am, lying here with all my thoughts inside this empty bed, and I miss you. If you distill it all, take all the words I write here, all the lyrics in these songs, and all the days I go through, that’s what you get. Three simple words that say so much. I miss you. And I love you. Another three words, that really go without saying, but I’m saying them anyway. I love you.

And so, life goes on. One foot in front of the other, remembering to breathe, one day at a time. It’s not really living, it’s just existing. But, like everything else, it is what it is. If only…

PS: Neck Deep have a new album out. You’d love it. I love it. And on it are so many songs we would have sent each other. It hurts, but I feel like I’m listening to it for both of us. It’s so sad that you’ll never hear it. And as they say on it, whatever storm is passing by…we all know nothing and we will all end up pushing daisies, and that’s the way it is.

Here comes the rain again

It’s raining outside.
Heavy fat drops of what is probably the edge of a thunderstorm.
Which is appropriate and apt.
Because I feel like I’m in the middle of my own personal thunderstorm.

Plans are being made, kind of on the fly, depending on who’s been in contact.
There will be places I go over the next few days with friends, family, both, neither.
I won’t be around here a lot.
And I guess I’ll get through this, because that’s what you do.
When you’re going through hell, just keep on going, as someone said.

I hope none of the worst case scenarios that have run through my head come to pass.
I hope I come out the other side feeling like I’ve marked it appropriately.
And I hope getting through the worst year of my life helps me feel better afterwards, and helps me go forward.

Time will tell…

In the meantime I still miss him so much it physically hurts…and I’ve been crying on and off all day. It’s almost impossible, as the anniversary approaches, not be be thinking about him, and that day, all the time. I just want him back. Which is the only thing in the world that I can never have.

SSDD, right?

And here’s the actual thunder. Awesome. And perfectly timed.
Plus I love thunderstorms and since I am, inevitably, awake, maybe I’ll open the curtains and watch the lightning for a while…

I just don’t know what to do with myself

It’s nearly here.
We keep trying to make plans.
People want to be there for me, whatever I want to do.
Some of our friends need/want to mark it too, but don’t want to impose.
Which is all very well, but I don’t really have a clue what I want to do.
I know what I don’t want.
I know where not to be and when.
But what do I want to do?

I want to mark it.
But it’s not a celebration. Anniversaries usually are. This is most certainly not.
Well, unless you want to celebrate the fact that I have survived this year, which after some of the times I have been through, I honestly wasn’t sure I would.

I don’t know what I want to do.
I don’t know what feels right.
I know that I probably need to get of town for a bit.
I feel slightly run out of town, to be honest.
I know where I’m not wanted.

I know I need to do what feels right for me.
But I really wish I knew what that was.

Maybe it will become clear to me when I get to it?

I know it’s going to be a really sh*tty day.
I know I’m avoiding thinking about it or making decisions about it, because I don’t want to face up to it.
And I also know it doesn’t really matter what I do, because it’s not going to make any difference; it won’t bring him back, and it won’t make it all suddenly better.
Yes, the first year of firsts will be over and done with. But that isn’t going to make me miss him any less, or love him any less, or suddenly heal me.

Maybe I should just take myself off on my own?
Maybe I can’t actually do it on my own?

So many questions, so few answers, and even less decisions.

6 days and counting

So this is the week that was always going to be.
And I have decided just to go with the flow through it.
T’aint nobody’s business but mine, after all.
There is no signposted path for this, there is no template, no map, and even if there were, one size never fits all.

So I may sleep too much, drink too much, stay up too late, wake up too late, write rubbish here, whatever…
I am doing what it feels like I need to do; whatever works for me. Whatever feels right, and whatever is going to get me through it.

Let’s face it, most of you have no clue what this feels like (and also, thankfully, don’t know how lucky you are).
If you do, you get it.
If you don’t, then there’s no way I can make you understand.
So, as with everything else, it is what it is.

This time last year we were so happy, and we were looking after, and out for, each other. We were in the middle of the most amazing couple of weeks.

And then…

Now I have to look after me, by myself, in my own way.
Judge how I do it if you want; and hey, I’m used to judgement by now, so knock yourself out, it won’t touch me. Judging me says more about you than it does about me. And as they say, those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter, don’t mind. If you’re not here helping me through it, being there for me, helping me to do it better, then you have f*ck all right to have an opinion on it as far as I’m concerned.

Walk a mile in my shoes…and then maybe you’ll get it. But I hope you’ll never have to. I wouldn’t wish this on even my worst enemy. But if you do end up here…then you’ll get it. And you’ll also learn that, even if it feels like walking over broken glass, you keep on walking, however slowly, because you have to. It has nothing to do with bravery.

Oddly, in a serendipitous sort of timing way, it would appear that this week I have some actually gardening to do, at precisely the same time as I have some metaphorical pruning to do.

Sooner or later you have to focus on, and look after, yourself. However much I wish he was, he’s not here to look after and support me anymore. I have lost my rock. The only person to look after me now is me, And as someone wise once said to me, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. And I’ve got enough problems right now without carrying extra ones with me… Hey, if you don’t care about me, why should I care about you?

Two years ago, this was us, out and about doing our thing, our way, in our little happy bubble. Look at those smiles. Man I miss feeling that way. So much love 😭💔.

Lost in the loneliness

It’s been a busy, somewhat stressful, hot, sweaty and tiring day.
But it’s been more than worth it.

My personal domesday clock is counting down.
And if I stay still long enough, I can practically hear it ticking…

As predicted, I’m in the middle of the sh*t couple of weeks that were coming, but having seen this coming, I’m a little better armed to fight the battle now. At the very least I have ordered plenty of fizz… However that specific day is still ooming…(being a verb that combines looming & ominously – in case you didn’t know). And I still don’t have a plan…

But today, in various places and at various times, I have been able to spend time with people who really knew Matt and I, who knew him, who knew us, who knew and know how things really were and are. And although it doesn’t stop it hurting – f*ck, what could? – knowing that we’re all on the same page, all feeling it together, all there for each other, really, really, really helps. To hear and be heard, and to share without judgement? Just so amazing, and affirming, and I am so grateful. Anything else is just white noise. Not important, and not worthy of being in my life.

There’s nothing like something like this to show you who your friends really are or are not, as I’ve said before. And sadly I’ve lost some along the way, who couldn’t or wouldn’t stay the distance. But those with me now? We’ve all been through struggles, through this together; we’ve been forged in fires we’d rather not have faced, be they their’s or mine or both, and I think some of those new bonds will be with me for life. I hope so. If not, well, life is a strange and meandering path, some people are with you for the whole ride, others are just there for steps along the way…but even if that turns out to be the case sometimes, it wouldn’t detract from how important it was for me to see them all today.

Oddly, and hilariously, apparently I’m looking good these days. So I look good overweight with a suntan. Hah! Maybe. Maybe you’re just very polite. Or I maybe I just looked really REALLY bad last time you saw me. Distinctly possible! I can’t paint people, but I can paint a smile on myself to rival one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s, and thinking about it, if you’re paying attention, it’s probably just as enigmatic… But I can play the game. I’ve got skills… I went out, we went out, we laughed, we ate, drank, there may even have been the odd very brief intimate shared tear when no-one else was looking. And another day has been marked off on the wall of the solitary confinement cell that grief leaves you living in.

Love isn’t something you can turn off. It turns out I love him whether he’s here or not. Inconvenient, no? Sometimes I have the most vivid disassociated feeling that I’m about to wake up and none of this will ever happened. Wouldn’t that be just something?

And then I have to have serious words with myself. Because, like, as if, you idiot *face slap*. Whatever people might think, and whether they like it or not, I’m actually not stupid. If I was I’d be religious and just waiting for my turn to hope to have been good enough in this life to be allowed to walk through those hallowed pearly gates and run into his arms. Yeah, right…

So now I’m home again, putting off tomorrow, lost in the shadows, trying to learn to listen to music again, writing this, and all the time holding on to him deep inside, because I’m never letting him go.

Love you my beautiful eternally gorgeous fit as f*ck boy ❤️😢. And man, do I miss you. SO much. You were always so paranoid that I would leave you, and I promised you I never would; that I was never going anywhere. And I wasn’t, and didn’t, and I never would have done. I kept my part of the bargain. You didn’t. I’ll never get it. I guess some things are permanently incomprehensible. How do I keep doing this without you? 😭.

 

I can feel it coming in the air tonight

I really didn’t have it together this morning. I woke up, and I just couldn’t see any point to waking up. To doing today. I stayed asleep as long as I could. And once I was awake and up and downstairs, I tried. I did. But I just couldn’t stop the tears overflowing every time I opened my mouth to talk to anyone. Or even when I wasn’t talking at all. I just couldn’t figure out how to cope with the day, yet alone more days to come. And then Tash, in more than usually perceptive and sensitive mode said hey, look, if that’s how you’re feeling (which I pretty obviously was), let’s just have a sofa and movie and ice-cream day together. Which initially sounded daft. But I’m up to date with my work, and what still needed to be done could be done from the sofa. And so, minus the ice-cream, that’s what we did. We sat on the sofa together. We watched The Guardian, which I love and she hadn’t seen before. We watched a lot of Inkmaster, series whatever. And in the meantime I did what work had to be done. It worked, in so far as anything can right now. Some days I just can’t do, and it’s ok to not be ok, to not do them. I need to remember that. And so I’ve booked some time off work over the next couple of weeks and beyond, to try and give me space to cope. I want to go to the beach…but I don’t think I can yet. Not without him…

Later we went up to The Lamb for a pre-shopping get out of the house drink which turned into drinks with a government aided 50% off grazing platter food since neither of us were that hungry, and with Austin unexpectedly working, cooking for two didn’t appeal. It’s just as well it was subsidised, as it wasn’t great. At full price I’d have been kicking off. But ho hum. In the meantime we played chess (yes, we’re weird like that), we chatted some important things through, we even chatted to other people. But through it all I just felt her by my side, supporting me. Which is not something that comes naturally to her, but she was making an effort, and it made all the difference. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated it. She even told me I looked nice, which is so not true at the moment, but it was a lovely sentiment. All I can see when I look at me is the extra weight, and if I look at my face in the mirror, all I can see is how I’m feeling inside shining through the mask…and that’s hardly attractive. It’s all in the eyes…

That done, we then came home via the shop, and watched more Inkmaster, and then the next parental care shift came home, and we watched Criminal Minds whilst she went upstairs to read, until finally it was just me downstairs, with her upstairs reading, him upstairs getting ready for his interview tomorrow, and I finished the episode I was on, and now here I am upstairs in my turn, it’s time for bed, and another day has passed.

Ten more days until the day that marks a year. Those days are clearly going to be really really hard, as each one that gets closer to it seems to feel worse. And what the f*ck do you call it? It’s not what I think of as an anniversary – those are things to be celebrated right?. People out there call it all sorts of things. It’s their lost one’s heavenly birthday, their deathiversary, so many things, none of which make any sense. It’s hardly something to be celebrated unless, unlike me, you believe that he’s gone to a much better happier place. I wish I had the comfort and security of belief…but I don’t. So I have no name for it. Anniversary is the most dictionary appropriate term, so I guess that’s what it is. And I can feel it coming in the air tonight…like a storm gathering on the horizon, red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning. You can run, but you can’t hide…

I miss him so much. There just aren’t the words. So here’s the song from Criminal Minds today that resonated tonight. I’m trying to still shine for him, but I’m doing a pretty lousy job of it at the moment. Now I’m off to try and find him in my dreams again…and then I’ll wake up to another day just to be alone again. How do I do this? He was my everything. One day at a time, that’s how. Same sh*t different day, and the days pass, and maybe one day I’ll know where I’m going. Right now I’m just holding on by the skin of my teeth…

Tomorrow is Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays. A quote which quite possible only my Dad will get, but there you go, there it is. I am very grateful that I still have family; those I was born with, and those who have become family through circumstance. We are bonded by blood, or history, or shared experience, or through the fires we have walked through together, or whatever. F*ck knows how I’d be doing this without them. Without you all. Thank you. Two little words that I don’t use enough, but that I whole broken-heartedly mean.

Ever the same

I’ve been out. I was honoured to be invited. And scared to go, since we’d usually have gone together. I got over the first “who’s she, with the purple hair and the piercings” reactions. And then later, when people were having the “she’s the one whose fiancé died last year” conversations, when they thought I wasn’t looking, I saw that too. Since you’re not me, I can’t explain to you how the looks that come my way are different depending on the conversation your spectators are having.  But you can tell. You can feel it in the quality of the looks that come your way. But nonetheless I went. I made conversation to strangers. I made an effort. I played nice. I was, thankfully, rescued by Gill and Tony reappearing, having apparently been there earlier, so I was with friends who I could actually talk to properly, honestly. And what has happened to me, has happened to me, and it, and other people’s reactions to it, is what it is.

And then we/I came home. Domestic bliss then became somewhat lacking since getting one of this weekend’s tasks – the emptying and removing of the long deceased axolotl’s tanks – had resulted in things ending up in places that didn’t go down that well in certain places. Which eldest didn’t appreciate when he came home from work. But I’m not going to apologise for parenting. My house is full of boxes of stuff that belong to people who are not me – most of which are eldest’s. All of it has other places to be, and if it’s yours, then I’m sorry, it’s yours, you deal with it, you sort it. I am the one working, covering the costs of the house, paying for the majority of all the food and socialising that goes on, when I know that you both have more savings than I do. Sort your own sh*t out, you’re not children anymore. I love you being here, and I don’t want you to leave because I am beyond scared to be alone, but that doesn’t mean you can take advantage of my gratitude for your being here.

In the meantime, my period has just arrived, three weeks late, which probably explains the last couple of days of being emotional. Hormones suck. I am now in a world of pain that most of you can’t imagine, I am drained, and tired, and you know what? I’d like just a little bit more appreciation of the shit I am going through whilst still managing to hold it together enough to keep a roof over our heads, to keep feeding us all, to basically give whatever I need to give both of them for them to be happy. They’re both old enough to know better. Like it or not, I am still the parent around here. Both of them are going to leave, to move on, to have their own lives, as they should. And I’m going to be left here on my own, inside my head, inside my four walls (if I can afford to keep them, which is seriously doubtful).

It’s not fair. None of any of this is fair. Life hasn’t turned out how any of us wanted it to be, none of us are where we saw ourselves a year ago. He should have been with me tonight. Last year he was, although looking back on it, he wasn’t at his best…and there I was tonight, feeling his absence a little keener then sometimes. Maybe the white feather I found on the walk down there meant something…maybe it didn’t. But for all that it’s ridiculous, that little feather brought me a tiny bit of comfort, and I’m not in a place where I can turn such things down.

I am trying to take these broken wings, and learn to fly again…but right now I feel like a fledgling that has prematurely and accidentally left the nest, whose parents have been scared off, and there’s no-one who has noticed; no-one is coming to rescue me. I’m just floundering around, trying to survive, the best I can, and hoping my best is enough. Nearly a year down the line, and I am still just coping with one day at a time. Reminding myself to remember to breathe when it all gets too much.

If you’re reading this, please check in, leave me a comment, msg me, whatever. It helps me so much, however selfish/needy that sounds. I’m just feeling lonely, and want to feel a little less alone. I need you.

Time to sleep. It’s safe there, mostly. It’s waking up that hurts. And tomorrow is Sunday, so there’s no rush to do that.

I hate the smell of lavender, but it’s supposed to help you sleep. So I’ll take the song instead, since deezer has just randomly brought it my way. After all, I was me for your love. Your love walked in and I was lost, but now the show is over, it’s time to say goodbye. Who am I now?

You’ll never walk alone

Yesterday various things happened. I wrote a long post. And then I left it unpublished…

You see a while ago someone, for whom I have a great deal of respect, posted on a local FB group; it was a piece about the value of taking time to think things through, and about considering what you put online, amongst other things.

Wise words, don’t you think?

So here’s the version you are getting today, after thought and upon reflection.

Yesterday was a long, hard, emotional day. And as is ever the case these days, life had to pile an extra layer on top of what was already bad…

But let’s get back to starters. Yesterday was Jake’s funeral. We all gathered in the Square. We watched the hearse arrive, cried as his beautifully decorated coffin was carried into the church, and then sat outside and watched the livestream of the whole thing. As a Liverpool fan, the coffin had “You’ll never walk alone” written down the sides, with the Championship shield at the end, his army cap on top, and a Liverpool flag neatly tucked under that. It was unsurprisingly sad, and tragic, and I have been to too many funerals in the last year, and I really, really, really hope this is the last one for quite some time. I cried a lot, also unsurprisingly. I will miss him, as I will miss those others that I am still mourning. However weird it was, thanks to Covid, it was still a lovely service, even viewed remotely, and come the end, as closer family and friends exited to that immortal song, and relocated to the graveyard for the burial, and then the wake, Kevin and I stayed sat in the sunshine, with various others from time to time, and sank a fair few lagers in Jake’s honour. He’d have approved, and then some. He will never walk alone, and we will all carry a part of him with us.

A little while later, the two of us relocated to the Riverside Inn in Cheddar, to drink, eat, and as it turns out, to chat to a whole new bunch of surprisingly nice and interesting people. It was one of those days when you can drink lager all day, without feeling any effect….weird but true. But it was fun, and nice, and you know, it’s actually been quite a good week as these things go and although I am sometimes tempted to prod my thoughts to see if I’m still actually sad underneath it all (yep, still sad & grieving down there), I’ve mostly done a pretty good job of not doing that. I’ve just been going with it, getting on with life things, and generally holding it together a little better than usual. So a sad day turned into a nice evening, a nice way to round off the week – amongst friends, and out of town.

And then on to the life piling things on top of you, just as you were starting to scrape yourself off the floor…

…and this is where I have decided to leave that. Ever since Matt died I have made it my mission to do my best by him, and by us. To take the high road. It’s about integrity and respect and courtesy. Whatever happened to upset me yesterday, venting about it and how I feel about it here would serve no purpose, and also defeat that object. It’s enough that I knew him, and I still know him. I know who and what we were to each other. No-one can take that away from me, or from us. So that’s that. Yes, I am hurt, and I am upset, but although that’s not ok, it is what it is, and in some respects it’s taught me a couple of lessons I should have learnt already, and that’s probably a good thing.

And so, moving swiftly on as they say, to today. To be fair, I should have been hungover. I wasn’t. I had set myself two projects for this weekend, and after a lie in, and some chilling time, I actually achieved one of them. I have created a new pvc covered foam cushion for our much loved rocking chair, complete with protective back panel (our cats have been expressing their territorial issues in less than pleasant fashion…). It fits the sitting space perfectly, and more importantly it’s also comfortable! Tash helped me and it was really nice to work on something together, in collaborative supportive stylee. And I also got to use my Gran’s old hand operated Singer sewing machine which always pleases some ‘family as heritage’ part of me. It’s oddly satisfying. Maybe I’ll get the second project done tomorrow. Maybe I won’t. Although today wasn’t as good as it could have been, thanks to yesterday, it could have been worse. I got something done. One day, and one project, at a time? 😉