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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

I have gone back to having dreams again, although they are sad dreams they are not the nightmares I had for the first twelve months after Ray died. These dreams are gentler and I wake slowly from them, not with that sudden breaking away I used to with the nightmares.  It is still frightening sometimes to wake up to a dark room and realise I have only been asleep for an hour or two not a week or two as it has seemed in the dream but apart from that it is okay.

Plenty on my mind with a little trip out to see my younger family planned and some work to do here before I go.  There has been a lot of rain the past couple of weeks so the ground is soggy and the weeds growing like wild fire in the last few warm days of autumn (fall).  I want to get as much done as possible outside now. It is the time for putting out cuttings that will put on green leaves in spring and cheer the garden up.  I'd like to plant some bulbs too for a bit of early colour.

I find keeping busy helps so I have started sorting boxes again.  Right now as I rediscover memorabilia it is a sad/happy time.  Finding photos of the children when they were young makes me smile, it is great to see us as a family sharing the good times. But then there are the photos of a family party with folk who have gone before us, a happy time then but sad to reflect on now.  So many people have gone out of my life who I loved, relied on and looked to for love and support when I needed it.   It is true love is foundational in our lives if we are to be strong and happy.

I am not looking at the sad side of life more than I can help, I am 18 months out now and need to get stronger so I can be that support for others.  I know one by one my friends are going to feel what I do now, that loneliness and sadness, and I want to be there to support them.  There is a grief that will never go, I know that and accept that that will always be there. I will never forget Ray and the life we shared.  My face will be smiling and suddenly that painful grief will be back.  I hope not to show it though and to learn to go on as serenely as possible.

The family visits are over for a while, my daughter and family are busy with all the planning leading up to the Red Shield Appeal in May brings.  She has also been busy doing funerals as people who want a church funeral but not the formality often turn to the Salvation Army for support without strings attached.  She is a comfortable person to be around too and people find her supportive without being overpowering.  I think she represents that essence of caring for people that the Salvation Army hopefully embodies.

My own church is very busy with the lead-up to Easter and today is my day for doing home communions so I have a few extra treats to take on my visits because of Easter.  I find it a tiring day emotionally as I share peoples ups and downs but it is also rewarding as some people feel less isolated when they realise that after so many years as faithful parishioners the church has not abandoned them now they are housebound or in a nursing home.

My other grandchildren seem to be okay, going on holidays to Dad's and all that entails, hope my DIL has some rest while they are away as she has been very stressed since the marriage break up two years ago as sole parent to the children.  I support her as much as I can but cannot complete the circle that has been broken.  I know these things happen but it is so sad to see the pain it has caused and the confusion and insecurity that has resulted from it for the children. Just another hurt that is hard to heal.

And so life goes on, not life as we knew it, not life as it will be but the day to day reality of life as it is.


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Comment by Patience on April 18, 2014 at 8:05pm

Hi Sue,  I'll be thinking of you...  it's 12:04 on Easter Saturday here.   (((((((hugs)))))))))

Comment by only1sue on April 18, 2014 at 7:35pm

It is Easter Saturday, the first free day I've had for a while.  Nothing happening here so out into the garden to get some work done and then maybe a coffee with a book to read in the shade of one of the trees.  If Ray was here with me life would be good.  Alone it is okay but just that.

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