Saturday, April 23, 2016

after the funeral

The funeral is now a thing of the past. So is a life. And the latter will continue to haunt me for a long long time still.

The ceremony was beautiful, absolutely dreadful and ungraspable at the same time. The things and people I dreaded most weren't in the end as bad as could have been. And I was so grateful and touched by all the old/current colleagues and friends who turned up. Of which I had only met a handful of them beforehand. Thank you all.

After the ceremony I joined the colleagues and friends' memorial instead of the relatives'. It was unpretentious and nice. And I loved hearing different stories about M, some very much who he had been with me, others not at all.

When I came home that afternoon it was like a heavy weight had been lifted from my shoulders. But instead replaced by a new insight, a new kind of sorrow. Because as much as I treasured seeing the friends and colleagues paying their respect, I'm also well awared that the only one who is truly lonely now is me.

Everyone else who mourns will most likely see the funeral as a final closure and return home to their families and partners, they have their usual day to day business to attend to. I'm the only lonely one who is forced to create a completely new normal life. And I don't have a big family and relatives to lean on - I've never been interested in keeping in touch with cousins and second cousins, I'm not really a 'family person' like that - but I'm very grateful for my little mother (who's quite possible is the best little mum in the whole wide world). And the few selected friends I feel I can talk to for real.

I don't think it would have been an easier situation if we had lived 100% under the same roof, perhaps it's even a bit easier from a practical point of view that we didn't. I'm already well used to and comfortable with a lot of me-time and pottering on my own.

Which means I now have a lot of me-time with too many thoughts. All the questions that will never get proper answers are now being analysed back and forth by my own.

And why is it that cleaning and de-cluttering is such a comforting thing to do when all these thoughts get too much?

I was mostly too absorbed in my own feelings at the funeral, but one thing the officant said lingered on because it was such a beautiful notion;

With this funeral we close the door to a life, but we leave the window open to the memories.

Life isn't fair or predictable, but I truly believe that less work, less planning, less shopping but more time spent with loved ones, doing and experience things we truly enjoy would most likely benefit us all. Work hard and plan for an early retirement may seem like a prudent idea to some. But more living and enjoying life to its fullest now - and what that might be is of course individual - because tomorrow could actually be the last day on earth, that seems wiser to me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

when a birthday becomes a funeral

Today would have been M's birthday. Instead his funeral will be tomorrow. 

It's nearly a month since he passed away, I still feel this must be some sort of bizarre and cruel joke. That one morning when I wake up it turned out to have been only a very vivid nightmare. Or that he'll call and say 'sorry, it's been some busy weeks, how's everything?'.

Something that will never ever ever happen.

I dread tomorrow in a really bad way. Not only because obviously a funeral of a loved one is far far from anyone's comfort zone and desired place to be. But also because the... well, less than pleasant proceedings leading up to this moment. I wish I could just curl up under the duvet all day instead. Which I will of course not do.

And sitting on this rollercoaster of emotions - yes, still riding it - there is also the financial worries. When two suddenly become one and that one is a small business owner/freelancer with still unpredictable incomes now in freefall, that happens. 

I'm not the first one this has happened to, I won't be the last. And it really doesn't help being angry at me, myself and I for not being a better self-sufficient person. Just make sure I become one asap.

So amidst the sorrow I can not let myself  just mourn, walk and rest because I need to find a job. Now. Preferably yesterday already. Unfortunately I can't rely on existing clients and interesting freelance leads, but right now I need to build a stable financial platform for myself. And unless some really great, new clients come knocking I think a regular employment is the answer at this moment in time. Though to continue running my own business is still my professional dream and goal.

So my days consist of telling *everyone* (including the universe, you hear me don't you?) that I'm looking for suitable jobs (within my field of communication, copywriting, social media and translations), sending spontaneous applications and replying to the odd job ads. 

This was not the year I had planned for. Neither emotionally nor professionally. 

But life doesn't much care for what we plan for, does it? We're simply along for the ride, the good , the bad and everything in between, trying to make the most of it given our particular circumstances. Just make sure to be grateful for the good beings, good meetings and happy happenings in it. And know you will survive the opposite, one step, one day, one week at a time.

And always be kind to eachother. And yourself.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

from cone of shame to hip post-operative suit

lillstrumpa <3, zigne, april 2016

It was a miserable couple of days with the cone for the little red miss. I have never ever seen a cat so hysterical over having to wear the shameful cone (and I never ever want to see one again). She refused to eat, use the box and she ended up peeing all over me before I got enough and thought I'd try making a post-operative-suit from an old sock.

A kind blog-reader had already offered to send me the snazzy suit she had for her little dog after surgery, but that would take a day or two to get here in the mail. So awaiting that I decided this could be an option.

A regular little sock would be too small but a knee-sock would do, so I sacrificed one. Cut holes for the head and heine plus all for legs. I'm surprised how immediately relieved she was having to wear that instead of the cone. Initially she moved a bit awkwardly but only next morning she was more or less her usual self. So happy to be able clean herself, eat and use the litter box.

She has been super-cuddly and chatty in her little hip suit all week. In fact I think it has worked so very well that I'm contenplating that with some tweaks this would work well as a little side-business - upcycled old socks turned unpretentious post-operative suits for cats and small dogs.

Tomorrow the stitches will be removed by the vet, I hope he'll appreciate my creative solution to the cone problem.

I also hope Zigne will stay true to her new and chat/cuddle-improved self (we've comforted eachother so well all week). And that it isn't a case of 'the clothes make the cat'.

Friday, April 08, 2016

misery loves company

Desperately in need of a cosy, hassle-free Friday. Instead I found myself spending most of the day worrying over Zigne who got an emergency neutering due to a uterus inflammation.

Worrying over the money I really didn't have for emergency veterinarian costs.
Yes, she has an insurance, but still the coinsurance these days is pretty hefty.

The silver lining in all this is that we have a new neighbourhood veterinarian, so I can walk there. And in my new life with no car access, this is really important stuff.

And they were really friendly and accomodating. Extra plus is that I can also order my cat food from them and pick it up there, instead of relying on friends with cars or travel by train with 10 kg bags. Another check on my how-to-solve-this-now-list.

The surgery went well and she came home on a crazy high from the drugs. She decided the cone of shame wasn't her thing, so this will be a bit of a struggle me thinks.

Upon arriving home her sister as usual believes the world revolves around her. That picture describes it oh so well. On top of the world, on top of someone fresh from surgery. Oh these tykes. They certainly know how to get me problem-solving.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

the rollercoaster of emotions

As someone wise said, sorrow is striped. And this current daily emotional rollercoaster certainly does its best to validate that. 

We are all different beings, who react in various ways, expected and unexpected. What is logic to some is the opposite to others. There is no right or wrong way to feel, I try not to be too hard on myself when I feel something possibly odd amongst all the other feelings after the loss. Just be. And release.

So far the emotional rollercoaster has offered these rides, in no particular order, for whatever reason and when you least expect it:

Sadness, anger, hope, despair, dignity, anticipation, rage, sorrow, peacefulness, gratitude, lightness, determination, wistfulness, vulnerability, anxiety, relaxation, stress, exhaustion, vigour, strength, surprise, weakness, problem-solvingness, pride, abandonement, fragility, tiredness, disappointment, sleeplessness, surprise, shame, pain, worry, relief, grounded, indifference, insecurity, energy, regret, cluelessness, melancholy and so the list continues...

I would say that the feeling I haven't felt since it happen and the world, my world, without any further warning turned upside down, would be happiness. But that would not be true, because with being grateful for having experienced so much together, ups and downs and everything in between - which would never have happened if I hadn't been I and he hadn't been he - as a base I can still feel happiness over the sun touching my face, nature coming to life after a long winter, music in my ears, a cat purring in my lap, forest therapy and good talks.

And in no way am I unique when it comes to unexpected sorrow like this, it happens every day, all over the world, to a lot of beings. If they manage of course can I. And I will be stronger for it.

Everything will be alright. In time much better than alright. Because it has to.
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