Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Widower Wednesday

Well, it has been a month since Ray died on the 25th April. Where has the time gone? I've been busy looking after myself and dealing with paperwork associated with Ray's death. Mostly it is straight forward, but his superannuation company wants a couple of statutory declarations, which is a bother, and so much form filling in when I can barely write legibly. Our bank next door is quite happy to do document certification but it can't can do stat decs. 

Monday I had cleaners in, who cleaned my en suite, all the wardrobe door mirrors, two other mirrors and the balcony glass and windows. They did a good job and to have clean glass on the balcony is wonderful. I used to clean the balcony until I had sudden onset arthritis. Ray took over the glass and window clearing but the last time he only cleaned two panes of balcony glass, and said, I just can't do it any more. 

Tuesday I had brunch with my neighbour. I could probably call her a friend now. She is good company and it's hard to believe she is 77. She looks and acts like she is 60. 

Wednesday a friend caught a country train, a two hour journey one way to meet up with me in town for lunch. We had a nice time. He pointed out that we first met in around 1981, when Ray and I were living in Ray's flat in Elwood. He worked with Ray. Neither of them knew each other was gay, but apparently, though at work, I had left a copy of gay news magazine the Star Observer in plain sight at the flat. I'm sure the publishing company has had many incarnations and owners, and it is now a national magazine, still hard copy and online

Ray would have invited him back home after lunch, but that wasn't for me. It was so nice of him to make such an effort and the dynamics were a bit different to when Ray, me and him last met, at the same cafe in Hardware Lane. That was the last time he saw Ray.

Tomorrow, as I write on the Wednesday before this is published, I will take the car Thursday to restock food and alcohol supplies. I haven't used the car since last Thursday when I did the same. At times I cook but mostly I am eating bought prepared meals. 

It is Tradie Brother's sixtieth birthday party on Saturday. He is my younger brother, divorced from Ex Sis in Law, and father of Fire Fighting Nephew, Oldest Niece and Hippie Niece. It will be a big bash and Sister said she will pick me up to take me to the party, which means I can have a drink, and she'll drop me back home. We agreed two hours at the party will be enough. Her wife, Bone Doctor is bush walking and medical emergency training in Tasmania, but Jo will be with Sister. 

I wasn't sure where it went, but I found a Victoria Police compliment and complaint website to write a compliment to the police who doorknocked me at 1.00am to tell me Ray had died and saw me transported  to the hospital. They were lovely. Lordy, it went straight to the Professional Standards Committee, or something like that. The next day a female sergeant from our nearest police station where they are based called and said she had passed on my compliment to the two police officers. She went on to ask if I needed a referral to grief counselling and if I had support from family and friends. I just think wow. Our police force comes in for much criticism, as it should at times, but how well it worked for me when I was in shock. Over and over in my mind I think of when I opened the door to them at 1 am, I remember my words, 'You are not here to tell me good news, are you'. 'No, sorry Mr C, we aren't.'

When I initially wrote this post was some time ago. I know it is very long, sorry. 

Tradie Brother's party was terrific with two bonfires outside to warm us. People who I vaguely know offered their condolences. I am terrible at such celebrations. I sit back and watch what everyone is doing and who is talking to whom. I did talk to people at times. Tradie Brother's drinking companion was there. They used to sit up late at night drinking and listening to music. She was nice, although an alcoholic in a calm manner. She also has a crippling walking disability. 

Yes, it was a fun night, and I could have a drink, nearly a bottle of wine over two or more hours, before Sister picked me up and drove me and returned me home. I confirmed with all that the 16th of June would be a family gathering for a wake, or celebration of Ray's life. 

Sister said we will now leave and I sat near the gate. Aforesaid person with a a disability had her son to pick her up and take her home. I stood up to open the gate for them and did I trip over my own feet, trip over something? Whatever, I fell backwards to the ground, only saved by rubbish bins and bottle bins. How embarrassing. A couple of people helped me up. Thankfully I don't think too many people noticed. I don't understand why that happened. I wasn't drunk. I felt fine. 'Tis a queer thing.

As soon as I was in Sister's car, she asked me if I fell over. I replied yes, and I don't know why. She made some kind of grunting dismissive sound. Jo had her headphones on and heard nothing. 

Well, that was begun a week or so ago, meant to be published last Wednesday. I added to the post and now added to it again.

Don't I paint a good picture of myself, coping well after the death of my life partner? Well, at times I am fucking well not. I just miss Ray so much. I am living day to day until I die. There is no future, just an existence. But don't worry. Most of the time I don't think about anything beyond what I am doing the next day. Dinner? Go out where? What needs to be done? What can I tick off? 

26 comments:

  1. Of course you miss him. To the moon and the stars and back again. It is a reflection of just how much you love him.
    I am glad that you got some cleaning done. And have seen people. And thank you for writing a complimentary letter to the police. When they get it right they get it so very right - which we rarely hear.
    Are you ok after that fall? Look after yourself please. You matter.

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  2. Andrew, your last paragraph has made me worry about you. You have been managing everything really well these past weeks and, to be honest, giving me hope that I could do that when the time comes.

    Sometimes, more often recently, I have felt that I, too, am maybe just marking time until I die. I have to make myself get out there and do things, or P makes me get up off my backside. I even cancelled my doctor's appointment as I couldn't face all the prodding and poking and maybe go through unpleasant procedures and get a couple more years?
    I hope that when you start to come out of the other side of this phase of grief and loss you find something that gives you some joy in life.

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  3. I hope friends and loved ones help you rediscover joy in life. ~hugs~ Gatherings aren't really my thing either. After my mother's 2017 memorial I hugged the wall with eyes on the exit, something I only realized halfway through the luncheon. lol Be well, Andrew.

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  4. Oh shoot. You need a mission now or a hobby you love. Easier said than done, I know. That's the only way I survive. I have no human family.

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  5. This is Debby, and I am here to echo Jaycee. That sudden onset loss of balance thing made me immediately concerned. You are doing well, truly but if this happens again, you do need to see your doctor.

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  6. You're doing fine. It's still only days ago, and you're doing well getting from day to day. One foot in front of the other.

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  7. Time does pass quickly. Hopefully time eases the pain. You have got a good neighbour as a company. I do envy that sort of connection with neighbourhood.

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  8. If I was close by I would make meals for you!!! You're doing fine, as the others have said, one day at a time.

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  9. Nice of you to send compliments to the police officers who gave you the bad news; I know they appreciated you doing it, especially given the circumstances.

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  10. thecontemplativecat here. It is and always will be a step at a time. Take care and be gentle to yourself. Definitely see a Dr. It was the best thing I did in the time following their deaths. I am praying for you. I promise.

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  11. The post is long but worth it. Hang in there, Andrew.

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  12. "Just living day to day" but also going out, eating well, and keeping in touch via this blog. I think you will be okay.

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  13. Good to hear you sent that little note praising the police officers…..they also would have been affected by the event.
    Take heed of what the police liaison mentioned - take that big step that you might not think you need and accept their offer of a referral to a grief counseller. It’s another shoulder ‘to cry on’ one who’s not ‘related’ and could possibly help you make sense of what’s happened in your life.

    It’s a bright sunny day today but I know it won’t close that big aching hole in your heart so I’m sending a few (((hugs))) across the suburbs 💕

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  14. Almost a bottle of wine within two hours would go a long way to explaining that fall.

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    1. MC, not really. I had eaten plenty of food. I have a high tolerance to alcohol, pain killers (unfortunately) and aesthetic (he needs more).

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  15. What a beautiful tribute to your Ray. It must be so very difficult at times but you do all the do things and take care of yourself as he would wish for you. That fall was weird though. I hope it doesn't happen again and how lovely you spent time with Ray's workmate. All those years!
    XO
    WWW

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  16. We all adapt, Andrew, to change and new circumstances. It's just a matter of time. Stay strong and positive. Indulge yourself in activities you enjoy. Take care. :-)

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  17. It is all new at the moment, the grief and despair, it will soften with time. As for tumbling backward, that bottle of wine could not have helped and as we age balance seems to go askew but as Debby says another time and perhaps a doctor's visit is called for.

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  18. You're allowed to be miserable and sad and uncommunicative. You don't have to please other people but I'm glad you're making the effort. I'm not sure I would.
    The overbalancing event may have something to do with your ears. Take care.

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  19. You do paint a picture of keeping busy, but grief is a long long road in which no one does well. That is great about the police. I have found in my recent use of hospitals and ambulances that public services for the most part have dedicated staff - service before self-interest.

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  20. I'm sorry to read the last part of your post - hope you are ok Andrew, and of course you miss Ray, that is normal and you always will have him in the back of your mind, you shared so much together. You will move on when you are ready, and yes, one day you will.
    We fall over sometimes and we don't know why, the main thing is you didn't hurt yourself.
    It's pleasing you see a few people and still go out occasionally. The cleaners seem to have done a good job by your description.
    Happy belated Birthday to your brother.
    Take care.

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  21. I don't have a long term partner like you did. I've had a series of partners, so I can't imagine what it would be like to miss the person you literally spent most of your life with. One day at a time is all you can really do. The grief will ease but it just takes so fucking long.
    My youngest daughter is disabled but we didn't know that when she was born. It became apparent as she failed to meet milestones. By the time she was a year old we were told that she was "retarded" and my baby girl died that day, to be replaced with Miss Katie. It took years for me to stop grieving that loss and to fully accept that Miss Katie would not have the life I imagined for her. Even as I write this, I'm crying. It was so hard. Miss Katie turns thirty-two on June 16th and it doesn't hurt to love her anymore, although I still cry sometimes:)

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  22. It's unusual to read a blogpost that jumps ahead in time like that. In case of falling over again, may I suggest that you wear an inflatable sumo-wrestler suit whenever you go out in future Andrew? It's good that you have your blogging friends around you as you learn to live again in the post-Ray world.

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  23. I think your sense of a future will return in time. This is all a huge adjustment. I'm glad people are visiting and supporting you. It's great that you wrote a compliment to the police -- I'm sure they are usually dealing with complaints. And thank goodness that fall didn't injure you!

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  24. I have been thinking of you a lot this last month and others are even more so and everyone would like to give you a big hug and say that you are doing really well. Time will help but there will be moments...

    Nice of you to thank the police. They deserve to be thanked when they do good things.

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  25. I like your title!
    A sense of humour will carry you a long way

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