Yes, against all odds, we did it – reached our funding target of AU$10k. I’m deeply grateful to everyone who pledged, and everyone who supported me throughout the campaign: who stood beside me, spread the word, “liked” and “shared”, and were just simply bloody awesome!
I’m going to take a little rest for a few days, and then resume business as usual. Woo hoo!
I’ve temporarily lost the ability to multitask. Um … I think that’s what I’ve lost. Anyway, until this funeral’s over, I can’t seem to do anything.
“Anything?” you ask. “Surely you could do something?”
Yes, I can watch TV. I can – painstakingly slowly – get ready for to fly interstate tomorrow. I can eat. I can sleep.
That’s about it.
Still, when you consider the last few weeks, here are the highlights (lowlights?):
- getting told you owe the Australian Taxation Office $16k
- having your psychologist tell you that he “can’t be expected” to remember your preferred name
- being pseudo-bereaved
- becoming un-pseudo-bereaved
- continuing to battle that damned sore throat which keeps coming and going
- being “poisoned” by a GP (OK, slight exaggeration; she didn’t do it on purpose – but those steroids really knocked me around)
- starting a five week break from your therapist
- becoming truly bereaved.
After that, it’s all sort of whited out. Hours of just sitting, frowning when someone opens a door and lets cold air in. I catch sight of my face in the mirror and it’s white and puffed up, which is weird, because I haven’t been crying.
Is it awful to say that I just want this funeral to be over? I feel like once it’s done, I’ll be able to move again, think again. Maybe I’m being selfish.
Instead of just counting my woes, I should also count the blessings of the last few weeks:
- I enjoyed time with my parents
- I had a courageous conversation with my psychologist
- the friends I’ve told about my bereavement have been hugely supportive
- my accountant and I figured out a plan to minimize the impact of that $16k debt to the ATO
- hey, I had the sense to book in to see my accountant before 30 June! Which was a very wise decision
- my one-year-old niece stood up and held her mother’s phone while we were talking the other day, the first time she’d achieved this feat of multitasking
- I can read. I hate it when I’m so depressed I can’t read.
OK, enough for now. Hope everyone’s well and I’ll catch up with you soon.
It’s early morning and I should be arranging flights interstate to attend the funeral on Monday, but I’m in the grip of inertia and can’t find the energy to get going. What to do? Write a gratitude list, of course.
In this moment, I am grateful:
- that time sometimes slumps, and sometimes flies
- that we can remember a life well lived; memory is indeed something to value
- for sleep without drugs, and for the skills which allow me to enjoy it, however fleetingly
- to my ever-generous parents. I didn’t need help this time, but appreciate you offering nonetheless
- that relationships are rarely set in stone. They’re rubbery, elastic, weirdly plastic things; non-Newtonian fluids
- to my therapist who, not knowing my grandmother had died, called before he went on leave with the name of someone else I could talk to in extremis, if necessary
- for the wonder that is libraries: books! Books! BOOKS!
- for tea in the pot and food in the pantry; because, like birth, death and kindness, it’s these “simple” things which are the stuff of life.
I hope that, whenever your Friday arrives, it is a good day. I trust that mine will be.
I was talking last night with the dearly beloved about a relative who, well – has a reputation for being something of a martyr. In our opinion, she has nothing to complain about, however we are keenly aware that we never really know the full story of what someone is experiencing, and don’t know what unhappiness or dissatisfaction a martyred expression might be masking.
We concluded that really, the best lesson we could take from being with her was to always remember just how fortunate we are. No matter how poorly we may feel treated at times, we are just so privileged compared to the bulk of humanity spread across this globe.
So there will be even less bitching and moaning in our household, and an even greater appreciation of the wonder it is to have tea in the pot, food in the pantry, electricity on demand, a stable government; to be free of cancer and radiation sickness, to have liberties to speak out against unwise decisions our government makes, and to be able to make decisions concerning one’s life.
We are going to be more grateful, because we are lucky.
Today is a day of contrasts. I’m feeling anticipation and apprehension. In the midst of these conflicting emotions, I thought it might be helpful and grounding to write a gratitude list.
In this moment, I am grateful for:
- tea in the pot and food in the pantry
- water in the taps and electricity (especially in this cold, dark winter!)
- living in Australia, and being able to access our wonderful Medicare system
- the prospect of relief from this chronic sore throat, after seeing the GP today (does a month count as “chronic”? Maybe it does for a sore throat)
- my self-discipline in getting this fortnight’s assignments finished yesterday, when they weren’t due until midnight on Sunday
- my parents’ visit, and the good times we’ve had together
- interactions with wise bloggers, who teach me so much
- the fact that I’m having lunch with the delightful R (dumplings! yay!)
- my grandmother’s return to stable health. I know she’s going to die, but I’m glad it isn’t going to happen this week.
This list flew off my fingers and onto the screen! It’s very easy for me to access feelings of gratitude right now, obviously, which is wonderful.
Be well, stay warm and dry if you’re in the south-east of Australia, and take care!