Monday, December 19, 2011

19th December

So now the week of distraction has finished I’m instantly back in my world of grief. However, I do feel that my health has improved so the positive stimulus of playing carols all week has had some good effect. Maintaining that momentum with just my own resource is challenging as it’s far easier when invitations to get involved come along. Anyway today I visited my elderly parents to help them sort out a printer they bought ages ago and couldn’t get working. And they act as a sorting office for Christmas mail being passed around by my 4 sisters and their families, so I came home with a reasonable sized pile of cards to look through. Although I can’t say I exactly enjoy reading them, as they make me cry, I do have to say that each and every one is massively appreciated. I feel so privileged that so many people take the time to express goodwill towards me at this personally difficult time. Yes, the thought of Christmas without Jane is still quite horrible. And everything connected with Christmas brings back far too many memories. My daughters have organised things so that I’ll get to spend all three days with most of them all together at each of their houses in turn. That’ll keep me busy and should be ‘fun’.

For many years I had to meet with the recently bereaved as part of my work in insurance, and occasionally I would have to offer sympathy and sometimes a personal apology for correspondence still being addressed to the deceased. I always thought that that would be a big deal, and I guess it is, though it hasn’t happened to me since the first few weeks as I diligently contacted everyone I could think of. What I hadn’t considered though was the effect of so many personal letters arriving and every single one of them is addressed solely to me. Jane’s name is missing because she is. And that hurts so very much. It’s so hard to imagine enjoying life without her; so many good things happen around me all the time that she would have thoroughly enjoyed. I loved sharing the little episodes of family achievements with her… I’m expecting to attend a school Christmas production tomorrow afternoon. And she was invaluable in her organisation and practical support when family problems intruded… my eldest daughter’s car has been stranded in the garage awaiting expensive repairs, so I’m Mr Taxi for the school run and whatever else is needed. It’s wonderful to know that I can still be useful even though she left home a dozen years ago! But it’s horrible ‘enjoying’ life’s twists and turns without Jane.

Ok so the time for New Year resolutions is swiftly approaching, and the big question is… will I be ready to quit complaining about my lot in life? Every New Year for decades Jane and I would prayerfully list our ‘goals’, our hopes and dreams if you like for the coming year, in order to try and define direction. And also recognise aspiration. I can remember discussing this with her last year but I can’t recall writing it down as things were beginning to become very difficult then. And to be honest I daren’t look in case I find it. That would be impossible to cope with. But the principle remains invaluable so maybe I should still determine direction and aspiration as a single man. So what do I want to see happen next year? Well I reckon today is officially Day 64 of my bathroom decorating venture. I’d love to finish it this year but if I don’t then next year it has to be my number one priority! That, as well as some more life defining stuff, like I need a new start in some way… please!

2 Corinthians 5:17 ‘This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!’ (NLT)

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