I wanted to write to you last night. I was feeling like I had a few of the strands of my thoughts held together in a way that made sense and they were vaguely coherent and sort of positive and I was excited to share what I thought were my insights and some sort of plan with you. But then, as is so often the case, something minor happened that upset me and I lost my fleeting togetherness and went to bed trying not to cry. And this morning I can’t remember all that seemed to make sense to me last night, nor exactly what it was that bothered me and sent me to bed upset which pretty much sums up the way my brain seems to work now. Perhaps you should call me Dory.
However, even if I can’t remember all of what it was that seemed to be making sense to me last night, part of what I wanted to share with you last he bit of it that I wanted to rush home and tell you last night was that I saw your lovely hospice nurse last night. I was sat in the main entrance waiting for my last counselling session and she came past, obviously heading home for the day. It was such a wonderful thing to see her. She gave me a huge hug and asked after us all and she told me that she had been thinking of me last week as there have been some developments in nursing that were relevant to a conversation she and I had had when I saw her in the weeks after you died.
Seeing her was lovely, it was something that made me genuinely smile and feel ok briefly. She was one of the very very few people that you talked to other than me in that last year, and she helped you a lot, I think, in the brief time she was in our lives. She was a positive presence in a very isolated and scary time for us, she was reassuring, supportive and lively and she always left us in a better frame of mind each time she visited.
It felt like it was some sort of sign; some sort of closure seeing her last night. It was my last time in the hospice, my last counselling session, and I had been thinking about (and went on discuss with the counsellor) about how I felt I was doing now relative to when I started the counselling and what I might do next or in the future, and to see K last night for the first and last time felt significant some how.
The gist of what I was feeling that I wanted to try and capture and share with you last night was, I think, that I wanted to try and record how I had described myself as feeling and how I was viewing things at that last counselling session. A sort of update on me instead of little legs for you for a change 😉
Because I knew it was the last session, it naturally led me to think back over the course of the sessions: how I felt at the beginning of counselling versus how I am now at the “end” of it and what, if anything, I could take from the whole experience of counselling that might help me as I carry on trudging through life without you. I have felt like I have relied on the sessions a bit in recent months: I have needed the outlet to say out loud some of how I am feeling and to just sit and cry and talk and ramble away and try and make sense of things somehow. They have made me think about things a bit: I have gone away and pondered on something I had said or something the counsellor had asked me each week and the process of doing that has been helpful at times and in some ways.
The things I want to try and remember to take from the counselling are:
- It is ok to feel crap
- It is ok to still just be surviving day to day 10 months later
- It is ok to feel however I feel and I shouldn’t be so hard on myself all the time and expect myself to be doing “better” at everything
- I am doing the best I can and that is ok. Even if it is just surviving and going through the motions and functioning and not living at all. That is ok.
- You are with me. You are part of me. That can never be taken away from me. I can celebrate that any way I want to, whenever I want to and how I choose to have a relationship with you now and in the future is my choice
I have tried to decide to give myself permission to carry on as I am, just surviving, and not panic that I “should” be doing better/have a plan/feel differently/be a better parent/cope better by now. I have sort of decided to give myself up to 3 years to just carry on as I am and wait and see how I go, rather than pressure myself to make decisions/changes/know what I want to do now and in the future. It is ok to not have a clue and to still live day to day/week to week if that is all I can manage for now. 3 years sounds stupid I know, but I can’t cope with no sort of plan, so even if the plan is as vague as to come up with a plan in 3 years time, it makes me feel slightly more in control. 3 years is because that is how long little legs will be at nursery before starting school if we stay as we are, and as she has settled and is happy and thriving there: staying like this (work, nursery and location-wise) is an option that I would be “comfortable” with for now if need be.
There was more to it than this but my brain is foggy again. I am going to try and sleep and see if I can pull a coherent explanation together for you soon. Part of what I wanted to write to you about was some of what I have been reading, how it has made me feel, what it made me want to resolve etc. But if I try and write it now it will be incomprehensible rambling (even more so than usual) and I would be grasping for threads that are getting away from me, so I am going to admit defeat for now and try and sleep.
I love you.