Getting there

Got closer to being sorted yesterday helped by a power cut which gave me nothing to do but tidy. I have a few boxes to take to the garage – electrics mainly that J used to use but I never would now.
The spare room is next – more stuff to the garage.
After that is done, it’s the roof space. That’s a big job but I have some time off in a couple of weeks so I’m aiming for then with that task.

The more I get these tasks done though, the more I get the house looking how I want it to be the lonelier I feel. But I need to get the work done to move forward, to reduce clutter and dust gatherers. I suppose it comes with the territory after losing someone. It’s not like I can keep a bedroom looking exactly the same.

Two events I had planned to go to later this year I have cancelled. Not ready. Would not enjoy. The opposite very probably.

Started reading Mr Nice by Howard Marks. Neil – at Inkling – recommended Senor Nice by the same guy so it makes sense to read the first book first.

Tattoo work from Thursday has settled very nicely.

Significant live event yesterday which I so wish I could tell Jacqui.

The pic? I just like it. Still experimenting with macro and lighting.

Session 8

I have added another part of the body to the Do Not Get Tattooed! list
The upper inner arm is ouchy. It was when outlining and the shading will be more ouchy. Anyway, here’s one of a few pics

More colours yet to go in, it’s not finished.

Had another cardiac event yesterday early evening. My Apple watch has heart monitoring on since the hospital visits. This time though it lasted only a few minutes so no calls needed. I suppose a GP visit might be in order.

And I have sorted the dining area of downstairs at last. It’s much tidier, more functional. One emotional task down, more yet to go.

A recurring bad dream

About once every 10 days I have a bad dream where the locations change but the problem is always the same. I am lost.

I am wearing a coat, I have bags, I have a suitcase and I’m trying to get to my room. I’m not at home though. Last night I was in some massive hotel in a country that did not have English as even a second language. I knew my room number – 25 – but I had no clue how to get there. The hotel was complex with malls, bars, many many corridors, many floors, many odd lifts, signs I could not understand. Previously I’ve been in a huge holiday complex, in a city, in blocks of flats, in a university.
I never get to where I need to go. I walk and I walk and I ask and I try many routes but I never get closer. I just get more and more tired and confused.
And every morning after these dreams I wake up with a headache, feel sick and feel absolutely drained. I want to stay in bed and sleep but if I do that the dream carries on from where it left, so I have to get up.

I suppose it’s my mind trying to make sense of where I am in the world. I am lost in many ways without Jacqui and I have no-one to talk to. Despite 4 different health agencies being involved in her care not one asked me about bereavement counselling, I have since asked and been told No, to call Cruse (and they are permanently engaged on the phone). I think I know why they have said No, but I’m not writing that here.

I hate these dreams though because they plague the following day too, and I have no way of stopping them.

Emotional tasks

The “Wednesday Coffee” widow/ers meeting this week was myself and Heather. The loss of her husband is around the same time frame as my losing Jacqui.
During the conversation Heather started talking about the tasks she still has to do. My initial reply was that I had none but as we kept chatting it dawned on me that I have several tasks which really do need tacking
– financial
– sorting what was going to be J’s bedroom and is now a spare room
– trying to give away the through-floor lift
– heaps of CD’s to be given away
– clear the roof space
– a mound of paperwork I found which I need to sort to throw away or keep
– the dining area of downstairs. It’s where J sat at a (now dismantled) table for years and the shelving there holds what she wanted to see.
And there is probably more.
It doesn’t sound like a lot but each one carries an emotional toll.

So I’m going to make a proper list, maybe break down some tasks into chunks and then start, or hope to start tackling them.

And in the odd way that grief works I’m back feeling just how I did 1 minute before I gestured to Koda the other day.


Yesterday was all normal. I wasn’t firing on all cylinders at work but I got to where I needed to be – we all have days like that – and I logged out okay. Did whatever and later I’m sitting on the floor when Koda comes up to me. She’s an independent girl and takes fuss when she wants so as she wanted fuss she got it.

If you have a dog you’ll recognise that moment when they roll on their back and look at you all goofy. Koda did that and looked directly at me.

I pointed a finger at my chest
I held both my hands over the centre of my chest
I pointed both index fingers at her

As I did this I said

and I just started crying.
It’s more than 24 hours since and I’m still crying.

The last time I did that gesture I was looking into Jacqui’s eyes. All she could move was her right index finger but she gestured those same, that same feeling back to me.

It feels like I lost her yesterday.

A Year of Firsts

I realised earlier today that I’ve completed my ‘year of firsts’ – a year of everything happening without Jacqui. The Widower’s groups I read said this would be the hardest. A widow I met though said the first five years were the hardest. I suppose the truth is somewhere inbetween.

2019, apart from bring the saddest year of my life, has taught me a lot.

It showed how amazing Automattic has been. They have gone over and above what I think any other company would have done. HR, my team lead Raul and my team have all been there, and at the Grand Meetup two people in particular, Alicia and Chrissie, help me get through what I found to be a very difficult time.

It also showed me a lot about people personally. Pointless saying any more here about that.

Twitter. When did I leave twitter? No clue, don’t miss it.
Facebook. Very happy to have left the lizard’s domain.
Tumblr. Sad to have left there but it had to happen.
Both of those domains are comprehensively blocked here


What would I like from 2020?

A holiday would be nice. Have not had a proper holiday in over 11 years. Doubt it will happen though as going away on my own I would not enjoy.

Sorting the house out some more, but that’s money and ideas needed.

To see my youngest get married next November.

There is one more item, more of a hope. But that’s for me and a very few to know and know why.


A strange eight days


4 December was Jacqui’s birthday. She would have been 56
11 December marks the first anniversary of the last time we spoke
12 December she had gone

I did not know how I would react as December approached, The raw grief has gone but it is replaced by sadness. Lots of sadness. Remembering. Noticing things around the house that have remained unchanged since that day.

I haven’t moved on really. I don’t really know how to if I’m honest. SSDD.

(and the pic? I just like it)

I brought Jacqui home

A Certificate of Cremation. I had no idea such a thing existed, and now I own one. I do not know what it looks like as it is unopened in an envelope and it will remain so forever.
We have a partial solution to what we want to do with J’s ashes which is why I went to collect them today. Almost no-one in real life asks me how I am, but the lady – who I first met when I had to organise the thing last December – did today. I had to work to not cry. Then in the taxi back holding Jacqui I had to just.not.cry and when I got back I kept it in.
Talking to Chrissie at work she said it was okay to cry. I knew that because I’ve never been one of those “Man up” types, or that “Men don’t cry” silliness. But she sort of gave me permission if that doesn’t sound odd and the tears came. I had to stop work an hour early because you can’t read a screen properly when crying and all I could think of was J.

She’s here. She’s at home.

It is closing in on a year since we lost her but this, her ashes being here makes it more real.

How does something real become more real? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I have a green (biodegradable) urn here which I can touch. Which I talk to. Which makes me cry.

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”
Carl Sagan, Cosmos

“The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together.”
Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Love you J