So a month has passed since Jo died, it’s still all a bit surreal in some ways, the funeral went off as well as I could have hoped and there was a huge turnout. Looking back on that now, I really don’t think it could have gone any better. I had worried a lot at the time on whether I could pull together exactly what she had requested and I think we managed to do just that.
The Urn we got for Jo was also even better than I expected, she had made it very clear, she didn’t want anything traditional, she wanted something like a heart. Well I wasn’t able to find a heart at least not big enough for her ashes and instead we found this beautiful silver and gold teardrop, which is absolutely right up Jo’s street, it’s bright and shiny just like her favourite things. She is home and sitting in the lounge and I am sure enjoying all the football I am now watching on the TV in her absence, NOT!!
I have also done a large chunk of the paperwork involved when someone dies, informing banks and utilities, getting bills changed in to my name etc. I will do another blog in the next few weeks on this whole process.
I have started back at work and the kids are back at work and school, we are all trying to find our new normal, our daughter has been on another school trip to Amsterdam which she enjoyed and hopefully was a good distraction for her. Our son is back in to work and keeping busy and is planning a holiday in the summer.
So that was the physical news about what we have been up to but the hard bit is the bit you can’t obviously see, how are we coping inside, behind the smile.
Well for me, I think I am coping ok, though I do feel like I was unprepared for Jo’s death. The emotions you feel can’t be tested beforehand, can’t be felt and can’t be prepped for until it happens. The simple fact I can’t speak to Jo again, EVER, was the hardest thing and still is, that realisation still brings tears to my eyes. The amount of times I thought, ‘I’ll just tell Jo that’ and then the remembering I can’t is very hard. When I used go to work, we would speak or text first thing, we would text each other throughout the day, I would call her at lunch, the same in the afternoon and on the way home, we would then spend all evening together, if she was cooking I would be in the kitchen helping and chatting to her, we would interact so often and now that is gone.
The second thing I have really found hard is that I also can’t hold her, we were a couple who did everything together, if we walked down the road, we would hold hands, we were a touchy, feely couple always hugging and kissing and I really really miss that physical contact.
I know that over time the pain will diminish and I will get used to those scenarios that currently hurt me but it did surprise me how tough I initially found it.
I am sure both the children are feeling the same, it must be really hard for them and I try to be there for them if they want to talk, but I guess we are all different and I can’t force them to discuss it with me, the door is always open and that is my main aim. Also I am keen to keep mentioning Jo and make it normal for her to continue to be central to our family life.
I decided when I was offered counselling by the Hospice, I would take everything that was offered, as until I had tried it I didn’t know whether firstly I would gain benefit from it, or actually I would like it, so I had my first session last week. I found it really useful, as it allowed me to have a bit of a cry and release with someone who I didn’t know, she probed how I felt about the situation, the loss, family, my worries etc and I have agreed to keep on going with up to 12 sessions available. Our daughter already has been attending counselling since Jo was unwell originally, which she finds a great help and our son is also going to try it shortly. Nothing ventured nothing gained.
Our friends have been great, all trying to look after us, take us out and keep us occupied, I am thankful that my children both have great friends to keep an eye on them as do I and so a big thank you to them. Also my twitter and blog friends have been amazing as well with hundreds of good wishes and prayers for me and my family, I really do appreciate it.
Finally, I think I have found my new vocation, I am really enjoying cooking, Jo was always the cook in our house, but as mentioned earlier I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with her and now that the cooking is falling to me, I think I clearly learnt a lot by watching her. I have had positive responses from the kids and if I say so myself I think I am doing reasonably well, but most of the credit for that has to go to Jo, she was a great cook and clearly not a bad teacher.