Soulless

That pesky grief monster sneaking up on innocent folks again. Should be a law about that. On sorry I forgot our Government ceased being a viable legislative body two years ago. Still we can look forward to Johnson or Hunt now. OMG. One is a self serving buffoon who dresses up outrageous racist comments as free direct speech. A man whose middle name should be dishonesty. The other is a man who forgot which country his wife was born in (supposed to be our Foreign Secretary) and who wilfully wrecked our NHS.

So no help coming from the Government any time soon then.

I was having a 50 minute walk – can’t believe how much I miss my runs. Tired but been worse. Then out from a side path a couple emerged. Holding hands and clearly so in love. Suddenly waves of grief and remorse smash me into the ground.

That was us a few years ago…

We should be still holding hands today…

Those days have gone…

Suddenly I feel very tired, very old and very broken.

It wasn’t supposed to turn out like this.

An hour later I’m back at work but basically I’m going through the motions. My heart is trapped in a different year. It’s unlikely that it will be released. I feel soulless, yes that’s the word, SOULLESS. Just an empty shell. Just focus on that one job – give our son the best childhood possible. That gives me a purpose. Something to keep me going.

Tell me why

In my voice – Tell me why

  • My partner was taken from us when she was so young.
  • The system continually fails our son.
  • The Government can find billions to bribe other parties to keep it in power but can’t find the money to fund education support for the kids who need it.
  • I don’t sleep anymore.
  • They say the world is getting smaller yet I feel so isolated.
  • Chocolate has so many blooming calories.
  • Hair doesn’t like growing on my head yet it sprouts like an Amazonian Forest on the back of the my hands.
  • The cat continually finds a way into the wardrobe.
  • I can’t find any socks in this house.
  • They never made a Captain Scarlet movie.

In our son’s voice – Tell me why

  • My mum had to die.
  • Both my grannies had to die.
  • My hamster had to die.
  • My girl cat who was like a sister to me had to die.
  • I can’t read.
  • Some people think I am stupid just because I am autistic and dyslexic.
  • Shops have to be so busy.
  • Hazard is leaving Chelsea.
  • Do people have to kiss in films.
  • Marvel Movies are way better than DC Movies.
  • Most kids don’t like rock music.
  • Broccoli wasn’t deemed an inedible plant.
  • My Dad can’t cook.
  • In our dogs voice – Tell me why
    • I get shouted at for pinching socks.
      I get shouted at for digging holes.
      I get shouted at for eating garden tools.
      I get shouted at for eating garden furniture,
      I get shouted at for digging up plants.
      I get shouted at for burying stuff like socks.
      I get shouted at for pulling bits of the apple tree off.
      I get shouted at for escaping.
      I get shouted at for climbing in the hedge.
      I get shouted at for eating cat poo, cow poo, sheep poo.
      I get shouted at for pinching food.
      My best friend isn’t with us anymore. I know I am a dog but she was a really cool cat.

    In our boy cats voice – Tell me why

    • My sister isn’t with us anymore.

    • My best friend, the really lovely woman has gone. I miss siting on her lap.
    • I get shouted at for missing the cat litter by several feet.
    • I get really shouted at for missing the litter by so many feet I hit the wall.
    • I get shouted at for sitting in front of the TV when a movie is on.
    • I get shouted at for sneaking into the wardrobe and getting white hairs on all the black clothes.
    • I get shouted at for falling in hot plates of food.
    • I get shouted at for always tripping people up.
    • I get shouted at for sleeping on the laptop.
    • I get shouted at for sleeping on the toaster.

    In our gerbils voice – Tell me why

    • We don’t live in a toilet roll factory.

    In the Deep Dark Woods

    A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood.

    Our son adored the Gruffalo story. I think our son had all of Julia Donaldson books. We loved reading them to him, that’s what parenting should be about. Not the anxieties, the stress, the frustration, the heartbreak.

    Walking through this deep dark wood took us back to that golden age. Fairytales and colouring books. Toy cars and Teddy Bears. Dragons and magic. Thomas the Tank Engine, Dora the Explorer and Iggle Piggle. When we were a team of 3. Golden Years.

    But time marches on…

    Son gets older. Fairytales replaced with Manga. Colouring books replaced with an iPad. Toy cars replaced with FIFA 19. Teddy Bears assigned to the shelves. Dragons upgraded to Transformers. Magic being drummed out of him by school. Thomas, Dora and Iggle now Assembled into Thor, Black Widow and Ironman. A team of three assigned to memories. The Golden Years now the Anxiety Times.

    We walk further into the deep dark wood. Let’s hope it’s magic returns and takes us to a different world. One where anxiety is vanquished, dreams flourish and life is enriching.

    The mouse found a nut and the nut was good.

    Deadly Question Time

    So she is leaving before the job is done. Tears for her own job but not for 72 people who died in London on the 14th June 2017. Says it all. Time for the next numpty.

    ****************

    You do get asked some questions in life. Some you can answer, some you can’t and some which you can’t quite comprehend. In 2016 the world changed for us. Over 6 weeks our young son experienced two much death for someone so young. I got plunged into single parenting – a role I was completely unprepared for and at a time when I was close to breaking. Since those fateful 6 weeks we have been asked so many questions about bereavement, single parenting and the future. Here are some of the left field ones.

    “What’s it like not to have a mum” – a classmate asked that 4 days after he lost his mum

    Have you thought about hiring a full time nanny” – a Parent

    Do you think he is too young to properly grieve” – a Parent

    Have you thought about a dating agency ” – a neighbour 2 weeks after the funeral

    Luckily he is autistic so he won’t feel as much” – a Parent.

    “I’m sorry for your loss but can you start back at work tomorrow as your project needs to stay on track” – a Senior Manager one week after the funeral

    Now your a single parent what are you going to do with your new found free time” – a Dad in the school playground

    Dads don’t cook so do you get lots of takeouts” – a classmate with a Dad who spends most of his time in the pub and playing golf

    “Surely your career is the most important thing to you” – a Senior Manager after I quit to be there for our son

    “Can’t your son just go to stay with someone during the week so you can do this role. Have you got family who could look after him” – same Senior Manager

    “We are reading a book in lesson next week which has a boy who has just lost his mum. You don’t have any objections do you” a teacher

    “You must think yourself quite lucky. You have closure. When my wife left me I didn’t get closure” – a Dad in the school playground

    Have you phoned the Samaritans.” – a mum. I only asked if she had any idea why my bread wasn’t rising evenly.

    ****************

    This time can we get a Leader how is up to the job. No numpties should be allowed to apply – that includes you Boris.

    2016 seems a long time ago

    Poor Theresa.

    Wormed your way into the top job. Your eyes focused solely on your legacy. To be one of the greats assured on the back of your often self stated immense leadership skills. Being a bully is not the same as being a leader. Then it suddenly started to fall apart. The cloak of competency rapidly lost. 2016 seems such a long time ago. Cock up after cock up. Lost count of the times you bring the same failed plan back and guess what – it fails again. Now holed up in your plush panic room. Your so called colleagues circling like vultures. A 10 on the door and a nice policeman to let your cat in and out. You look out of your steamed up windows as the country falls apart and implodes but all you see is your legacy. Clinging desperately for a few more days in the hope that the failed plan suddenly works because the pixies have arrived to sprinkle some magic powder onto it. All you ever wanted was that legacy unfortunately the legacy you are leaving is one nobody would want.

    ***************

    “Dad its an important anniversary today. It’s 4 years since we set off on our last holiday with mum.”

    Yes in 2015 on Thursday in the second last week of May we did. As I’m writing this we would have been heading towards Strasbourg by train. We had no idea what would happen in 2016. How the world would change for ever. 2016 seems such a long time ago. I really have to find a way to start taking him on holidays again.

    I came across some of my partners diaries the other day. She was meticulous in keeping records. Unlike me – I can’t even keep my hair these days. But this conversation with our son sparked a search for some other milestones.

    Feb 2014 – last time son was hit in the head from a flying bin lid (during a stormy day) at school.

    April 1997 – met my partner at work

    April 1999 – finally picked up the courage to ask my partner out

    Sept 2012 – first and last trip to a Michelin Restaurant. Wonderful food but not much of it. Ten minutes after leaving restaurant we bought a fish and chips.

    Dec 1999 – first trip away as a couple

    June 2005 – happily walked up Mount Snowden. I might have forgotten to book the mountain train down and it was fully booked. Very frosty walk down with an icy stare drilling into my head.

    Jun 2002 – moved into our first house together

    June 2012 – started process of getting an Autism assessment.

    Sep 2002 – last trip to IKEA but clearly bought enough stuff to furnish a city, still finding unopened boxes. Plus we came back with two huge man eating items which we unfortunately still have.

    Sept 2015 – Aspergers diagnosis confirmed

    Dec 1907 – last time my team Newcastle United won a match (made that one up but it does feel like it somedays)

    Dec 2001 – Partner travelled on last solo trip to India. Left clear instructions that I had to book us in to a New Years Eve meal and dance. She returned New Years Eve expecting to be picked up at the airport and taken to a high class event. Don’t think a Blues Brothers Tribute night was quite what she had planned for.

    April 2017 – Started Blogging

    Alone

    Complete white out. Zero vision. Your boots constantly struggling to find grip on the sheet ice. All you can hear is the wind howl and your rasping breathe. Somewhere to your right are bone breaking crags, to your left a 200 feet sheer drop. Holding the ice axe waiting for the inevitable fall. The trail has disappeared. The map is useless. The compass won’t give an accurate reading. Alone. Are you too far right or god help you …. too far left. Too late to turn back. Your only guide is to follow the sharp slope upwards to the summit.

    The delights of winter mountaineering. Or is a metaphor for life. Disorientation, lost, no idea where your going, unattainable goals, alone, no plan, fear and panic.

    Then hope. A kind word. A caring hand in the dark. Brief enlightenment.

    The clouds briefly part. The beautiful mountain summit reveals itself. You survived that crisis. Panic subsides. Your pounding heart starts to ease. The break in the clouds is short lived. But you have a path. You have a direction. You have hope. The climb continues.

    Return to Doris

    We returned to Doris.

    https://bereavedsingledad.blog/2019/04/22/doris/

    Doris is starting to flower but is increasingly having to fight for space with other competing plants. It just shows that life and the world moves on – with or without you. On my god have I just quoted Bono and U2. I thought I was messed up but not that messed up. Recently my mind has been trying to take me back to time when the world was warm, safe and happy. Good memories but it’s no more – gone for good. Now I’m quoting a Shins song (but at least it’s not Bono).

    My mind is going back because it’s my partners birthday soon. It’s never an easy time. The pain doesn’t really ease over time. You get better at hiding it. A forced smile covers so many demons. The world is still very cold and very lonely without her. Heaven so far awaythat’s an Offspring song (certainly not Bono).

    To help with the pain we have tried to celebrate the day. Do something special. Make it a celebration daya Led Zeppelin song (on a different level to U2).

    Last year I saw the most wonderful birthday card which she would love. For a few brief seconds I was heading to the cashier before the reality check. She’s not here anymore. We did buy some flowers she would have loved and put them next to her ashes. Hopefully a kiss from a rosenow it’s a Seal song (better than U2)

    The year before we tried to release a balloon with her name on it. After several attempts it’s longest flight was about 10 yards – a flight to nowhere. Now I’m quoting a Tesla song (so much better than U2).

    So what to do this year. Still haven’t decided. Let’s see how we rolland we have an Alvin and the Chipmunks song (yes still better than U2).

    The irony is that my partner really liked U2. I’m in so much trouble – that’s a Whitesnake Classic.

    ****************************************

    Forgive my flippancy. Today was not a great day. A bit down. Eventually I bumped into someone who I hadn’t seen in a while. Although I wasn’t feeling great I still smiled when I said HI. The person responded by saying ‘so pleased to see you smiling it’s great that you are in a better place”. One smile hiding the truth. People who are suffering are still able to force a smile. They can do things like insert some random comments to entirely mask the real mood. Hide the pain.

    ****************************************

    We returned to Doris.

    https://bereavedsingledad.blog/2019/04/22/doris/

    Doris is starting to flower but is increasingly having to fight for space with other competing plants. It just shows that life and the world moves on – with or without you. Recently my mind has been trying to take me back to time when the world was warm, safe and happy. Good memories but it’s no more – gone for good.

    My mind is going back because it’s my partners birthday soon. It’s never an easy time. The pain doesn’t really ease over time. You get better at hiding it. A forced smile covers so many demons. The world is still very cold and very lonely without her. Heaven so far away.

    To help with the pain we have tried to celebrate the day. Do something special. Make it a celebration day.

    Last year I saw the most wonderful birthday card which she would love. For a few brief seconds I was heading to the cashier before the reality check. She’s not here anymore. We did buy some flowers she would have loved and put them next to her ashes. Hopefully a kiss from a rose.

    The year before we tried to release a balloon with her name on it. After several attempts it’s longest flight was about 10 yards – a flight to nowhere.

    So what to do this year. Still haven’t decided. Let’s see how we roll.

    Storm Bunker

    We had a large thunder storm pass over this afternoon. The cat was taking no chances. After the first bang he made his way to his storm bunker.

    Unbelievably the early morning cinema screening was very full. The cinema was mobbed. Not seen crowds like that since the ‘Everything for a Pound’ Store had a sale. It’s not a statistical significant sample population but from the early morning hordes I guess that The Avengers movie is going to pull in some astronomical numbers.

    And yes it is an astonishing movie.

    Yes the crowds unsettled our son but we took our customary place on the front row so no one could be in front of him or to the left of him. It’s so close to the big screen that I come away feeling like I’ve been chewing on magic mushrooms but it works for him.

    For 3 hours we both lost ourselves in the Marvel Universe. All our problems and anxieties forgotten. Heroic deeds fill your heart. With even a bit of free grief counselling thrown in by Captain America. But sadly it doesn’t last. You eventually find yourself back in the same place with the same issues.

    In fact it feels like we have regressed. Fifteen months ago we eventually secured some anxiety counselling for our son. I say ‘we’ as the fight to get some help started while my partner was still very much with us. It seemed to really benefit him. Progress was starting to be made. But now due to cutbacks that support has dried up. The anxieties are building and it feels like the system has cast him adrift again. We have been lucky really – far too many families get zero help – all they get is patronising comments from politicians who have no interest beyond their off shore bank accounts and rich friends.

    So as the thunder rumbles on we try to fight demons. Health anxieties, fear of death, school anxieties, friend anxieties, social anxieties, reading anxieties, fear of being left alone anxieties…..

    I’m no psychologist. I’m no health professional. I’m no education specialist. I’m not a grief counsellor. I’m just a parent trying to figure out this increasingly bizarre world with no one to help guide me. Doing the best I can. Deep down this scares me as what chance do I have when I can’t even come close to fixing myself. Queue worried face. 😱

    Pleased to report the immediate threat to life and property must have passed as the cat has made his way back to his favourite chair again. That’s one less worry to deal with.

    Why this path

    I was talking to a farmer today. He was saying that he desperately needed some rain for his crops. The ground is bone dry. Wow Yorkshire needing water, that must be a first.

    Its been one of those days. Dropping things. Losing things. Breaking things. Not being able to remember which things I’ve lost. Writing stupid things in comments that I shouldn’t have. Arriving in plenty of time for an appointment then spending ages trying to get parked and ending up late. Repeatedly tripping over the cat. Breaking the hoover – again. Burning the toast.

    So a walk was much needed.

    It’s really odd walking down this path. It’s a walk that just skirts farm land. We have much finer routes with better views. Basically it goes round in a big circle. Might be able to call it a crop circle – not sure why ET would travel all those light years to look at this bit of land unless he or she has a pressing need for sugar beet and has a rhubarb fetish.

    We would often come down this particular path before we had our son. We would talk about starting a family here. Planning for the future. Then with a baby and the pushchair we stopped venturing down this route. Then the world changed and I completely forgot about most things. Recently I’ve started venturing here again.

    Memories flood back. Sadness come in waves. I often feel lonely and isolated here. It doesn’t seem right walking here without her. And yet I still come. Why? I honestly don’t know. Maybe I’m waiting for something to happen here. Maybe its a link with the past. Maybe it’s because it is so rarely used by others. Maybe it’s because you get to walk near the farmers crops. Maybe it’s because you don’t get any mobile phone signal here. Maybe I’m trying to remember something important. Maybe it’s just a random thing. Just don’t know.

    Maybe I will never work out why I currently need to walk this path. One thing I do know for sure is that this is Yorkshire and this path will be very muddy soon…. Maybe that’s it. I like Mud. I did have a Mud cd. I can still remember the words to one of their singles. Thats an official test to see if you are ancient – can you still sing Tiger Feet. Please tell me I’m not the only one.

    Alpine sunset

    This photo was taken on the last night my partner had in her beloved Switzerland. During a stunning sunset. Watching the moon rise over the Alps was just the most wonderful experience.

    Little did we know that she would be gone 12 months later.

    This is a photograph I can look at and still smile. Other photos bring tears but not this one. Don’t know why. In fact the more I think about it this was probably the last Swiss Photograph. It really should bring tears. Strange.

    That night we racked our brains trying to work out ways of emigrating here to retire. Drawing up plans for spending all of our long life’s together. So many plans. In reality just pipe dreams with no chance of coming to fruition. The one thing we never factored in was an early death. You never do probably.

    A few days ago I walked behind an elderly couple who had been shopping. They walked slowly hand in hand. Behind them a broken man walked sobbing his eyes out. In our pipe dreams that was us in thirty years.

    I can’t tell how much that hurts.