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So up until recently, my wife always regarded my blogging as a bit of a joke … no different to the rest of you then.
She never could understand why I did it – or more precisely – why I spent so much time on it, which is a fair point because I haven’t got the faintest idea why I do it either.
Anyway a few days ago, all that changed and now Jill actively encourages me to continue writing it and it’s all because of an old woman.
You see Jill was recently listening to a podcast and the topic of death came up.
Given I had just gone through my Dad’s anniversary, Jill thought it would be interesting to hear how other people had dealt with their experiences and so listened to an elderly woman talk about how she felt when her husband died.
Without going into all the details, she said there were 2 key emotions that a person experienced when a person they loved died and they were depression and grief.
The difference between the 2 was that depression was completely unrelenting and debilitating whereas grief allowed you to still continue some sort of relationship with the person you have lost and ultimately fades away over time.
And you know what, she finally made everything I had/have experienced make sense.
When my father first passed away, I felt I was in no mans land.
While I still functioned, everything felt dull and bland … I had no sparkle or energy and spent my days ‘pretending’ I was OK to basically make other people feel better.
No, that’s not right … I did it because it helped people feel less uncomfortable in my company.
I always thought I felt this way because I hadn’t really grieved for my Dad … instead I had locked all my pain and sadness away in an emotional box that I had hidden somewhere deep inside me … however after hearing what this lady said, I now knew the real reason why I have started to feel better about my life without Dad [well, not better, but not in as much pain] and that is basically because I have now actually started grieving.
You see, this woman believes that when you are depressed, you can’t see or talk about your loved one because it’s literally too painful, however when you are grieving, you can start including them in your life again.
Of course the sadness is still there, however it’s no longer totally debilitating and you can start remembering them in the good times.
In this ladies case, she was able to start re-reading the love letters her late husband had sent her and feel the love and closeness she once shared in the real World … whereas for me, I am now able to think and talk about my Dad in the good times, not just when he was ill and unable to talk or walk for his final few years.
This makes me very happy, because my Dad had so many wonderful traits [and a few pain-in-the-ass ones, ha] and I feel I’m beginning to see them again, whereas previously I was pre-occupied with his final days.
So what has this got to do with Jill wanting me to continue this blog?
Well basically, she likes the idea that when I’m gone, I will still be here.
Of course, that also indicates she thinks I’ll be dead before her, which is slightly concerning, but for her, this blog now represents who I am and what I have felt over a countless number of years so regardless what happens, she’ll always have a place where she can feel close to me and that gives her a great sense of comfort and calm.
I know … it’s kinda weird to think this blog could be anything that makes people feel good … but I must admit, when Jill told me this, it made me happy because amongst all the planning bollocks and Jillyism pisstaking, there are a few posts tucked away that are basically my version of love letters to her and I adore the fact that one day, when I am no longer here, she – and anyone else who happens to come across them – will know how much I love/d my darling wife.
Too often we talk about legacy in terms of what we have done to change the World – or our little part of the World – but we rarely think about it in terms of the feelings or messages we want to pass on to our loved ones, so whilst this blog is a far cry from Phil Toledano’s sensitively magnificent ‘Day’s With My Father’ or as genuinely brilliant as ex-W+K’er Rudy Adler recently launched ‘1000 Memories’, I love the idea my wife could go here or here or here or here or here and know she has always been my number one.
So I guess what this means is that this blog will remain open for the forseeable future.
Sorry. Blame Jill.
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