Half past three at night, soon the birds will begin their first drowsy chirping. Two lots of paracetamol, half a sleeping pill and two powerful tranquillisers later I am still wide awake. Peaceful, calm, but awake.
It’s been a busy day, even hectic and in parts quite stimulating. Old gardener and Kelly the cleaner came in the morning, and for me there was a visit to the surgery for a routine blood test while t hey were putting house and garden in order, (yes, I am still a lady of leisure - properly now, for the first time in my life am I in sole charge of all assets, such as they are, ) then a quick lunch at home and a very perfunctory Millie walk, then off to an invitation to afternoon tea. The proper sort. It started wth a large glass of bubbly, followed by plates of dainty sandwiches, scones with butter, cream and jam, fruitcake and a sponge. The tea appeared to be an afterthought. The old fashioned kind of afternoon tea, with proper china and napkins.
An ancient couple, fellow guests, made decent inroads into the victuals and did the reminiscing that oldies go in for, often because they can’t remember how many times they have repeated the same story and also, because of poor hearing they tend to not hear the answers and just rabbit on.
My host and hostess were not exactly close friends but regular dog walkers and pleasantly chatty acquaintances. We have been to meals to them before, lunches and dinners, First solo invitation, well meant and very kind.
Still, so now what? Wherever I go I go alone.
The evening was taken up with a meeting of the poetry group, the first since the 21st March, (Beloved died on the 26th, Mothering Sunday). The next meeting would have been on the evening of the funeral so we gave that a miss.
By the way, he had a wonderful send-off, with music, even a recording of Walton’s viola solo played by Beloved, quite beautifully, an excerpt from a full performance, directed by Walton himself. There were poems read by professional actors and various speeches, which all concerned themselves exclusively with Beloved and his many achievements. Even I didn’t know half the famous people with whom and for whom he had played. Ever modest, never putting himself forward, my beloved.
Again, so now what? I am almost through with the paperwork, officialdom has been fed with endless forms and certification and statements and a "o woe is you if you are telling fibs’ has been understood and taken to heart. (I have to be extra careful, I’ll probably be deported in 2019 when Brexit does its foul deed. The only good thing about it is that the leavers will probably be suffering the most, they being mostly the uneducated and most dependent on State benefits, of which there’ll be a scarcity.
How to carry on? On my own? I am capable, practical and resourceful, I have few immediate money worries and am intelligent enough to find my way through official mazes. BUT I am TRULY ALONE. I literally have no help, not from family, not from friends. They say they will help and always there’s the “Tell us what we can do” or “You know where we are" was a favourite. Would they have had a heart attack if I really had approached them? Just a few people knew what to to do. They asked me to pop in for potluck and let me talk about Beloved and themselves said kind things about him. Which made me feel warm and mushy inside.
Would blogging help? Perhaps a diary style blogging, much the same as I did before Beloved’s death? I don’t know, I might try. Not necessarily to garner lots of replies and comments, ( that requires a commitment on my part which I find hard to dredge up right now ) more an outpouring of thoughts and feelings. You all tell me that I write honestly, straight from the heart, without tidying things up and without prettifying things. I couldn’t possibly do less at the moment, I simply don’t have it in me to spout platitudes. So whatever comes up is probably not pretty. You have been warned. Stay away if you need the ‘bright side of life’.
Ah yes, the eternal question “How Are You? Lovely to see you, how are you doing?” What should the answer be? The questioners look so earnest, so concerned, but at the same time willing me to tell them that I am fine, which makes it hard to look them in the eye. Don’t ask it, just don’t. How do you imagine I feel? If you’ve experienced the death of someone close to you you know anyway, If you are after a simply and untrue “very well thank you; getting there” get lost, don’t bother.And you, you people crossing the road when you see me coming, don’t be so stupid. If you have nothing to say, a common or garden ‘good morning`’ will do and a sentence about the weather when you really find noting comforting within you. A short hug works wonders too. But don’t ignore me, I don’t carry the bubonic plague and death is not contagious.