image via pinterest
Grief is a funny old business. It's a little over a week since I lost my beloved dad, expectedly but suddenly, and when people ask me how I am, I genuinely reply "I'm ok". I am ok and what's more I feel it's going to be ok. My reaction is taking me a bit by surprise if I'm honest and I'm wondering where the black clouds of grief are and when and whether they will descend.
There have been tears of course, and not just from the shock of finding Dad that day and realising he had gone, but they seem to come when I least expect them.
Chris Evans played "Nelly the Elephant" on the radio the other morning while we were all still trying to take in news of a certain Mr Trump's election win, my eyes welled up and I had to switch it over; when I watched the John Lewis Christmas advert for the first time, no matter how funny Buster the Boxer is on that trampoline, the Vault's cover of Randy Crawford's "One Day I'll Fly Away" just knocks it on the head for me - and not because Crawford is my maiden name; and when a trailer came on the TV for The Barbarians vs South Africa, I had to flick the channel. I don't think I'm going to be able to watch rugby for quite a while.
Those things, as random as they may seem, all trigger off my emotions, reminding me of my rugby loving dad, happy childhood memories of music my parents listened too and funny songs that I would dance around the living room too. Yet give me a list of people to pass on the sad news to, an appointment with a solicitor or an undertaker for that matter and I am composed, calm and collected.
But then this is how my Dad was too. Always pragmatic. How else could he have stood in a churchful of people and deliver such a beautiful tribute to Mummy? On my very last lovely day with him a song came on the radio and he said "Jo, just switch it off!". Normally he would distract himself from the pain, but that day he let the tears flow and said "I just miss her so very much". Dad was lost without Mummy, they were meant to be together and now they are. I take huge comfort from this; that now everything is as it should be.
So it's not that I am being cold and heartless, it's just how it is and there is no wrong way to grieve. As my lovely reflexologist said to me yesterday, this knowledge is giving you the strength to get through these crazy weeks and events that lie ahead, like Christmas.
I dreaded my first Christmas without Mummy, I just didn't want to know. All of it, everything to do with Christmas looked and felt so futile in comparison to the pain I was feeling. This Christmas is just around the corner and I don't seem to have that same feeling or trepidation. I feel quite content that it will be just the four of us - and Sammy of course - enjoying just being us, doing what we want, seeing who we want and eating what we want. Which leads me on very nicely to Christmas lunch.
Years and years ago I went all out making the cake, the pudding, tszujing up the vegetables in some glaze or other but, quite frankly, life's too short and thanks to Cook being stocked recently in my local Co-op, I know exactly what I am going to do! If you've not heard of them or tried them before then go on to their website now! Home cooked frozen meals that are just utterly delicious. I tried their mushroom risotto a couple of weeks ago and we've definitely become partial to their individual salted caramel cheesecakes in our house. From meals for one to food for a crowd they've got it all covered and in a range of cuisines too. Pricewise they come in similar to M&S or Waitrose. So with the promise of "no late-night peeling or early-morning chopping" I'll be placing my Christmas lunch order with them very soon!
Talking of all things Christmassy and sparkly, has anyone else developed an obsession for glittery ankle socks? Now come the autumn/winter months I've always been in the "bare ankles until I can bear it" camp only reverting to socks with long trousers or boots, however, lately on IG I've spotted less bare ankle, more covered ankle.... in fishnet, patterns and sparkle! Socks that are meant to be seen whether you are wearing loafers, heels, sliders or sneakers.
Hmmm...maybe a little too fashionista for me, but ankle socks and sneakers, that I can get on board with. I have a drawful of those pesky below-the-ankle socks that never come out of the washing machine with their mate, and adding a little sparkle in the form of a sock just sounds so much more appealing. So far I've only purchased a couple of pairs of black sparkly ankle socks, but already I'm feeling the need for some in silver grey and maybe even white? Of course style is still winning over comfort as apparently its the thinner the better, so I'll still be relying on my White Company cashmere socks for keeping my toes warm, when a certain pupster hasn't got his paws on them that is. But that's a whole other story!