Monday, March 24, 2014

Good morning

Monday 24th of March

When you are having a good morning, it is pretty clear, you are having a good morning. Things work out nicely, or things kind of go the way they always go but because you are having a good morning it seems like they work out nicely. 

You know what I’m talking about, right? When you wake up you are either warm and cosy and happy with that, or you burst out of bed and get right into it, and you are happy with that. Sometimes you are on time, cruising along and at ease, other times you are late and languishing and at ease. Maybe it is a bustle, a rush, a flurry of activity and that is helping to form a part of your hyped up, pumped good morning. 

Good mornings only really need to have one thing in common, that you feel good about them. 

When I was driving back from the bakery slash coffee spot this morning with a warm drink and two soon to be hot crossed buns I realised that, yes indeed I was having a good morning. This realisation had been bubbling away in me from when I woke up, things were sometimes cosy, sometimes bustling and both seemed to fit in just fine. It was all feeling pretty good. 

Then as I turned from the quiet neighbourhood back streets that I had been enjoying onto the larger main arterial road it all ticked over from pretty good to just strait up good. In accordance to the shift I was about to make in traffic flow, I made a shift in music choice. Back from song 12 to song 7, the heart pumping, beat thumping, steering wheel taping one. Laced with memories of adventure and glowing interpersonal connection. Song 7, whoot. Steering wheel thumb tap tap.

As I approached the intersection that would feed me onto the large main road the traffic in front of me slowed into submission at the behest of a business like red light. I was planning on turning left in the convenient left turning lane and heading on my way unobstructed by the traffic lights, sweet! Wheel tap, wheel tap, foot tap. There was however, a problem. Three cars and a small truck were pulling up to stop in the left hand lane, blocking my turning lane, they were going to wait there for the light to change and then head straight forward on their way through life, and the intersection. Foot tap.

This was not going to be cool for me because song 7 is not a song to sit still to, parked impotent with a full sized car and a half car gap in front. I should have stayed with song 12, nothing wrong with chilling out to song 12 while waiting for three cars and a small truck to pull forward 2 meters so I can flow into the left turning lane and on my way. Wheel brush, light window sill tap. I really did think I was having a good morning, the kind of morning where a slight delay in driving progress just adds to the enjoyable time cruising behind the wheel, yeah. Sill tap, face itch. 

Oh. Oh well. 

Rapidly recalibrating my expectations I clicked on the left turning indicator and did my best impression of a guy steadily slowing to a song 12 stop. 

Song 7 kicked up a gear and refused to join me. 

The driver of the car directly in front of me may have been having a good morning too, I suspect I’ll never know. None the less, good mornings will have their way. With a slight shift forward and a generous adjustment to the right the car repositioned and a good morning making gap appeared in my life. I rolled gratefully through the gap and into the turning left lane, and with an intensity 8 out of 10 ‘thumbs up’ out the window. I blasted onto the main road and deep into a good morning. 

Song 7 pumped, my steering wheel received the rhythmic tapping of a life time and I rolled on home. Sometimes if you let them, good mornings just make themselves known. 

Hey, good morning you lot. Desk tap tap. 


Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Day 0
Monday 4th of March

I was surprised at how strong my emotional reaction was this morning. In my mind I was prepared for Stacy to pass. I knew that it would be different to anything I could predict, however I have been thinking about today for years and I thought that would partially prepare me. Wrong. 

I experienced the full physical reaction that was beyond my control. It wasn’t immediate, however when I held Stacy something came pouring out with a force that took me by surprise. It was grief, pain, shock and loneliness.

It came in waves for the next couple of hours, when I was pressed closely to Stacy, when I was in the other end of the house, it came and went and surged and ebbed. It was unique to my experience so far. There was a flavour of the feeling that I used to get on a day that Stacy left to go back overseas during the first few years. 

After dropping her off at an airport and returning home to my bed the emptiness inside me would curl my body inward like light around a black hole. Like a leaf drying in the sun, the edges curling in towards the pit in the middle.  The vacancy, the cavity yearning to be filled. 

I saw the sky as the sun rose, it was a beautiful morning. I experienced some memories of Stacy that I hadn’t for years (That strange straight arm on the spot run she would sometimes do).  I was so grateful that the good memories came to me, I didn’t try, they came. She was always so wonderful to be with. I missed her and I smiled.  

That hole of loneliness was familiar, I had been there before, however today there were other things. The shock of change, a change that I still have only a weak understanding of. 

The pain of all her suffering that I witnessed from the closest of observation points. I witnessed it all and had to block much off. I couldn’t feel all of Stacy’s pain because I couldn’t afford to stop. She needed me to be able to do. At a moments notice, for an entire day. At any time of day and night, despite any other potential distraction, I had to be ready to do. I couldn’t afford to feel it all with her because mine was a task of activity, relentless activity with no control of the beginning or end. Feeling it all with her would have been paralysing. This morning I think I began to feel some of it again. 

The long wait for Debi to arrive was the hardest part of today. Stacy passed at 4:20am, Debi arrived at 3pm. For 11 hours we waited. There were some things to be done, but there was too much that had to hold until Debi arrived, she had to know next. 

Dave and I were standing on the shore of a disaster with a tsunami surging towards us. All we could do was brace for the impact. Once the wave crashed there would be more to do than we could handle, until then it was still and brutal. 

Stacy was so beautiful. Hauntingly still and bright, like a marble statue. Glorious to look at and magnificent to touch. Quiet and familiar, she looked like at any moment she would wake up and ask me to help with something. I found it hard to leave the room because for the last few months we have been in eye contact for 95% of the day. I didn’t want to be away from her, I knew she didn’t need me anymore, but I think I still needed her. I still do. 

It became easier for me as the day went on and we shared the news with Stacy’s world, Debi first and then out across the global community that Stacy has forged with her light. Caring for others is now my comfortable place to be. The thoughts, fears, pain and behaviour of other people is much easier for me to deal with than my own. Through the afternoon and evening I gratefully welcomed the disaster in everyone else’s lives as a mask for the disaster in my own. 

Stacy left the house at 7pm. I didn’t watch the men from the funeral directors move Stacy onto the trolley, nobody touched Stacy. I am the one who helps her, I wasn’t comfortable watching others do it. I haven’t shied away from any aspect of Stacy’s struggle as I have been fully involved with every movement and decision. To not be included was harder than all the exhaustion, frustration and physical and mental pain of the last 3 years. 

She left and I slept. Alone and very poorly. The empty pit returned, I curled around it.

Day 365
Tuesday 4th of March

It was much clearer how to feel a year ago. Significantly more uncomfortable, more distressing and maybe even more confusing, however it was very obvious that was the way to feel. That was the day to be inundated by feelings like that, no question, indulge, submerge, bask in the vast influence of disaster. 

Today I have significantly less clarity in my feelings. There is not so much disaster basking going on, I’m not overwhelmed by the all powerful rush of emotions. It's hard to bask in disaster when much that I experience is good, fun and happy. Perhaps I'm just executing a classic behaviour and looking back at a day in the past with all the clarity of time piled on top of it. Memory is not capable of recording all the doings of a day twelve months gone, so intellect takes over and says things like ‘oh yeah, it was was much clearer how to feel a year ago.’ Good one intellect. 

Today I share in a range of feelings. A nice human range of feelings and i’m glad for the fact. Tomorrow I suspect i’ll try it again. To all of you who read this and also experience a range of feelings today, i’m with you and thanks for sharing it with me. 

I burnt a candle last night. I don’t really know what it meant however it was good to have, thanks for the wisdom Mum.

Lots of love to you out there,