Soldiering On

It’s been a strange start to 2012. I’ve been trying to keep busy so as to not dwell too much on losing Saffy; my best friend, soulmate, a source of hope and joy – so much more than just an amazing canine companion. But emotions always catch up with you and I’ve had plenty of wobbles, never more than a few days apart.

It’s strange the things that set you off in grief. Not just dreams, but songs too, sudden thoughts, memories that descend without warning. Catching yourself laughing and feeling guilty for it. Wondering if you’ll ever be that happy again. My mum burst into tears in Morrisons when she saw the pasta she used to cook for Saffy on offer. She’d reached down to grab them before remembering there was no longer any call to. A late middle-aged woman weeping as she holds a bag of pasta over her trolley. It would seem almost comical if this wasn’t the essence of the grieving process.

I had a clear out, which helps to clear the head after a bereavement. Inside a box I’d earmarked for the recycling bin I found a bunch of old photograps, mostly of my beautiful girl. I crumpled and broke my heart all over again.

Yesterday was the 20th. That marked one month since she died. She was no less dead the day previous or following, yet the anniversary made her loss weigh more heavily. Cue another bout of tears and despair.

My tastes continue to change the older I become. Having never much enjoyed the style of music before, I’ve lately become engrossed in Edward Woodward’s seemingly unlikely recording career and bought three vinyl albums for 99p from eBay. Admittedly I’m emotionally fragile at the moment, but his rendition of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face set me off again. It’s stunningly beautiful.

I suspect part of the issue is that there’s a confidence and often a certainty to rock or pop music. With both facets severely depleted within the book and volume of my brain, I’m perhaps not in the mood as I once was for anything upbeat, settling instead for aching songs about the passage of time and lost loves.

It’s not all misery. I’ve read a truly magnificent book called The Great Divide: History and Human Nature in the Old World and the New. Here’s my review:

I only give five stars to works I consider truly exemplary in their field, but Peter Watson’s latest book is magnificent, and a soothing tonic for my distracted globe to lose myself inside it.

I’m back at the theatre fairly regularly too for Entertainment Focus. I’ve had a few shows to ease in 2012 and a shed load coming up in the next few months; which is always welcome and exciting.

At some point in the next few months I’ll be touching base at my folks’ house in the north, and deciding what to do with Saffy’s ashes. I envisage tears will flow readily then too; but perhaps that will be the start of a catharsis of negative emotions? I hope so. Perhaps spring too will bring healing. There are a few signs of life in the garden already. I suspect they’re the first shoots of daffodils and tulips.