I had a really enjoyable evening last night. A thoughtful one too. When I got home from work I decided to change the bed linen. As I busied myself making the bed I could hear birdsong through the open windows. As our bedroom is on the second floor there is very little around to dampen the sounds around us. Even though we live quite close to a major hospital, to the motorway network and close to the city we rarely hear any traffic noise though as our area is very leafy with lots of large old established trees. Clearly these are home to many birds as the tweeting on times is very loud.
Jonathan has commented a few times on how he likes to lie on the bed and listen to the birds tweeting. Only last week we took a drive out and a long walk in the countryside and enjoyed the scenery, (and a dance on a picnic table but that's another story) we also enjoyed the background noises of a babbling brook and birdsong too.
Whilst I was making up the bed last night I thought it may be nice to go for a walk with Jonathan. He's had a busy few weeks at work and I was feeling more than a little lethargic so I thought a walk might just blow the cobwebs away. It was lovely, we drove out to a country park and walked alongside the lake for well over an hour, chatting and enjoying the scenery and birdsong. There were a few things we needed to chat about, and it was nice to be able to relax and chat and walk. I guess we do that a lot, chatting.
After that we headed home via the supermarket and had a nice dinner together. We then sat out on the patio enjoying the mild evening. Last night it was very still too, with no breeze at all. We spoke again about many things and, reflecting on our walks I recalled how irritated I used to be by the birds tweeting.
After Stephen died I obviously felt very sad. I can see there were clearly three months which were very dark and dismal. I would spend hours sat alone in silence in my sitting room. No TV, no music, no conversation with anyone brave enough to phone or call in but, the one thing I couldn't control was the birds.
I was often irritated and angered by the birds tweeting. The incessant noise which I could neither stop or control the volume of. In my almost sterile environment I could be in control of everything, lighting, heat, smells and sounds etc but the one thing I couldn't control were the birds that used to chirp and sing.
Their chirping and singing seemed like the ultimate insult to me. Why were they so happy, didn't they know how sad I was feeling? Don't they know I need quiet time? It's odd though looking back and it's nice to feel that I've got past that time.
As the anniversary of Stephens death is looming in the not too distant future I am feeling that people are paying me more attention, that they are looking at me and analysing. Have I said that because of "the anniversary" is that the reason I have done that or said that? People give me that 'Oh so knowing' look, a raised eyebrow and a nod of the head. I am sure that's them trying to indicate they know or understand what I am thinking. In reality they don't.
I don't want or like my emotions or thoughts now being attributed to Stephen. Yes I think about him and talk about him often but he is part of my life not the entirety of my life. In the same way that my interactions with my parents, my family, my friends and of course Jonathan shape my mood and emotions now then Steve is a part of that influential jigsaw but not all of it.
When I look back over the last 12 months I feel proud of how far I have travelled on my journey with grief. Yes, I had three dark months but after that I managed to make progress for six months and completely changed my outlook on life and love before meeting Jonathan. Since meeting Jonathan I can honestly say I have been reminded what it is like to be happy and it is nice to hear that I make him happy too.
I won't say that I am over Stephen now, I am told I may never get over the loss but I have learned to live with it and accept it and I am looking forward to the future with hope and happiness. These are the days I had hoped for when I was in those dark and dismal days.
I look at the imminent anniversary not as an opportunity to be sad and to re-live those deep feelings of grief and loss but as an opportunity to reflect. To reflect on how lucky I was to have had a Husband like Steve, how blessed I have been to have supportive friends and family around me and how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to love again and to feel loved again.
It's certainly been an eventful year. I have learned lots about others and about myself and I feel ready to face whatever the next year throws at me. I can already see some challenges on the horizon but, far from being fearful of those I am looking forward to embracing them and moving forward. Who knows what the next 12 months will bring? Nobody does but, one thing is sure though, whatever they bring I will learn and grow from those experiences.
Have a lovely evening, I hope to as I can already hear those birds tweeting and I'm enjoying it.
xx Mark xx
Sent from my iPad