My friend Susi died in her 80's after a long and well lived life. I went to her funeral this morning with my Mum. I count myself lucky to have known her smile for the short ten or so years that I did. I didn't see much of her this grieving year of mine and that I regret. I will miss her.
You might know that I have no religious beliefs, but my friend Susi did. So I went along with her many friends and large family to say goodbye at her church. I found myself shedding a tear for Susi's granddaughters who wrote a poem to their Oma* and cried through it's reading and the shy one who sang a song, and after, hugging her twin sister Hanna. But not for that long life filled with love and well lived. This is how it should be; the correct order of things: the old die and the young grieve. At the end the vicar said something that struck a chord in my battered heart.
She said that you should never try to fill the hole left by someone who has died. You should leave that space inside you just for them. Trying to fill that void will make grieving harder.
And don't we know it; grieving is hard enough as it is.
I have always maintained that I won't follow any grieving schedule. Those who think I should be "over it by now" are simply wrong. My journey is mine. If in a month or five, ten, fifteen years time I find myself stepping into that gloomy place again I know there is light on the other side and avoiding it will only make it loom larger and darker another day. I have to feel what needs to be felt.
There is a George shaped hole. The edges aren't so sharp after a year but the hole is still there and always will be.
It is how it is.
I miss my boy.
And I'm stepping back into the light.
PS. Sling some baby making vibes our way wilya please?
*Grandmother in German. Susi and Hanna escaped from East Germany after ww2 and eventually found themselves in England, Susi married a Polish man and had three sons and many grandchildren. Susi was variously a bookkeeper, a masseuse and beauty therapist, an administrator, stay at home mother and a home wine-maker. She took to computers in her 70's and often called on me to help solve a pc problem or go swimming with her. She always had a smile and a giggle.