Friday, September 18, 2015

Reasons to be Cheerful

It's time to stop being a maunjy-face. Not that I'm depressed ( I have never been and never will be thank God), but I've been a miserable SOB since I got back from England and then lost Eric. I read last night's blog post and thought "there's no way that was even from me"!
No doubt about it I'm still grieving, still unbearably sad, but I'm going to post some more up-beat stuff for myself, my family and for my future self reading, shaking her head about what a miserable git I've been!

So here's 10 Reasons to be cheerful right now:

1. Me, Craig and the boys are all okay. My mum, my family in England are too. After Eric went so suddenly I've been a little paranoid & scared about health issues.

2. Leanne passed her Level 3 hairdressing and is coming next summer. I miss her. She's a lovely girl and, well just nice all round. Her boyfriend Dean is too. I can't wait to do road trips with them.

3. Erika. Since I got back from England she's been my rock. The word "rock" sounds cheesy but actually that's what she's been.

4. My ex-pat friends, Maureen & Lynn, have been my day-to-day buddies. We've all been there for each other recently.

5. Dennis has booked his flights to spend Christmas with us. I will either laugh or drink myself to death. Maybe both. I LOVE this man.

6. My boys crack me up. Still young enough to love their Mum & be sweet, though Jack's on the verge of tween hood.

Getting the "MVP" treatment at the salon
7. We got to spend time with Dave last night. He's the polar opposite from me in personality so I worry that I'll scare him off. But for right now, I'm just glad I got to spend time with him.

8. I get to go back to England in November. I'm going to a conference for 5 days but I'll get to see my family too.

9. The Renaissance Festival was amazing and very funny. Even in my sour mood I laughed just about all day.

10.  We are talking about Craig and the boys joining me when I go back to England for work in spring 2016

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Lost my Mojo

I was thinking today that my blog has got quite maudlin since Eric died. I thought it was time to get things HAPPY. No one wants to be sad do they?
I've been doing things like soccer, Renaissance Festival, walking with friends, drinking with friends, work (obviously), Scouts, PTA. But my humour has gone.
Where has my humour gone? My belly laughs? My roar?
It's gone with Eric. Hopefully not permanently. But it's gone for right now.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I'm Lucky

I tell you what, I'm lucky.

Since I got back from England, feeling so homesick and then losing Eric, I've had so many friends reach out publicly and privately to send their love. I'm still getting messages from friends just about every day. It makes me feel so loved and also so humble and undeserving. It's got so bad I feel bad, if that makes sense. We British do not do well with compliments. Would rather just plough on.

Life without Eric is a bit duller of course as it always will be. I still get moments where I forget, and then I remember, and I get a punch to the belly and sometimes double over with it.  Not in a "oh look at me, I'm traumatised" way,  just quietly because it feels like someone just gave me a light blow to the stomach.  I thought the pain would be in my heart, but it's in my stomach.

Thankfully I have friends here and my PTA ladies & Erika and Craig and the boys. And in England my family & friends too.

That's why I feel so lucky. I hope Eric's other friends and family have this support too.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Being a Good Friend (not a blurter)

I have a tendency to talk too much, especially when I'm nervous. I can be a bit of a blurter too if I'm not careful. And I'm type A too, so a bit of a handful. Since Eric was type A we fit together well.

Eric's partner Dave is like Craig, fairly quiet and private and definitely not type A, so I've been mulling over and soul searching about how I can be a good friend to him now that Eric's gone. He probably won't want to partake in my 3am Elton John shenanigans, put it that way. I'm crap at cooking so food probably isn't the answer. I know he likes classic cars but I could write down on a match box what I know about that. Most importantly, I don't want to be too pushy and push him away from me. I also don't want to dwell on sadness, but make new memories with him.

As I was rolling all this around in my head this week I got a text message from my friend Rachel who shared this article with me. It's like she read me mind! This is just what I needed. It will guide me as I move forward with those who are in the smaller circle: namely Dave, Eric's mum and siblings. It is such a great article I think everyone should read it.

"How not to say the wrong thing" by Susan Silk & Barry Goldman, LA Times.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Missing Eric

I know that it's been a week since Eric died and there's big news of Syrian refugees and other world news, but my heart & my thoughts are still with him.  And I'm still randomly crying.

On Thursday night last week, our friends Char & Jan from California flew in (who have been friends with Eric for 30 years and who introduced us) and stayed with us. On Friday night we all went to a gathering at Eric & Dave's house with his mum, his sibling & friends. His mum, sisters and brother are such lovely people. The evening was lovely yet awful. I will post about this later, can't do it now.

Eric's funeral on Saturday was such a loving event. About 200 family and friends were there and they had also sent flowers, so the funeral home was packed with messages from people who loved him.  I can't write about it yet but I might later. After the official ceremony people stood and told funny stories which also included me and him, but I can't do that either.

Well it's pretty obvious that I can't write about things quite yet, but  I will.

This morning, after Craig had gone to work at 7am I had a very vivid dream of Eric then woke with a start. I sat up, heart beating hard, and remembered that we texted each other while I was in England. I jumped up and got my phone and lay in bed and read our texts and his last one to me on August 14th said "XXOO to all".   I cried so hard,  good grief I miss him.

Lastly my friend posted her summer 1-second-a-day video that includes a couple of clips of Eric & I. It hurts to watch it, but it's also so good to see him.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Losing Eric

My friend Eric died on Tuesday at 1.30pm. He collapsed at work (aneurysm maybe) and died instantly. His friend Donny found him in his office and he told me that he tried CPR but it was too late. I can't imagine how Donny's coping.

Eric was only 51 and had the heart and soul of a very young man. He loved life, laughed all the time and loved to be around people. I'm so lucky to have known him for 15 years and to have spent the last 10 living around the corner from him. It meant that we could hang out a lot. This usually involved drinking of course, which usually led to dancing in my front room at 3am to Elton John, or jumping on the trampoline, or some other such nonsense. We were totally bad for each other but loved each other immensely.  One of my favourite things we did each year was to spend Christmas Eve together. His partner Dave would spend that night with his family in Kentucky so Eric would come here and celebrate with us and watch the Santa tracker with the boys. He loved the boys and showered them with gifts. Christmas Eve this year will be rough to say the least.

I have so many memories of him tied into my house. He celebrated citizenship with us, he had pictures made of the boys that hang on my walls, he gave me interior design advice, and he loved playing with Ben and the cats.  He especially loved my new porch and we spent hours on there this year, him puffing away on his Marlboro and drinking Makers Mark, while I drank wine and belly laughed into the night.

He also loved all my friends, and they him, so there's a wide wide circle of people who were devastated by his loss. Of course his partner Dave is barely coping right now. I'm very lucky that many of our friends have gathered around to comfort each other. Jan and Char have flown in from California, Richard & Stephen from Arizona. I've already spent time with Debbie & Lyn and Donny and Dave. Having us all together has been a huge blessing.

For my part I spent Tuesday night and all day yesterday in tears. I couldn't face work and just couldn't stop crying all damn day. It is so unfair that this man, this absolute rock star of a human being, should have left this earth. RIP my friend. This world is a little less bright & fun.

Dave, Eric, me & Craig