Getting on with it.

IMG_0242 The kalanchoe

We are often told that getting over bereavement one has to try and refrain from sitting down and instead keep on moving about. Generally that is good advice even without being struck with bereavement. Of course, our houses have furniture, especially chairs, stools, and for the horizontal position lovers, beds. They are all instrumental in beckoning us to sit or lie down.

In my case of coping with a loss of my friend and partner, lots of friends have given advise on how to move forward and warned me of the dangers on sitting down. I like sitting down, and hardly ever get bored while seated. In fact, moving about I often felt an ennui creeping in more than when seated. The reason might well be that when seated one does not get distracted by moving pictorial images passing by while ‘on the move.’

In any case I thought of combining both the sitting down and the moving about way of overcoming a mind numbing grief. It is still so recent. I have applied to do some courses in U3A. Here it give a summary;

“The University of the Third Age is an international movement whose aims are the education and stimulation of mainly retired members of the community—those in their third ‘age’ of life. It is commonly referred to as U3A. There is no universally accepted model for the U3A. Wikipedia

Founded: 1973″
I have applied in doing 4 courses. Here they are.
1. Creative writing.
2. Thinking sociologically.
3. News in Review.
4. Global economy.
Already last year on the advice of Helvi, I managed to do a course in Dutch language also run by U3A. Unfortunately the person who ran the Dutch course passed away. Of course this 3 age includes the undeniable fact that with ageing one also approaches the finality of life much surer than when starting going to kindergarten.
I also have now decided, in the spirit of ‘keep on moving,’ to have a daily coffee at the local Bradman Cricket park café. It includes a good walk and with Milo in tow I hope to attract people. Even though Milo is the main attraction. An opportunity might present itself to engage in conversation with the friendly dog patters.
This morning’s coffee, a couple with a dog  were seated at a table outside in the sun. The dog had a plastic device around its head and must have had an operation in which it had to prevent gnawing the part of its body it was operated on. Poor dog.
Another woman was doing a cross-word puzzle but without a dog in tow.
This afternoon at 1pm I am going next door across the fence for a barbeque and a bottle of wine is being chilled in the fridge.
I am getting on with it.

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28 Responses to “Getting on with it.”

  1. freefall852 Says:

    Gerard…as one who has suffered the life-long delibating condition of “Lateral Spine”, where the only known “cure” is to take a generous fluid grammage of vino and a good lie down….I fully sympathise with your methodology of grief management…and tonight , I too hope to join in pagan celebrate of the “just enough burning of the flesh” of a nice porterhouse whilst partaking of the “altar-wine” of truth and concilliation…and while I have never met the good Helvi, I cannot help but feel she would heartly approve of such paganism for the good of the soul…bon appertit!

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      It is true that life goes on and at one stage for those with partners one will go before the other. At no stage did I ever think it would be so heart-wrenching. The wine is still sour and the steak too sinewy. The conversation haltingly as there is no response from her who used to be so close. It will get better, or so they say.
      Sundays are harder than usual and today also the birthday of our late son who passed away a few years ago in Koh Samui.

      Liked by 2 people

      • auntyuta Says:

        Gerard. I just noticed that your son’s birthday would have been right in between our two daughters birthday: Monika turned 61 on the 5th and Caroline turned 41 on the 9th of December. This year the whole family met on Saturday the 7th for Dinner at an Italian Restaurant in Wollongong to celebrate Monika’s and Caroline’s Birthday!
        Caroline and Matthew moved recently from their Studio Apartment to a somewhat larger apartment in Marrickville from where they have a terrific view to the city. Peter and I think we might be able to stay at their place for New Year’s Eve! We’ll see. The big smoke is a bit of a worry . . .
        Gerard, if the smoke is not too bad, do you think there may be a chance to meet you somewhere in Sydney towards the end of the year? We’d very much like to catch up with you for a bit! 🙂

        Like

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Meeting up in Sydney would be more difficult than somewhere near your place at Dapto, Uta. I went to Sydney a few weeks ago by train and it took more than 2 hours. It is almost quicker walking.
        Dapto down is only one hour. I will let you know. Thank you so much for willing to meet up again. It would be nice.

        Like

      • auntyuta Says:

        It wold be nice, Gerard, if you could come down to Dapto to meet us! 🙂

        Like

  2. Yvonne Says:

    Just keep on being true to yourself, Gerard. You will get through this, but it can never be the same again. I’m glad you have the lovely Milo.

    We just started a U3A here about 18 months ago. It is going very well, there was an obvious need in the community. I am the treasurer (that was a big learning curve!) and there seems to be no one who wants to take over this exciting job. I wonder why?

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, The U3A seems to be well attended but I wonder too who volunteers to do the administration of it all. Good for you to be the treasurer. I look forward to starting soon. I am sure that there are many who have been widowed and who get on with their lives.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Keep on keeping on, Gerard. It is, as you wrote, mind numbing to lose a spouse. It stays on the mind night and day until it seems you are engulfed in grief. It is surely a slow process and it is good to know that you are trying very hard. The thing that strikes me about grief is that is it everywhere and the folks that we see in the stores, banks, cafes, and the streets are also dealing with grief. We just don’t know who the people are unless by chance an idle mention is made or a conversation is begun. I wish you well with the new endeavor of creative writing. I don’t see how you can improve much since you have been at it for some time and do a splendid job of entertaining with your unique style of combining words and observations.

    Liked by 6 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Ivonne. You are right on it. Grief (and joy) surrounds us everywhere. The organiser of my bowling club lost her husband some years ago. She lives by herself but with her 6 children and countless grandchildren remains busy and is at 85 still going about.

      I hope I will keep on writing, shopping, walking with Milo and remain disciplined enough. (wash the dishes, make the bed, do the laundry and keep busy..).But, the all pervasive thought of Helvi not being here still overwhelms and waves over everything, drowning me. I then escape and walk with Milo or buy the newspaper.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Master of Something Yet Says:

    Gerard, today I found myself catching up on some blogs I have neglected in the busyness of life and have only just learned that you lost your dear Helvi more than a month ago. I am so sorry. You wrote about her with such love, joy, pride and humour. Thank you for sharing her with us.
    It always feels, after a significant loss, that the world should stop and pause while we deal with the grief but alas, it does not and yes, we must just try to keep moving as best we can. Light and strength to you, Gerard, in your journey.

    Liked by 4 people

    • doesitevenmatter3 Says:

      Thank you for what you said in comment. It helped me, too.
      You’ve expressed it so well. I felt that way after great personal losses of loved ones. I wanted the world to stop for awhile and acknowledge the great loss of the person I cared about. And the world went back to life, so quickly, as if my life hadn’t changed.
      (((HUGS))) to you! 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, Most of us would have dealt with grief and it is so part of life. It helps so much to share it with others. The world does never stop and yet, we feel it should know about my sadness. It is a form of selfishness born out of a loss.

        Liked by 3 people

      • doesitevenmatter3 Says:

        When my Dad died, my Mom said she appreciated those people who checked in on her frequently, to see how she was doing…weeks and months after he died. And she appreciated those people who felt comfortable enough to let her talk about him and share happy memories of him. 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you so much. It reassures me that so many of you are being so positive about it all, and about the issue of a partner passing away.
      I knew it was happening but it still surprised me it went so fast. If only…? Keeps nagging the heartstrings.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Just take each day, one day at a time, Gerard. You are already doing some great things!
    Everyone grieves differently, and in different time frames. And that’s okay. Do it your way.
    I think a balance between sitting down and moving is good. Too much sitting down isn’t good. But too much moving can be not-good, too. 🙂 You will find your balance.
    Yes, Milo, will help you meet new friends! Cooper has helped me meet MANY people! 🙂
    The courses you are taking are GREAT! Personally, I think you could teach the class on Creative Writing!
    (((HUGS)))

    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Through the last few years we both did grieve. We lost first our adult and lovely daughter, the mother of one of our grandsons, and two years later our adult son in Thailand. Both were in their forties. That was very hard, but we overcame together and the happy memories and our love were what pulled us through.

      The sun did shine again and the wind and rain continued as it always did. This time, I am sure I will find the sustenance from all that life can offer. It might take some time but it is best to just let it flow.

      ‘Accept the things we cannot change.’

      Liked by 3 people

      • doesitevenmatter3 Says:

        Your heart is lovely and your attitude inspirational, Gerard. Yes, let it flow.

        My parents had two children who died in adulthood (one to cancer and one to asthma and lung issues). 😦 They said those were the most difficult losses. 😦

        I’m so sorry you and Helvi had that happen in your lives. 😦

        (((HUGS)))

        Liked by 1 person

  6. jennypellett Says:

    Dear Gerard, you are an inspiration. Bless you xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  7. lifecameos Says:

    Each bereaved person is the best judge of what will help them best. Just do what you can when you can.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. leggypeggy Says:

    I’m glad you are finding things to do. They won’t diminish the grief, but they will give you other things to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. freefall852 Says:

    Down the aisle..
    Your shopping correspondent.
    School holidays and the central market is chockers with parents and their kids..sometimes with other parents kids too!..One lady had quite a cluster swarming about her ..
    “You got the whole class today?” I asked, to which she agreed and replied ;”Almost!”
    Trouble is, they form a kind of grommet bottleneck at all the free-sample stalls…especially the Smelly Cheese places…their hesitant nibbling on a delightful washed rind or Italian hard-cheese occupying so much time that one is tempted to want to abandon the experience altogether….if it wasn’t a free sample..
    One trick I do use to get a place in a crowded situation, now that I have age on my side..is to say loud enough in a plaintive kind of weak-wail..: “Is there any room for a retired old fellow?”..and hey..you should see them scatter on a good day!..and of course, the aged fart is always a solid fall-back position…clears a space no worries..
    Zuma’s Café, of course, was the usual crowded place, where one has to reluctantly trip up a fellow pensioner and send them sprawling then walking over the top of them to get to secure a table first…You gotta be cruel to be kind to yourself in those crowded cafes..
    And there I was re-packing the trolley outside Goodies and Grains, there by the pensioner’s seat when this six or seven year old with those shoes with the secreted wheels on the bottom came scooting past so fast as to nearly sweep me around in a spinning circle…
    “Watch out old timer!” he called…the bloody cheek!..old timer indeed!…I tell you what, some of these young-uns…you just got to get one look at ‘em and you know it’s not gonna end well.
    Now, just when I’m getting used to those stressed jeans that the young people wear, with the knees ripped and so on..I saw yesterday where they now are wearing those black tights and they are stressing them too..like horizontal runs in the fabric…I dunno..the only way we could rip our jeans back in the old days was by falling off our motorbikes…I suppose you’d call that ; “doing it the hard way”.
    And those puffy jackets that seem to be all the rage now..getting around like the top half of the Michelin man doesn’t appeal to me..but I gotta admit, while lacking in style, they do look cosy.
    But I did learn a new label while standing outside Standom’s smallgoods and admiring their selection of processed meats..I heard two passing, thin looking people, that in retrospect could very well have been vegans..one commenting to the other in what could be called a sneering whisper..:
    “Hrumph!…perving at the flesh there…it’s carnivore porn!”
    Well..until next time, shoppers, this is your correspondent signing off.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Just had you and Milo on my mind I wanted to stop by and leave some HUGS and PATS. 🙂

    I’ve been busy with life stuff the past couple weeks…
    plus a car accident (a person hit us/our car from behind 😦 ) and all that entails (no pun intended) with insurance, replacing the car, etc.

    Then little Coop had to have a broken tooth pulled. So I’ve been helping him recover.

    But, I wanted you to know you are not forgotten.
    (((HUGS)))

    Liked by 1 person

  11. shoreacres Says:

    You’re exactly right that everyone confronts great loss at some point in life, be it the death of a beloved or some other traumatic event. I certainly have had my own experiences — none of which will appear online, but each of which has shaped me and given me confidence that I can cope with whatever comes next. It’s not sarcasm, or snark, or resignation, to say, “Well, I got through that, so I surely can get through this. It’s wisdom born of experience, and it’s a great gift.

    One of the greatest surprises that’s come with my move to my new apartment is how much more social things are “over here.” I’ve not moved farther than across a parking lot and down two buildings, but it’s quite a different feel. There are dog walkers here, and the occasional meeting of people on the path to the mailboxes. I quite like it, and think I’m going to like a couple of my neighbors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, sometimes a move can have surprising results. The move here wasn’t as good as the move to the farm. We nearly shifted again almost two years ago. I will stay here as it mirrors and reflects all the good things. We have two good neighbours now and many people to chat to while on walkabout with Milo..

      Liked by 1 person

      • shoreacres Says:

        Stability can be a real gift. The structure of routine — walking Milo, visiting with neighbors, not having to explain yourself to anyone — will aid healing. There’s no sense adding the loss of a familiar and comfortable home on top of what you’ve already lost with Helvi gone.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. rangewriter Says:

    I love that you’ve taken a dive into U3A. It sounds like a wonderful program. And I’m also glad you’ve got Milo to take you on walks to the coffee shop and to wherever his overactive nose leads the two of you. Nothing replaces what you’ve lost. But these things are obviously helping you to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

    Like

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