So many people have been kind enough to ask how my family have taken the news and what they can do to help. We understand that currently no one can actually do anything (however, there’s always ironing waiting around should you feel the need) so help in that sense is about emotional support, listening, talking about something else or simply giving a hug.
We’ve all dealt with it in different ways, some of us chatting, some of us avoiding chatting and everyone finding at least something to smile about. I’ve told people that I want them to carry on as usual, but completely acknowledge the irony of that when what is our normal now?
Consistency is key. All the info suggests that relationships are going to feel as if they are on a rollercoaster with highs and lows and the inevitability that one person’s high is going to clash with another’s low. I’m guessing we all have to work out a way to manage this.
Coming from a ‘solution focused’ background I suggested to Steve that we devise a system that will help him to identify if it’s a day when the jokes can flow or a day when they are likely to cause all manner of unexpected and potentially unpleasant drama queen type reactions. I recommended that we call them hard or soft days and so we’ve been trying it out. To date there have been some successes and some utter fails. This morning I quizzed Steve on his understanding of the criteria that make it a hard or a soft day (or a hard or a soft moment since I’ve revised my thinking that a state can last a whole day. What was I thinking) and sure enough the ambiguous terms we’d used were anything but clear to the other one.
So here’s my thinking:
A soft day = I’m feeling delicate, sensitive and not in the mood for frivolity
A hard day = most things are ok and I’ll generally find humour in what anyone says to me
Naturally these criteria don’t just apply to me- feel free to use them too.
Support within key relationships I know is important and I think it must have been playing on my mind because I had very vivid dreams last night where I’d lost my engagement and wedding rings and was frantically looking for them. Sometimes the subconscious brain scares me. And no, I don’t want any books about interpreting dreams thank you very much.
One more key person to share my news with tonight. I have been volunteering with Silver Line for a short while. It’s a UK based charity which supports older people who are lonely, where volunteers befriend them through weekly phone calls. You never get to meet in person but build up a friendship over the phone. I’ve agreed with Silver Line that we’ll let my friend make the decision whether she wants me to keep making calls or pause them for the time being. I think I’ll understand if she doesn’t, but I hope that she does.
Thought I’d share these photos with you. They were taken 32 years apart but the sentiment is the same and we weren’t even trying to do one of those ‘replicating time’ pics!