Hello you gorgeous souls! Hobart's spring weather is still very changeable, a bit like my mood at the moment. Tomorrow it will be 8 weeks since my Dad died. I know, counting the weeks really leads me nowhere but as I mentioned here, it seems natural to mark the time passing like this, for the moment. I know I'll stop soon, a bit like when the newborn pixies finally hit the magic 12-14 week mark and settled into some sort of routine. Then I stopped counting the weeks.
Today was a down day. I tried to brighten my mood by prettying up a $2 vase (from Chickenfeed for the locals!) with some washi tape and a handful of my Mum's glorious camellias.
Here they are, resplendent on my desk, next to Charlotte and a photo of Dad and me in our bridal car before we headed off for my wedding. Dad held my hand the whole way to the Cathedral.
Here's a close-up of us.
Here's what else lay on my desk today.
Here's the pile of condolence cards, lovingly sent to me from all over the world and my waiting thankyou cards, envelopes and favourite Lamy fountain pen.
Yes, today I started writing them and have almost finished. Many tears were shed along the way (in between changing nappies, wiping runny noses, vacuuming up Rice Bubbles and sorting out disputes).
Some were tears of deep grief as the enormity of my new reality hit home. Again.
But some were tears of happiness as I read something comforting a friend had written, a little long-forgotten anecdote they shared about Dad. They knew me. These old friends realised how desolate I now feel, notwithstanding the many happy and precious memories I have of our life together. They just *got it*.
So, whilst it was a hard and painful task, at the same time, it was comforting - a ritual I had to go through, maybe. It felt right to properly acknowledge the compassion people have shown me recently.
Not that long ago, writing such notes would have wrapped up that little chapter neatly. Now, however, with so many different forms of social media used, I need (and want) to do a little more.
I've posted a thankyou message on my Facebook page. Tick.
I've responded to all the SMS messages sent. Tick.
Tomorrow, I'll tackle the issue of how to respond to all the condolence emails sent. Some of my dearest friends chose email as their form of communicating their feelings to me. I think I'll print those ones and respond to them as if they had sent a card. That feels like the right thing to do.
I'm going to pace myself, though. I'm trying to 'go gently'. Really - I am. I just know that once I've finished this task, I'll feel ready to get on with the rest of my life. Whatever that means.
Tell me, how have you handled the 'etiquette' of responding to condolence notes lately? I feel like technology has created so many conundrums, the last thing you feel like pondering when you're grieving. Or maybe I'm just a Luddite! Do share - I'd be fascinated to hear your responses.