"Behave as if she was still alive," advised the father to his recently widowed son, who was going off the rails with grief, in a movie I watched today. And so I ask myself, how would I behave if Andrew was still alive?
Pretty much as I do, I think, except that I might look after myself a bit better. I would exercise more, for instance, because it would be important to maintain my fitness so as to look after him properly. I have to deliberately impose a new mindset in which fitness is an important part of looking after me properly ... in which I deserve to be looked after as well as I looked after him.
Did I look after him well? For the most part, I think I did ... and our doctor thought so too. It wasn't always entirely adequate as his health and strength declined, but I did the best I could. I have to remind myself to do the same for me -- and that I still have two ageing cats dependent on me.
I remind myself, too, that he knew he was dying, and he trusted me to look after myself when he was gone, as well as he would have done. (It wasn't a one-way street. Even at the end, he was still doing his best to take care of me.)
These last few days I've been a little unwell: light-headed, low energy, upset tum. So I am taking it easy. I didn't get out of my pyjamas today. I had a big sleep in. For once the cats let me, and waited patiently for breakfast. If Andrew had been here, I would have spent all day in bed with him, alternately reading, cuddling and dozing. Then, about 4, we'd both have come to life and got up -- to watch TV, work on our computers, get dressed and go out for a walk, or even take the car to the shops.
Today I did it backwards. When I did wake and get the cats and me our breakfast, they came back to lie on the bed but I stayed up. I did check email and Facebook, but leisurely, and didn't stay on the computer. I sat on the couch and watched a movie (the one with the advice that started this train of thought). I did some reading. All afternoon I was telling myself to have a little nap, but I didn't want to be in an Andrew-less bed.
Finally, at 4, I got the cats an early tea, had a cuppa myself, and came to lie down. The cats joined me. Then the people next door started up the lawnmower! So much for that idea. I think it might have to be an early night instead, and hope I don't nod off in front of the telly first. At least I'm already dressed for bed.
Meanwhile the cats are enjoying this interlude of togetherness. They are herd animals, and like to be near me. They both smooched up for a cuddle before relaxing. I think I'll have a little read. Who knows, maybe I'll manage a doze in spite of the mower.