I have a shelving unit in the hall that I can’t walk past this week without being distressed. I need to move some of the things from it, to elsewhere, or let them go out of the house to friends or the op shop. I took a heap of stuff to the Quaker op shop (second hand charity shop for non-kiwis) this week. They were very excited, and I was glad to let go of memories that were more painful than anything else.

The shelving unit is full of things that tear at my heart as I walk past. I have been ignoring this pain until it built up so big that I can’t ignore it any longer. Perhaps it is a combination of other things happening in life that are leaving me more raw and open to the pain, instead of my frequent and highly skilled denial.

Some of the people I love best in the world, those that are still here, are in pain at the moment. Deep hurts or worries, and I cannot change that for any of them. I can only walk alongside asking them, “what can I do to help?” I wish I had not accepted Grace’s responses, which were “nothing, I can’t do this anymore. I don’t want to start over again, again.” Before that, Jane or I had frequently either visited her or brought her home to stay with us until she felt better.

I worry that I will lose more of the people I love the most. I can’t be there physically to hold their hand, walk alongside them, tell them how important they are. I have such good friends who give me such a lot of support and help, both practical and emotional. And now, I truly understand Jane’s belief that helping others eased any distress that she had. It really does, but in my distress I have said yes to doing a few too many things and am meant to be in two places at once several times and in some weird moment of madness have agreed to do a recorded presentation for a large European autism organisation at 1:30 in the morning on either Friday or Saturday, I am not entirely sure. Time zones are not a thing that I am good at…..

I found some photos on CD, and looked at them. My dogs from 18 years ago, a large building project and family photos of grandparents long dead. I didn’t look at those last ones. Jane used to say she had suffered too much loss and couldn’t bear any more. I have had so little loss, and yet some days it is all too much. Tomorrow, I will no doubt be fine, ready for my big job interview. Today, I kept very busy but the distress seeped into my heart and wrapped itself around my core. In response I put music on, and watched my lights play.

They change colour in time to music, providing me with a stim that doesn’t take the sadness away, but makes it bearable. I also played with Chico for ten minutes, which did make me laugh and smile for the whole time. Dogs are good for our wellbeing. I love him, despite the fact peed all over the couch when I was away for work this week…. Like all over, I have been washing for two days and still haven’t finished. Ah well.

Be kind to yourselves this week, do something nice for yourself, even if it is only one thing for 1 minute. When we do this, it helps us know we value ourselves, that we are worthwhile. I know this, I know that life will be easier again and the hard again at times. I am here for the long haul, my son needs me and I could never leave people wondering if they could have done more.

kia kaha and arohanui