Sunday 14 January 2024

2024 Weeknote 2

 It's been a weird week this week. My dad died on Wednesday afternoon.

I think this is probably the last picture taken of us together, back in December 2018. I hadn't been out to visit since, until the week before Christmas when I flew out because he was very ill. He had Stage 4 cancer and was attempting to die quietly at home without any fuss - something he almost achieved. 

I took a day off work but still went on a planned trip to Hampton Court on Friday. It's interesting to navigate other people's expectations of how I should be feeling and acting. Father Hand moved to the USA when I was about 12 and, though we had a good relationship, it was a very sporadic one. We weren't in each other's lives a lot, most of the time. So I don't feel his loss too keenly at present. I expect I will feel it when I read a book I think he'd really like or something happens that I think he'd want to hear about, and I don't have anybody to tell. He really liked blues and guitar music so I anticipate getting tearful when I hear music like that being played. For now, though, I'm relieved that he was spared losing his mind or his sight, both things he was really concerned would happen. 

In spite of this, a lot of people have been encouraging me to be off work and looking after myself. Work is my self-care at the moment though. Even when I took the day off I spent half of it cleaning (what a horrible nightmare). He was a workaholic who, even when I saw him in Christmas and he needed a nap after transferring from his bed to the sofa, was talking about when he could get back to work, so the irony of this is not lost on me. But it's also not the time to address it. 

Other things have obviously happened this week but nothing particularly noteworthy. Generally I've been looking after myself and trying to have early nights. As he was dying I was having to crawl into bed really early under a wave of exhaustion, which isn't like me in the second week of term; I used to know when he was upset or he'd call me out of the blue when I was, so maybe it was connected to that. Who knows. 

This week I've got an online interview for a Masters I applied for. I'm insistent I will go to circuits tomorrow, as I'm only four weeks away from my next skiing holiday and last Monday, I talked myself out of it because it snowed. There's a good history lecture on Wednesday which might turn out to be a bit controversial, as it's focused on the history of the holy land. So there are good and interesting things planned to keep my spirits up. 

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