Sunday, 28 February 2010

Reality Check

Hi All,

Sorry for the delay and sorry but I forgot to load the pics first again! There is a missive at the end of the pics which explains what they are.

Jen's roseafter the storm.

The clearing clouds after the storm.

The retreating storm.

Jack and Tommy with their coloured sands.
The sand sculpting.

Jack and Tommy at the sand sculpting. Amazing sculptures.

Hi All,

Sorry again it's been so long between posts here. I was unsure how to write this one as things had been going along pretty well for a while. Jack is going so well at school. Just had parent/teacher interviews last week and Jack's academic work is fantastic. At eight years of age he is reading like a 12 year old, his maths is a couple of years ahead as is his English comprehension. His spelling was his worst area and that was as an 8 year old! Got to be happy with that! Jack's also improving socially and getting along really well with a variety of kids. This was always my main concern as he is a bright kid and I thought he would catch up, but after missing 60-70% of his last two years of school I was worried how he would go socially. Thankfully he's slowly catching up. He has started basketball on a Saturday morning and I can see improvements in his fitness skill, and maturity with each passing week. Jen would be so proud of him, as am I.

However we have had a few hiccups. Although Jack and I often speak about Mum, and has sometimes been melancholy, I was worried (seems crazy I know) that he hadn't really grieved that much since the funeral. Anyway, last weekend we had tears for the first time since Jen's funeral. He got really upset and talked about how unfair it was. I'm hoping it is all therapeutic and it seems that reality is setting in.

I'm also finding that I'm struggling with how I'm feeling. I have felt really lost at times and find that Jen's death really catches me out at times and I'm really unprepared for the feelings and emotions. Sometimes I wonder why and if I have a "right" to feel like that as it was 8 years since we separated. I almost feel guilty at times for having the grief. Then I remind myself that we really were good friends again for the last 12 months or so of Jen's life and I was her part time carer for the weekends during her last 6 months and we had many deep discussions about our past and about our wishes for Jack's future. Still, I have been quite confused at times about my feelings and had some "interesting" assumptions made about them by others who have little or no idea about what we have all been through. It has made me a little angry at times but we are all trying to move on with our lives. We had a lovely Sunday afternoon last week with Jenni's sisters and Liz's kids and from chatting to Liz and Caz, they are also finding it catches them out at odd times too.

Enough of that. I took Jack and Liz's eldest boy, Tommy (who's five) to some sand sculptures at Frankston and they had a great time, especially when they had a go themselves. Jack loves Tommy and Tommy seems to look up to Jack (both literally and figuratively). We wont get the chance to catch up for a few weeks now as I play cricket ( I wont try to explain it to those of you not in the Commonwealth! lol) and we have finals over the next few weeks on both Saturday and Sunday.

We have had a strange summer here in some respects. Although it's been hot, it wasn't as hot as last summer but we have had almost tropical humidity here for ages, which is quite unusual. Finally it seems as though the weather is cooling and becoming a little Autumnal almost. We had the most amazing thunderstorms here on Saturday morning and the thunder went on for ages. Jack and I love thunderstorms and they woke us up and we went out on the verandah to watch it as it receded. I have included some pictures of the the storm moving away and the clouds in the aftermath.

Jenni's rose has begun to bloom in earnest and I have put a few pics of them in here for you Judi. I know you and Jenni shared a love of the garden and her rose (the one that Jack's teachers gave us after Jen's passing) looked beautiful after the storm.

Will sign off now as I need to get to bed. Work tomorrow - the weekends just go too fast!

Love to all,

David. X


  1. Good to hear how well things are going for Jack.

    I don't think you really need to figure out the grief so much as if you are feeling the grief go with it and feel it and let that wave pass. (til the next one comes) You and Jenni shared a SON. And some complications. It's your grief, you're allowed to have it. Don't worry about others have enough on your plate, yes?

    Happy cricketing!

    Cindy in Canada

  2. The rose looks beautiful after the storm. What a special tribute to a special woman. It sounds like you and Jack are handling the storm(s) well as well. I agree with Cindy, you just need to go with the grief and let it pass. We all handle grief in our own way, but there are some similarities. I have yet to meet anyone who hasn't had grief sneak up on them at the most unexpected moments. Hang in there!

  3. What truly beautiful photos of the storm and Jen's rose. Really special - I really loved the shafts of light coming through the clouds.

    Grief sounds like a very hard journey. I have lost some loved friends and a beloved grandmother but not an ex-partner and fellow parent. I think you are perfectly entitled to feel whatever you feel and I think you are so brave to be facing the grief so openly.

  4. Hi David,
    i also agree with the previous posts. And when i read yours, it struck a chord in me. I was in the same situation, in the sense of losing an ex-spouse. It's so odd, because it hurt so much, and took so long to start to heal. For me, it was my ex-husband. He was killed by someone and left in a field. When I got the call that he had passed away, I couldn't stop crying! We had been high-school sweethearts, had a daughter together, then he left me for another woman. There were quite a few years of bad feelings. He never seemed happy though. When he died, it just plain hurt - caught me totally off-guard because of everything he had put me through. Funny thing was, at the funeral, his family treated me so kindly! It took quite a while to grieve and now 9 yrs or so have passed, it hurts much less. I think the worst was that we too had become closer friends the last year of his life, and it was hard to believe he was gone - it was the final closing of a chapter, of our history together. We would never look after our daughter together, he wouldn't walk her down the aisle when she married, it was a lot of never to be things that hurt - hurt for me and for our girl. It's so odd, the way we go through these problems, and it seems like so many don't fully understand. Be patient with yourself. Let yourself feel the hurt, but also take pleasure in the past year when you and Jen worked so many things through - that speaks volumnes for your relationship, and for Jack to see it, is wonderful. It will give him a wonderful example of two people working problems out and caring for each other. Just do what you're already doing, in terms of your grief, talk, write, and honesly, take comfort in how you kind and supportive to Jen, and what a dear person you were to Jen through her most difficult struggle! Take care of yourself, and of Jack!!

  5. Glad you're both coping well, David. What you're saying sounds about right--let those emotions out--it's healthy for both of you!!!

    Beautiful Jen-girl's rose. Lovely as her free-spirit. Thanks for sharing so many great pictures. The sand sculptures are amazing!!! Wish we had something like that over here--y'all have so much outdoor stuff to do there!!!

    Take care, David. Thanks for posting and have fun "cricketing"! ha.

  6. Thanks for continuing to share here, David. I think it's only natural that you have grief. As you allow yourself to feel the sadness and work through it, my prayer is that you will be surrounded by love and support, for both you and Jack.

  7. Thanks for updating David! I continue to LOVE it when you post pictures. The roses are beautiful, just as Jen it's only fitting they be "her" roses. I understand your feelings of grief, and trying to get a handle on exactly what your role is in this whole process. Just because you were no longer together, you once loved each other very much...enough to get married and enough to have a child together. And...after a lot of time and pain from the split, you came back together and developed a new kind of relationship...and I'm sure you loved her very much, just in a different way. It would be very obvious to me you would have these feelings of deep sadness as you do...and I would dismiss any thoughts/comments from others around you as that they simply do not understand. But, be assured...WE here understand. As best we can, we have been by your side, and will continue to be by your side as you raise your beautiful boy, and as you face the challenges of being a single parent. You are doing a wonderful job! Thank you for sharing with us. When Jenni passed away, we would have first and foremost mourned her passing, but we would have also mourned the silence of her blog as well. You filled in details for us that we would have never otherwise had. I am so grateful to you for that.
    Good luck with the cricket thing you do. You're right...there are a lot of us here that do not have a clue!! :o)
    hugs and kisses to you and jack.

  8. My mother went through similar feeling when we lost my father - after being married for 42 years they divorced and after about 8 years apart became very good friends and she cared for him when he got more frail and was with him when he passed. She felt like she had lost him twice. You can have great love for each other - but not be able to live together. Grief is individual - there is no right or wrong way - and it catches up with you at the strangest times. Both you and Jack will be finding that.
    The boys look like they had a ball at the sand sculptures - we didn't go this year.
    Good luck for the finals - hit a few 4's and 6's and you'll be right!

  9. What a beautiful rose! I'm so glad you shared. Remember that there is no right or wrong way to feel - they are your and Jack's feelings and you alone own them. Hugs Lisa L.

  10. I agree with Cindy in Canada. You shouldn't question your grief just experience it. it's one of those things in life that there is no answer to nor should you have to explain it to anyone else. It just is.

    Thank you for continuing the blog.
    Liesl in Nova Scotia

  11. Thank you David for continuing to post here and for sharing the beautiful photos of Jenni's rose. It means the world to those of us who loved her from afar to see the physical symbol of her still here in the world! Your grief is normal. The thing about grief, is that no one else can tell you how to experience it--there is no right or wrong way to feel given roles or history or what not. Truth is love is love--whether it was the kind of love that was shared years ago, the tenderness with which I know you cared for her in her dying year or simply expressed in the ongoing manifestation of that beautiful boy you share. The loss of Jen and grief takes me by surprise too and friends have been surprised given that Jen and I were only "internet" friends. This am on my commute to work I was hit with sudden regret that she and I never got the chance to meet in the "real world". Grief is grief. Just go with it and move through it. Thinking of you all and holding you tenderly in the light.
    xo Meg

  12. The rose is beautiful, what a pretty color. Your grief is natural. You brought a family into this world, there are memories and moments shared. It is a tough time for you and for Jack and I hope he finds happiness and so do you. You're human. You feel. It is normal. And who is to say what normal is...we all grieve in our own ways. Our journeys are uniquely our journeys not anyone elses. Take care and enjoy every day and I pray you find peace. All of you.

  13. Wonderful update. Thank you, David! I really appreciate that you take the time to let us know how you and Jack are doing.

    The rose looks beautiful, Jack is growing so big, and you sound like you're doing what you need to do as you move forward in the grieving process. These things take time and can hit here, there and everywhere. I think that's pretty normal and no one should question it. Your grief is yours alone.

    Sending lots of love from a Canadian who knows what cricket is but has absolutely no idea how it's played. Heck, I still get hung up on how your football is our soccer. The whole thing confuses the hell out of me!

    Much love,

  14. Dear David, I've been here before but only now had the time to comment. First, thank you for the photos. Jenni's rose is Beautiful, she is in this flower, this rose is jenni <3.
    Jack is so tall for 8 years old! Well, you're tall and Jennis looked tall either, so he can only be a tall boy, and looks so kind and really a nice fellow. Love him <3
    Hope everything will be alright, allow yourself to grief Jen, you have the right to do it and as you say, you became both friends of each other in the last 12 months and it's a very important thing spite the pain ans sorrow of her illness. She's a lovely soul as you are too.
    God bless you all darlings, have a good week.
    Bete from Portugal _ here we are desiring Spring time and Summer very much!

  15. Jack looks wonderful, and it is obvious he is thriving.
    Try not to get bogged down in 'shoulds'... Follow your heart and you will be just fine.

    Suzanne in SC

  16. I am glad to see another post David, and to know that jack is doing so well in school is just fantastic. (Way to go Jack!)
    As far as negative comments or thoughts from others regarding your grief, ignore them! It's exactly that -- YOUR grief, and it's perfectly understandable that you'd be feeling it. Allow yourself those feelings, talk about it and process it as best you can, and know that we all here on Jenni's blog totally understand, and are here keeping you and Jack in our thoughts and prayers.
    Wishing you all the best!

    Lisa in south Florida

  17. The rose is such a sign of beauty and all the Jen represents!! Give yourself time to deal with your feelings and grieving, try not to be confused or over analysis your thoughts on Jen. You will all need to grieve in your own way!! She was a big part of your life and you have a bigger part of the both of you to take care of.
    Many blessings and prayers.
    Nicky from Canada

  18. Hi David—Thanks for writing. I think grief is like that—it catches us at odd moments. Thoughts of Jenni come to me too at odd moments and more often than I might have expected. She was so lucky to have you. On the other side of the sorrow is love, and we send you ours as well. Big hugs to you and to Jack. What a smart boy and so great he's making new friends and doing new things. He has a good dad. Have fun playing cricket! Cat in Boston xx