997, 998, 999, 1000

Today is Friday 3rd January 2020.

3/1/2020

Or 1/3/2020 if you’re somewhere in North America, but that looks plain wrong to me.

And anyway, that would be my dad’s birthday, 1st March. Not my uncle’s birthday, 3rd January. Both healthy, sporty, fit 81-year old men. 82 now for my uncle. 

Today is 1000 days since Mike died. In about ten minutes, for he died at 15h05, it will be 1000 days. 1000 days since a friend, brother, uncle, husband and father died. Formerly a son, formerly a nephew, formerly a grandson. (Do we lose those roles when the relevant people who make us such die? I suppose so. But then that would mean that if all your kids died, you’d no longer be a parent, which would be blasphemous in the extreme). 

One thousand days. ONE THOUSAND. A thousand days, each with 24 hours in them, each with 1,440 minutes in them, each with 86,400 seconds in them. 

Day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day

day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day day.

That is 1000 days.

I’ll spare you, and not spell out the hours, minutes and seconds.

But many of them have been very very long and arduous. Sluggish.  

I remember working out some of the numbers and dates, back at the 500-day landmark. It turned out that that was also a “significant” day in that it was my brother William’s 53rd birthday. He spent part of it in hospital. I worked out then not only what I had been doing that day, 500 days before Mike died (helping my brother Edward get settled in the Maison de Tara end of life hospice); but I also worked out what the date would be 500 days hence, and noted that it would be my uncle’s birthday. I even wrote all about it.

http://www.widowingemptynests.com/2018/08/20/500-days-and-other-stories-of-numbers-and-dates/

 

So there we have it.

No banners.

No fanfare.

No “Finish” sign as at the end of a long-distance road our mountain run.

No flowers.

No champagne. Not even a glass of fizz.

No chocolate truffles.

No oysters.

No celebratory meal out.

No cheers.

No applause.

No medals.

 

Seriously? But it’s the hardest thing I have ever done.

 

Instead, just memories. Tasks that hurt, and ongoing chores that are painful.

Just another normally hard day.

Taking Megan to the airport to go back to uni. Taking the dog out for a walk. Two hours later taking Ben to the airport to go back to uni. Ongoing forgiving of myself for not continuing to sort out my study, now full of Julia’s belongings… waiting for friends to come and select what they want (Shall I even bother? Why don’t I just take it all to the clothes bank, or the recycling tip? And be done with it. Because I can’t. These jobs are monstruous).

Yesterday was also huge. Day 999 since Mike died. 187 days since Julia died. We scattered Julia’s ashes. Down by where we had scattered Mike’s. Down by where Julia died. The non-descript field near a stream, underneath some ugly powerlines, under the eye of the Reculet mountain from where we had scattered my brother Edward’s ashes.

A small but tight band of us there to launch and spin and throw and cast and drip and sprinkle her ashes into the wintry sun’s rays, into the muddy field. Grateful that both Ben and Megan felt that it was a natural thing to do – to scatter ashes (since when should kids that age be spreading their third lot of ashes?). Grateful that both of my parents were there too and aware that it was not a normal thing for them either, to scatter a child’s then a grandchild’s ashes. Grateful that Thomas, a friend of Julia’s, was brave enough to come along. And Grateful that Medjool somehow found it a natural, “obvious” thing to do – if not to scatter a 15-year old’s ashes, then at least to accompany me and my alive kids.

And then the day before that, 998, that was 6 months since Julia died – assuming we accept DoD as that on the death certificate, which I don’t.

Anyway, enough ugh for now. Enough for a week. A month. A year.

I have had enough ugh for 2020. Enough for the next week, month, year. For the next decade.

Enough ugh for a lifetime.


Showing 2 reactions

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  • julie roadknight
    commented 2020-01-09 00:59:28 -0800
    your post was amazing you must be very good at maths! i am so impressed

    julie – australia
  • Don Yacona
    commented 2020-01-08 11:14:38 -0800
    1673 days, and i seem to be the only one who remembers