Monday, 9 December 2013

Four Almonds.

I've been up since 3.30am. Worrying like hell because who will be the next person to die? I've had a fair few nightmares lately. The morning light streamed in so I got up and cleaned the kitchen and made a pot of tea with real leaves and took it back to Dave who was all, what the hell hon?

We talked for a few hours about life, work, christmas, cars, death. Then Rocco was up, clanging around the house. We got up and Dave made porridge from rolled oats. Max needed a few gentle reminders to wake:


I had the weekend here by myself which was interesting. At this point I'm not sure if it's depression or grief. I slowly started making my way through The Wire. My therapist lends me series to watch because he's pretty fucken rad. The Wire happens to have been Cams favourite show, he had McNulty as his Facebook profile pic for years. Until he deactivated his Facebook account, on his journey of removal.

I watched a documentary on cremation. Bodies go in one at a time, spend a few hours in there under insane levels of heat and flame. Then, the door gets opened and some parts of the skeleton and skull are utterly burnt to a crisp, they just haven't fallen to dust yet. So the cremator person gets out a "flattening tool" and gently nudges the husks down. Last, all the bones are put into a container but they're all different sizes and shit so they get put into a grinder to whizz them all down to a uniform size. Then given to the relatives.

Cam wrote: "... take my rattling bottle of ash to the beach."

The veggie patch is going gangbusters. Standouts include the strawberries, lettuce, and cherry tomatoes. When I go out to water it at sundown, I usually have a certain five-year old scoot out after me and beg to water it. Even though I like doing it, it's a pleasure watching him hold the hose and do each one very carefully. If dad is around, a whole new thing happens.

Minutes after this photo was taken Dave stripped down to his bright green undies and old man slippers and hosed himself off like a boss.

I'm still driving Cams car. It's a silver Holden Cruz sedan and he bought it in July and I don't know why. To impress someone? It's now home to quite a few toys - Batman, Spidermen, the crap toy from a McHappy meal. Rocco sits on the back seat in his booster chair. How bittersweet it is to see Cams car full of kids. Once I was driving home and looked down and there's one two three four almonds, wedged between the middle console and driver seat. FOUR ALMONDS my brain screamed. FOUR ALMONDS IS OF VITAL SIGNIFICANCE and why is it significant? Because it was further proof of Cam in the world. Suddenly I realised I had to stop doing this, keeping a tally of things I find like it's a fucken treasure hunt where the end is a postcard from Cam in the Carribean. "Eed! I'm safe, on a deserted island. It's awesome!"

If I was having a conversation with Cam and I just interrupted and said hey, I watched a doco on cremation do you even know how they DO that shit? He wouldn't bat an eye because that's how we talked. About anything. I keep going to call him, like it's something that's I've forgotten for ages.

Our Christmas tree was lost in the move. Public service announcement: If you buy a Christmas tree on sale at a supermarket for ten bucks, you get exactly what you pay for. At least Rocco's excited about it.

"Mum, I can ask for ANYTHING from Santa because Santa doesn't need money. So I can get everything I want. I want every single Skylander and a PS4 and just lots and lots of toys."

Grief is part of my life now. It just is and there's nothing I can do about it. I'm not going to stifle it or compartmentalise it. This may mean I'll be grieving Cam until I'm eighty. I'm gonna feel what I feel, with no right or wrong. Grieving doesn't mean I'm not still living, weeding, parenting, recovering, doing christmas, cooking meals, cleaning the toilet. It just means that all of those things are harder.

I spent most of the weekend in bed, getting up only to piss and eat. I was pretty low but that's how it rolls. I did get Cams ashes down from his vantage point and sat in a chair and listened to a song I thought might be nice to scatter them to. Played it over and over again. Howled. He's about the weight of an infant again now. Felt this huge desire to put him over my shoulder and pat him like a baby.

So I did.

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