Last Monday on the 7th December, my husband lost his father. My children lost their Grandad, I lost a father in law. And that is only one branch of the McClune family.
We were expecting it. He had been sick for a while. But it didn't stop the hurt that goes with the realisation that someone will no longer be around.
I was so incredibly proud of my husband and his family as they went about the organisation that needs to happen when someone is no longer with you. They work well as a team, supporting each other, making plans. They are a great unit. I feel incredibly lucky to have become part of their 'team'.
But the organisation can take it's toll. It's a funny thing when you go to the supermarket at Xmas time and buy a whole heap of food/drink for a family gathering and the checkout operator comments and say's have a good party. How do you explain that it's actually for a wake? You don't. It's too hard, so you wander off with the thought that this is really happening.
Our children are the youngest of his 19 grandchildren, so I think they may have it a little easier than the rest of the Grandchildren? They are still at the age where they don't really 'get it'. The rest of the Grandchildren are older, and even some great grandchildren are older than ours. They will 'get it' and they will feel it perhaps more than ours? But they also had him for longer and will have more memories. It's just the way it is. There is no right or wrong. But each person will go through their own grieving in their own way. For me, I couldn't face social media. Am still a little hesitant about it. Alot of it seems so trivial.
But I did gain an insight into my daughter. So proud of my 12 year old. Talking to her the other day, she was quite wise. I asked her how she was doing. She replied "I'm ok Mum. I think it will hit me in a week or so when we would normally see him, and we don't".
Peter was an incredible man. He was wise. And clever. He was astute. He could read people well. He wasn't perfect, none of us are. But he was special. I will never forget my first real conversation with him. It was an awkward one. But he took me for who I was and accepted me for that and I will be forever grateful to him for that.
And he loved our kids. Boy did he love all his kids and grandkids and great grandkids.
Since his death, I have been questioning alot of things. As you do. And I realised when I was at their house and looking at Val's scrapbooks how very important they are. And how important the stories are. For me, it's always been about the stories, but sometimes you get sidetracked and I have found myself doing 'prettiness' more often than stories. I know, I still love that, but it's made me rethink...since last Monday I've started working on our Christmas's. Project life way. With more pictures, more journaling (hopefully) and less 'fufu'. For me it was a reminder of why I do what I do. I will aim to make time to do that more often. All the holidays, the birthdays. The family get togethers. They are so very important.
In the meantime, I just want to say a big thank you Val and Peter for the family you have created. For the place we can call home. For the feeling we get knowing we belong somewhere and that these people are 'our' people.
Peter is and will always be sorely missed.