Christmas week was tumultuous, the unexpected loss of my very dear old friend the Saturday before left me feeling shattered with grief and more fragile than I ever care to admit. My world is a smaller place without him in it anymore, and as much as anything I mourn our silly, intermittent communications throughout the year. Hard to believe I will never again see a “hey girlie” subject line from him. Throughout the years the subject line of every email he ever sent me was “hey girlie – ” followed by whatever the real subject of  his communication.

The funeral was Thursday and I heard today that James’ nephew is wasting little time in executing his final wishes. In his place I would be doing the very same things and bear him no ill will in deconstructing the final memorabilia of a long life that had no genuine regrets.

We came home with a world globe from James’ study, and as the financial matters are sorted there are monetary bequests to us and my kids. The majority of his estate has been earmarked for charity, something that does not surprise anyone who knew he and his wife. They had no children of their own, his lone nephew and spouse his only relations. Many of his worldly possessions had been sold, donated, rehomed, or discarded before his passing. The trust handles the the changing hands of property and finances.

As in life, James was a superb master planner and managed his affairs in a direct and forthright manner.

It’s Sunday, and returning to work is first and foremost on my mind today. It’s been a good few days to celebrate and this year, to mourn with family and friends. But now is the time for my attention to return to reality and back to the business of supporting our little household and finishing up the month on many positive notes.

I miss him terribly, yet feel him all around me. For me, this is what is meant that life continues. And I am so very glad.

People understand, but I still do not. Death. So. Damn. Final.

And grief – still ridiculously hard.

tragedy moving on

The week ahead is busy with work the first three days. I am taking Thursday and Friday off, and I officially begin life as a permanent, part-time employee on January 4. I still do not know if my final day at my former firm is Wednesday or not, as the owners we still discussing it amongst themselves. They were unhappy about my standard hourly rate, yet had not yet come forward with an alternative offer or solution. Knowing I have my life and livelihood pretty well mapped out with or without them makes it easy to be serene and untroubled by their procrastination.

Between now and the new year, though, I have an appointment with my new endocrinologist on Tuesday and J returns and we get back to our regularly scheduled training sessions on Thursday.

The medical appointment is a little disconcerting, because I have no idea where he stands on my standing with the diabetes. I have continued to test 4 times daily and my numbers are below the 140 upper limit but trending higher than the below 100 I had been enjoying when he cut back on medications. Part A lot of this is social and holiday eating all through the month. That said, knowing what is the problem and curbing those behaviors is not as simple as making a choice. Old habits are flaring badly right now, and crappy, bad-for-me food tastes so good and is so addictive for really great reasons. I do not make goals or resolutions for the new year, but I have a clear week ahead and need to plan and implement meal planning and carb/calories counting as a lifestyle once more. I have said this repeatedly that exercise seems like a pretty firm habit now and my focus must now be directed toward my diet.

J is also back this week and we are scheduled for Thursday. Truth about that is I am enjoying the break, enjoying my daily choices about what and how many routines to do every morning, trying very hard to get better at the exercises giving me so much grief. All these are things I can and do do when meeting with him on Mondays and Thursdays, but the week of being completely on my own forces me to really work at it without the J safety net to talk about all the exercises that ail me ad nauseam. It does feel as if J’s return heralds a new chapter in my exercise and now diet lifestyle, one I am looking forward to learning and expanding. He’s a great and supportive resource.

I love January and it’s new planners. Yep, I still use a paper and pen planner for a lot of my work-life balance and in conjunction with my online calendar and to-do lists. There are several work project waiting for my attention, several books waiting in my queue to be read. My sadness at my recent loss is not getting shoved aside so much as incorporated into my reality. I truly do not have the time or the energy to be sad all the time, and I know James would be kicking my ass right about now if he thought I would continue to mope and grieve on his behalf. The process is as imperfect as it is personal, and every day is a new day, a new plan, because right now I am not confident in anything I think might happen tomorrow.

And mostly I think that’s okay. Because I’m still here, still writing, and getting shit done. My day-to-day pursuits continue and look mostly normal. I have already decided next year’s holiday is going to be different, and comparatively speaking, I have to believe so much better.

It’s 2015’s final Sunday, and I wish you all a glorious day.

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