“But grief makes a monster out of us sometimes . . . and sometimes you say and do things to the people you love that you can’t forgive yourself for.” 

Melina Marchetta

It has taken me all week to complete this musing about grief and I only realised yesterday, it is because I am still working through my own personal grief with our neighbour of over twenty years.

Whilst he passed away in May and we have had all the celebrations, his family have been in the process of going through his home and disposing of all the possessions in readiness for the house sale to be completed.  I hadn’t noticed that this was impacting on me until yesterday!

It had been a long journey for our neighbour, he was dealing with the grief of his own health and losing his independence for a period of years.  When he decided that he could no longer drive, we took it in turns to take him grocery shopping each week.  The first time my husband did a full shop many months later – we both realised we had been avoiding this as it reminded us both of him!

We had booked in a trip away when he first went to the hospital for the last time and the family kindly waited for us to return for his cremation ceremony at the grave of his parents.  It was a lovely gesture and one we were very grateful for.  Our neighbour would have hated us missing the opportunity of seeing one of our sons (and his favourite). 

Our neighbour’s death marks the end of an era for us, one of the last original neighbours of when we moved into our new family home.  He had been a close member of our “chosen” family and celebrated many occasions with us, both happy and sad.  He grew vegetables, even the ones he didn’t like as a way of visiting the neighbourhood and friends – asparagus (wrapped in a newspaper), tomatoes, corn, garlic.  We had a roast together most Sunday nights for many years, until he could no longer walk down the drive.  Lots of funny stories were told and our sons had to visit him within hours of their arrival home, or there would be a clip around the ears if they didn’t.

Life is not quite the same in our street at the moment.