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Six months since Chris left


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Hi Everybody (especially Nicki, Ellie, Lorraine, Pauline & Sue)

I'm sorry I've not been in contact for ages but as it is six months today (Friday 9th July) since Chris passed away it seems to appropriate to post on here. This site was such a support to me last year anything I can write that helps support people going through the same nightmare seems worthwhile!

As a number of my friends have asked me whether I would continue with the updates that I did last year when Chris was ill I feel this may be an appropriate moment to bring you up to date with “life after Chris”. I have to say I am amazed that anyone thinks my life is interesting enough to continue that approach with updates on a regular basis (but I do take it as both a compliment & a source of strength that some found them interesting & that the support you gave us last year is continuing for me in 2010).

In one sense Chris’s passing seems such a long time ago but in another it is like yesterday. The pain remains just as bad, just as vivid. I miss her so much every day I really wonder whether I will ever truly recover my life. So much of the time I feel as if I’m just going through the motions until she comes back home. As Robert (our son) said at the church service, it is only when something is taken away do you sometimes realise how precious it was.

The reality is, whatever anybody says to try to help, you are utterly alone with this thing called death. Early in the year I mentally couldn’t get past her time in hospital, blaming myself that I should have taken her in earlier, that I wasn’t assertive enough with the doctors, that I could have done more for her - all this stuff. Eventually I have been able to remember our good times together last year before hospital but at times it is still very hard to do so when those hospital memories come into my head.

I have tried to keep busy since January. Later in the funeral week I went off to Paris for a couple of nights. Brian & I didn’t do much - a visit to the wonderful Museum D’Orsay being the highlight - but it took me away & gave me chance to put some space between the funeral & restarting life.

The following week Pippa (daughter in law), sister Linda & neighbour Sandra came over. I went out for the day & they sorted out Chris’s clothes, make-up etc. That evening was desperate for me (one of my worst) because it felt like I had betrayed her, was striking her out of my life, air brushing her away. Nothing could be further from the truth but these things have to be done. In truth, none of her dresses suited me & the high heels were too tight!

I then “comissioned” a decorator to take on the whole house! Again, this was not because I wanted to take Chris “out” of the house but because I felt I needed to put my own mark on the place. Houses are essentialy our wives territory, now I needed it to be mine. Tim and I agreed a six week programme where I was mostly away when he was decorating. This has worked well & the whole house is now completely finished. I have changed all the furniture with the exception of the beds & the kitchen table!

I had a lovely week in Dumfries in February with my cousin Susan & husband Jim. It was my birthday week. Chris & I never made a big thing of birthdays but I couldn’t face being alone this time. We walked along the sea-shore on the day, had a picnic with some champagne even though the wind was icy cold & called in the pub for a pint. It is a birthday I will always remember.

In March I went off down the South West to stay with four sets of different friends. I had a smashing time with everyone, talking, drinking, eating good food & generally catching up. I also met up, unbelievably after 42 years, with friends in Worcester with whom we used to follow Worcester City. With tim 7 dan, i also went to the 1966 world cup when England actually achieved something! They came to Chris's cremation, & it was a great delight to meet up again after so long.

April I embarked on four weeks away - Singapore & Australia. I hated travelling alone (as I thought I would) and I won’t do it again. “Holidays” in the accepted way are not for me now without Chris.

I was thoroughly spoilt in Australia. Tim & Vicky MacLachlan (& their two great sons) looked after me on the Mornington Peninsula (Melbourne). Two rounds of golf, Afghanistan restaurant, great conversation - a really fab week. This was followed by a weekend in Sydney. B & B at Bondi Beach, dinner in a German bar with Becky & Kris. Then Sunday, day & evening with Julian & Sue Owens. A good walk around the headland of Collaroy, a smashing church service & a couple of drinks in the RSL (?) Club.

Laurie (Deb’s brother) & Linda Vogler collected me on the Monday morning. We gently cruised up the New South Wales coast over three days up to Brisbane. They took me to Arrorrawa (?), where Chris & Debbie had been on holiday together twice. I’d never been, and I found it very emotional picturing them walking & laughing on the beautiful beach back then when Chris was fighting fit.

After a couple of days in Brisbane, Debbie (& eldest son Andy - he was Chris’s big mate from being a little boy) arrived and after we collected Tim (Deb’s 2nd son) we had three great days at the Gold Coast. The highlight was a speedboat day with Rob (Deb’s friend) whizzing us around the ocean. It was hot, & we moored up to find Rob had prepared these king prawns & crab, all packed in ice, for lunch! Wow, how good was that!!!

We went back to Toowoomba for a week. The following weekend Sunday was a Vogler birthday bash for Jill (Deb’s sister), then on Monday Deb had organised a Vogler bash at her house. This one was for Chris because Deb had bought a Lemon Bush to plant with Chris’s ashes. So, everytime Deb has a G & T (those two’s favourite drink together) Chris provides the lemon! Isn’t that so beautiful?

After the bash I returned to Brisbane with Laurie & Linda. The next night,Tuesday evening, a great night together to see Tegan & Sara - two Canadian sisters - in concert. Wild night! They are both gay, & have become lesbian icons! The venue was 80% lesbian couples, only 20% of audience male & I was the oldest person there by about FORTY years! They were great though, and it was a really good way to finish a lovely trip. A big thank you to you all - don’t make it too long until you come to England!

I returned to despair over United failing in their Premiership title bid! During May I went to see Ray Davies (ex Kinks), Nathalie Merchant (ex 10,000 Maniacs) & Jackson Browne. Three really good nights out - all very different - and thankfully not at the ludicrously high prices some concerts cost these days!

By now the house was just about decorated, the new carpets were down & “Isis” resembled a bachelor’s place. Pictures of Chris everywhere, of course!

On June 6th I embarked from Birmingham to fly to Zagreb. I was travelling with a long-time pal Tim Price (no relative) for a six day groupie sojourn to see THREE Bob Dylan concerts! Tim had organised everything (such a star, I’m going to make him my travel manager!) What a great week. Met loads of Tim’s Dylan devotees from Germany, Norway, Sweden, Italy etc & they made me feel very welcome. Three fantastic shows - virtually at the front in Zagreb, similar in Bratislava and literally under Bob’s microphone in Prague - never been so close! Something I enjoyed particularly was the number of young people at all the shows - it means his light will burn long into the future!

And at those three shows I felt so close to Chris, the closest since she died - it was like she was alongside me all the way. We always enjoyed his concerts together, laughing at some of The Maestro’s looks & expressions as he sang. Over the years some of Dylan’s performances have often moved me to tears with the emotion being delivered by him with his songs, but especially in Prague, being so close, it was like he was performing just for Chris alone at some moments. I could almost feel her next to me, nudging my arm & smiling. There was more than the odd tear shed on those three nights. This was a very special week for me.

Last week I visited Lleyn Peninsula in North Wales with brother Robert & wife Carole. We scattered the second urn of Chris’s ashes on the headland over-looking her favourite beach as a child (Llanwinaddle?), looking out to the Atlantic and beyond. It is a beautiful spot & I am very comfortable with this being one of her resting places.

Since I returned from Dylan I have gradually been returning to work. I have four NRG groups active & I’m planning to grow my NRG Lunch network over the next year so I’m actively seeking business individual’s who would like to host groups for me. www.nrg-networks.com

I’m attending three training courses over these ten days with Utility Warehouse in order to get back into the swing with them, learn about the changes that have taken place & then develop this Discount Club business with the help of my network of friends & contacts. www.telecomplus.org.uk/c24451

The book I am writing about our last year together is now close to completion. I did a lot of writing whilst on the planes to & from Australia, also in Singapore. I now need to do some editing, decide between my three working titles & decide on photographs, also on my method of publishing. It has been an emotional journey writing it, a lot of good memories but always reminding me that she has gone & isn’t coming back to me like I want. I am targeting January to have it available - wish me luck!

I am making no decision about selling “Isis” until middle of next year earliest. It obviously is too big for just me, but I l do love it here. If I can get my two businesses going again quickly, then they will pay the mortgage & I can then use my pensions to live day to day. What is certain is that I will not stay if I cannot afford it!

Chris’s Mum has coped very well with the loss of Chris. We’ve all kept a close eye on her but she is a truly amazing person. She has lost a little brightness in her eyes with Chris going, but she is so brave & such a fighter. I’m having her over this weekend to stay for the first time since Chris died. I have no doubt we’ll have a little cry together but then put the world right & argue about football or politics! I love her to bits.

Robert is about to start a new role on 1st Sept - Head of UK for Fox Entertainment. After 12 years, when the head-hunter’s came calling from Mr Murdoch he decided after long consideration (& 5 interviews!) , to take on a new challenge. It is a fabulous opportunity - Fox is one of the two biggest entertainment companies in the world - & the UK is biggest market outside USA (around £250 million turnover). It means that eventually they will have to move from Bath, which I am sad about. They have a lovely house, lovely lifestyle & the children attend a wonderful school. But Rob is based in Soho Sq, London now so they need to be in sensible commuter distance. Chris would be very proud of her little curly-headed boy!

So, that’s what I’ve been doing.

My thanks to all who have been supporting me. I continue to need it as I build my new life. It is still a very empty life without her, & there are many moments when I don’t see any point in it all without Chris. But then I can hear her telling me not to be so silly, go and do something about it & to look out for her shooting star across the sky.

God Bless



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Hi Trevor

How wierd... I was wondering a couple of weeks ago how you were getting on. I had no idea that it was six months already, although I'm sure at times you've felt it's a lot longer.

Glad to see that you're keeping yourself busy - I know that doesn't solve everything but we all have to find some coping strategy and I think this one must suit you.

Glad to hear from you again and do let us know how you're getting on from time to time.

Nicki x

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Trevor

Thank you for your post on my topic. It does give me strength when I see how much you have managed to do in the past six months. I have also thought about decorating the house but immediately felt so guilty. i am concentracting on the garden this summer which will give me something to do. Barry and I had already planned the garden and a new bathroom so may be I could get that done later this year. It just feels wrong that I suddenly have the money to do these things but it meant losing barry. I would much rather be penniless and with him.

Thanks again for you story. It gives me some hope.

wendy x

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