And somehow we’ve got through those. A few more firsts, nine months total. It feels crazy and still incredibly sad that a year ago we were in Tenerife on a happy family holiday.
Valentine’s Day involved the Jichevs together for brunch and flowers to the cemetery. A few cries over mum’s card to dad last year. A bit of appreciating our time together. An Arsenal match. Another first without mum.
Mother’s Day equally hard. Facebook posts of friends celebrating with their mothers were lovely but unhelpful in reminding us of our own gap. I ran a half marathon (slow) in honour, and think mum would have appreciated it… I hope she’s watching somewhere.
Nine months was a small family gathering in the Bulgarian church. Unbelievable and surreal mostly, thinking Mum would come back from her business trip.
The next day we ran to the cemetery. It was a beautiful spring day, and some time to reflect and catch her up on the half marathon, dad’s acting career, Gigi’s new job. Life goes on in a way, and not in others.
It’s been three weeks since we had the opportunity to share some time with those of you able to attend the Memorial Service. It was a warm, open hearted, generous evening, made possible by all your contributions.
Of course there were lots of tears too, but the love of all who spoke, filmed a video, Catherine’s amazing catering and Boston University exceptional kindness in hosting us – those all shone through. With the marathon, a job change, semester in full swing – it’s only this evening I’m getting a moment to sit with a cup of tea and remember flashes of that special evening.
I know that those of you who were unable to attend would value a few photos. Guests have kindly shared these with us.
With much love xxxx
Today is dad’s 61st birthday, and the first in 31 years without mum.
It’s hard – we’re trying to do nice things, but doesn’t really fill the huge space. Evvy designed the most beautiful card, which sums up how we feel: a lot of love, tinged with sadness.
There are many more occasions coming up, and don’t know whether it will get easier. In the meantime, honouring Jichev theatre-going occasions to the full.
Saturday 12th September marked three months since mum died. Three months of mostly feeling surreal, sometimes angry, sometimes like everything is hollow. Moments of “getting on” with things, or ploughing your way through the bureaucracy that is probate.
We spent Saturday morning planting flowers at the cemetery. Suspect mum would have laughed at our gardening skills; much love went into it. Told her about our latest training efforts for the marathon walk*, and the week, new rotation to Scotland Office, prep for the Memorial Service. I think that would have made her happy.
*Gigi’s marathoning & Denny’s marathoning
I’m going to pause here because today is a bad day. So many people have written of the difficulty of getting in touch, putting it into words. I work with words – whether it’s marketing, policy, strategy, leadership development – so many, many words. And none are right.
Miss you x
As we’re sat at home on a rainy Bank Holiday, looking through photos. Here are a few – you have to marvel at the patience of young parents, especially given I was clearly not the prettiest of babies:
Still, incredibly excited to see mum:
We arrived in Burgas last Tuesday. We always knew it was going to be a difficult trip home – seeing family and friends, reliving the experience, memories at every corner…
There have been many tears. At the same time, it’s been really good to see everyone, and to hear new stories about mum, and to offer that opportunity to mourn together. On her name day, we had an intimate lunch to celebrate her name day.
Given the Black Sea connection, it involved large quantities of delicious fresh fish – the sort mum loved.
OOne of the highlights was a poetry reading by Ivan – he had been moved to write a poem remembering mum (to be uploaded soon).