I get why people believe in ‘signs’. After I lost a loved one years ago (she loved butterflies), I seemingly ran into hundreds of butterflies in the days after her death. Signs are coincidences, says the pragmatist in me; there weren’t more butterflies fluttering by after she died, I was just more perceptive to them. So if ‘signs’ are generally just heightened coincidences, then how’s this for one?
Connie’s death prompted our ‘deepest run’ yet. By that, I’m referring to those deep runs that one commits to to meet a particular deadline or goal. Whilst we had years to prepare for this time, nothing could really prepare us for the onslaught.
Love Your Sister has always had a small team and when Connie died, we had a lot of people willing to help, which was nice, but Connie’s two services and the campaigning for cash around her death still took us deeper than ever before. The five of us somehow did 14 consecutive days without any real rest.
Samuel Johnson recounts the very human moment Connie was awarded the Order of Australia Medal, before she passed away. (Post continues after audio.)
Anyone in not for profit work knows what exhaustion feels like, indeed anyone who is passionate or obsessive about their work knows that delirium beyond the fatigue beyond the threshold, but this one took the cake for us. Not a moment for grief. Not while Connie’s symphony remained incomplete.
It wasn’t really a choice to take a week off after Connie’s public memorial, rather a necessity. Foggy days of endless clothes-washing cycles after a month of not being home, long sleeps in ignorance of night or day, shitty excuses for meals and blind stumbles to and from the toilet, fuck the air freshener, citrus whatever.
No sense of time. Not much sense of place. Still mostly too numb to feel much. Not much appetite for rest even. A listless haze after six years of solid focus.
I somehow decided to take a bath after what must have been five days. Connie loved a bath. So did Dad. Would do me good. Which lead me to a book. Would be good to read something for once; take my mind off ‘things’.