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The change in my pocket

Alternative title : Who knew that £1.68 could throw me into an internal grief meltdown. It’s just money right? And not a lot of it. I mean, can you even buy a Freddo nowadays for £1.68? … But create an internal grief meltdown it did. The day it fell out of my coat pocket and bounced into the driver foot-well of my car. I still have no idea where £1.50 of that ended up … The remaining 18p feels like the most precious thing in the world to me right now, all because the last person to touch it (aside from me) was my dad. 

I know it’s silly to feel as though I’ve lost a part of him because I lost £1.50 that he gave me, but right now that is exactly what it feels like and as much as I adore Monty (my car) I was ready to tear it apart in search of those missing coins.

They were initially given to pay for parking one day when I took him to the hospital for an x-ray, it was the day he told me he was convinced he had cancer (we were waiting on results at this stage), it was the day he told me his body didn’t feel like his own anymore … It was the day he told me he knew it was serious, the day he told me he thought he was dying.

It was the day I told him that even if he did have cancer that he would be able to fight it … He was 57, there was still so much of life he was yet to experience.

I didn’t use his change to pay for parking.

I kept it in my pocket … Holding onto it as though it would change the future.

Except it didn’t change the future … It didn’t even sway it slightly … Because my dad was right. He had cancer and that cancer was at a stage in which he wouldn’t be able to fight it. It was too advanced. He would die before we would have chance to fully process exactly what was happening.

 

The change in my pocket | LHB Blog

“Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark” – Rabindranath Tagore 🌱💕 … Sometimes the world seems like such a dark place to be, it’s good to be reminded of good memories and good times … Or even to take a walk with a loved one to just talk about the one you have lost (which is pretty much what happened at Malham Cove on this very dreary looking day – pic is from my Insta).

 

It took him away from me, from his family, from his friends, from those future experiences he was supposed to have … And left us with memories and photographs and a man-cave full of random sets of tools (that we have no idea what they were designed for. Seriously he ordered all sorts of crap off the internet).

It also left me with £1.68 that I couldn’t bring myself to use … That I would just hold onto whenever I wore the coat, just like I did that day at the hospital as I waited for him to return from his x-ray.

As though those circular pieces of metal would allow me to stay close to him for just a little while longer …

As though they held a value more than their monetary worth …

I suppose in a way they did … They held a sentimental value that allowed me to hold onto a memory of him.

That said even without the coins the memory is still there … The memory will always be there. But without them I feel a little more bereft. A little more lost. Or rather, I feel as though I have a little less of him around to grab hold of for comfort.

It’s strange isn’t it how your view of something can dramatically change … How something unremarkable – be it a wooden tortoise, a lighter or coins – suddenly takes on a whole different meaning and worth. It becomes something you wouldn’t trade, something you hold incredibly dear … Something you feel you need in order to survive.

£1.68 is no longer just £1.68 … It is a comfort blanket, it is a link to someone loved, it is a life line with which to battle the grief monster.

And now that I’ve lost a part of that I feel weakened somehow, as though it has ripped a hole in the comfort blanket, frayed the link or allowed the grief monster to draw blood.

I know these things are not necessarily true as I still technically have part of the change, I still have some of the coins that he touched, that he gave to me on that day. But for some reason there is a conflict in my brain as part of it is telling me that because it isn’t the full £1.68, that suddenly the other coins have lost a part of their significance. Whereas another part is telling me that the remaining 18p must be locked away in a vault, a vault squirreled away at a secret location and protected by doberman pooches and angry bees.

It’s such a strange bewildering gut wrenching feeling.

R x

PS – I wrote this post while listening to Rag’N’Bone Man “Lay Me Down” pretty much on repeat, I am hooked on his voice and the lyrics. I think I love this song … It’s dark, emotional and hauntingly beautiful. Though I suspect there should probably be a trigger warning on there given some of the lyrics / scenes in the video.

If you (or someone you know) has been (or is being) affected by Cancer, then I can highly recommend Macmillan – they are amazing folks!

**EDIT : Oh and I forgot to mention when I wrote this originally that M and I are in Amsterdam this weekend to celebrate (read as: distract me from) my impending birthday. If you want to keep track of our adventures (as we’ll be away from LHB HQ obviously) you can follow me on Instagram here! As with all my travels I’ll be using the #LHB_Travels hashtag and would love to have you join us as we navigate that beautiful city!**

 

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10 Comments

  1. so sorry to hear about your Father, I completely understand why you are clinging onto that lose change, it’s not just the physical side it’s the memory of the last time when things were ok, before the diagnosis. Popping over from #PoCoLo

    • Ruebi

      This is exactly it! It’s almost like trying to keep things the way they were … Even though it’s obviously all changed! Even now I have moments where I think “I need to remember to give this money back to him”, as though he’ll be there when I visit my mum’s 🙁

  2. Ah lovely, sending hugs – you’ll always have the memories. Hope you had a lovely weekend and have a fab birthday when it gets here. Thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo

    • Ruebi

      Sorry this is a totally late response BUT you did send hugs, and I have to respond to hugs, so … ALL THE HUGS!!!

  3. Sat here with tears in my eyes. This post hit a nerve. We just lost my father-in-law to Cancer and everything is still raw. I’d be clinging to that 18p too. Sending much love your way Hun. ❤️❤️
    Thanks for linking to #pocolo

    • Ruebi

      I’m so sorry to hear about your father-in-law, Cancer is just such a horrible disease!

      I hope you’re doing ok ((much love)) x

  4. Ruebi,
    first, thank you for sharing this moment with wonderful writing.
    Second, reading this brought back memories of how I have dealt with the loss of close people in my life (my dad to cancer, being one of them; he was around the same age as yours). Yes, it doesn’t seem logical to give so much emotion, importance, life, whatever, to those little physical items that have been left behind but we do – and while you chose to keep your car intact, I have at times ripped things apart to refind what I thought I had lost for a second 🙂
    By loosing some of these items now in the present, I’ve felt like I’ve lost those people all over again. And even without being with my dad for over 16 years, that rawness of loss takes me over still. Having those physical items – clothes, coins, books, even an office chair – allows me to keep them in my life, remember them, and in a funny/odd way, have these “spirits” keep me in their lives.
    Thank you again for sharing –

    • Ruebi

      Hi Pia, Sorry for the late response – life kinda went hectic for a while! That said, reading your comment even now totally resonates with me! Having my dad’s aftershave (as I’m terrified of forgetting his smell and it’s the nearest thing I’ll get to the real thing), lighter (even though I don’t smoke), beanie hat (which has started to go on adventures with me) and the change (that still lives in my pocket) all seem to contain little memories, a way of keeping him close to me. It’s more of a ‘need’ of them rather than a ‘want’ of them. I can’t let them go because, as you say, it would be like letting him go all over again. They also serve as comfort when it’s needed (which, quite frankly, is alot!).

  5. Pam

    I was brought to tears with your beautifully written words. I get it. It’s that way with a delicate little handkerchief of my grandmothers. I have it tucked away and I checked from time to time to make sure it’s still there. So beautifully written.

    • Ruebi

      I don’t cling to his things the way I initially did … But I do check everyday that they’re still safely tucked away. They’re reminders, memory holders and sources of comfort all in one … x

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