August 2015 - A year ago I was in that strange waiting stage where something I had been wanting to do for years (my PGCE) was on the horizon. Now the PGCE has been, gone and passed and I am ready for the next stage of my life.
August 2014 - I went across town to clean Mum and Dad's grave this morning (Sunday). It is supposed to be summer at the moment but it was really cold and also thinking about raining. Most unusually there were other cars in the car park and at least four other groups of people either tending or just looking at graves. I wonder if this was because this is a Bank Holiday weekend?
August 2015 - With every year that passes I visit Mum and Dad's grave less often. It is just the way it is, nobody could cope with the full-on mourning that happens in the early days for years at a time. The wounds heal and you learn how to cope.
August 2014 - What surprised me the most was that there was somebody tidying the grave next to my Mum and Dad's. In all the many times I have visited the cemetery over the last 4+ years I have never seen anybody doing this to my "next door neighbour's" grave. The old man - perhaps late 70s - introduced himself as Edward. The deceased was his wife but since he moved away to be nearer to his children he doesn't visit her very often. He has decided that he is too old to drive so he came by train, visited the grave on Saturday then stayed at a local guest house before making a second visit to the cemetery on the Sunday. He looked sad and very tired and as it is quite a walk to the station I did my good deed for the day and offered him a lift in my car. He seemed very grateful so I was glad I had thought to do this.
August 2015 - Although I haven't seen Edward again he left me a note under a stone on Mum and Dad's grave. This was in mid June. He says he is still well enough to travel on the train but he phones for a taxi when it is time to go back to the railway station from the cemetery. I suggested this to him in 2014 so I'm glad he remembered.
August 2014 - I didn't get much of a look at the other visitors but I did notice a lady in her 20s in the newest section of the cemetery. From the back it looked like the shape of a child's grave so that was upsetting.
One mixed emotion event that happened this week was the effective “closure of the file” on Granddad by the Crown Prosecution Service. I’m happy that the legal side is finished but I did rely on them for free advice and support.
August 2015 - There has been no further contact with the CPS in the last 12 months so that part of my life is over. Good!
August 2014 - I now owe my solicitor a fantastic sum – which I haven’t got – so I am going to have sell some of the shares that Mum and Dad left me. I don’t really understand why I as the victim should end up out of pocket and I will have to double check if the solicitor was joking when she said I could claim the money back off Nan and Granddad.
August 2015 - I took legal action for compensation and they settled out of court so financially I am better off than I had expected to be.
August 2014 - Since Mum and Dad died so many people seem to have assumed that I already knew things that no normal teenager would ever need to know. It has been quite annoying and frustrating when legal and financial people imply that I’m stupid not knowing things that they regard as really obvious or really simple.
August 2015 - This is getting better. Now I have graduated, finished my PGCE and got a fulltime teaching post I feel like a proper grown-up and the emotional and experiential gap between me and other people of the same age seems to have shrunk.