Our guests

Thank you …. thank you …. thank you.

Friends, yes guests who have always become friends and all our other worldwide friends have been wonderful supporting me through email, messages, likes, you name it.

I’ve been in London less than a week, managed a days work, granddaughter sitting and met up for wonderful support from four different sets of guests. Amazing!

OK we’re English so invariably beer is involved.

What happens after we die?

A letter to my Granddaughter Poppy.

I’m staying with her and her mum and dad.

It’s her dad Ben’s birthday.

This morning on waking Poppy gave me sweets and asked if Manjula liked them and if we could telephone her.

So she doesn’t know about what’s happened, or maybe she does and she’s looking to me for further explanation and understanding, hence this letter to be read out….. to her, which I’ve just done after supper

Manjula has died.

When people’s bodies become tired and can’t manage anymore they stop working, they die. Usually it’s when they are older, sometimes when they are younger.

It’s OK to be sad, to miss her and to cry. I do a lot of the tIme. She’s still with us in our hearts and in our minds.

We don’t know what happens to their spirit when someone dies because it’s not happened to us yet. Most of us believe part of us, usually called our spirit carries on.

Manjula (and I and lots of people in India) believe that part of us carries on and usually comes back and lives within another body. So that would mean we never really die, nobody really knows.

In India when someone’s body stops working it’s cremated and the funeral ceremonies are about helping her spirit move on….

Some people think that afterwards they hang around in a beautiful place, like a valley, where they sing, dance and have great fun.

Some believe we’ll catch up with each other again, hold hands continue to be friends and carry on.

Some people believe that butterflies or dragonflies are messengers or they find some other way to pass a message back to their loved ones.

I know Manjula’s spirit is still alive – where exactly I don’t know – maybe waiting for me, maybe waiting to be the spirit once she finds another body.

We know she was loved and gave love and we can’t ask for anything more we still love and miss her.

I know she had a happy life when we were together, she was a very good person, looked after others wherever and whenever she could. I think and believe our spirits will meet again somewhere in the future.

So it’s sad because we miss Manjula but it’s also happy because she’s left us with wonderful memories, she’s still in our hearts and her spirit lives on.

It has to change.

You have my sympathies.

I’ve posted what must seem a constant stream of feelings. It also can’t be easy to find your way around the many postings.

It reminds me of an interview I gave to a journalist in the UK, years ago. I was working on an innovative approach to engage local communities in helping guide local public services to be more responsive to their needs. After I’d explained my approach. He said, so you launch a whole series of custard pies some hit and some even stick While some fall by the wayside.

I’m beginning to think meandmycycle.com is not dissimilar. A series of disconnected postings ranging from the bizarre, mildly interesting and hopefully a fair few that connect to you.

I’m working on that same theory. Randomly works, sometimes.

Thank you for sticking with it and me.

But I think I need to get a bit better organised and the blog more focussed.

So over the next few weeks I’ll start to focus on:

Our story, with two separate parts Manjula’s amazing story (I’m not biased, the more interesting by far) and Stephen’s

There will also be insights into this amazing country….

Life in India

and some bits a pieces:

Titbits a sort of hotch potch

Clearly labelled (yeh!)

I’ll use feedback to review, amend and revise.

So please….. As always, comments are appreciated and feedback on what works for you and suggestions of how I can improve would be great.

Thanks for your invaluable support.

Unreturned love of my star

This poem is not about my situation at all. But is it or isn’t it?

In my current state, I’ve become ‘masterful’ at Seeing the world through my very specific spectacles (flexi specs) Without a doubt they are not bifocal or even trifocals, they are progressives.

I can see all sorts of things. I can see what I want to see.

I’ve got them on now, I turn the metaphorical (!?) dial.

First setting ‘reality’ to see the smile that lights up the room of my beautiful my lovable (it’s what Manjula means) Manjula, the one who I adore whose presence I carry with me and who I miss intently. She’s absolutely perfect (OK, that’s the rose tinted setting and comes with the territory).

Second, I look back to see how Manjula grew and blossomed, showed strength through endless challenges, changed me in so many ways and through the connections she made, left a part of her with her friends throughout the world.

Next

Oh no, I slipped and mistakenly landed on grief 2 (you know the guilt trip, ‘what if’ one where we don’t HAVE to be there) whoops, move it back a step to grief 1 (dealing with the gaping hole, the big loss, we just have to manage this one)

And finally I turn it to magical thinking to cherish and hold her with me as a star in the sky, she’s not quite here or there for that matter, maybe she does feel something, maybe not but it doesn’t matter, as my love, sent out as a ray, a beam will still hold strong. I can be the more loving one, in fact I’m the one that’s left, so I have to be

THE MORE LOVING ONE
by W.H. Auden

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.

How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.

Admirer as I think I am
Of stars that do not give a damn,
I cannot, now I see them, say
I missed one terribly all day.

Were all stars to disappear or die,
I should learn to look at an empty sky
And feel its total dark sublime,
Though this might take me a little time.

A getaway

Lucie and I are away on our own in Wayanad.

Anjum the ever enthusiastic drove us.

And here’s the the view at Dhanagiri homestay.

She’s been on edge. Primarily of course she’s sad dog as we’ve lost something from our heart. Then with me getting ready and packed she thinks I’m going to leave her, no sweat there but then the longest car ride ever, almost four hours. Now plumped in a coffee plantation.

Where are we, what’s happening? Tell me!

Update

Thunder, lightening, rain….. strange environment, she is sooooo not impressed.

Update again.

Breakfast finished, next to walk up the hill with Manjula, Lucie and Abha.

Guess who’s with us in more ways than one.

This trip is proving useful to help me connect with the spirit of my soul. I know, it all sounds a bit new age or Hebden Bridge (the alternative place where my house is in the U.K.). I realise it’s one of the messages from Manjula that I now see more clearly. It’s not really new age, more slowing down the hare and learning from Manjula’s grace. More later.

It’s a significant anniversary

Today, exactly four weeks after my beautiful died I’m at the old people’s ashram.

In memory of Manjula we’re gifting all today’s meals. I’ve arrived an hour early so it’s time to chill, remember and reflect and in a very limited way feed my addiction to share with you guys.

Back in Siddarthanagar smileys have appeared on the road, overnight.

Using stencils and water soluble spray paints they are another simple way to discreetly and publically remember and acknowledge.

There’s a fair amount of sweeping goes on at the ashram.

Checking out Manjula