The first steps without Hanno

Hello everyone. This is one of my first steps towards a new life without Hanno.  Most of you know he died on 25 May after a long period of medical tests, doctors’ consultations and time in hospital. He was diagnosed with vascular dementia and brain cancer but it took months to reach that decision. I tried to look after him at home in the early days of his illness but he deteriorated quickly with new problems presenting every week. I gave back the Home Care Plan the government gave me for his home care and after he refused all further treatment, he went from the University Hospital to a nursing home where he spent his final days.

Sunny and I after our family lunch.

Our entire family was devastated and overwhelmed by his death, even though we knew it was coming after the diagnosis of brain cancer. We were told about it on 23 March and he died nine weeks later. It was so fast, and cruel.

L-R My grandchildren: Eve, Alex and Jamie at the German restaurant.

Alex and (DIL) Cathy with Kerry and Shane in the background.

Eve, looking very comfortable with a spade.

Jens (step son) and Alex fixing a down pipe.

Shane doing the edging behind one of the water tanks.

I’ve been surrounded by my beautiful family and I can’t begin to tell you how much help, love and support they’ve given me. I invited everyone to lunch a couple of days after Hanno died and after lunch Sunny and I started cleaning up and everyone else went outside. Then I heard lawn mowers and wheel barrows being moved about and there they all were, mowing, trimming edges, pruning, and doing minor repairs on the outside of the house.

L-R: Kerry, David (nephew) and Shane.

My sister Tricia and nephew David arrived the following week and on Friday night we had a family dinner at Hanno’s favourite German restaurant up in the mountains near here. Tricia and David have been a great help too. David put up a curtain, attacked some mould spots in the house and juiced oranges from our tree. Tricia made a huge difference by sorting through Hanno’s clothes and taking them to various charity shops. She’s helped with the decluttering too and as we go through all these processes, I feel like weights are being lifted from my shoulders. 

These beautiful tulips were sent by Clare Bowditch and Marty Brown.

My sincere thanks to everyone who sent cards, letters, messages, emails and flowers. They helped me and my family get through some very tough days. It’s the small things that help normalise critical periods when life seems out of control.

(DIL) Sarndra with Alex planting a grevillea they gave me.

I’m feeling optimistic and eager to move forward now. Of course, Hanno’s spirit will always be here but now I have to live my life learning new things and cutting back while I refine my life and share what I learn. If I can do that it will reflect the life I lived with Hanno and that will be enough for me.

I intend to continue on with my blog, writing about what I’m doing, with small bits and pieces on Instagram. The bulk of my writing will be on my blog so if you don’t want to miss anything, follow me. I’ve learned so much about budgeting and paying bills that I thought I already knew but because Hanno organised our money, bills and banking, I only knew a small portion of what I should have known. I’m cooking and shopping for one now and by the amount of decluttering already done, I can see I’m still learning about what is enough. I’m continuing on with the back garden so there’ll be some information about small gardens and what we can grow in small spaces or pots that will help us eat fresh, organic produce in the months ahead.  

I’m glad I’m getting back to writing because not only does it provide the best record of day-to-day life, it helps me think about the beauty surrounding me and how I’m nurtured and inspired by my home.  ♥️

Photos by Sarndra and Kerry.

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