It hits you when you least expect it

It hits you when you least expect it

Today would have been my Mum’s 70th birthday, had she been alive. Surprisingly, I’ve been OK today. It was last week that it hit me that we were reaching a landmark birthday, and not celebrating it with her, here, with us. I guess it’s also as my birthday is a few days before hers, that I’m reminded that my Mum wouldn’t be wishing me a Happy Birthday in person. Why do things hit us when we least expect them to? It can be anything, not just those we miss, can’t it? Sometimes children or friends do things which tug at our heart strings and we ‘go to pieces’ don’t we? This day last year I wrote about life being too short, whatever age people live to. I then went quiet on you for about 9 months! I found 2013 tough. Really tough. Not just the bereavement of a close friend, or the heartache loved ones had caused us, but just the general, everyday stuff. I was struggling to keep going through my life, and really couldn’t share the experiences with anyone else apart from my family and close friends. It does help though. To share. And to cry. To just say, “Yep, today is tough, but I’m going to get through it”, or “I really miss x, but they wouldn’t want me to be sad”. Little steps are better than no steps at all, aren’t they? So, whilst I’m sorry we aren’t celebrating as a family group, Mum’s 70th birthday, I know that like me, many friends are thinking about her today, and all she brought to us in...
Life will always be too short

Life will always be too short

Last week we went to the funeral of OH’s 47 year old university friend. It wasn’t the easiest of days, or weeks leading up to it. Compared to a year ago when I was sad at the passing of my 97 year old Nan, this January we felt that Gordon was too young to leave us and his family behind. We felt that his 12 and 9 year old had been robbed of time with their Dad; and his wife, a partner to grow old with. We’d never been to a humanist service before. The celebrant got it spot on and reassured us all that this is just how it is. The ONLY certainty in life, is death. Humanists, “want a world where¬†everyone lives cooperatively on the basis of shared human values, respect for human rights, and concern for future generations. We want non-religious people to be confident in living ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity.” She told us that it was right to be sad at Gordon’s passing, but that we’d had Gordon in our lives and we should be thankful for that. I know that all of us agree that having shared his life, love and laughter we wouldn’t want it any other way. He’ll be remembered with affection at what he brought to our lives. We never know what’s around the corner for any of us. An accident, an illness, war – we’ll never know what’ll ‘get us’ in the end. Whether we live to be a grand old age and not be in great health, we just can’t plan can...

Picking yourself up

Sometimes we go through tough times. It may be work, family, friendships that cause us to be sad, or low. We may be watching someone die, or caring for someone who is poorly. It’s tough isn’t it? But we also know whilst we’re doing what we need to do, that it has to come to an end somehow. We have to move on from a friendship that is hurting us; we know that our loved one is going to die and be released from their suffering, leaving us behind. So what can we do? I’m not sure I’ve got the answers, but having gone through some tough times these last couple of years, all I can do is tell you what I’ve done to pick myself up and move on. We’re all different and cope with situations in different ways. The important thing I’ve learnt is to talk to other people, and find a something to focus on to get me through. When my Mum died I thought I coped pretty well. I got on with organising and arranging and clearing out her things. It was only 6 months later that I knew I needed help to work through my grief. There was all sorts of emotions going on, and I don’t think I was helped by the fact my Dad started seeing another lady 3 months after Mum died. It’s been a lot to cope with! I knew that bereavement counselling wasn’t what I needed, so I tried Reiki, with a spiritual healer. She’s been fab, and has helped me so much over the past few years to...

Memories are made of….what?

Having spent the long weekend at my childhood home, clearing out cupboards, draws and the loft, I’m not sure I know the answer to this question! Maybe I’m even more confused about what memories are. Or maybe I’m totally clear, but it’s sometimes difficult to share with others who have differing opinions. What do you think? I personally put in the bin, my parent’s 21st birthday cards, wedding invites, birthday invites for friends and masses of photographs. Just because I’ve binned them doesn’t mean that my Dad, (and late Mum), won’t have their memories will it? Looking through the photographs, it brought back memories of holidays, birthdays, favourite clothes and all the wonderful things that make up my past. But just because I haven’t seen these things for years doesn’t mean that I’m not me does it? So, yes, I was hard. A lot of ‘stuff’ got binned, recycled and given away. Is that wrong? Do you think it’s throwing memories away? Or are memories just that? Memories, in our heads and hearts? It’s almost 3 years since my Mum died, and Dad is hoping to move house soon (just needs a buyer – anyone interested? Lovely village in Essex, easy commute to London, overlooks fields….oops! Digressing again!). The house has to be emptied, and he won’t need all the ‘stuff’ that’s in there. Do any of us? I know I throw things out a lot easier since clearing a lot of Mum’s things out. I’m going to make up some books of my life, along with that of my parents, grandparents and family tree history. Not much, but...
Valentines Day – Love is so bitter sweet

Valentines Day – Love is so bitter sweet

Valentines Day is so many things to each of us isn’t it? Love & mushy stuff for some. Lonely times for others. And so many happy memories, and shared experiences along the way. I do like the fact that we celebrate LOVE tomorrow. We don’t love each other enough do we? And yes, it’s cute when our children make cards for their friends isn’t it? Tomorrow is the anniversary of my husband asking me to marry him. I can still picture it all – the lovely meal he cooked. The wonderful wine we drank. Him on his knee. My tears, and our shared laughter and kisses. Such a happy day. But it’s also my late Nan’s birthday.¬† She would have been 98 tomorrow, but she died a couple of weeks ago. 8 years ago we held a surprise family party for her 90th. I was 2 weeks away from giving birth, so she certainly didn’t expect to see us! My hospital bag, and my pregnancy notes were safe in the car, just in case. But no.2 was on time, so we had a wonderful family occasion. Just for Nan. The 14th February is also my Aunt’s birthday. Tomorrow will be the first year of her 70+ that she’ll be celebrating without her mother being around. She’s not looking forward to it. So whilst some of us celebrate time with our loved ones, remember those friends and relations with broken hearts – through death, or breakdown in relationships. Not everyone wants to hear about how many red roses you’ve received! (I get none by the way – “waste of money”,...