Fog

I’ve deliberated a lot about whether to post this blog.

It’s sad and it’s personal and it’s probably a bit heart breaking.

However I started this weekly blog after my lovely daughter died. It became a place to write about loss and survival and now I write on Sundays about something of significance to me that week. At times I feel guilty that the blog doesn’t often specifically relate to Tes and that I veer away from referral to grief.

Who wants to read about grief on a Sunday morning!?

So if you don’t.. and I totally understand that. Give this week’s blog a miss.

Four and a half years later and it can grab hold of me with such force it’s hard to breathe and I spend much of my time trying not to be physically sick. I cancel plans and I just survive. Do I talk about it? Will I upset my nearest and dearest by talking about it? Do I still stay strong and get up and go to work even though I want to cry buckets under the duvet? Do I tell anyone because then it’ll ruin their day and they’ll end up worrying about me? Will people start to avoid me if I tell them?

I went to Uni this week to start my MSc. When I got there a woman sat next to me and immediately started talking to me. They asked me this morning – what had I done that I was proud of, she said. I’m proud of the fact I’ve raised my children and now I’ve got an adult daughter and she’s not dead yet.

That’s what she said.

I managed to say ‘oh’ and I think I faintly smiled at her joke.

She wasn’t to know that on the drive on the way to my first day at Uni that at one point I had to physically bite my fingers to transfer the pain to stop myself from crying. If she did know she’d feel awful. I know that.

There’s not a huge point to this blog this week, there was a need in me to revisit grief because I know other people who have ‘lost’ read it too. There’s a point where I guess I just want to shout…. ‘I’m hurting’ but then I don’t’ expect anyone to do anything about it. You can’t.

So – not the happiest of blogs and I apologise but that’s been this week. The grief fog lifted yesterday. I didn’t realise until I found myself dancing in the kitchen while making breakfast. It’ll be back but like others I’ll find a way through it and despite the part of my heart that hosts grief…. the rest of my heart is still ready for a life of love, travel, walks, friends, family, plans, laughs and even this MSc!

Lots of love to you all today – go hug someone!! xx

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Where has Wonder Woman gone?

I’ve been deliberating whether to write about ‘this’ today because ‘this’ isn’t a happy subject. In fact that’s why most of us pretend ‘this’ isn’t going on because we don’t want to put ‘it’ on others.

So what is it?

There’s a few names I have for it… the black cloud, sadness, grief….my bad Tesni days seems to be the closest to how I properly describe it. It probably happens every 6 months or so. I think it’s a build up of what’s there that eventually has to surface.

It started Sunday night and it ended properly on Friday. It arrives with force. Tears. Lots of them. Wailing. Stomach hurting tears. Swollen eyes. Lack of interest in anything. Bed becomes the only place I want to be and I sleep. For the first time in months I sleep. Properly. Lots of sleep. I made myself work on Wednesday from home and Thursday I dragged myself back to work. I felt like I was walking around with water swimming in my head. Like I wasn’t really fully in the moment.

Not sure why I’m telling you this. I write about things in my life, what I see and feel. A lot of it is positive but I’d feel a fraud to not talk about the purely awful times too.

So how did it stop? Just like if I’d been physically ill I received a prescription. On that prescription were many things and eventually I got well again.

The first dose of medicine came from one of my oldest friends who happened to be back home. A hug. A chat. A glass of wine. It was a start. Secondly when I rang in sick I didn’t lie and say I had ‘a bug’ I told the truth. I was low and not coping. The reaction was just lovely. Almost every person I work with messaged me and when I got back I came in to flowers bought from the reception team and lots of hugs. My partner drove miles to see me in an already busy life even though I was no company. My dogs still insist I walk them and the rivers and trees distract me for a short time. I was taken out for lunch with mum and my boy. Despite being miserable they wanted to spend time with me. I saw my nephews for a short while and even though I couldn’t stay because I was going to cry I love seeing their faces. A phone call from my brother that I couldn’t answer. I knew he was thinking of me. Some photos put through the door from my sis in law which have made my temporary abode feel a bit more personal. Crazy friends who cycled 50 miles (yep!) to catch up. A text from someone I haven’t seen for too long to arrange lunch. A step dad who gives up his morning to help me and an uncle who swore a lot while doing it but got on with some diy at my house.

To be honest the list could go on. It made me realise that we can be very open about our mental health. In fact it was by being honest that I received so much help and although I’m rubbish at accepting help and am fiercely independent and determined to make every day a good one…. sometimes you just have to accept… as my lovely colleague Barbara said to me … for goodness sake Dwysan you’re not Wonder Woman!

The week has ended far more positively and there’s a couple of pieces of exciting news in terms of my house situation but I’ll have to keep some of that until next week… the biggest news is… I know the suspense is killing you.. …YES….. I have a BED!!!!! Hooray!

Bit of a ramble this week. Thanks as ever for reading. Have a lovely Sunday xx

Happy birthday! 

You may have noticed it’s been my birthday this week! I’m  of no massively significant age but I make a fuss of my own birthday! I get excited about my own birthday. I love opening cards and receiving messages. I get merry at the idea of a family get together with cake. Like a giggling toddler I rip open up presents and I love the dancing pink balloons.
Why?

I ask myself this. Why do I love my birthday? I’m getting older and wrinklier and my hips hurt now and again! My hair is speckled with some ‘alternative highlights’ and if I haven’t got my reading glasses with me it’s a major catastrophe.

In addition to this obviously I have no Tes. This week was the fifth birthday without her and all day I felt it like a heavy small but significant weight inside my stomach. I visited ‘her’ but as usual I get little comfort from her purple flowered plot with teddies and letters. Who would? I kiss the silver teddy with the letter T as I do ever time and I say …I hate you not being here. Then I blow her a kiss. And I leave.

So why and how do I still enjoy my birthday? I think the main answer is because I can.

 Because I’m healthy and I have super friends and a  partner who makes me smile and an AMaZInG son, and even a fab ex husband and his lovely wife and their gorgeous son in my life. I have brothers who tower over me that make me so proud. I’ve a mum that I’ve driven mad at times who loves me nevertheless and a step dad who is gentle and inspiring. I have nephews and a sister in law and grandparents and cousins and uncles and aunts.. . ……. and of course my lovely dogs.

I’m surrounded by hills and mountains and rivers and lakes and empty beautiful beaches . And there’s theatre and markets and galleries to visit.  There’s writing and painting and cycling and piano playing and photos to take.

This whole blog may be me, yet again, justifying how I can have fun despite what has happened.   Maybe I have to justify it to myself whatever the reason. This is why I like birthdays because ……I CAN.

Have a beautiful Sunday xxx

The message

I receive her text early in the day. I read it quickly. Time stops for part of a second.  I close my phone and I park the text in the part of my brain that means I can only go back there when I can give it my proper time.

After a 12 hr day, a presentation, two dog walks, caring for my boy with a temperature, cobbling some dinner together, putting away some washing, getting the bins ready….. I think about dealing with the text.
First I open some post. There’s one for Tes from the bank. They say now that she’s in Uni would she like to know about the right account for her. It’s my fault. I’ve still not found the courage to go in and tell them. And sometimes, I like getting post for her. 

I pour a glass of wine and get my phone out. I read her text again. 

She. My counsellor says. It’s been a while since we met, is it ok to close your file now? 

She says I can go back anytime.

I want to text. You saved me. But I know she’d say. No. You saved you. 

That’s what she’s like. She takes no credit.
She’s wrong and she’s also right. Her safe space and insight gave me hope and she taught me that answers and strength lay within me.

I’m scared to sever this tie.
I know it’s right after three years to let it go. Sometimes I’ve had as much of a break as 12 months.  Then I had to go back.  It’s taken 3 years, 5 months and about 9 days to finally feel I can let her go.  Properly.  My counsellor.  With that I wrap myself in guilt which I also know is ridiculous. 

I’d like to share my reply. I meant every word

Hi. Yes that’ll be OK as long as I know I can delve in if I ever need. It’s not an exaggeration to say that you helped me survive. I’ll never ever forget your kindness empathy honesty and humanity. That’s not just someone doing their job. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

My blog has never been to advise or to preach but I do believe in learning from each other. Good and bad. If you ever find yourself in a place where things remain heavy and blurry always ask for help, it’s not weak. It takes strength.

Love to you all this Sunday.

Xx

A day

This week has been a roller coaster. 

A level results day meant I found myself on a warm Thursday morning finishing my walk at 7am with Tes. Pooch runs through the gates of the church and bears left.   She knows her way to where I sometimes sit to hold the silver teddy bear inscribed with a T as I chat briefly to the open air.

Tears involuntarily appear but are kept at bay all day.  I couldn’t help but feel hard done by, deprived. Today I felt sorry for myself.  

With that I genuinely was excited for all her friends who were starting new journeys.  But I wanted her to be on that journey too. As I said. Today I felt sorry for me. 

A person can change all of that though.  It was an exchange of messages that day that also simply said …call over if you like. I declined saying I planned to spend the evening under a blanket.

However at about 9 I decided to wander over and found myself at a mini gathering of family and friends. We sat out, giggled a lot and of course consumed a few vinos. Children played. Adults laughed naughtily. Presents were opened. Dark chocolate brownies were consumed.   

Like that, one person changed my day. 

It made me think how we can change a persons day. We can even change a persons life. 

On the radio this week I heard about a guy who had been hospitalised for 5 years with huge mental health problems.  His life has completely recovered. What changed him? Understanding.  Listening. Believing.  Compassion. Love.

I reflected on my week and wondered had  I had made a positive change to someone’s day this week? 

I did catch a large spider for a receptionist that was about to faint!! I also made mum a filled burrito and we sat in the sunshine with a large pot of tea. Hopefully I made the new person at work feel comfortable and I’m trying to be a listening ear to a friend in need. 

The great thing about trying to make life a bit better for someone else, as cheesy as it sounds, is how much better we feel about ourselves. 

I can change someone’s day. You can change someone’s day. Imagine the world we could live in!!

Happy Sunday everyone X 

Which way?

I was walking early (again) this week.
The sun was just rising and its burnt orange body partly hid behind lit up grey clouds.  We passed the spaniel without problem but a gang of rebellious younger sheep were in the corner of the field looking quite mischievous. Their heads poked through the fence as far as they could stretch. They clearly felt that the grass was certainly greener on the other side. For pooch this gathering was too tempting and in order to protect me from these hungry animals she quickly gathered pace and began barking at them from her side of the fence. 

 She’s about 12 inches tall. She thinks she’s 112 inches tall.

The sheep for some reason are scared of tiny dog and run away. However one is a bit naughtier than the rest and I hadn’t realised this leader of the pack had managed to squeeze it’s woolly oversized body under the fence. Panic set in and rebellious sheep made a run for it down the narrow leafy road towards the village, followed by tiny pooch. After a promise of a treat pooch strolls back towards me and I get her pink lead out while we sort out this sheep situation. Pooch is far from impressed.
I walk towards the corner bearing left and see the sheep about 25 yds away, it has stopped and is staring at us trying to make out whether the threat still exists. I squash us into the hedges as I try to create as much distance as I can trying to pass but sheep decides we’re too close and makes a further dart. We’re now at the periphery of the village. I don’t have time to walk all the way back so I have to keep going, playing the game with the sheep.
Finally the sheep takes a right and decides to run into the drive of a bungalow. I quicken my step in the hope that I can get by and the sheep will feel safe. Just as I get to the house the sheep has got its timing wrong and started to come back to the gate. The sheep literally has a look of surprise (somehow) on its face and takes a quick step back to safety. Pooch and I pass without further crisis and sheep then makes a run for it all the way back to where we first met this morning.
As I walk on it made me think about decisions we make. Decisions we have to make on the spot or decisions we linger about. The fact being that quite often there are only a limited number of choices and that we either have the choice to face up and make a decision, to hide and hope the decision goes away or to let that decision be made for us.

I had a conversation with someone this week about the age old saying glass half full or glass half empty. I was questioned about my positivity. Why be positive, I was asked. It felt clear that based on what’s happened in our family this positivity wasn’t really understood. What’s do you get from making a decision not to be positive, I asked. 
These days there’s so much stuff about mindfulness and positivity that it can sometimes feel we’re being dictated to being a perfect  all practicing yoga eating kale and drinking green tea with the gaze of *smug* oozing from our perfect natural eyes. Rubbish! 

Positivity to me is making that choice to *try* to be positive.
Decisions can be tough. 

This week I walked across a park and saw a toddler with golden brown shoulder length curled hair. She held her mums hand tightly. Trusting. She looked just like Tes at that age. I was in the middle of a field and for some reason in that instant my whole body was in pain from grief. I stood and looked. I didn’t move and my brain was tempting me to stay put. I imagined briefly not going back to work and just sitting in the field until someone asked why. And then I would tell them why. Instead I decided to take one last look. Then I decided to walk back to work. 

Just like the sheep we have big and small decisions all the time. Making it as positive a one for you as it can be has to be the best option. 

May Sunday be very good to you!
Lots of love x Dwysan x

 

Tes.

It’s an understatement to say I’m no royal family fan however this week it was hard to read how prince Harry hadn’t spoken about his grief of losing his mum until the last 3 years. I’m on holiday in Spain when I read his words and it pinches at my heart.
We’re on holiday. Without you. Again.

We laugh. We swim. I take pictures. I walk alone through graffiti walled narrow lanes. We play cards. We do the crosswords and we literally jump through (inflatable) hoops. We devour books. We sleep without covers and we sit on balconies. We find  new ice cream. We try different restaurants. We eat chocolate for breakfast. We get on trains. We take in the beautiful turquoise sea. We watch people. We drink coffee overlooking the beach. We buy a ball. We chat to strangers. We walk on the hot sand. 

None of this I do without thinking of you Tes. Yet it’s still hard to stamp on the guilt rising in my stomach. I read prince Harry’s words and I worry do we talk about you enough?  Sometimes I stop myself. I don’t want to hurt or saddened anyone but I’ve learnt people aren’t saddened or hurt or even if they are they’re glad to hear about you even if sometimes they don’t know what to say.
I was lifted to hear your nephew talk on holiday about how you were good at sucking up ice cubes from a cold drink and balancing it at the end of a straw! You come up in coversation a lot. Some of it doesn’t hurt. Some of it is painful and I find myself on the train wiping silent tears away as a memory catches in my throat. A young boy sees me and stares. I look out of the window.
It was a lovely week Tes. You’d have loved it. 

Whether you’re spoken about or not spoken about you’re in our hearts and minds all the time and always will be.
I love you darling 
Mum

x x x