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

7th May x 

It should’ve been my daughter Tes’s 19th birthday today.  My blog really took off when I lost her just over 4 years ago yet as I had an incessant need to write.  Over time my writing has moved away from the rawness of my grief and shock,  as anyone who follows it will see it mostly unintentionally focuses on a moment from my week, an observation, usually something hopefully encouraging.  


It is has been the oddest experience to feel unimaginable pain on a daily basis, to carry what feels like an immovable heavy stone in my heart and a permanent ache in the centre of my stomach but to also be overwhelmed with the desire to make the most of life.  

It’s just a little blog from me today.  I could write a thousand words about the awfulness of grief, birthdays are the hardest I feel – it’s a reminder of what isn’t here.  In Tes’s memory though I accept the utter hardship of it but I refuse for her memory to be about her end.  She had a great and fantastic life. One filled with love, books and passion. A life that made me proud and one that I remain grateful for.  It is hard to accept that was her life but that is…. life.  Unpredictable.  Not straight forward. Not as you expect it.  Which is why the urge within me to keep living and not just surviving is so strong.  

Tes had a poster on her bedroom wall – ‘make everyday beautiful’.  The meaning of that will be different to so many of us – be it getting under the duvet with a film, walking on the beach, reading your book, running through the woods, being silent, being loud, being alone, being with friends – whatever it is that might make our day beautiful, it’s worth trying to make it that day.

Have a beautiful Sunday xx 

Backwards and forwards.  

During a very nice, relaxing Spa day with a beautiful friend on Friday I did a couple of things I haven’t done in ages. I READ at least half a magazine and I had a back massage!! Bliss! I love Psychologies magazine. Expensive but every page is worthy of your time and I get inspired to get on and do at least one thing after I’ve read it.


One article this week made me think about how we are often focussed on what we haven’t done and on what we should be doing next.  We don’t stop sometimes and think about all of our accomplishments big or small. I often berate myself for the bigger things like not yet having written *that* book to the smaller things like why I haven’t I replanted that hyacinth yet!  Or I’ll be giving myself a hard time for not running even though I’ve walked 4 miles that day.

So thank you to the magazine I’ve been able to concentrate on some things that I’ve accomplished rather than concentrate on everything I haven’t done. I’m not going to list them all because it feels a bit self indulgent but what I do feel proud of is still being able to smile and laugh and love. I drove to work so happy this week and met a colleague where I instantly of course start telling her how guilty I feel for being happy.  Slap yourself around the head right now was her helpful advice!! Then she hugged me.  One of my biggest accomplishments is finding and living a happy life after losing Tes despite the forever pain. And going forward I look forward to getting some of those things I haven’t done yet but I will really try stop berating myself for sometimes watching two episodes of Game of Thrones  rather than painting the front of my house!

It’s great to have ambition and goals but we also need to remember what we’ve done to get where we are now.

Happy Sunday x Dwys x 

Where’s me?! 

I read a few words that got me right there this week. It was simply a few words by someone that described the desperate  need of wanting  her old self back.

This time of year can sometimes magnify loss. I still love Christmas but of course I still want Tes to be in my Christmas. The Facebook annual review is doing the rounds. Mine was full of favourite pics.  They made me smile. There was none of Tes and for that reason I couldn’t post it. I was actually a little envious of some, that doesn’t happen often. 

So…. wanting your old self back when you’ve been through trauma is natural. I remember sitting with a nurse before the surgery had even opened 2 years after losing Tes and saying those exact words through tears and gulps. I want me back. I want me back. 

I didn’t want to be this person that found every day so tough.That smiled when I wanted to cry. A person that worried  about everything all of a sudden. An angry person. A person without patience.  A person who couldn’t  laugh. 

That day changed me. it was a mixture of the help I got and the fact I admitted that I wasn’t ok. I wasn’t ok. 

Did I get the old me back? You’re  changed forever after some experiences and losing a child has to be one of them.  I recognise parts of the old me but I have a layer of sadness and ‘hiraeth’ (only that Welsh word fully covers it) that I wear like an invisible coat. Every day. I can feel it.  

But…. There is also the new me. Some of it is a pain because I don’t have the same drive to please or be liked which has made me a little bit selfish. I find it hard to be around unwarranted  negativity or meanness and end up taking a big step backwards from those situations.  I strive to be happy.  I overwhelm myself with trying to do it all… but I’m also loving trying to do it all. I’ve become really  good at having some time  for me…..now and again I even go back to bed for an hour after walking the dogs because  …. I want to! It might just be an hour here and there of proper doing nothing but it’s more than I used to give myself. I’m more relaxed about work. I feel way less stressed than ever before. Of course these things may change again. The old me and the new me will probably always keep changing. 

So for those wanting the old you back….. there’s bad and good news. The old us doesn’t really exist to have back. Every day we’re a new me. With that new me we can make it what we want it to be. It may take time and even help but if you’re on that journey I’m sure  you too will eventually find the new you that makes you happy too, in a different way but nonetheless in a new way. 

Lots of love to you all xx Happy Sunday xx 

Bye bye X 

Quite possibly this is the hardest blog/article I’ve ever written.
It’s with a heavy heart that I’ve decided this is my last blog for Dear Ms.

 
Life has taken a curve and it feels this is the right time for me to stop.

 
I want to say a MASSIVE thank you to the following people.

 
To everyone who commented and liked and believed, you won’t know how it felt to put my life out there only for strangers and friends to give it love and support.

 
To those that ENCOURAGED me to write and even to those that were criticial because both lots gave me confidence to be me.
I want to send love and thanks to new friends that I have only met through blogging on facebook and wordpress.
I’d like to give hugs and affection to people that have messsaged me privately in despair and anguish hoping for some insight. I don’t think I always gave you what you needed but I spoke from the heart and with integrity. I hope your paths are more optomistic and encouraging. Message me anytime.

Lastly I’d like to …. I don’t know where to get the words from inside…. But I’d like to say to those that have found themselves in the same unbearable boat as me….. I want to say thank you for sharing and you are the only people that will ever understand what it’s like to lose part of your future. You’re the only people that know how hard it is to wake up every day and face the battle. On Friday night as I wept a little, someone said nobody sees this side of you, it’s not hidden but the truth is grief isn’t popular!

To end I’d like to say what I would’ve written about this week. I spoke to a GP in work who was suffering from a cold. Take some echinecea I said (it’s a herbal remedy) and he shook his head. I take echinecea as soon as I get wind of a cold and it never then turns into a cold. He’s a GP and what he knows is conventional medicine. Despite feeling ill and getting numerous colds he’d rather shake his head and not entertain something that he does not know.

 

What I say is – don’t turn your back on what you don’t know. Don’t judge something that you do not know. Take a chance. Take a risk. Love constantly. Be yourself. Stand up for what you believe. Don’t always strive to be popular – be you. Be passionate. Most of all BE YOU. Be kind but don’t compromise who you are. Be a good example. Learn. Care for.

 

Thank you so much. I’m indebted to those that have supported me to be myself without judging me and I will honestly love you always! Please keep in touch xx

 

Have a fantastic Sunday. A fantastic Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. FOREVER.

 

Much love always.

Dwysan xx

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