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
I’ve figured out the answer to world peace!!
On Friday night I was invited out to an all women’s ‘disco’. It’s actually called the ‘shit lesbian disco’… which comes apparently from the fact a lot of the those types of events historically have ….. well… been a bit shit!
This one certainly wasn’t.
800 women filled this alternative music bar and it was magical. From the second the friendly organiser ticked our name off her list and we were offered a free shot from a woman with the happiest smile that was impossible not to respond to enthusiastically.
Making my way to the cloak room the line of women did not sit silently. We chatted easily and the woman who took my jacket sat on the floor cross legged as she labelled it for my collection later.
The staff running the bar were oozing energy. There was no frustrations at queuing just an opportunity to dance gently whilst waiting to be served.
And so to the music. Three women. Two laptops. One music deck (no idea if that’s the correct description!). Two of the women alternately chose a track and every time just got it so right as the crowd responded whooping as they danced. Later the tracks stopped and made way to the most amazing wordsmith who’s narrative was mesmerising and it was impossible not to listen to every letter within every word. The band then took their place debuting their new EP filling the room with rap, drums and guitars that compelled the crowd to stay and move their bodies in appreciation. The music then returned and everyone just continued. To dance.
This room was brimming with culture, diversity and more importantly love and acceptance. From the sari wearing DJ to the traditional dress of the wordsmith, to the women in heels and those in trainers. Women with make up and those without. Women in dresses and women in jeans. Black women. Muslim women. White women. Chinese women. Women with red hair and those with pink. Women holding hands and women just there for the music.
And that’s world peace in one room.
Music. Love. Acceptance. Dance.
Happy Sunday everyone x
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
Valentines. A day of two conflictions for me. It’s just a materialistic nonsense, expensive flowers go up in prices kind of day. But also. It’s a day to remember about love. To show it. To feel it. To be it. Because lots of us forget over time to demonstrate our love to those closest to us. Or sometimes we forget there’s so much to love and that we’re loved. For that reason I’m tentatively ok with Valentines!
In this current climate of what feels like clouds of hate adorning the grey skies, where we seem to live in fear of our future. Love is what surely saves us.
Love can come from so many things. A dog, a car, a child, a partner. Family, friends. Even a job or the outside, a mountain or lake. A favourite book or place to take in the view. A destination or a walk. A favourite dish to cook or being part of a like minded circle. Drawing or just sitting still.
So Valentines. I may detest your commercialism but I love your underlying message. There is much to love. We just have to remember that now and again.
Lots of love to you!
I got to see Trainspotting 2 this week. It’s totally different to the first but just as powerful. I just wanted to talk about it for ages afterwards and mull over the characters and the way their lives had evolved. It particularly resonated with me because the characters are now my age. I’ve grown up with them!
20 years. It’s a long time and yet seems a short time. In my 20 years I haven’t ended up in prison or taken a concoction of drugs like my trainspotting friends!! It has made me think about what has gone on though. Two beautiful children, new jobs, loss, house moves, relationships, divorce, pets, coming out, holidays, break ups, love, graduation, furry friends, learning to run, rows and making up, self acceptance, old friends and new ones… …. twenty years. 20 years! What will the next 20 bring? I hope for calm and fulfilling, exciting and relaxed, healthy and beautiful. I imagine it will be again nothing as I expected because although we try our best to have some control over our future we don’t.
We can try to control some of it.. how healthy we are, how we make an impact today, how we approach life today.. but tomorrow will bring what it wants and that has made me think about trying to stop worrying about what I’ve got absolutely no control over. Most of us worry about things we can do nothing about and it’s probably time to stop!!
To help me be a bit more thankful for what I’ve got right now and stop worrying about the inevitable unknown of tomorrow I’ve downloaded the app gratitude garden. It encourages you to write down three good things from today. It keeps them all so if you’re ever feeling a bit negative you can go back and remind yourself about the good stuff too!
It’s worth a go! Anything to help with those irrelevant and unhelpful anxieties. Concentrate on what we can change and not on what we can’t.
Happy (non worrying) Sunday
Lots of love xx
Happy New Year to you!
I’ve woken up a little worse for wear so there’s my first resolution. Less alcohol! What else… I’ve been inspired by a Facebook friend who made a list of 50 things she’d like to do this year and managed them all. She went on to say this had helped her deal with her anxiety and depression. What better way to re focus your life than have 50 goals? I’ve started my list this morning they include climbing Snowdon (totally ashamed that I haven’t yet done that!), going to a proper bingo hall!, getting to a festival, watching my brother Al play a live gig, creating a healthier workspace, starting up book club again as I miss my book club buddies…. That’s as far as I’ve got!!! I’ll finish the list later…
2016 was a strange one wasn’t it. Seems to have been dominated by every icon I grew up with taking an early exit and a shift in politics that frankly scares the life out of me. America is about to be taken over by the richest misogynistic political party that we know and I fear what that will bring to our world.
However as with everything else life throws at us and along with that brilliant saying mum passed down to me… you can’t control the action of others. You can only control your own actions and with that I feel 2017 needs to be for me …more positive action, less being a bit cross, more selfless and less I’m stressed action. More risks and less playing it safe.
I have a twinkle in my eye and a feeling in my stomach that says 2017 and onwards is a change in direction for me, perhaps that saying is true… good things come to those that wait!!
I can’t go without saying a new year always makes me feel sad that time seems to hurl forward and 2013 when Tes left is further away …yet feels like yesterday. Every year it hurts more that her face refuses to light my mornings evenings and night. I’m sure many of you feel the same at your losses.
Life does go on though and I stand by what I’ve said for the last few years. You get up or you don’t. I choose to (mostly) get up and I hope you can too.
I wish you an amazing 2017 and hope it brings everything you wish for.
X Dwys X
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