Mum – Eulogy

My beautiful mum passed a year ago today. I was at her bedside when she had a massive stroke. She shared a joke with me, as she was losing the ability to speak. We laughed and cried, and within minutes she was gone. Unconscious. Somehow, a week later I managed to read this eulogy at…

Grief

Grief stops the clock on a lot of things. And today the clock stopped literally. My Mum’s watch broke. It’s almost exactly a year to the day since she passed. That little silver watch is my most cherished possession (Mum laughed when she saw me wearing it, ‘That old thing.’) She got it when she was 21….

Five Years

Wednesday was the fifth anniversary of Laura’s passing.  Five years.  And yet she is still as present to me as ever.  On Monday, her dive buddy Jo and I had dinner together and reminisced about her – her charm, her quirks, her struggles, her kindness and her compassion. There is something magical about talking fondly…

The Golden Hour

  ‘At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.’ Laurence Binyon –  (extract from For The Fallen)

Sedona, Snakes & Saviors

‘It’s rattlesnake season,’ the woman rescuing us said, as she and her golden retriever led the way back over the red rocks, through the juniper trees, sweetly scented sage bushes and tangled yews to the Sedona trail head where we had parked our car a couple of hours earlier. We weren’t exactly lost. We were concerned….

Grief & Loss

  Grief involves finding yourself again. It is not just the beloved who is lost when someone dies. For a long while, it is yourself too. These are the wretched days of feeling lost and of learning once again to walk in the dark and find my way forward. In a very profound way, losing…

Disembodied Grief

When mum died, I didn’t see her spirit leave her body as I did with Laura. But I was there by her side in her final hours. And ever since I have a weird disembodied feeling, as if I am not quite here. At first I thought it was a protective numbness. But now I…

Janette Young, 19 November 1931 to 22 May 2018

My dear mum, who surrounded me and my family with unconditional love all her life, has gone. She was the kindest person I’ve ever met and like Laura had a beautiful open smile. Her cousin Isabella recalled: ‘She brought the sunshine into the room with her.’ I was blessed to be with her at the…

Strange Magic

When I came back from England last week, I walked into my apartment and noticed immediately Laura’s photograph had moved. It was folded up flat and lying neatly on the bookcase.  It looked so odd. So deliberate. My first thought was someone  has broken in.  But that’s nuts. Who would break in to rearrange the decor?…

One More Day

I’ve often imagined what it would be like to have one more day with Laura. One last chance to look into her eyes and be together as we once were. What would we do? How would we spend those precious hours together? Evidently it is a common fantasy of the bereaved. ‘Meet Me at Dawn‘…

Otto

Sweet Otto has gone. The only cat I ever loved. He was my sister’s cat and he seemed to know instinctively what I needed when I returned to England to grieve after Laura died (see post My New Love, 7 August 2014).  He jumped (uninvited) into the hammock beside me and put his paws around…

On Grief

I’ve come to believe that you don’t heal from grief.  And you don’t get ‘over it’ either.  Instead you heal around it.  The body creates a safe place for it to live on inside.  A sort of encapsulated sanctuary where it doesn’t poison your day to day existance with sadness, but where it can just…

Dating

Before I name my hot water bottle and starting talking to it (as it lies plump on my pillow in its fuzzy alpaca jacket), I should start dating again.  It is two and half years since Laura died and I haven’t been on a single date yet. And although, ‘I love to love’ (as Tina…

A river of tears

January has been a month strafed with pain and loss. I thought I was over this. And there have been lots of good days – days of joy and great highs.  But also days of sobbing and lying on the couch bundled up in Laura’s old fur coat. Is this a new phase of grief?…

Motherwort

Motherwort sounds like something dropped into the cauldron by the witches in Macbeth, ‘eye of newt, toe of frog..howlet’s wing..’ But this herb, whose Latin name is ‘lion heart’, is the perfect remedy for grief. Herbalist Robin Rose Bennett gave it to me when Laura was dying. She writes in her new book The Gift of…