On Sunday I attended my church’s All Souls service, which is held to remember those we have loved and lost. I have been to this ever since we lost Abi. The vicar’s sermon focused on this passage. What he said … Continue reading
My second daughter, Abi’s sister, is growing up. OK, that’s not surprising and I should be thankful, she has now surpassed Abi’s age by three years. Yet, now, aged 15, I see this young woman transformed before me. The same … Continue reading
No one ever told me that my grief would make me feel so ill. As they broke the news to us that Abi was going to die, I thought of only her, then our family… and everything about how we’d live … Continue reading
It’s no surprise that Christmas is a difficult time for the grieving. For us, the period begins with Abi’s birthday at the end of November, we then have the four weeks until Christmas and then New Year, followed not long … Continue reading
So we’ve been a bit ill again. Jake’s been the worst hit this autumn. Normally a very healthy child, he’s had a chest infection, sickness and now another cold virus that has brought him out in itchy hives. On Saturday, … Continue reading
I was desperate for a break. What with a new baby, my hubby having a miserable time and facing a tonsillectomy, and changing my teen daughter’s school, the last few months have been a tad stressful to say the least. I’d booked us a week in Cornwall with my two sisters and their families about six months ago and I couldn’t wait.
The run up to a holiday is always stressful, sometimes I wonder why we bother as the sheer effort of packing a family of six seems too much. It was even harder this time with everything that’s been going on as well as end-of-school-year activities and work deadlines to get on top of…blahhh! I felt like I was drowning in things to do. My phone has been permanently in my hand as I use it to manage so much of my life, but I had begun to resent the way it also saps my attention.
I’m in demand from all corners. While each member of the family constantly need me in some physical or emotional capacity, I also have a home to run, clients making demands and bills to pay. I also have a whole other life’s worth of demands on social media making me feel compelled to comment on or like posts (even though I know I don’t have to). I know I’m all too guilty of letting this bad friend distract me from all the other crap that I should really be thinking about.
So, as well as getting to spend some quality time with my sisters and their husbands and children, I really looked forward to taking a break from the social media life, in fact the entire internet! Keeping up with my stresses as well as, it feels, the stresses of masses of friends and acquaintances has not been doing me any good at all.
One thing I’ve noticed about grief is how selfish it makes one. Rightly so, of course, as grief is a personal pain that has to be endured by the individual – there’s nothing ‘giving’ about it. We cling to the … Continue reading
My personal anxiety is much better these days although I’m still on a minute dose of anti-anxiety drugs just to help me through the first months of having a newborn should it suddenly increase with my hormone surges. It seemed sensible … Continue reading
This is a picture of Abi and me on holiday in about 2011. I love the health and happiness radiating from BOTH of us in this picture. Of course, there was never any sign that Abi would have a brain haemorrhage … Continue reading
I’ve realised that it doesn’t take much these days to break me. I always mourn my daughter harder when life feels tough…illness, sleep deprivation, anxieties, parenting challenges all set to chip away at my weary soul.
Women, mothers, hold up so much. We carry so much burden to alleviate the physical and emotional burden on others. We keep things ticking. Our minds work at a thousand paces. Yet we are human too.
I pray for patience then sin with words. I pray for peace then sin with angry thoughts. I feel I should be more. Be calmer, milder, more accepting but that only seems to create the opposite as I fail to live up to my own expectations. I’m not happy with my behaviour. I beat myself up. I’m irritable. And perhaps worst of all, I feel desperately alone. Pressures God knows I don’t need.
Today, I prayed a psalm of thanks which fell open in my Bible. I then prayed for God’s help, again. My prayers feel selfish but I poured it out to God in the brief moment I had without a child’s demands. I opened my Lent book, God on Mute, by Peter Greig, and read this quote… Yet again I realise that, in prayer, I don’t need to search too far or for too long to find comfort and guidance just to…
…breathe deeply in faith.