Halloween just got scary

[I didn’t post this blog about Halloween at the time, I suppose to avoid offending anyone or to put a damper on the fun, but reading back on it, it’s certainly worth sharing. It’s not a major worry for me … Continue reading

Coping (or rather not!) with a tween’s grief

I feel like I’ve been winded. My tummy feels tight.

I am crying. The tears started and didn’t stop. The happy feeling dissolved.

My heart hurts and I don’t know which way to turn. How to act for the best.

An argument with my 11-year-old daughter caused this. I have to write – I really have nothing else.

I’d said something fairly subtle about finding happiness again and she jumped down my throat.

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Child Benefit… a sore subject for the bereaved parent!

Oh the irony. Having just had a baby, I’ve finally got round to filling out the claim form for child benefit, the same day we receive our first correctly adjusted and reduced payment (for two children instead of three) following Abi’s death 14 months ago.

Dealing with the Child Benefit department at HM Revenue and Customs has perhaps been one of the most upsetting things we’ve had to do since Abi died.

Having received her death certificate (oh how hard that was!), there were a number of practical admin type things we had to change: direct debits to clubs, savings accounts… and child benefit.

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A blob of gum

We cleaned our cars at the weekend, not a common occurrence I’m ashamed to admit especially with a newborn keeping our tired arms occupied enough, but after the recent sandy rain we couldn’t put it off any longer.

However, there’s one spot in my car (the family estate) which I’ll never clean… the boot side window. The reason? An old blob of bubblegum.

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Double grief

Living with grief means that I often sit outside of myself and reflect on my troubled mind. I’ve recognised that my thoughts surrounding my grief are two-fold: I need to deal with the trauma, the post-traumatic stress, from both mine and Abi’s perspective.

First there are my ‘selfish’ thoughts about what happened to ME, a mother suddenly losing her 12-year-old daughter, and then I need to try to comprehend what has happened to HER, the physical pain and reality of the life leaving her body, separating her from all she has ever known.

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Do you want to build a snowman?

I recently sat down with my son and daughter to watch Frozen. I realise we’re rather late as it was a Christmas movie, but at the time we weren’t keen to see it (going to the cinema was just not fun anymore). So I put it on as an afternoon distraction for us on a rainy day, not expecting too much.

I often relate songs or TV shows to Abi that bring back a specific memory of her, so I wasn’t expecting this new film to have much of an impact on me, only that it’s another thing that Abi has missed out on. The children loved it of course, but as soon as it started I felt my grief surface and had a bit of an ‘oh dear’ moment as I wondered if this was going to upset me too much to watch or if I could bite my lip and get through it.

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Guest blog: Collective emotion

[This article was written by my good friend Sali Green, reproduced with Sali’s kind permission]

An unexplainable sadness hit a great many people on hearing of the death of Peaches Geldof. But is it unexplainable? Some feel surprised and uncomfortable that they become part of a collective grief over someone they never met. Others show annoyance that such a fuss could be made about one person when there are so many people suffering in the world. Both reactions are natural, as are the vast spectrum of feelings around and in between them.

Emotions can be intensified because of sad news – the fragility of life; reminding us of our own losses; love and appreciation for those around us strengthened. New life lessons are learned and our young people educated.

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