1,000 days

Today it is 1,000 days since Steve died. It feels right to acknowledge this somehow, at least by writing something. I don’t feel inclined to go and spend time by his grave, unlike at the more ancient markers of time, when the seasons turn at the solstices; I’m always drawn
Categories:  Absolute Beginner - A Personal Story of Grief

500 days

  Oh my love.    500 days have passed. 500 days without you in my world.    How have I got through these days? I remember as clear as if it were yesterday the moment that you died, the sudden knowledge that everything – everything had changed. Everything about that

Isolation

  Photo credit: Rachel Wallace Photography Day 271. Almost nine months into this new existence. The last couple of weeks have been difficult. I’ve been feeling unwell, symptoms of a bad cold which are, apparently, also symptoms of someone double vaccinated who has contracted the Delta variant. A lateral flow
Categories:  Absolute Beginner - A Personal Story of Grief

Poetry and signs

A dear friend sent me a poem at the weekend. Technically, she re-sent it, she had shared it with me soon after Steve died, so the words were familiar, and yet the second I started to read them, the fragile skin I have so painfully grown over the depthless well
Categories:  Absolute Beginner - A Personal Story of Grief

Love writ large

  Love writ large. That’s something I heard a passer-by say quietly as they walked along Albert Embankment this week. They were walking along the National Covid Memorial Wall, with tears running down their cheeks. Thousands and thousands of others have walked the 500m length of the wall of 150,000

Finding words

I think I understand now why the sea is so often used as a metaphor when talking or writing about emotions. When I’m trying to understand how I’m feeling, the descriptive words in my mind are almost always found in analogies to do with the oceans – the waves, the
Categories:  Absolute Beginner - A Personal Story of Grief, Grief

Waiting

Years ago, in 2008, I was crew on the Spirit of Fairbridge for the Tall Ships race. Spirit was a beautiful 92’ schooner dedicated to giving disadvantaged young people new opportunities in life and being part of her crew was a huge privilege – and an unforgettable experience. I was
Categories:  Absolute Beginner - A Personal Story of Grief

100 Days

26th January 2021 Today it is 100 days since Steve died. And four months exactly since our wedding day. At the weekend, it was the tenth anniversary of my mother’s death. It was a rapid dying, from glioblastoma multiforme. In January 2011, I spent my 50th birthday sitting by her

Children and grieving

  We couldn’t have children at Steve’s funeral ceremony. Covid restrictions on numbers meant that we had to be ruthless in paring down the people allowed to be present, and there were so many whose connections with Steve went back years, we made the judgement call that they had to
Categories:  Absolute Beginner - A Personal Story of Grief

Making sense. Finding patterns

Time is slowly drifting by. It’s 12 weeks since we married. Nine weeks since Steve died. Seven weeks since his beautiful funeral. The days come and go, shorter and shorter, darker and darker, until Monday’s shortest day, the Winter Solstice. Yule, the ancient festival marking the victory of light over
Categories:  Absolute Beginner - A Personal Story of Grief

Unexpected people

‘Communitree’ – artwork created by young offenders at HMP Cookham Wood Steve and I came across an exhibition of work by young offenders while we were in Anglesey in 2018 and this piece caught my eye. One of the things that has surprised me the most over the last months is
Categories:  Absolute Beginner - A Personal Story of Grief

So many layers of grief

Almost two months have passed. Seven weeks since Steve died. Seven weeks of rolling waves of emotions, of reflection and remembering, interspersed among the detritus of the life that was before. One of the things that resonates strongly with me as I walk every day is just how much grief
Categories:  Absolute Beginner - A Personal Story of Grief

Stuff

In amongst all the swirling newness of life without Steve, there is also an extraordinary amount of stuff that sits silently waiting to be attended to. The stuff that he accumulated in his life. Mostly, it’s his clothes. Clothes are hard. Clothes are memories, of where they were bought and
Categories:  Absolute Beginner - A Personal Story of Grief

The sun keeps rising

I took this photo on November 4th, the morning after Steve’s funeral. I was out walking before sunrise, on my own with my thoughts. As the inky blackness of the night sky gradually changed and lightened, and the orange tint of sunrise spread across the horizon, there was something so
Categories:  Absolute Beginner - A Personal Story of Grief

Absolute Beginner

A personal story of grief There is a beautiful little book by Baptist minister Richard Littledale, called Postcards from the Land of Grief which my friend Clare mentioned to me a few weeks after Steve died. I recognise that description, with a jolt of familiarity – ‘the land of grief’.
Categories:  Absolute Beginner - A Personal Story of Grief

Stop all the clocks

    Time. Time and space and dates and days. Right now, I am finding these measures all bent out of shape. My perception is warped by profound events that I have experienced since the last post I wrote for the blog, in September.  But I can see a thread