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  • Theory and Reality

    Saw this on social media and decided to steal it. 

    I think that the official diagram has value in identifying facets of grief that may 9or may not) be experienced.  I think the alternative diagram is more what it actually feels like.

    Last night, I realised that my EHIC had expired and I am due to fly to Europe in Monday.  I frantically ordered a new one, but it cannot reach me i time, as it takes 10 days.  Thankfully there are guidelines on what to do in this eventuality, and I'm not intending to get hurt or sick anyway.  I was quite furious with myself for being so disorganised, ordinarily I would have been well and trully on top of all of this.  So it was reasuring to see 'disorganisation' as one of the characteristics of grief.

    I'm not entirely sure I find the U-shape helpful, with its suggestion that there is a pit into which one descends before climbing up to a new normal.  Still, a least it's given me permission to be a bit scatterbrained!!

  • Taking a break...

    Just a quick post to let any faithful, and potentially concerned, readers know that I will be on annual leave from Saturday for two weeks, so taking a break from blogging, and most other online activities too.

    If any burglars or other nefarious characters happen to be reading this, be aware that on leave does not mean the place is empty, and even if/when it is, the Clepto Kitties will be on guard, and have a whole network of twitter cat friends to call on should the need arise! The #CatsofTwitter and #Ambassacats are a force (for good) to be reckoned with!!

  • #WorldSuicidePreventionDay

    A few weeks ago, my train journey home was severely disrupted due to a fatality - a suicide - on the tracks near Oxenholme.  According to the train manager, this is something that happens every couple of weeks... something in danger of becoming a statistic, a cause of 'delay repay' claims (I didn't, it felt wrong), rather than a human tragedy for those who knew and loved the person whose life was so bitterly unbearable that death seemed kinder, and for the driver, witnesses and emergency services who cannot unsee what they have seen.

    Today is World Suicide Prevention Day and I found my self recalling that, for some unknown reason, the very last time I saw her, my Mum recalled and reminded me of an event that occurred when I was about 17. 

    My Dad was in hospital and, during visiting time, I nipped down to the shop to pick up a newspaper for him.  There was a young man in the bed opposite with no visitors.  On a whim, I bought him a newspaper too, and took it to him before giving my Dad his.  I thought no more about it, indeed, until my Mum recalled it, I had forgotten it ever happened, and had to dig deep to recover the memory.

    What she told me shocked me.  Seemingly the next visiting time, when she was there on her own, the young man had called her over and asked why her daughter would do such a thing (I think she said something about me being a Christian) because he felt so worthless.  In fact, he had been contemplating suicide as soon as he could leave the hospital, but now, he felt there might be hope.

    Almost forty years later, I learned this.  And I really hope that he is now a man in his fifties or sixties whose life has been more good than bad.  I hope that in his lowest and saddest moments other people were able to show him that he mattered - that he matters.  Perhaps he's been able to do the same for others.

    Today I am reminded that the way I speak to, or act towards, others, matters, not necessarily in such a significant way, but in some way.  Kind words, kind acts... these I will seek to demonstrate.