All posts filed under: Grief

It is here…

I’ve run circles around it. I’ve tried to ignore it. I’ve tried to bury it under a pile of comedy shows, in packs of crisps and sweets I’ve been consuming in excess these past few weeks. But oh, I know… I know it won’t go away unless I properly acknowledge it. THE PAIN. You see, this pain is not natural as natural has it. It is not natural for a child to die before his parent so even now, four years on, my instinctive response is to push this pain away. But I’ve learned that it will pounce on me then. Like a sneaky, vicious cat hiding in the shadows, it will come after me. Unless…unless I go for it first. Unless I drag it out of the shadows, expose it and my raw self to the light and say: “I am broken.” Four years ago, the most beautiful boy was born to me. And oh, so many dreams with him. But he was gone before any of those dreams took shape. And from time …

New Resources to Support Bereaved Children

As you well know now, if you follow my blog, I am no longer able to watch a movie or read a book without putting it through the grief perspective. Recently, two children’s programs, the first, a new movie entitled Beyond Beyond and the other a book written by LeVar Burton, from Reading Rainbows, caught my attention as valuable resources that could help bereaved children in comprehending their grief and seeking support in ways that are appropriate and safe. I shall start with The Rhino Who Swallowed A Storm, by LeVar Burton, since he is such a favourite with Emma! Emma has been a subscriber to Reading Rainbows for a couple of years now and absolutely loves the wide range of educational videos they provide. Since she is an emergent reader, she has found the Read to me feature of the thousands of books on offer truly helpful and this is how I got to hear the story read by LeVar myself: The book is about a Rhino and his beautiful world in which “magic …

On Pan, the movie and the fear of Death

On Sunday, Emma and I took the car into Belfast, on a very quiet and bright morning and went to see Pan, the movie released last year. Emma knew of Peter Pan, of course and had watched the classic version of the film several times but you can never beat a Disney movie! We had booked our tickets online via the Odeon Kids’ Cinema and paid £3.00 for both of us, so it was an extra bonus realising that we were the only ones watching Pan, as we got to sit in the comfy seats and chatted to our hearts’ desire, without disturbing anyone. Emma was engrossed from the word go and although she found some elements spooky, like the pirates kidnapping the boys from their orphanage dormitory at night and of course, cruel Mother Barnabas, she thoroughly enjoyed it and spoke about it for the rest of the day. What did I come away with myself, as a bereaved mother? I picked some golden nuggets that continued to simmer in my head over the …

A spoonful of strength

I was going to title this blog post “To the idiot who preached at my husband in the gym yesterday” but decided against it at the last minute. But my blog post is going to deal with that incident and let you into our lives and our rawness, once again. Not because we need your sympathy but because our pain needs to serve a purpose. And if that purpose is education, so be it. My husband is a bereaved parent, just like me. Men deal differently with pain and sorrow, as we all know, but that does not mean that they do not feel the anguish of parting with a beloved child. My husband is a great dad and loves both his children very much. He has very strong bonds of love with Emma and with Georgie, bonds that transcend death and distance. My husband’s heart has been left bruised and emotionally, he has been severely traumatised by what he has seen his son go through. My husband displays signs, just like I do, of …

Coping Toolbox for the Bereaved

The other day I saw this image on the Facebook wall of a post-traumatic stress disorder support group and it got me thinking and realising that instinctively, I have created in time a coping bereavement box for us, as a bereaved family. Things in our virtual box have changed as our grief continues to evolve and integrate into the fabric of our lives. In the first year after Georgie died, we had a memory box downstairs with memorabilia people had so kindly given us in his memory: little glass dragonflies, sympathy cards, wee trinkets from the hospital, some of his name tags from when he was born, flower seeds… Emma was allowed to open it every time she needed to and add things into it so after a while, it did over spill with angel drawings and scribbles, notes she wanted to send to her wee brother in heaven. We had also a memory wall which I had put together and which brought me (but not Alex) great comfort. One day, in a fit of …