Simply worth it.

How do you do it?

How do you move forward?

How do you breathe again?

These are only a few of the questions I get asked often regarding grief. When people are lost in the pain, in the missing they need anything to hang on to. I know I did and at times I still do. 

Grief is a unique journey, no two people can face it the same way. Your heart is individual so your pain will be too. 

Some have to scream and rage and allow the anger to be free. Whilst others bury the heartbreak deep, hiding under layer of layer of pretence.

I don’t think there is a right way to grieve it’s about survival and that’s to be found in each of us differently.

At times I have raged against the world, screamed at God and actually hated others for surviving. While other times I have pretended, hid myself under a camouflage of “I’m ok”.

I think one of the worse grief moments I have faced was when I was told by another mum that “she wouldn’t have survived losing her child” as if the fact that I’m still here now is a disrespect to my beautiful girl. That I failed to love her enough. 

This makes me so angry as I would have only failed my beautiful daughter if I had given up. If after watching her face battle after battle to live, I chose not to. 

Grief is unique no one can understand the journey unless they are walking it. It’s like explaining a space walk whilst on the ground. You cannot fathom it, you cannot come close. 

It’s a personal journey that people have to walk on their own but hopefully not alone. 
It has its own timetable for each and everyone of us. Sometimes it’s five steps forward seven back. 

The only advice I would offer is to be kind to yourself and to be true. Don’t hide how it hurts because if you don’t allow it out it will twist up inside of you. Speak to others, share your pain with those who are walking alongside you. 

Remember those you have lost as they were. Laugh at the antics they used to pull, smile at their characters. 

I truly believe they never leave you. So talk to them, let them know what you are up to, how much you miss them. I chat to Livvy daily, remarking on what are sisters are up to or how I may strangle her dad. 

I was struggling to find the words to end this post. How do I explain my relationship with grief? How to convey how I would face this pain a million times over for Olivia. That although it hurts like crazy it is so worth it, because I got to be mom to this beautiful, brave girl. 

  

  

Then I read a post from the beautiful Ann Voskamp and this just simply says it all. 

  

I would pay the price again and again because simply she was worth it. 

The song of loss

As I sit on the bench at Livvy’s special place. I just watch as people come to visit their loved ones.

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The elderly man who comes everyday to visit his wife. He bends tentatively to the ground laying his flowers for the lady he cared for through the last years of her life. The woman he had loved for over 50 years still loving upon her now.

The middle aged woman who tends the grave of her parents with the kindness they shown her throughout her life. Missing her moms sweet laughter ,her fathers sage advice.

The woman who tends the grave of her son who lies across from Livvy. She is there everyday still looking over him as mothers do. Her heart aching for a son who is now out of her reach.

All of us from different places from different lives but united in grief.

Our pain is there in our eyes for the whole world to see.

As we tend the graves of the ones we miss so desperately. Our hearts beat yet each missing a piece.

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Trying to move on in a life we can never fully connect too. A life that is full of shadows of the ones we grieve for.

I lay Livvy’s yellow roses and as the sweet smell reaches my nose my heart is burning. Burning with the missing.

I look at her photo, that smile that I ache for everyday.

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Those eyes so full of mischief never to hold my gaze again.

I look up with tears as the old man gently taps my arm.

It’s doesn’t get easier” he says. I cannot answer for the words are lost in my throat.

No it doesn’t get easier. Over time I guess we learn to carry our burden a little higher.Hiding the pain in a way that makes people think we are healing.

But a broken heart doesn’t heal. It just beats to a different drum.

The grief march.

A tune no one wishes to learn.

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Yet one that once you know will haunt your soul.

The notes of missing

The notes of longing.

The notes of pain.

The song of loss.

Summer BMX fun.

So summer is finally here and I’m determined to get my family out making the most of the nice weather and making some special memories.

So when Argos offered me the opportunity to review one of their bikes I was rather excited.

Not for me but for my youngest who had been dropping big hints about getting a new bmx.

Argos delivered quickly and Alan had the bike ready in less that 30 minutes for Brodie to try out.

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Lets just say the bike was a big hit. Brodie has been out every afternoon. She absolutely loves it.

I’m going to let my photos show you just how much.

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See, a picture is worth a thousand words. In Brodie’s words this BMX “rocks “

This is a great BMX from Argos

Here’s to many more memory making days.

 

* I was sent this BMX for the purpose of this review but all opinions are my own or my daughters.

 

 

 

 

My wet memory making week in Weston

So now I’m home and finally beginning to warm up again I can share my week in wet Weston super mare.

To be honest considering the weather was dismal we did have some fun moments but my goodness at times it was so very cold.

We got to visit a local Orchard and sample some of their sweet cider.

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Visit the new Weston pier, which to be honest I felt didn’t have the same character as the old one. To me it was just a walk way to amusement hell.

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Though the views off the pier were stunning.

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We got take our dog for his first dip in the sea and even he thought it was too cold.

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Of course we had the family posing moments.

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We also got to have a wonderful lunch  at the seafront Belvedere bar club & Terrace the fish was simply yummy. I really recommend trying it out if you are ever in Weston.

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The girls also had to try out the rides.

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So as I said it was wet, it was cold but we were together as a family.

Making memories.

 

 

 

Memory Making

Have you ever had one of those days when it feels God was shining down on you.

For me last Saturday  was one of those days.

In my alter ego the founder of the charity Livvy’s Smile we hosted a fun day at SNAPs a special needs playground.

It was truly an amazing day with over 50 children and their families having lots of fun and creating those special memories.

The sun shined and the air was filled with laughter.

Everywhere we looked children’s faces were filled with smiles.

Parents chatting together finding strength and comfort in shared understanding.

Raising children with special needs can be hard and it can also be isolating and lonely.

I watched siblings play side by side, faces painted in fantastic designs and balloon animals, flowers, swords galore.

With good food, and an atmosphere filled with joy.

A perfect memory making day.

Take a look at the memory video click logo xxxx

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My Alter Ego – Livvy’s Smile.

I’m sharing the link to my alter ego as the co-founder of  Livvy’s Smile. A charity that creates magical memory making days.

This is the first of the events we hope to hold in 2013.

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Please take a look and if you know of anyone who may like to join us on this memory making day please pass on the details.

Every day is a gift, lets make the most of them, this was the biggest lesson Livvy ever taught us.

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Also if you would like to help up with fundraising please email me @Livvvyssmile@hotmail.co.uk.

Memory on a farm

After chatting to someone of twitter last night I found myself clicking through to their website and after doing so found myself going back nearly five years to the memory of our last holiday with Livvy.

We were staying in a static caravan in West Wales on a beautiful farm. They only had one static caravan and a few holiday cottages so the place was so peaceful, unless of course you count the noise from the chickens or the barking of the farm dogs or the baaing of the sheep. We didn’t we simply loved being on the farm.

Anyway while we were there we chatted a little to the farmer and his wife who were a lovely couple. The farmer offered the girls a ride in his tractor and of course you can imagine the squeals of joy that came from them and true to his word a few days the girls are circling his field in the big red tractor.

I remember if it was yesterday as unfortunately Livvy had suffered a seizure on this day (one of many) and was asleep recovering in the caravan. So although it was great to see the other three zooming around the field I was gutted that Livvy had missed out as we knew she loved the tractor, but we had no control of these things and sometimes we just had to accept this. We were just so grateful that the farmer took time away from his farming duties to give the girls a ride, the looks on their faces were priceless.

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Anyway that was that, well we thought that was the case until a couple of hours later the farmers wife knocked on the caravan door. It seems her husband couldn’t bear the thought of Livvy missing out on the tractor ride and if she was well enough would she like to ride tomorrow.

Bless that mans kind heart.

The following morning we lifted a giggling Livvy into the tractor, she drove round and round that field laughing all the way. Her smile lit up right across her face. Both Livvy and the farmer were glowing.

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We couldn’t thank the farmer enough but he just smiled in a shy way and disappeared back to his work.

 

That farmer gave Livvy a wonderful gift but for us it was one of the greatest.

 

A magical memory.

 

It is memories like this and the others we hold that keep us connected to Livvy.

 

They are like strands threaded together to create a rope from heaven to earth.

 

The invisible bond that will always bind us.

 

I often think of that sweet farm in Wales and hate that I cannot remember its name. Nameless or not it will always hold a special place in my heart.

 

I’m so thankful for these memories and I was reminded that I need to create more. My girls are growing up so quickly that before long they will be off to university and into the world on their own. I know I’m not losing them but their childhood is special and I want it to be full of amazing moments that they can remember.

 

In fact this is the gift I wish for all children.

 

So I am so grateful for the chat I had on twitter with Coombe Mill Farm and if you fancy a farm holiday they seem a great place to visit. I know I am seriously considering a trip.