Grief, noticing, and hope

I’ve been feeling the grief I mentioned in the last post I wrote, so deeply lately. And it feels very much to do with not telling my mum how I’m doing, what I’m doing, all that I’m achieving, all that I’m healing. It feels a grief so painful that I usually end up lost and unable to sit with it. I end up scared and feeling too vulnerable. I need someone there to guide me through it. To help me grieve.

I just want to reach out to someone, to a mum, and tell them how I’m doing. The funny thing is, I don’t actually want to do it with my mum. I want to do it with a mum. It feels like a pain in my chest that hurts every time I realise I don’t do this. It’s there because I want to do it with my mum, but I think the grief has come – and is something I am able to hold – because part of me is realising I’m not going to be. This distance is essential and I think the more I realise that, the more the grief can come. And the more I realise how much this distance is bringing me – the way it’s enabling me to shape my identity and ultimately, to heal – I think the grief can come for this reason too.

I feel lost and abandoned, and hurting and open.

I feel full of grief but I feel full of love. I feel lost but I feel like I’m continually coming home, to the person I was always meant to – and going to – be.

I do feel a despite ache for things to be different. With my mum and my dad. With my

Witting about it feels safe. Thinking about it feels safe, because now I don’t over-think. I drop into the feeling and where it is lying in my body. I allow the grief to have a voice, and move. I think this is why it feels safe. I don’t get flashbacks because I am with the feeling, with my body, rather than with my mind. My mind is where the graphics, the images, are stored. My body is where the gold lies. Where the memories are stored in the place they can release from.

The place that love belongs, and the place that love and compassion can be found.

This has broken open a door in my healing process, I’m sure of it. Just what I’ve noticed in the last month, is something to go on. And so I hope that continues. I’m pretty sure it will, because I remember my therapist once telling me that mindfulness – mindfully feeling feelings – is like riding a horse (or a bike, i can’t remember which). Once you get the hang of it, you wondered how you ever lived without it or how you ever couldn’t do it before.

Mindfulness as a practise – meditation – has defo come in waves and ebbs and flows. But the practise of being mindful is different. That’s just been growing and growing the last year or so. And this way of feeling feelings in my body has been the theme of therapy for the last two years, but something that I’ve found hard to coin for myself out of therapy.

But it’s coming. Defo coming. In fact, I think it’s actually come. It’s here. It’s happening. I’m doing it, and I’m succeeding with it.

That’s pretty rad.

20140226-074741 pm.jpg

The thing about this grief that’s here, is that I feel able to share it with others. I feel able to feel it when I’m with others and not always say something about it. Or I just need to say ‘I feel sad’ or ‘I feel alone’ or ‘I’m feeling a lot grief at the moment’, and that is often enough. I really notice my communication has become a lot clearer and from the heart.

I don’t need as many words as I had to, to say what I need to say, or to feel connected and supported. That’s beautiful and so so healing due to how lonely I have been feeling lately. That loneliness can be soothed with just one heartfelt connection rather than a few connections in which I’ve tried and tried to speak from a place I can be heard, but never ending my feeling really heard and seen, and ending up feeling more pain and more loneliness and isolation.

The trick is I also notice who I pick to connect with, to talk to, to open my heart to. This has been coming for a while, and still is growing – my ability to notice and nourish myself with people that notice and nourish me. And picking the people to talk to about whatever topic – knowing my crew, knowing my resource, and sticking with the guidelines, the boundaries, of each friendship. That used to always piss the stubborn part of me off, because I want someone to be there for the whole of me, and so I would step over these boundaries and into the limitless love area…but would rarely feel met and would generally feel raw and open for hours afterwards. And lost, too.

I think it’s the art of noticing. That’s the puppy in healing, it seems. Noticing, not attaching. Noticing, not describing. Noticing, not telling. Noticing not rejecting. Noticing, not missing. And noticing it all – the bits that piss me off, the bits that make me rage inside that are part of me or feelings I’m feeling, the parts of me that I just fucking wish weren’t there sometimes. The parts of me that hold so much pain it’s seemingly uncontrollable.

The parts of me that pretend to not need me, but so do.

It’s noticing it all with an open heart and a compassionate warmth towards myself and the world around me.

Noticing. Noticing. Noticing.

20140226-075807 pm.jpg


it does it

As I sat in a patch of strawberries and chives, weeding and moving them to a better home, I realised how much I need this. How much I need to spend my days outside, in the soil, sunshine, mud, grit, dirt, grass, flowers, compost, alongside the slugs and snails, and crickets and butterflies.

Today gave me time to really ponder about how I feel like I’ve made a choice to get through this. But to try to surrender to it too. That’s the tricky bit. The bit that seems to pipe up and say ‘yo, don’t forget about me babe.’

It gave me time to think of how I attempted to commit suicide. To touch in with the vat of emotion that follows this realisation.

It gave me time to miss my dad. To ask him how he’s doing way over there with his toes in Canadian soil. To think of the things I’d say to him. To give him a sorry that I’m not in touch. That I can’t be. I wonder what he’s doing, who he’s playing to, what he’s singing, what shirt he’s wearing, whether he’s presentable, whether he looks scruffy, whether he looks loveable, whether he’s being loved, whether he’s being looked after, whether he has a community around him, whether he still sits with that lady in the teashop.

I talked about my dad. I talked about his record contract offer from The Beatles manager. I talked about his playing on the main stage at Glastonbury. I talked about him playing his harp to Michael Eavis who began glastonbury. I talked about how they were really good friends. I talked about his ability to turn up on people’s doorsteps at the right time – his dabble with six sense style stuff. I talked about his eccentricity, his schizophrenia, his weirdness, his obsession with my sister, his regard of me as the one that’s special – the one that’s okay – the one that holds it all – the one that has the answers always – the responsibility that I always felt was a weird one.

As I sat on the step after lunch, mud on almost all of my clothes and most of my face, I missed him. I really let myself feel that emptiness and hurt and pain and loss and sorrow and loneliness and want and need and longing and to cry. I cried for you dad. I miss you.

So here is a flower for you. Each time I see it I will think of you dear pa.


As I carried stones on top of the strawbale house, I spoke of all the anger I had towards you. I spoke the beginnings of unfinished or un-had conversations had with you. For that, there is more to come. But for now I want to sit with the present and the sadness but the peace too.

And so here is a shot of the chives and my shoes. Chives make good company when you’re not sure what to do.


Strawberries make good company too. I got to know this little patch well yesterday as I plucked them from their cosy home and set them to a new one beneath the hedgerow.


Get out there and get in it.


Because nature really does it.

Would love to know how nature helps you folks. Or just what bits you find yourself in in the day. Even if it is just a smidgen of grass or a quick chat with a flower – it still counts and helps the head 100%, so go give yourself that time as you deserve it. ☀