My Mum’s Death: An excerpt from my manuscript

Last week was the fifth anniversary of my mum’s death. And to mark it I submitted my manuscript, Sitting By my Mother's Bedside, to a publisher. (I also cried a bit, bought some flowers and lit a candle and ate some chocolate. But this post is about my manuscript, not the other stuff.) I was … Continue reading My Mum’s Death: An excerpt from my manuscript

The need for validation, purpose and meaning.

I made a few starts to this week’s blog post. And they haven’t gotten far. I started one about sorrow, shame and self-blame, another about anger in response to prying and insensitive questions, and another about the subtle exclusion of the chronically ill from so many facets of community life. But then I started to … Continue reading The need for validation, purpose and meaning.

Thoughts on self-acceptance, activism, chronic illness and disability

I have recently been thinking about my identity, about who I am, and what I can do. About the labels I use to describe myself- and my concern about what labels other people might use to describe me. I am trying to reconnect with a self-acceptance and self-respect that has wavered over the past few years. It was easier before I was sick. I was working and my identity was closely tied to my role. I believed in what I did, and I was proud of it. I also danced, went hiking, ate out, was connected to friends and community. But since becoming unwell it has become harder, less clear, and I’ve struggled to feel the sense of pride that used to come easily to me. continued...

The date slipped by without my noticing

I knew it was coming up, after all it's a date I know so well. But I realised today it had passed me by without my noticing. Quietly without outward acknowledgement or comment. The date of my mum’s stroke  five years ago. The 13th  of August. How did I miss it. As soon as I realise I come up with excuses, I’ve had a cold, I didn’t write the date- but even yesterday on the 14th, I did write the date, and it still did not occur to me. So is this date losing significance, I am not sure about that, I hope not. Did my body remember, perhaps, the episode I had on Sunday was debilitating and left me on the couch for hours. It’s a date I remember, a day very clear. On the 13th of August 2012 I had the last phone conversation ever with my mum. I spoke to her in the morning with no idea that by midnight she would be in hospital. So the date also marks for me the last time I felt free from grief. For me this date marks of the start of a mourning process I go through each year. A period of firsts and lasts, of loss and grief, of hope and sorrow. The time from my Mum's stroke to her death two months later. This year, this time also coincides with the completion of my manuscript which is on this very topic, across this very time frame. Continued...