One Step at a Time

It takes a lot of getting used to – finding out just how much there is to do, just getting by after the death of a long term partner. In most marriages there are many things that are shared but also many things that are left for the other person to deal with. When that person is no longer there, then there are so many questions – how did he do that? Where did he keep that? What do I do to fix this? And so on….

It can be daunting – it is daunting! It’s also very easy to get snowed under with piles of paper waiting to be dealt with, a to do list that gets longer in spite of crossing  some things off.

How to get through all the unfamiliar tasks, how to stay calm, how to cope? Life is full of questions after a death. One thing at a time – take time out to meet friends, don’t hide away, go for walks, spend time in the garden, don’t be overpwered by the feeling that everything needs to be done now. Take time to adjust, take time to focus on what you have to get used to as being the new ‘normal’.

I’ve realised that it is still possible to be happy when still grieving – strange as that might seem. There are still beautiful sunsets and sunrises, friends and family are like a comfort blanket, life goes on, we still have happy memories. I can look back on our time together  – better to reflect on that than feel resentment about not having more years together.

There are times when just looking at a photograph will bring tears, listening to a piece of music will bring a lump to the throat and be painful. That’s not unusual – just normal. Sorting out clothes and other belongings is hard – one of the hardest things. I’m finding that having those around for a while does help, but not everyone does.

For me, taking one thing at a time, not trying to cope with everything at once is the way to stay sane, to stay on an even keel and keep positive. Life after a death is like climbing a mountain – we have to take it slowly, not rush, not be daunted by the steep climb of the unknown that looms ahead.



Finding Time

There hasn’t been much time to spare recently, but the book From the Mountains to the Sea is selling steadily, the launch went well and I’m now arranging readings in 2020. Combining poems with photographs seems to work well. I now have to consider a follow up which means when we go walking Les needs to be aware of sights that are inspiring me so that he can take an appropriate photograph.

A dear friend of mine died recently and I will be reading the following at her funeral – two poems that were chosen by her. Appropriately they are on friendship and love.


Life is nothing without friendship.

A listening ear can be a lifeline,

an anchor and a means of hope.


Without friendship, life is diminished

desiccated. When found, that special

relationship restores, inspires.


Holding another’s life in mind with care

and understanding, makes for

a strong friendship, valued and rare.


Cherish all loving friendships now

and forever, with much love, hope

for them lasting many years to come.


Love Endures

Questions remain,

faith suspended,

doubt always there,

belief upended.



of what lies ahead,

what faces us beyond

that final curtain.


When we face the end,

will we see and know

beyond that cloud

of unknowing?


Live for the now.

Of the present we are sure.

Though our lives will end,

love will endure.

A death at this time of the year always seems even more poignant. Possibly because it’s a time when we hope to get together with family and friends so losing one seems particularly hard.

Losing someone we are close to makes us more conscious of the importance of living every day to the full and valuing all friendships and relationships rather than taking them for granted. Valuing too the ability to do whatever we can – however trivial that might seem. Taking a walk through a wood and seeing beauty in fungi for instance …















That Time of Year

Over the last few weeks we seem to have been either going to memorial services, funerals or visiting/hearing about friends who are seriously ill. When commenting on it, the usual reply is ‘Well it’s that time of year.’

This has all led to me realising that more than ever we need to make the most of every day, be thankful of what we can do, focus on the ‘now’ and not dwell on the past or worry about the future.

There are some days when it’s possible to climb a mountain and other days when even a mile proves a challenge. This I suppose makes us more aware of the importance of living for the now and doing what we can when we can.


We have been remembering the Reinhold Nieber quotation God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Whether we believe that there is a God or not, that’s a good philosophy to live by.


Thankfully, the book ‘From the Mountains to the Sea’ has at last been launched. Life remains busy but slightly less hectic …

Avilable Now flyer