Warning, When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple

10 02 2016

Sure sign I have an exam coming up… Liver Detoxification pathways or write my blog, looks like I have a date with liver detox at 5am tomorrow before work!

It seems like the winds of change are blowing! And as weird as it may seem I realise that I  initially struggle somewhat with change. I like the predictable, the safe, the steady, the thing I struggled with when we lived in Gladys was not knowing where and how long we would be somewhere for. As it turned out we didn’t have to move about too much which suited me fine. That felt much safer.

So its funny to find myself writing that I don’t like change when so much has changed in such a relatively short space of time. But not liking change is not the same as not embracing it or adapting to it. One of my most used quotes ever at work must be “Change is Inevitable” my poor clients have to hear me banging on about it ad infinitum, but, true to my training many many years ago, I never expect my clients to do anything that I am not prepared to do.

Brace yourself friends and followers… I’ve been on a bit of a journey of change in the last week  and I can tell you I loved it so much that much more is coming from where that came from!

Where to start and how to explain I don’t really know and whether you get it or not, well thats up to you.

Some time back I booked to go to a festival over Valentines weekend. I thought losing myself in a few hundred people that I didn’t know would be much better than being the odd number in a small group, the elephant in the room so to speak. Being a festival virgin I booked myself a yurt to stay in so if all else failed and I hated it I could resume my fail safe position of not being involved or in other words by standing (grandma crabapple) and hide away in the yurt until it was all over.

Obviously the Universe had vastly different plans for me and is sabotaging any attempts I may make to remain both uninvolved and a crabapple! Turns out the yurt is communal! Lucky I found out in plenty of time, not to cancel remember Im  not a quitter, but to prepare myself. Obviously I didn’t take the news well initially. A call to Pippin verging on the hysterical (she was very good and didn’t laugh until safe to do so) followed by a less hysterical but ‘what the fuck am i going to do’ call to my measured advisor who promptly laughed immediately!! The thought of it was so far out of my comfort zone it messed with my sleep for a couple of nights.

In truth I actually don’t know how the next bit happened but if there was any logic involved it went a bit like this. If Im going to be uncomfortable sharing a yurt with 30 strangers then do something before that weekend thats even more out of your comfort zone and then the yurt will be a piece of piss! Makes sense right?

Somehow or the other I stumbled on (or the Universe found for me) a Conscious (no drugs no alcohol) Shamanic Tantric Trance Dance in London that offered to ‘Wake me up, turn me on and tune me in”. Oh, and just one other thing to add here, you wear a blind fold. Remember I blogged some time ago about finding a Tantric Massage and the video of the mans ugly bits bobbling about had me running a mile from looking any further into it. Not this time, no ugly bits bobbling about in the video but some pretty free spirited wild dancing going on. Just the thing to get me over my fear of sharing a yurt!

So festival virgin becomes tantric virgin! I signed up there and then, drove to the venue on Saturday, donned my blindfold with the other beautiful folk and had the absolute best time of my life. Nothing sordid, no nakedness, but freedom like I have never ever known or experienced ever. The point of the blindfold is that you are making a commitment to yourself to feel and go through any discomfort or fear and come out the other side to a stronger freer place. There’s a rule of no talking at all on the dance floor and no by standing both of which are deemed fear based actions (makes sense, theres lots of talking shit that goes on because people feel uncomfortable or vulnerable and so run off at the mouth and I know that I by stand or don’t get involved to protect my vulnerability).

The music woke my soul, the dancing freed my spirit and the whole evening turned me upside down inside out and backs to front in the most glorious mad and unexplainable way. The people filled my heart with joy and the room spun with pure bliss. I let go of so much in a few hours, conformity, convention, judgement and fear. All for £20!!!

The music is still ringing in my soul, my spirit is soaring free as a bird and any tie I had to conformity is melting away. I have not by-stood since saturday (crab apple gland well and truly disengaged), and I am absolutely champing at the bit to get to the festival.

In my morning meditations I always ask that what I am doing is for the highest good of me and for the highest good of the one in all. Last Saturday I surrendered to something and became part of a something, a community, part of the One in All.

What blessings my courage lead me to on Saturday night. I will never let go now of my blindfold, you will not see me wearing it but it will always be there,unseen, my commitment to myself to feel the fear, journey through it and emerge stronger, freer and changed a little bit more.

In search of more purple…. Namaste friends x


January Blues!

13 01 2016

I think even in the good old days, long before life got hard, January could always seem a bit of a long bleak month. Today though has, quite honestly seemed longer and bleaker than ever and where the hell that snuck up from nobody knows! Christmas Eve deja Vu!

I have had the blessing though of lots of WhatsApp activity from my friend who coincidentally turned out to be studying at the same college as me in London, and she had been stuck in a death by powerpoint lecture all day!  LG you are an angel and your WhatsApp really helped me through.

My intentions for the day started so well, as ever, outside in the spiritually peaceful place that is ‘Mynzies’ back garden. Always such a beautiful start to the day but it sort of went very quickly downhill after that. Damn Van Morrison, he started his heart tuggingly sorrowful singing of “Reminds me of you”… a song laden with meaning for when Alistair and I first met. Ive listened to this countless times over the past year but today for some reason it set off a stream of pain inside me that has yet to be quenched all these hours later.

Im pretty good usually at satiating the emotional beast within when she wakes! Not today. I broke with protocol and blubbed when a friend phoned.. hanging up did cross my mind but then Im learning to make myself  a little more vulnerable in some circumstances and this seemed to be one of them. It helped, a lot. Note to all people talking to people in my situation..don’t offer platitudes, don’t try and fix and don’t ever say “oh don’t cry”! Thank you for holding me in that painful space so kindly my friend, you did good.

My plans to get my head stuck into my books to satisfy my study schedule went out of the window and I took myself off to Burwash Manor in Cambridge. Two things help I feel in such dire emotional situations; spending money and eating cake!!!! Still healthier than my old go to vices; 20 Sobranie Cocktails and several double Jack Daniels!

Candace caught up with me on the phone whilst at said venue, oh god, the protocol went even further out of the window..tears in the shop! What the fuck!!!! Well swerved though Pippin and well held too. Thank you. I can only remember not being able to hold it together to this extent once before, 5 days before Alistair died. We had had the most awful row, so unusual for us but you can imagine the tension was way up there and it wasn’t helped by the morphine either. I was done in, frazzled, completely finished, didn’t want to go home but didn’t want to not be there either and I was trying to order a Chinese takeaway in the local restaurant. God only knows what they must have thought, I was a complete wreck in there!

And I think that the awful horror of what I went through for the last 10 months of Alistair’s life has somewhat cushioned me over the past year. It was so truly horrific, so stressful, so knackering, so emotional, so desperately hard that when he died it was such a relief. As much as I missed him, there was no more struggle, for either of us.

In time though, the pain of those memories has dimmed, as it surely must. We are not geared up to remember pain, it doesn’t do us any good and as that pain has moved into the background the enormity of living without Alistair has surfaced today. What a bloody swizz!

I don’t plan to be snivelling my way through this year but over the past few days I have been missing things that previously I hadn’t considered. The little things that came with being in a relationship, Alistair meeting me at the station after a long weekend at college, having him open the door when I got home from work, smelling the incense that he’d lit in anticipation of my arrival home. And then of course, as I have mentioned in previous posts, the physical side of our relationship. I miss him, I miss his arms around me, I miss our intimacy. And I miss that he was the one person I only ever really trusted with my raw emotion.

And then of course I have a “doing it list”. And I will do the things on my doing it list, every damn one of them, I will do things that I would perhaps rather not be doing because I have to, I have to create a meaningful life for myself, over and above the beautiful meaning that Candace and Kirt and my close family and friends bring. BUT, today, the thought of doing those things makes me feels so lonely, Im only doing them because Alistair died. I say today because most likely tomorrow will bring a totally different vibe, I hope that my joyful spirit will be reinstated and i will be once again be looking forward to the weird wild and wonderful things I have planned for myself.

So a tough day, don’t panic, Im not, nobody ever died of a bunch of feelings, its what we do to keep away from them that causes the damage and Im always willing to feel them, Im also a tough old bird.

And now the feelings are quenched, peace is descending, my blog, my children and my friends have worked their magic


Namaste x





A song to be sung

28 12 2015

So here I am writing my blog from a little tea room in beautiful Aldeburgh on the last day of the long Christmas holiday weekend

Emotions sort of snuck up on me, canny things that they are, on Christmas Eve, uninvited and out of the blue whilst I was out in a cafe in Saffy. Damn bloody feelings! No warning, just a miniature tsunami that welled up from somewhere in the depths of me just as my lip curlingly black coffee arrived at the table. I hate being caught unawares like that. And caught I was! I had literally popped out with only my money in my pocket, no sun glasses to hide behind, no tissues to fain a cold, no note book or book to lose myself in. Nothing whatsoever to deflect the hot sting of the sad fat tears as they spilled out accompanied by that sharp intake of breath, a sort of emotional prodromal warning that snot and tears are steaming forward. I summoned every ounce of self restraint and strength that I had and called forth an authoritative yet kindly inner voice that whispered “ Not here poppet, not now”. They taught me years ago when I was training as a therapist how to avert my tears as they didn’t agree with showing emotion in front of a client. I do show emotion in front of my clients and in the main they seem to appreciate it! However, in this instance, the tactics worked!

Weird I know, being as I write about such intimate details of my life for all and sundry to read, perfect strangers know more about me than people that should perhaps know more, but that said, I am actually fiercely private about who gets to see me emotionally raw. Its a small audience that consists of… ME!!!!

Tsunami averted, the strongest coffee on the planet swiftly swallowed and I was out of there and back to the refuge and privacy of ‘Mynzies’ where no more holding it together was called for and the wailing beast could be unleashed. Definitely a Waaambulance job!!

It did its job though, Christmas Day and Boxing Day were given the green light without Moaning Myrtle making an appearance. Lucky for all those that had my company. As ever, Candace and Kirt came up trumps and kept an understated but heartfelt ‘widow watch’ out for me. Gave me space but included me in all that I wanted.

To be honest, come the day after Boxing day, I was ready for time without anyone. I wasn’t sure what I needed or wanted, it turned out it was today, a trip to the seaside, to the beautiful Aldeburgh. Its always beckoned me and reminds me of spending time with my Mum in years gone by. The two of us used to escape for a couple of nights now and then, mooch about, have several too many drinks and laugh about all sorts of nonsense.

Today,the bracing wind blew the shadows away and the sea air worked her magic on my spirit, although sadly not on my poor old lady knee, 50 metres walking on the pebble beach rendered me all but crippled. A shocking state of affairs being as I had been hoping to join a Lindy Hop dance class in the New year and possibly attempt a 5k mud run in the spring! Obviously those plans will have to wait until I have a brand spanking new knee some time in the future. Then watch me mud run and Lindy Hop!!

So the route march was cancelled and instead I wrote this in the warmth and comfort of the Cragg Sisters Tea Rooms over a bowl of butter bean, lemon and thyme soup, see how wild I am these days!

Another thing that Aldeburgh had up its sleeve for me aside from the aforementioned tea room, was the gift of a Christmas Tree on the beach specifically and generously donated for the remembrance of those who have left ahead of us! Perfect, they even had pens on a ‘Pebble Homage’ table to use and leave at the tree. I just love synchronicity!

So thats me, refreshed, joy reinstated, moaning myrtle satiated and as ready as I will ever be for the new year. A year of newness I hope, new experiences, new adventures, new additions to my ‘ doing it’ list and as ever plenty of laughter.

It seems looking back over the run up to Christmas 2015, I have, with the help of my precious family and a couple of special friends, laughed and laughed, I have also sung so heartily that my little throat strands have needed coaxing to still natter the nonsense that I natter to myself or the poor soul Im probably boring to death with my nattering. I have set the bar high for next year!

So thank you thank you thank you to my stalwart family, especially Candace and Kirt who have held me so preciously in their hearts, always ready to catch me if I stumble but knowing me so well and watching me wonder. My beautiful sister Kate,  and Gillian and Uncie Paul. Thank you to my dear friend (don’t panic, I won’t name you) who has called me without fail every week since early Spring to see how I am and can equally talk shit forever and thank you to my friend who is possibly the busiest person on the planet yet finds time for me even when there is no time to be found.

I am almost, almost, through the calendar year and to be honest I will be really glad when I am. During this year I have built the foundations of a life for myself and now I am excited to live the rest of the journey still with a heart full of love and a spirit full of joy

Namaste friends and a Happy New year 🙂


Growing into myself

16 11 2015

Much like many of life’s great milestones, when they come along, there are no instructions attached to show you how to manage it. And so it was when my twosome with Alistair became a Onesome with myself.

Hard to believe I am heading towards my first year, that all important ‘calendar year’ that I have been banging on about to grieving clients for most of my practising life! A year of firsts to get through, the first birthday, christmas, wedding anniversary, new year, holiday, change in season and all the other things that may come along that need to be manoeuvred through, alone, rather than together.

And there’s that word that I have come to loathe, ‘alone’, its like forever there will be something missing, Im not alone by choice. Life made that decision for me, life on life’s terms, not mine.

Please, don’t get me wrong, Im flourishing on my own, I’ve nestled into it and I really like it, I’m not lonely, Im content, I love the life that I have and remain in awe of how the Universe has taken care of me and of course I remain steadfast in my eclectic beliefs. But, being Mrs Rhind, the widow of the late Alistair Rhind will always render me the half that has been left behind, the lone surviving partner. And that seems a bit grim really.

So as the months have passed, and here I am, hard to believe, but 3/4 of the way through My calendar year without him I realise I have developed my own sense of ‘Oneness’ (add an ‘L’ and you have ‘Loneness’- take the ‘L’ away and, ta da, you have ‘Oneness). Oneness is good, it feels whole, as of course it is.

Then the other day, unplanned and unexpectedly my Oneness evolved a step further. The beautiful Pippin is having her ancestry traced and called me, brimming over with excitement, to update me with what has been uncovered so far on both sides of her family. It turns out my family had some pretty amazing first names a hundred or so years ago. Zillah for example!

As soon as I heard that name I knew it belonged to me, the me I am now. I can’t explain it and have no need to, the name called me and I responded, immediately!

I changed my name by deed poll there and then, but of course, never one to do things by half, when the online form gave me the option to make any other changes to my name I claimed my maternal grandmothers maiden name too. It was something I had thought of doing when I was divorced from my first husband, however, Alistair was not so happy to water down his family name so to speak with a double barrelled name so I waited and claimed Alistair’s name. And was always happy with Mrs Rhind, until Zillah came along, and shone her light on the me I have grown into over these past 9 months.

And grow I certainly have. Im in India now, my 50th Birthday present to myself, plus I promised Alistair I would come back in his stead if he didn’t make it. We had planned to come out in February of this year, of course that couldn’t happen. Looking back over the past several months I can see how my confidence has grown, in comparison to how I felt in Turkey earlier on in the year, the first of the firsts you see! Turkey was good, but Im 100 times stronger, much more sure of my own space now and I feel quite at ease wondering about here on my own.

Time of course has helped me to heal and grow, creating new experiences for myself to learn and develop from has helped me to grow and putting my brave pants on and getting on with life has helped me to grow. And as my beautiful sister said to me, Zillah sounds like the owner of some seriously brave pants!!

So back to the name change…the day I honoured my Oneness and became a whole person again; Rebekah Zillah O’Neal Rhind. Feels good.

Namaste x




50!!!!! Birthday Blog

26 10 2015

Today I am 50 🙂

As this year has unfolded and I wander though the ‘wilderness of widowhood’, a territory that like many life transitions remains completely unnavigated until you find yourself in it, this day, Monday 26th October, my 50th birthday, has been poking its head up on the horizon for quite some time. Not because I love to party, go out, get shit faced or herald such landmarks with noise and bluster that includes all and sundry. NO NO NO…much like my own mum, Im a bit of a crab apple when it comes to such things (thank you Candace for my new nickname Grandma Crab Apple, I rather like it). No, its been popping into my mind because I wondered how it would be, without my man.

Im sure in a previous blog post I have rambled on about ‘A calendar year’, a year of firsts in the world of grief. And this seemed like it might be quite a big one.

In truth though, its not, its no more or no less than any other day. My mind could totally have made it more, without doubt, my mind like anyone else’s has the capability to awfulise, create pessimistic scenarios, draw a tapestry of doom and gloom and engage in an inner dialogue that fuels itself on ‘its not fairs’ and ‘I can’t stand its’. Whats also true, and this is no disrespect to my darling man, is that Alistair was not that good at remembering my birthday!!! Its true, he made me feel special every day and was always appreciative of me and all of the things I have written about over the years. But, his forte was not birthday celebrations!

What has helped massively whilst wondering through the wilderness though is to plan ahead! Not my greatest forte, Im not blessed with the greatest organisational skills but I am open to learn! So I have planned several lovely events with equally lovely people, and some equally lovely people have made amazing plans for me to celebrate over the next couple of weeks. Thank you. This planning has extended to Alistair’s birthday and the first anniversary of his passing from this world to the next. Didn’t  Abraham Lincoln say as much?- ‘In failing to plan you are planning to fail’ thanks Abe, really helpful as the last thing I want to be is a failure… in anything!!!

As ever, I count my blessings for all that I have and I honour all that I have had and all that is yet to come. Im looking forward to the unfolding of this next year and all that it brings. My heart is smiling loudly today 🙂

Today seems a good time to thank everyone, my family and friends old and new who have shown me unwavering support, love and kindness since February. My life is richer for the love you have all brought and of course I acknowledge and offer my gratitude too to the unconditional love and light of The Universe.

Namaste x

Full Circle Finale

7 10 2015

When I started this honest and candid blog, that was never meant to be more than a peak into mine and Alistair’s life as we bent and adapted to life with the curve ball three and a half years ago, little did I know that I would eventually be writing about life on my own without my ‘Big Bear’  by my side to keep me company, protect me and love me forever.

But it occurs to me now that I have actually come full circle.

Last week I moved into my new cottage, now called ‘Mynzies’ in memory of Alistair, wrapping his huge loving arms around me and saying possessively and lovingly “you’re mynzies nobody else’s all mynzies”. I loved being his, if I was his for all of eternity it wouldn’t have been too long. Please, no platitudes in the comment box, I know he is still around me, I know I was lucky to have known such tender and great love, I know all these things. I am merely making a statement of fact.

As the packing and boxing commenced it is true to say I packed up 107 in more ways than one. Of course I packed and wrapped all of the precious items I wanted to have with me here, I recycled, dumped (always feel bad about land fill- no excuses- I used the easy option) and charity shopped all the things that no longer had a purpose. Remember the Shamans words from a much earlier blog post? If you don’t know why you have something in your life either let it go or reconnect with it!  Bits and bobs of Alistair’s found homes with his old biking friends Tony and Gogs (thank you two too for keeping in such close contact with me- I count myself very lucky to have you both in my life 🙂 and honour your friendship) and I released the hold that some of Alistair’s old jackets and clothes had over me. I even released the battered old sandals! I continued the theme of release by letting go of old photographic ‘memoirs’ of people that no longer feature in my life, something quite beautifully naughty about doing that! And finally with Autumn once again upon us, I had to clear out of my sight the purple boots and jacket that I wore last year that seemed to unravel a private film show in my mind every time I looked at them, a film of me, drudging through town, queueing endlessly in Boots, day after day it seemed, to pick up prescriptions for Morphine, dressings, pee bags, laxatives and any other form of pain relief that was needed to try to stem the pain that wracked Alistairs body and bring him a modicum of relief. A picture of me tired to the bone, battle weary but still mustering up a smile and ready for action the next day. I feel truly saddened for that me, that part of me,  I intend to care for her and treat her with the respect and love that she totally deserves.

And then of course there was the emotional letting go. Letting go of the horror, the trauma, the emotional assault course that I faced daily that is the true picture of nursing not just someone at home until their death but the person I loved more than anything in the whole wide world, the person that was the out breath to my in. Of course we love/d our children, adore/d them, but the love between man and woman is a totally different love to the love we have for our children. So I let go and left behind me all of the pain- the memories, the conflicts that came along and the sickness that is cancer… you can see this move has turned out to be very cathartic.

And then the reminders, many people count down in sleeps to some exciting event, I counted down in ‘disabled showers left until I move’ and if I never see one or have to use one again, it will still be too soon! The stair lift,the riser recliner chair, the disabled aids and gadgets, all gone from me now and no place for them in ‘Mynzies’.

So here I am in  a beautiful cottage not dissimilar to the one we had to sell as a result of the curve ball, the one that Candace and Kirt and I hold dearly in our memories of the time our family was together. This one is smaller and cuter! Its perfect for me, it beckons newness, it heralds a new dawning of me, as I begin to darn the next mosaic of my souls tapestry. Im ready to move forward, to dust off the grey matter and continue my studies. To travel, to write, to welcome myself into the third stage of womanhood. Im going to be 50 in three weeks time, Im off to India to celebrate, to soothe my spirit and to let the last vestiges of the onslaught of 2014/2015 leave my aura for good.

When I wrote my opening blog over three years ago about having to leave our beloved Angel wrapped cottage little did I know that a little over three years later I would be embracing the challenge of widowhood and living in another angel wrapped cottage, only the wings of this angel belong to my darling Alistair.

Namaste friends Namaste x


Tantric in the title should have been warning enough Rebekah!

2 08 2015

So here I am on my lovely decking in our spiritual garden, surrounded by tub after tub of amazing flowers and trees, pots of ferns and pinks and clematis and roses. All manner of ornaments, jewellery and chimes hanging and twinkling from various places and a wooden bowl steadily filling up with the treasures that I gather on my daily walks that get hand painted or decorated when the whim takes me. The suns gone down, the dusk is setting and to top it all off Ive found a Scottish folk festival on the radio to listen to! Wonderful. The speaking is in Gaelic so i have no idea what they are saying but who cares its really soothing.

I had many choices today to entertain myself, an offer of company and tea at new friends house, a place booked at Moon Henge in Cambridge for a pagan blessing ceremony and the idea of going to the local pictures to see ‘Spy’. And yet when it came to it… I stayed here, with Archie. It felt like I needed to be near home, near to Alistair and my feelings maybe. I ached, really really ached for him this afternoon. To be able to climb into my own special space right next to him and sniff him in and feel his love encompass me, yes, ache is the right word.

I think thats where I am now on this journey of widowhood, missing physical touch with him. Skin Hungry is a phrase that I have come across, the need for touch. So this is a new transition for me, a different face of the loss of my man, my best friend, my lover.  So I fired up my friend Google and read on forums and other sites about what other people who are alone might have done to help with this. Those that know me know me to be open minded and not shy at trying things that are a bit “out there” so when tantric massage came up as option I thought, well, OK, let me find out a bit more about it!!!

I’ll tell you why I found.., NAKED man with his wobbly ugly bits bobbling about whilst he oiled and massaged his female subject!!! That, I was not expecting. I got a bit more alarmed the more I ventured onto the Tantric Massage sites. Please enlighten me if I have got this wrong but it seemed to me as if I had stumbled onto message sites that used Tantric Massage as a euphemism for “call me and I will come round to you and give you a sorting out”!!! So, I closed my mind to that particular avenue of touch. Made me smile though and I think it probably made Alistair chuckle too (dirty slut he’s probably thinking).

So, after that I kept it clean, had a pot of tea, cried a bit cos I felt sorry for myself and then got back on with channeling that energy into creating some lovely shabby chic effect on an old table ready for my upcoming house move. I SOLD really quickly and bought an old Victorian cottage, just big enough to swing a cat in (too bad Ive got a dog, a huge great big 7 stone one at that and far too heavy to be swung). Its a really beautiful little house for me and Archie and the best thing about it is that Alistair and I looked at it together online before we bought this one so its like he knows where I will be. I love that thought.

Im hoping to be in by early September and I know that that cottage will herald the dawning of the next part of my souls journey. The widow and the wolf finding their way, unleashing the “Wild Woman’ within and uncovering an ancient aspect of myself that has been asleep for a very very long time (Candace and I are currently reading Women Who Run With the Wolves, I would go so far as to say it should be compulsory reading for all women.. prescriptive I know but its a revelation).

It seems really important to me when I write to be truthful about how I feel,  but because I have had some painful feelings today that doesn’t mean that Im not OK. Im content, deeply content, I have inner peace, I am richly blessed every day, I am loved and, having to live without Alistair has forced me to open up fully to my spiritual life. I like it, a lot 🙂





“I can fly Peter”

6 07 2015

A small window of grief has opened up in me since my return from Turkey a couple of weeks ago.

Turkey was amazing, a real unwind and some healing time spent with my very beautiful Turkish friends Yeliz and Kenan (check out their amazing shop www.theuniqueart.com). They took care of me wonderfully, opened their hearts and home to me and made a potentially difficult time much easier to manage, they hold a very dear space in my heart and I count having them in my life as a rich blessing. Thank you both xxx.

It took me a couple of days I would guess to figure out how to hold my ‘space’ as ‘me’ rather than me and Alistair. Remember, apart from when I was 17, I’ve never been one to go away with the girls or do things outside of coupledom so it felt quite weird initially.  Im not overly keen on talking to actual humans for the sake of idle chit chat (an old misery guts like my lovely old mum- the apple didnt fall far from the tree)! So it helps that as my lovely sister in law says ” Im as mad as a box of frogs” and don’t mind talking to myself, flowers, tress and wildlife! In truth, much of the time when it seemed that I was talking to myself in Turkey I was actually talking to Alistair, I know without a doubt he was right beside me.

Also, I hadn’t figured on catching the eye of anyone and when I did it unsettled my equilibrium. Don’t get me wrong, it was very flattering and he wasn’t half bad looking either, but certainly not what I needed or have on my radar. Over the course of our relationship, I taught Alistair how to trust, he taught me faithfulness and we taught each other honour. Thats good enough for me 🙂

And then of course the delightful Candace, Kirt and Charlie Rascal joined me for the last week which was magical. Im very lucky that my grown up children are so happy to hang out with me and since Alistairs passing we have formed an even closer bond. Much laughter,  inappropriate comments about me being a widow and black humour is always guaranteed. They didnt let me down.

Being away though disrupted the routine that I have established for myself since February. Routine helps lots of things I find and routine has certainly helped me ease my way in these early months of wearing widows weeds. I can’t quite put my finger on the exact changes, obviously tiny subtle things that only i would notice. I suppose some of them are good and signs of healing, being more relaxed and less needing things exactly as they were back in February.  Not a routine thing I know, but I find now that I don’t have to stay only on Alistair’s side of the bed on the exact same spot on which he laid!

Im also unsettled as Im selling the house! Nothing to do with Alistair’s passing here at all. Quite simply in my heart I’m a cottage girl, we had the beautiful angel wrapped cottage in Brentwood and this house was what we needed at the time to accommodate Alistairs needs. It doesnt have my heart though and there are the most beautiful tiny weeny cottages around Saffy that certainly are much more me. Brave of me and possibly more emotionally challenging than I had initially realised, but the seed of an idea has germinated and Im totally excited by it. Another thread weaves its way into the mosaic of my life’s rich tapestry. Thank you to all 8 of my house selling and buying  advisors who are steering me through such a big event with love and much needed rational assistance 🙂

Its long now without Alistair, this is my life, without my very best friend, my lover, my business partner, my mentor, my companion. The person who believed in me and would join me wholly in my world of metaphorically believing I could fly. The two of us would stand side by side with our left arms outstretched and our heads resting on our upper arms every time we came up with another plan or another idea or another dream that we wanted to manifest. Our own version of Peter Pan in flight. Both firmly believing that if it was right for us, the Universe would provide it for us if it was for the highest good of all and we had set out intentions accordingly. I still embrace this, I just have to fly on my own now. I also have to remember, if its not meant to be it won’t be and not to wrestle with that on an ego level; work in progress !!!

Of course, I have Candace and Kirt and Hannah, all of whom welcome me into their lives without question and who check in with me regularly. I have my lovely sister and equally lovely sister in law Gillian and Uncle Paul, all there for me with unwavering love and support. But, I don’t have Alistair. I don’t say this next sentence with pity or to try to win the competition of who is grieving more, but simply put, everyone else still has their special someone, I have lost mine. How I miss being cherished.

There is without doubt though a lot of healing going on deep in my soul. So yes,  the window of grief is making its presence felt,  And it will pass.

Namaste x




A Quiet Longing in my Heart

28 05 2015

I came across some photos of me on Alistair’s iPad the other day, I think they were taken around January time, I was pretty shocked at the haggard and wrung out little face that stared back at me.  I mentioned it to Candace and my sister Kate and they both said ” Oh yes you looked absolutely dreadful, we were getting worried about you”!

Im pleased to note that I don’t look like that anymore. A friend mentioned the other day that my face is open again and all the strain has gone out of my neck and shoulders, and it feels like that, like I’m upright again. Im taking good care of myself and of my needs and Im looking and feeling much more like my old self again. Sad to see Alistair’s demise and the toll it took on both of us. From what I’ve seen of Alistair on his higher plane though he is now positively glowing with vitality and energy, fully restored and radiant.

Alistair’s passing has woken me up spiritually and taken my spiritual practice to a whole other level, makes sense really, I can’t hold hands with him across the Planes if Im spiritually shut down! Its a strange mix of being totally free, like the lid has been lifted off and my spirit is soaring, yet with a sense of deep inner peace and feeling totally grounded. Archie, ever the loving and loyal companion indulges me on my shamanic expeditions on his morning walks through some of the most glorious countryside and waits patiently while I talk to and draw energy from the beautiful Oaks that pepper the edges of the fields. As I’m on my own now I can fully indulge all my weird and wonderful beliefs and practices, I’ve found a nearby group of Universal Dancers of Peace, I’ve joined and I’m thoroughly looking forward to the first meet! The mosaics is good but the chit chat is a little too right wing.

Im looking forward to more re-energising when I go off to Turkey next week, 9 days alone and then Candace, Charlie Rascal and Kirt join me for another week. We get along really easily together, never any animosity and always plenty of laughter. I count my blessing every day to have them in my life.  Remember, I tried Turkey out alone last year, more so I knew I would be able to do it on my own when I had to, Im glad I did because now I am alone and I don’t feel daunted. I am compelled to take Alistair’s sandals with me though, they can just be there in amongst my luggage, Alistair in his sandals, thats a good memory for me 🙂 And to honour his love of Dalyan I will sprinkle a tiny bit of his ashes in the river.

I have lots of plans, Candace and I are busy planning the redirection our practice, it got somewhat pushed aside in the months leading up to Alistair’s passing, understandably of course but its time to breath new life into it. We are planning a series of workshops and intend to shine a new light on this thing called ‘grief’ that comes with preconceived ideas of how it is and what is must be like. Lots of  peoples understanding of it seems to be stuck on Kubler Ross’ old 5 stage model (denial, bargaining, depression, anger, acceptance) and people in general seem a bit miffed if you haven’t shoehorned yourself into something that resembles that. I know many people are still waiting with a half raised eyebrow for me to ‘come out of shock’ and fall apart. Thats not because they are mean, its because they have been conditioned to believe the myths of grief.

This of course doesn’t mean I have a stone heart or that I am a cold unfeeling person! Surely that must be evident after all these blog posts and this brutally honest insight into our lives! I have adjusted and adapted really well to life without Alistair, I had a huge sense of relief when he passed, for both of us and I also as you know hold very strong spiritual beliefs that leave me in no shadow of a doubt that Alistair’s Spirit is totally flowing through all that is. We are energy and energy can never be destroyed. I also, alongside this, experience on a daily basis a quiet longing in the depths of my heart to be with him physically. To feel his tender touch, the brush of his lips against mine, to hear him laugh, to have him hold me and comfort me and love me in a way that I will never be loved again until he holds out his hand and guides me to join him when my time has come.

Until that time, I have a life to be lived, a heartful of love to give and a spirit full of joy to share 🙂

Namaste Alistair, Namaste friends x









Re-threading my needle

14 04 2015

So I find myself for the first time, probably ever, living completely on my own, thats quite a big change for a woman of nearly 50! Alistair and I did literally everything together and thoroughly enjoyed doing so, we didnt see the point in going out separately leaving the other half of us at home alone, we were company enough and more for each other and never tired of being together. Not even for a minute. That leaves quite a hole now he’s passed!

Its also quite a shift from the ‘busyness’ of life leading up to Alistairs passing. Since last August our home had played host to weekly visits from family, friends calling in to say hello, GP’s, palliative care nurses from the hospice, community nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists (the latter generally to insist on our lovely rugs being removed due to them being a trip hazard- funny that we had managed perfectly well for ever without tripping although they were good for the odd commode or raised lavvy seat too)! And then in the last few weeks (hindsight is a wonderful thing, I can actually put a timeline in place leading up to Alistair’s final weeks on Earth), daily visits sometimes twice daily, from the district nurses and twice weekly visits from our lovely GP. Don’t get me wrong, the care and attention was marvellous, for a system that is stretched to capacity with diminishing funds to support it, if  you are terminally ill and wish to die with dignity at home the resources are in place, or they are at least in Saffy. No Im not complaining one bit, I am merely helping you understand the changing pattern of life for me, literally overnight.

So how am I doing at acclimatising to this change? Nicely thank you. I have no need to justify, it goes without saying that I would rather have Alistair here with me but to state the obvious, I don’t. There is no use me wringing my hands and wishing he was or that he hadn’t got ill, he isn’t and he did. Im still here, very much alive and young enough to look at many years ahead of me. If I look at that as a lonely bleak canvass without Alistair its going to be a long 30 something years, thats not going to work for me or my family.

I am learning to weave a new pattern into my life’s rich tapestry. My clients will be pleased to hear that I am making myself vulnerable ( I was taught many many years ago never to ask someone to do something that you are not prepared to do yourself) and making new friends, joining new things and generally creating a non hermits life for myself, which believe me would be oh so easy to do!

To this end, I have my very first Making Mosaics class tonight at a local artists studio, paid my subs upfront so no excuse not to go. Im going to have a bash at a Peace sign to hang in our spiritual garden that I have been thoroughly enjoying making for Alistair. We had of course hoped he would see the summer out this year so I was already on a mission to make it as beautiful as I could for him in as short a time as possible so he could enjoy it. Now I have it to enjoy.

Early morning in the garden is sacrosanct for me, listening to the water fountain trickling, the wind chimes gently tinkling and the Nag Champa incense burning plentifully whilst I meditate and connect with Alistair on a spiritual level. Heaven.

I have become a friendly soul in Saffron Walden, it is after all a friendly place to live. I stop and natter to the stall holders on market day, I have cheered up older widows (both in terms of age and time widowed) who are struggling to cope and I have been curiously drawn to a vintage shop owned by someone almost as potty as me. A short trip to town for a couple of messages can end up with me being away for far longer than intended and generally some synchronistic meeting having taken place.

I have even scoped out the local cinema and was all set to be heading there this friday, my first trip to the pictures on my own, alas I left it too late and the seats were all sold out, but, the thought and intention to go were definitely there.

I have set quite clear boundaries for myself so I don’t get sucked into ‘daytime television not doing anything mode’. To be honest Im not an avid TV watcher anyway, but I can see how easy it could be to just press the red button and potentially lose myself in nonsense for hours on end. Not healthy for my soul and I think for me quite likely to leave me feeling not so good.

And of course there is Archie, the Angel Wolf dog. My trusted and loyal companion who needs daily exercise, weekly training and anything else thats on offer. And there is Charlie rascal, that little lad soothes away the achiest of moments.

I feel quite content with work life balance and have made sure not to fill my days up to ‘keep myself busy’. I need some time just to ‘be’ after the physical strain of the last six months.

A new shape to life is emerging and its truly OK, Im at peace with myself and with Alistair passing. I know that there are plenty of good and truly lovely people, family and friends, who are there for me no matter what, thank you, knowing you are there makes such a difference. This is my journey now and I intend to travel it as richly and meaningfully as I can, with my heart and mind open, steadfast in all that I do and shining brightly with love and light so Alistair will always see me. Namaste Alistair ” The Spirit in Me Salutes the Spirit in You ” x











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