Tuesday 15 March 2016

19 Months Smiles

It's 19 months since we lost Elspeth, and this month we've had loads of smiles. We've been out and about and been pretty busy, and we've taken 3 vanloads of rubbish to the tip. I think that is enough proof in itself that we are getting somewhere, a normality is returning. We're doing regular stuff like regular people.

This month also saw my partner and I finish counselling, which is a pretty scary step, but one we all felt we were ready for. We're stronger now, we have learnt it's okay to be truly honest with each other, take time for our own mental health, and that time spent just 'being' is as important as time spent being busy.

When we lost Elspeth and everyone said "life will never be the same", I thought I understood. I didn't. My old life, all of our old lives, stopped right there. The way you think changes, they way you feel about other people changes. The importance you place on every item in your life is restructured, and what you say and do changes. Everything is different. Grief is far more about acceptance and adjustment than you can ever appreciate before you live with it. Losing someone to suicide is far more about constantly managing your feelings of guilt and impotence than you can ever appreciate.

It takes a lot of time to cover everything in your head until you feel you have reached your conclusions, your closure. You will never achieve any win, only a stalemate, when every possible move is played out.

Time, that greatest of healers, has also been our biggest opponent since we lost Elspeth. Grieving takes up so much of your day and night that it's easier to give in to it. At first my head was always full up with replays and unanswered questions, but as the days become weeks and months, more of each day is my own. I have my time back. I won't claim I never stare at walls, but these days I spend a lot more time looking at things that are here and now. The mud is finally beginning to clear, and keeping going is an easier task.

I'm still scared about what is around the corner and I don't know if that will ever be able to go away, but I know that too will get better...with time...

We've had some amazing smiles this month and I am delighted to share them with you. We had a prom dress fitting where my daughter couldn't take anything seriously, a mock wedding to learn about religion at school and the best Mother's Day cake ever. Lots of smiles due to Gary The Cat, our new surprise houseguest, and a special mention for the poor person dressed as Wyldstyle at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, who was pounced on far too early on a Saturday morning by an over-enthusistic Scotsman with crazy hair!!

Please share your smiles on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #tbcsmiles - we love to see them.

If you can't see your smiles then keep looking, they are always there...


  1. Some lovely smiles and I hope your little house guest helps keep them firmly planted on faces in the months to come. That cat is not leaving x

  2. Lots of love to you and your family x

  3. A wonderful montage of memories. Prom dress daughter is stunning and I hope she has a ball. I was surprised to read 19 months have passed since Elspeth made her difficult choices. Thank you to you and your family for being so generous in sharing the difficult road you have all walked so well.

  4. Fabulous pictures with lots of smiles all round keep up the post I've attitudes xx

  5. Really lovely smiles this month, love the dress, she looks so grown up!

  6. fabulous smiles, and what a gorgeous dress!
    I think grief never really leaves you, you just learn to live with it better. I no longer stare at walls or question things, but there are times when it takes a grip and I find myself crying myself to sleep....but do you know what? It just reminds me that I haven't forgotten, I still love and still hurt, and that's ok, it really is. xxx

  7. Love the smiles you have had to share this month! Love your daughter's prom dress, she looks lovely! x


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