My all new improved Bucket List

On my 37th birthday, way back in September 2013 I wrote a blog detailing my bucket list. It had been a traumatic year and at times things had been a bit life and death. A little brush with mortality made me evaluate things, boil down my priorities into a to do list. But nearly two years on I’m still here, but how have I got on with my bucket list?

1. To see my son grow up strong, happy and confident
So far, so good. He’s happy and thriving and the glittering star in my existence.
2. To see the Northern Lights
This hasn’t happened, I remain in hope but I think I might have to actually go to Norway rather than just staring balefully out of my bedroom window.
3. To return to Gothenburg, Sweden and enjoy the city where we honeymooned
This hasn’t happened yet either, though it is our 15th Wedding Anniversary this year *coughs and looks at hubs*
4. To get a tattoo
Oh dear, I’m not doing very well here am I? I know what I want and where I want it, but I need to nod from hubs and a dose of bravery. I’d like a white feather to cover a self-harm scar on my hand.
5. To see The Wonder Stuff live
YES! Well no, I’m actually going to see them on Sunday, so barring disaster, that’s one off my list!
6. To get half decent at photography. I love it.
Still dabbling, but occasionally I take a picture which blows my socks off. I need a more advanced fancy-pants camera really.
7. Be a passenger in an Aston Martin DB9 going flat out round the Nurburgring
Still a big dream of mine. I doubt it will happen, being thrown about in a luxury car will probably be the thing which will finally paralyse me.
8. Have a go at some wild swimming
Still looking at it, still trying to pluck up the courage. It just needs an unbearable hot day, a swimming costume and a body of water not filled with shopping trolleys!
9. To go for (another) meal at River Cottage HQ. Yum.
YES! Well sort of. I’m booked to go on an amazing blogcamp at River Cottage this September. So I’m counting that as a yes
10. Spend at least a year living in North Devon
I strongly suspect this will not happen. The small boy is starting school in September and I don’t think I can be too far from my neurosurgeon just in case. It’s not all bad, there are worse places to be than sunny Didsbury.

my bucket list

Would I add anything? Probably.

I’d like to write something, a book or a series of short stories, something that I can hold in my hand and say “I wrote that” and have my family and people I love be proud of me.

I’d like to see my other “bucket list band” Shed Seven – which I will do in December.

I’d like my kitchen ceiling painted. No really, it’s needed to be done for 3 years now, it’s going on my bucket list. If I die and it’s not been painted I’m coming back and haunting someone.

I’d like to not be in chronic pain, but that’s something I can’t change. Maybe I just need to adjust my thinking and see the upsides to being a bit broken.

I’ll keep my thinking cap on and add to this list as I go on. My bucket list is always changing, which is how it should be, because so am I.

Helping children cope with bereavement

Whatever age you are, dealing with the death of someone close to you isn’t easy and is one of the most emotionally painful things a person can go through. When we lose a loved one as an adult, we usually have an understanding of why they died and we’re able to work our way through the grieving process. Children, no matter how mature they are, can really struggle to understand why their loved one died and deal with their complex emotions in the weeks, months and years following their death.

Co-operative Funeralcare have teamed up with CHUMS the Child Bereavement, Trauma and Emotional Wellbeing service to create a DVD and resource pack to help families and children aged 7- 16 cope with the loss of a loved one. There are four DVDs in the series, ‘Our Year Since Mum Died’, ‘Our Year Since Dad Died’, ‘Our Year Since Gran Died’ and ‘Our Year Since Grandad Died’. I was sent the ‘Our Year Since Mum Died’ DVD to watch and understand.

The DVD, which can be picked up free of charge from any Co-operative Funeralcare Home is a well put together package. The DVD is animated which makes the content more accessible to the children it is meant to help. Each DVD comes with a booklet of guidance notes to help families, schools and other professionals support the bereaved child.

Each of the DVDs follows the first year following the death of a loved one and talks about how different family members may react and cope with the death of a relative, as well as looking at how Gemma (the girl in the DVD), copes and tries to get back into normal daily life, including dealing with big family occasions and anniversaries like Mother’s Day, birthdays and Christmas.

Bereavement is such a difficult subject for anyone to talk about, having this DVD is a great way to open up the conversation and help children to understand that what they are going through and how they are feeling is all perfectly normal and it’s fine to feel angry or abandoned or just incredibly sad.

The DVD has some downloadable resources which have been developed to help teachers, adults, support workers etc. offer the support a bereaved young person may need. This includes a lesson plan, a PowerPoint presentation and some questions and answers.

The booklet of guidance notes comes with the details of a range of organisations that can help with child bereavement, offering counselling, advice and support where needed.

Bereavement is a difficult subject for many and the reality is that in the UK a parent of a dependent child will die every 22 minutes, leaving 41,000 children without a parent each year. These Co-operative Funeralcare DVDs are an excellent resource and one which will help many children through an incredibly difficult time in their lives.

If you, your family or organisation are interested in obtaining a copy of any of these free DVDs, you should contact your local Co-operative Funeralcare Funeral Home directly. There are previews of each of the DVDs on the website, as well as more information about how and why it was made and further information about the child bereavement charity, CHUMS.

child bereavement

This is a sponsored post.

Goodnight Vienna

I don’t think I could do it. Kill myself. I don’t have the balls. It’d hurt for a start, probably quite a lot and I’ve got family to think about and care for. When I became a parent, I signed that invisible contract which says you’ll promise to forever protect your child from the darkness. Being ill is pretty dark but not as dark as being dead.

I’ve spent much of the afternoon reading suicide notes online and researching methods. There’s lots out there if you want to find it. Pictures of bodies who’ve died in different ways, none of them pretty. Some of them may have lived fast, died young but there’s rarely a good looking corpse. Faces lined with more pain than a lifetime of depression could ever offer.

I’ve got to stop thinking like this. I’ve got to stop lurking in the darkness and listening to destructive thoughts. I’m better than this. No really I am.

Today has been a good day, I’ve been busy, been for a walk with the boy, did colouring in, lots of cuddles. I’ve done some work, played with my blog. a good day. My boy is out with his Auntie and I’m alone which is why my thoughts have turned to darkness.

It’s easy to cut and harm, to bleed a little, to bruise, to scrape away at skin. It’s harder to still your heart permanently and I’m not going to. I’ve too much happiness ahead of me to go that far. I’ve got to believe that and I do. I really do.

I think.