In memory, Mental wellbeing

It’s March 31st again

This date looms in the calendar. 11:20(ish) a.m.. 3 years ago today he left us when he should’ve been allowed to stay. He was such a wonderful man, and I’m not just saying this because I’m biased. He was a much better man than me. And 3 years on, it feels like it’s been barely […]

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Blogging

Lesson 11: Size matters — The power of length

Lesson 11 is all about size and how it’s used — sentence length not penis. Short, medium, long — I am to play with my sentence lengths while composing my response to this question: Tell us about the home where you lived when you were twelve. Which town, city, or country? Was it a house or […]

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Death, Writing

Describing grief — very hard

Grief is very hard describe. My main character in Kill The Killer (So I Did) is bereaved and his grief doesn’t flow onto the page easily. And so it shouldn’t. Just because Julian’s grief is fictional it doesn’t make it any less important, any less consuming, any less personal. It is just as real as […]

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Mental wellbeing, Portsmouth Water

A year from In lieu of care

Freebie forever! I love it. I’m much better. I’d go so far as to say that I’ve reset myself back to my normal, maybe even beyond normal the other way. I’m not as silenced any more — I’m admitting what I’m thinking aloud and it’s liberating. I’m not as caught up any more — life is just too […]

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Mental wellbeing, Portsmouth Water

A relapse in a good place

The last week of June saw me unable to face Portsmouth Water — this tightness rose, this sickness slapped, and for a whole week all I could manage was sleep — and since there’s purpose in ‘life continues’ this wee week was a relapse, a little hiccup en route from the Co-op. Defensive, accepting, accommodating, uncertain, insecure, self-loathing, rejected, […]

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Mental wellbeing

Get over it, such simple words

Earlier versions of this post were berating in nature — not just towards me but also towards circumstance and things done. They were riled and impassioned, they were wry and disgusted, they were a lot of things that were not productive. I’m not even confident that this version here won’t berate in some way, but hopefully […]

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Mental wellbeing, Poems & short stories

This unexplainable me

There’s a vacuum here beside me — it’s a hungry empty space — Nothing seems to fill it and it won’t just go away. This room I find so crowded — it’s a hive for lots of things — I know I’ve seen an exit but I don’t recall the way. I hear the clock […]

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In the funeral home, Mental wellbeing, The Southern Co-operative

A look back — me, a former funeral co-ordinator, reminiscing…

For the last half decade I worked in funeral homes in and around Portsmouth (and one in Worthing), and I was employed by The Southern Co-operative Funeralcare to arrange funerals and to ensure their ‘successful’ delivery. Throughout this time I worked very closely with some fantastic people who have helped me deliver well over 500 funerals, and […]

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In memory

Hi Cuz

The difference of a year, eh? 1 year, 580-odd million miles — all the while, pirouettes — and we’ve come one great big circle and we’ve started off on another! It’s like we don’t get a minute to rest. I’ve been very selfish recently — can’t help it, it seems. I’ve been so caught up […]

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Bullying

Dear bully

You’ve hurt me and you do not care. Your actions and words caused me pain and you’ve shrugged your shoulders and denied everything. I am to blame and you are the victim — all those things you did are made up and everything you’ve said you didn’t. Honey, the only liar between us is you. […]

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Mental wellbeing

Day 48

Explaining the unexplainable I’ve toyed with ways to best explain the unexplainable – to give words to this buzz in my head, my flowers dead. Yes, the sun does rise but it also sets – days pass a’haze – and time, well, that’s subjective. I whisper sweet nothings to the mirror as it haunts back […]

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Mental wellbeing

Memory

Okay, memory – Hi! Remember me? You used to live in my brain – you want to move back in? I would appreciate it if you moved back in, it would make a nice change to this lack of recall I’m suffering. I get told that I’ve done things that I have a vague recollection […]

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Mental wellbeing

Since counselling – Day 25

Today, not so good – this evening, better… Two words, melt down… I had a melt down today. Mid-morning, KA BOOM! I didn’t explode straight away, that was around 2pm, but when I exploded I exploded to the extent that there was a mad dash for a counsellor. I was not entirely in control of my actions. Right […]

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Mental wellbeing

Since Counselling – Day 15

TBC Since seeing Ingrid I’ve decided that life isn’t that bad and that I am a fool. I am a fool because I have that one weekend that I’ve taken as a broken promise when I’m a writer who could easily faux that up good. “James, sir – oyster – what shall we do?” And now life – well, […]

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Mental wellbeing

Today is Saturday –

It’s rather blustery in the mirror… Sat here reviewing Frienemy – now reading it, only changing the odd sentence or image, the going good – I’ve had my music down low and I’ve been listening to the wind. I’ve been watching the trees swaying in the reflection of the mirror. I’ve been watching myself watching the trees […]

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Mental wellbeing

Since counselling – Day 2

My visit to the Bereavement Centre Deep down I really didn’t want to go… Yesterday morning Ingrid of the Bereavement Centre at work was kind enough to lend me her ear for an hour – an hour I’d all weekend ignored because what would I say? I have nothing to say – I don’t have a problem! Everyone else […]

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In the funeral home

Death in the Funeral Home

How do those in the industry cope? Humour. Love it or loathe it – we laugh. Catch us colleagues alone and you’ll be hard pressed to not hear chuckles and titters – maybe even hearty guffaws – emanate from our chests, and not see tears of laughter freely fall. Okay, maybe we’re not all that full on […]

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In the funeral home

The people in your local Funeral Home

What they do… Contrary to the image of a Lurch – tall and lanky and unnerving, moving slowly around like a ghoul – and especially contrary to the image currently being portrayed by Eastenders, the people who work in your local Funeral Home are regular citizens, guys and gals with their hearts in the right places. […]

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In the funeral home

Where have they died?

Who to call & what to expect At Home • Contact their GP – they need to certify their death and give their permission to move their body. The GP may visit, they may give their permission to you down the phone, or charge an attending Nurse to give permission on their behalf, depending on how […]

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In the funeral home

An end of life discussion

The benefits outweigh the bad From our alarms in the morning to our duvets at night barely a moment goes by without death making an appearance in one form or another – from the fly killed by Raid to the meal on our plates, to our programmes that at night entertain – and we’re so […]

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In the funeral home

Choosing the right Funeral Home

A choice between the best… For some a particular Funeral Home will hold significance through an historic connection and their decision will be easy, but for others being faced with death is a new experience, so where should they go? The phone book and internet listings are full of them, so who do they choose? Shop around Ask family and […]

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In the funeral home

The day-to-day in a funeral home

Mundane in a Funeral Home… Death – surprise! – is the day-to-day mundane in a funeral home, but not as you might expect. Death buries us beneath paperwork – it’s all forms here and forms there – some more forms because you can never have enough forms to fill in – and sign here, initial there, a redo […]

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In memory

Death – friend or foe?

Why do I take seriously what I take seriously? I think Dorothy Zbornak (from The Golden Girls, played by Bea Arthur, may she rest in peace) posed this question perfectly back in 1985. During the episode The Heart Attack (1.10) Dorothy told the tale of an acquaintance who went to Paris, visited a restaurant, and […]

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In the funeral home

The Chapel of Rest

Should you visit? That is entirely up to you. Some feel compelled, some refuse, some feel like they should but can’t – you can only do what feels right to you. I personally feel that it is sometimes better to regret doing something than for not, but then that’s a dangerous game – I repeat, do […]

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Death

A parent should never bury a child

It is wrong, quite simply… Oh, if only the World revolved as it ought – if only there was no pain, no sorrow, no wars, no deaths before their time – but it doesn’t. The World revolves as it wants, and we as mere humans must accept it, and it isn’t easy. Life, in its […]

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In memory

He went on holiday & he never came home

Oh, Facebook – why must you remind me so? I woke this morning to one of those – I can’t remember what they’re called, bare with, I check – ‘On This Day’ notifications, and 2 years ago I was delighting in the tantrum of a cyclist who’d ridden into a wall and promptly thrown a hissy (it […]

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In the funeral home

Grief – a frequently asked question

Am I grieving correctly? Yes – yes you are! It might not feel right but it is right – absolutely! – for grief befogs reality – stable emotions? Not likely – and grief is a very personal thing to endure. Should someone dare say that you’re grieving wrong, respond “OMG I never knew grief was ‘one style suits all’,” […]

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In the funeral home

Explaining death to children

The have a special job to do It was not but last night that I had the pleasure of watching some programme on BBC 1 about the police – I’ll admit that I wasn’t really watching it, so please don’t ask me for details, I was arguing with words at the time, but my attention […]

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