Why Didn’t I? How Haven’t I Still?

1994.  I’m 17 and I’m in my bedroom in a house in Dagenham, Essex, where I live with my folks and younger brother.  The room is black.  I think the only thing that isn’t black is the skirting board; Mum insisted that I could have whatever colour I wanted in the room, but those skirting boards had to be white.  I guess it was cool that I was given freedom of expression, despite the single, parental stipulation; but I accepted the terms and proceeded to choose black furniture, black curtains, black bed covers, a speckled mix of black and grey wallpaper.  Posters?  Kurt Cobain, Pearl Jam, Morrissey/The Smiths, Soundgarden. Yes, I was into that whole Seattle grunge thing.  I had previously discarded my divan and the mattress, now on the floor, was what I attempted sleep on every night.  The scruffy sheets of an unmade bed,  scrunched and bunched up from a fidgety night’s restlessness, are the untidiest parts of this room and will remain that way today.  Despite my sullen mentality, everything else is in order, just how I want it.

I’m cross-legged on the corner of the mattress at the foot of the bed.  I’m wearing blue jeans, black and white base-ball boots (a la KC), a white T-shirt and my absolute favourite oversized, grey, woolly, big buttoned cardy – super grunge!  It’s 9am and I have nowhere to be.  It’s the 6wks summer holiday, between completion of my first year of A-Levels and the return year at my Comprehensive, but I have no intention of going back.  I’ve already drunk one can of Diamond White and I’m halfway through my second.  The can is in my right hand, my left hand is full of paracetamol; I have been saving them in a small tin for a while.  All that needs to happen now is to put the pills in my mouth and wash them down with the rest of the booze.  My suicide note is written and is laying on the floor next to the pill tin.  The house is empty apart from my brother who is fast asleep in his room, my parents have gone to work.  I don’t know how long I sat staring at those pills in my hand, but eventually I put them back in the tin, hid the note and, somewhat catatonic, left the house.

I had no idea where I was going or what I was going to do when I got there; I just left.  And walked.  I understood very well what I wanted to do.  I wanted to not be alive anymore.  I wanted that feeling to go.  I wanted the emotional pain to go.  I wanted the sadness to go.  I wanted the inadequacy to go. I wanted the self-hatred to go.  I wanted the pointlessness of life to go.  I wanted to go back to wherever I came from; a place I felt I had been extracted from so that I could begin developing in Mum’s womb; like something that had been missing all my life and I wanted to find it again.  But it didn’t exist in this life.  So it must be somewhere else, somewhere ethereal, other dimensional, unearthly, heavenly….anywhere! Just somewhere that wasn’t here.

I walked to the end of the road and turned right onto Central Park Avenue.  My Nan lived round the corner to us.  As I approached the turning to her road, expecting just to carry on past (without looking down towards her house as I would normally have done) there she was.  At that exact moment!  We literally bumped into eachother on the corner.  We hadn’t seen eachother coming as the house on that corner had a 6ft brick wall for a fence.  I was stunned out of my reverie, happy to see her, and continued on with her.  We walked down the (Oxlow) Lane and she ran her errands with me in tow; then we walked back to her house and I spent the rest of the day with her, playing cards, eating goodies, watching videos – without mention of what had happened at home earlier that morning.  A surreal day if ever there was one.

Sometime later that summer I wrote my Mum a letter detailing my mood and wanting help for my suicidal ideologies.  The outcome of this letter wasn’t favourable.  Fortunately for her she had no comprehension of depression, she’d never experienced it – but that doesn’t help a teenage girl with manic depression and a desire to end her life, looking to her Mum for answers.  Ultimately I was alone to face it all head on, to deal with it with zero input from anyone else and I vowed (at that time) to never tell Mum anything so personal again.   My folks hadn’t been too impressed with me a few weeks/months earlier when I destroyed as many photos as I possibly could that had me in them; ones from early childhood up ’til that time.  In my disturbed mind I wanted to eradicate myself from existence, so that when I died there would be no trace left of me; like I had never happened.  Obviously this wasn’t logical; there were many others with photos of me, let alone memories of me, but I didn’t equate that at the time.  I was in a weird place, not of sound mind, and yet I knew I wanted to die.  The problem is, I didn’t go through with it.

2017.  I’m now 40.  I’m in a house that I rent alone and I’m writing about suicide.  (Is that worrying?!!)  Truth is, I just watched a film about Kurt Cobain and it took me right back.  He killed himself in 1994 and it hit me hard back then because I understood it.  That need to die, the ‘no choice’ of it all, the tragedy, the inevitability.  I felt the same way.  I felt like there was no other course, no other way forward that was gonna make any sense; to end it all made the most sense to me.  To this day, I don’t know how I am still alive.  I don’t know why I didn’t go through with it.  Actually, no, I do know why – I had too much of a conscience.  As much as I didn’t want to live, I felt I didn’t have the right to take a life that my parents had lovingly given to me.  I understood the devastation that a suicide can have on those left behind.  I hadn’t experienced it first hand, I’ve just always been an understanding and deeply compassionate person….how could I devastate my family like that?  So I suffered with a life I didn’t want, a life I resented, a life I wished away every night before I’d fall asleep.

I don’t suffer from depression anymore and haven’t for a number of years – but that is because I actively chose to not give it any power.  I do believe in experiencing a negative emotion, as it is character building, but not for any great length of time.  Acknowledge it, address it, resolve it – don’t ever hand it your control; but depression isn’t the only reason to commit suicide.  Genuinely, and I can say this because it comes easily to me and without deep negative emotion, I have thought most of my life that I will end my days by my own hand.  I guess it wouldn’t come as a surprise to me if I went down that road one day.  I know that most people won’t understand that way of thinking and immediately want me sectioned before I do myself harm, but it’s not like that!  You’re just gonna have to take my word for that.  It’s more to do with circumstance and a right to do with your life whatsoever you wish.  This isn’t about depression or sadness, this is about pure choice.

I live a good life these days.  I have taken many steps to rectify my own suffering over the years and I am far happier now than I have ever been, but that doesn’t mean to say I passionately love life in general.  I’ve never been able to say that.  Life, as amazing and beautiful as it can be, is still phenomenally exhausting at times.  Whether it’s confrontations you could do without, a plan not coming to fruition, the acceptance of disappointment that what you hoped from life isn’t coming your way, the incessant change of feelings, the unknown, the unfulfilled dreams, the fulfilled dreams and what may come next, and the constant sacrifices, there is the fundamental question at the base of it all….what is the bloody point??!!  Sometimes, for me, the sheer boredom from my relentless singledom is enough to make me question it all when life goes off kilter.  It can be all you need just to have that one person to come home to, to call when shite hits the fan, to be cuddled when tears fill your eyes, to be surprised by when everything else takes on a dullness.  When you don’t have that, year after year after year….man, that gets old real fast.  Although it is said that great things come from dark times, or bored times, to endure those times…well if you could see me I’m simply shaking my head, giving a sigh of incredulity and not finding enough words to put into perspective, for you, just how many times I’ve found myself in this insecure awkwardness of personal transition.  Looking into the future, what if I don’t find those things I yearn for?  What if I continue to find myself in this position where I am uncertain of what is coming and still alone with that uncertainty?  It’s not far from my imagination that I could just go, ‘ah fuck it, let’s clock out now….I’m done with this.’  As tragic and blah blah blah as it may be, sometimes it really does make so much sense to me.  I don’t think that suicide is a cop out.  I think it’s a legitimate life choice.  Well, death choice.  For the terminally ill, the suddenly incapacitated, the chronically depressed or the dispassionately bored, I get it.  And I have such empathy for it.

If I was to be told, right now, that this is all my life will ever be, with no great love to befall me; a life lived as alone as it ever was….I’d be punching that card, with love in my heart and an acknowledging smile on my face, and without any regret.  So I guess, curiosity and hope is what is keeping me alive now, despite the intermittent tedium.

JG 13.07.17

 

Losing Faith

To have faith (not necessarily religious) is to have hope; to lose faith means all hope is gone. It’s understandable, therefore, why, ‘Keep the faith,’ resonates across the globe; but what if faith lets us down? What if we wait so long for something we believe in that we end up growing wearisome and abandon our hope? Life, in that instant, becomes entirely meaningless; depression will ensue and in the most extreme cases, where no light is found, suicide. It seems simple, given the drastic nature of such a demise, that the best option is, indeed, to keep the faith; yet in my experience, doing so is exhausting; sometimes the faith just slides away; a situation I have found myself in recently.

I have long believed that my soulmate is out there, that my perfect version of love exists and that I am yet to find her. As a woman who will not settle for less, I am resigned to being single until the big one reels in. I have also believed that my maternal Nan, who passed away five years ago, has been with me ever since, in spirit, and I have felt her presence from time to time, consciously as well as subconsciously, in my dreams. A paternal Uncle has visited me at key times, also within my dreams. These experiences had been too significant to simply be random sleepy imaginations.

Recently a decision to accept an invitation to Paris in June, became the catalyst for the shattering of my belief system. I have refused many previous nonchalant invitations by acquaintances because, for me, Paris is too romantic to see with anyone other than a soulmate, lover, partner. This time, when asked by friends, I figured, why not? Why wait any longer? If I never meet ‘the one’ I’ll never go; and in that simple decision to take a trip to Paris, I lost my faith. Slowly, my self-awareness crumbled, parts of my psyche packed up and wandered off in varying directions, leaving me lost and unsure of my existence. There are, of course, a chain of circumstances that lead up to such a malfunction, but there’s always a snapping point, thus Paris.

I have taken time out of my long term contract to attempt to re-evaluate myself, my life; to have a break from people and all external noise, so that I might hear myself again. There was no need to run abroad to a beach or go back-packing in search of finding oneself; the truth is we find ourselves within ourselves and our physical beings can be anywhere for that to happen. Instead I have stayed around familiar settings, the comfort of my home and my family (and a few caring friends in between who have kindly been to see me, or messaged to check up on how I’m feeling.). Yet, even the high of visiting family up North dissipated within a few hours of being back in my own home. The incessant aloneness is unbearable at times and I soon found myself floundering in the well of faithless gloom once more.

Despite having a fairly sociable week, my mood hadn’t altered. With my energy levels bordering on low to non existent I kept a promise to visit a friend and her partner last weekend in Salisbury. I don’t really know how this happened…but when asked what I’d like to do I promptly responded, “Glasto.” She’s always telling me how lovely a place it is, so it was the first thing I thought of. She’s been to see a Medium before in the town, so she must’ve asked if I wanted to see her, and I must’ve said yes, because before I knew it she’d booked me an appointment for the day I arrived. No sooner had she collected me from the train station we were on our way to Glastonbury; she dropped me at the shop with only a couple of minutes to spare before my appointment commenced, while she went off in search of a parking space.

I had no expectations of the meeting and I was completely unprepared for it, emotionally. Though I believe in mediumship and clairvoyancy, my untrusting nature means I am always sceptical of the individual claiming to have the gift. As with all people I encounter, I look for trust before I accept them. This particular woman was either totally legitimate, or excellent at reading body language and facial expressions. She accurately described me; divulged details of what I am seeking/feeling and advised that my Nan was indeed with me and watching me at all times. Some of what she communicated didn’t make sense to me, but a great deal did. I left the meeting quite shell shocked but, most assuredly, changed.

There is no way of truly knowing if my Nan was my by side in that session, or whether I was played to the tune of £35 and 30 minutes of my day; but I immediately realised that it didn’t matter either way. We all have an abundance of choices at our fingertips, every second of every day. In that moment I had the choice to believe or disbelieve. The messages and encouragement I received were entirely positive and exactly what I needed. To draw me out of my funk I needed something powerful, something from beyond the grave. I needed my Nan. What I heard was the door to faith reopening. I felt empowered.

From the moment I stepped out of that mystical shop, (which is basically like every other shop on the high street…..in fact the entire street permeates joss sticks and sounds the clanging of a million wind chimes; with the occasional vegan café thrown in in-between), I felt better than I had done in weeks. My belief system had begun to rebuild; the soulmate, the future, the possibilities, all started to filter back into my being and my eyes re-opened. Choosing to disbelieve the experience wasn’t really an option. Okay, so I’m going to Paris without a lover…I’m over it….and I can’t wait to get there! The day will come when I’m able to go with my soulmate and it will be every bit as beautiful as I have always imagined it would be.

Life can be hard work at times; the battle can wear you down to the point of despair, but it truly is hope and faith that all will be well, that we can make different choices to improve our lives, that keeps us going. Losing faith in ourselves or our life’s plan can destroy everything we are. I am extremely glad I had that special half hour. With this new and improved faith, I have hope, and that is a much better feeling and far more productive state to be in.

No matter how hard it gets……..keep the faith.

JG 09.02.16

Photo of Doom!

There’s nothing quite like a photograph to make you see yourself through different eyes, and it never ceases to amaze me how vastly different the perception is from what you see in the mirror. The camera tells an unspeakable, unforgiving truth; one that you cannot argue with. Last night I faced my own mortality thanks to a certain photo taken that day.

I spent yesterday with two friends on a day trip to Southwold beach. It’s a place none of us had been before, and my bezzie and I do like to always try somewhere new. As the weather has been so gorgeous, we thought we’d capitalise on it and treat ourselves to a day out of the office. We had lunch on the pier and a Mr Whippy on the beach, paddled in the sea, soaked up the sun; the usual seaside itinerary. It was a lovely day, good fun in the car, singing, laughing, and much joviality; a very relaxing and joyful day; until I got home.

My good friend, of many years, sent me three photos from the day. Two of them were of me sitting on the beach, they were pleasant enough. I had given her strict instructions to only capture an image of me from the neck up (as I do with everyone.) The other one absolutely scared me to death. I was lying on my blanket, arms outstretched, relaxing, oblivious to all; and in this sleepy state, eyes closed……I look like I’m dead. Like a corpse. I don’t look like I’m relaxing happily; I genuinely look like I am dead. Perhaps it’s the unfortunate shadows cast across my face making my skin look grey, maybe it’s because there’s just so much of me that my face contorts when gravity takes hold. Either way, it made me sick. It made me feel like my spirit had just risen from my fleshy vessel and I was looking down at my dead self. That picture wouldn’t be out of place if it had been taken of me in my coffin. I have never felt such an intense sense of my own mortality until that point; and I have never wanted to stay alive more than in that moment.

As I sobbed, looking at my seemingly lifeless body, I suddenly thought about all those times, over bygone years, that I’ve spent in depressions, wishing my life away, wanting to die, and contemplating ending my days. In that image I had my wish and it petrified me. I no longer have any desire to end my days nor do I want my days to end; I certainly don’t want my days to end looking so oversized, or as a result of it. I’ve never had as big a kick up the arse as that single photo has given me. I’ve never seen anything so hideous in my life. If ever my motivation to change falters…..I just need to look at that picture.

It was quite a timely awakening as tonight, a friend and I are going to take part in a Bootcamp with one of my heroes, Jessie Pavelka. I love what that man does for people, the way he helps them transform their lives. In my fantasy, he takes me under his wing, his new project if you will; and keeps in touch until I am at my goal. In reality, just meeting him will give me the boost I need and I can take from it enough to reinforce my desire to lose this physical baggage whenever my resolve weakens; which it all too often does.

Apart from the weight issue, the picture wasn’t unlike Scrooge being visited by one of his ghosts; depicting what it would be like to see life after you’ve passed over. As distraught as it made me, it was also quite a gift. In that shockwave of emotions and thoughts that overwhelmed me, I was granted clairvoyance; a vision of my future that I want never to become a true eventuality. That person will not be my future. My path instantaneously altered it’s course as I opened the file on my mobile phone. When the time comes that I really do exit my body and peer down at myself it will be that of a thin, wrinkly, ancient old prune with an accomplished smile; happily at peace.

Soul of a Poet

I am frequently told that my poetry makes the reader feel my sadness.  In response, I usually advise that they aren’t always written from a place of sadness, I just seem to sound that way.  (This observation isn’t exclusive to my poetry, it seems the tone of my text messages also emits the same impression!)  It used to be a standing joke, with an old friend of mine, that the mere mention of my putting pen to paper must mean a looming depression.  It is true, of course, that some are written purgatively, as though to exorcise a dark daemon.  When this occurs I usually feel instantly better and free of negativity; the rest of them are written purely as an expression of thought – some directly pertaining to my own emotions/experiences, the rest pure imagination.

I am a person who has known great sadness, but I also know great joy; yet like a true Wednesday’s child, I can only seem to harness the former in my thoughts/writings.  I presume that the lack of finding true love is the culprit.  Perhaps, should I ever find my soul mate, I will no longer write poetry?!  It seems I am, as yet, unable to write a happy poem.  For my birthday, early last week, I received a wonderful gift from a colleague and friend.  She had a selection of my poetry printed in a hard-backed book and wrote a most flattering dedication for the back cover.  I took it to show my family; many of these poems my mum had seen for the first time.  She said it made her sad to think that I lived such a sad life.  I couldn’t seem to reassure her that I didn’t live a sad life, I live quite a full life, and rather a charmed one in comparison to some; however, I do concede my heart is a permanently heavy one – heavy with the burden of unfulfilled love; but let’s face it, it’s not the end of the world, life goes on regardless of one’s marital status. (Sigh)

It is unusual why I can’t seem to write something that captures happiness, I am not impervious to life’s intense and varied beauty.  I tried recently.  I had so many lovely gifts for my birthday, a lot of them very personal and creative ones.  With all this happiness, appreciation and love in mind, I sat outside Costa one morning (I had my birthday week off, naturally) and set about capturing that gratitude on paper.  What emerged was utter rubbish!  All it reflected was how badly I translate happy thoughts into poetry.  I shall have to leave that to the likes of Pam Ayres, rhyming with a comedic wit, intent on making the reader chuckle.  The soul of this poet is somewhat cumbersome, not unlike my physicality.  I could write about the happiest day of my life in a blog and the reader would feel the joy pouring from each word – but put it into a poem and it would surely sound like my worst day ever!

So therein lies my niche.  I am the world-weary, heavy hearted poet, but being just expressions of a single emotion, they do not detract from the fortunate life I currently lead.  When the day comes that I publish a truly happy poem, please raise a glass in my name, and congratulate the love I have undoubtedly found.

JG

Chasing Happiness

Sometimes you get an overwhelming compulsion to run away or to radically alter yourself/your life; perhaps both.  Either way they are escapist notions born out of sheer boredom.  Suddenly the life you lead becomes insufficient, mundane, frustratingly routine.  The work you do is no longer challenging; the relationship you are in becomes stagnant; the stay at home mum gets tired of laundry and relentless tidying.  Life gets dull for us all from time to time.  And this is where I’ve found myself recently.

It’s taken a few weeks to get to a point where I needed a time out, whereby my tolerance for everyone and everything fell through the floor – not ideal when you are mentoring trainee staff that constantly need answers to their questions.  Suffice to say I had to apologise to one patience-testing individual who, on the second occasion that I snapped at last week, I told to ‘piss off before I slap you one.’  Fortunately I am well known enough for my reaction to be seen as both out of character and in jest (ish.)  No lasting harm done; not that there is ever an excuse for having a bad attitude, hence my apology.  This, and other coinciding events, brought me to one single conclusion – I needed to be alone.  Frankly, and ideally, a month or two on an isolated beach with zero interaction with any human being is what I fantasised about; but for the self-employed woman, just beginning a renewed contract, a long weekend had to make do.

I sat on my bench on the green after work on Thursday night and called my Mum regarding the day, the decisions, the tears with colleagues, aka my mini meltdown.  I said that I have so much planned for May/June that I barely have a weekend free and that, while I am looking forward to them, I’m not excited.  I’m not excited about anything lately.  I have become increasingly unhappy, and when you feel unhappy there isn’t a physical thing you can do to change it; you just have to let it pass.  Happiness is an inherent state of being; not a beach you are on, not the job you are in, nor even the company you keep;  but all of those things can perpetuate your happiness if you are already within that place.  I digress.

So my Mum wished that I would hurry up and settle down, preferably up North nearer to where they moved to, put some roots down, instead of always, “Chasing happiness.”  Those two words, unbeknownst to her, stopped me in my tracks.  ‘Chasing happiness.’  Is that what I do?  Given some thought it becomes a desperately depressing statement.  Am I the (relatively) young, free and single girl with money to spend, places to visit, experiences to have whose ideology is spontaneity?  Or am I the middle-aged purposeless woman, filling my free time with adventures and escapism to evade an otherwise crippingly lonely existence?  Do my escapades from hotel to motel; North coast to South coast; theatre to opera and everywhere inbetween simply fill an aching void before a meaning, a reason, a purpose for my time on Earth finally presents itself?

Chasing happiness….

I don’t regard myself as unhappy, generally; I’m just having a blip.  Mundanity has crept in.  Running away, as idyllic as it sounds, is never a solution.  Problems will simply pack their bags and tell the cab they just got into to follow yours.  Time out is good though, to find some peace and quiet, some solitude away from the daily clucking of fellow battery caged office workers.

The long weekend of doing what I pleased and having quality time with the tonic that is my best pal has calmed my stormy seas, for now.  Old routines must go, mundanity is not acceptable.  Big changes are a must, but for now, it’s back to work tomorrow….more relaxed….and hopefully with a better attitude.

Perhaps I should apologise to my colleagues in advance….just in case…!

JG
27.04.15

Rebel Girls – Wake Up Call

I time-travelled this morning; sadly not in the Doc and Marty sense. You know when something sends you instantly to a previous time of your life….a smell, a song, a season…..suddenly you are transported. It is quite incredible, quite powerful, to know that your brain can instantaneously return you to a feeling that you hadn’t had for such a long time; a time and a feeling that can never be repeated, it was exclusive to that period of your life. And yet, with that one song…

It is a rare occasion, these days, that I will let my mobile phone alarm play the entirety of whichever song I have selected. Usually, no sooner have I heard the first chord I hit the snooze button, repeatedly, until it’s at least an hour and a half post wake-up time and I’m running late for work. This morning, quite by accident, I let it play. I was having such an in depth dream (where all the satellites orbiting the Earth, fell in one big, simultaneous hit across the globe; mostly in my back garden, in case you were wondering) that the song became a part of the dream. Before I knew it I was jolted awake, bopping along in by bed to Incubus’ “Rebel Girls.”

I bloody love that song. I only found it around this time last year, perhaps a little later, just as Spring had sprung. I have remarked on this before, but that was the start of an incredible few months for me. Hearing that song play out took me straight back there; and whilst I basked in that formidable memory for a few moments, recalling the excitement, the promise, the new experiences, the romance, my regular visits to my beloved Brightonia and most of all, the amazing feeling of being truly alive; it got me thinking about now and what a difference a year makes.

So much can happen in life. You gain people, you lose people; you may change your job; your finances. There is relentless change. The friend, who became a lover, is now lost from my life. The conversations we used to have were highly entertaining and insightful, but it clearly was not meant to continue. Another friend walked away from me last year without reason, but that’s okay too, that brief friendship had more than run its course. There was so much light at the start of 2014 and yet towards the Autumn it became so dark with the strain that cancer puts on a family; I truly find it incredible how things can change so rapidly in such a small amount of time.

2015 has begun quite non-descript, which is probably a blessing in itself. For a couple of people I know the absolute unthinkable has happened to their loved ones – one couple are coming to terms with the loss of a child to illness; another friend is coming to terms with a sibling being imprisoned in what has been a heart-breaking miscarriage of justice. I am quite thankful for the monotony given what could be happening. Although to say ‘monotony’ is doing life an injustice. There are things happening; I have more savings than I’ve ever had, which is all going towards my deposit for my Brightonian (or nearabouts) home; I’ve been given a further 6months contract at work, which is amazing and has smashed any prior longevity of contract before now and I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m still there at Christmas! Which would be just fabulous.

Maybe it’s not all the same vibrancy of what last Spring had to offer, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In these quieter times, we can put all those little pieces of life together. We can reflect, appreciate, send our gratitude out into the ether. Personally I feel nothing but love and thankfulness for all that has been; and use this time to appreciate the calm which is such a blessing after all the stress of last year. My brain can calm itself ready for whatever is coming next. I may not have a song attached to this period to send me into rapturous reverie this time next year, but it doesn’t make now any less poignant.

How wonderful that Rebel Girls, no matter what happens in life, will always fill me with joy.

Have a marvellous day.

xx

Saying Goodbye

A final goodbye is such a peculiar hour. Today I attended the funeral of a Great Aunt. She was 94yrs old, widow to her husband who had died over four years prior. He had reached over 100yrs old; they had been married for 71yrs. They had children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and even great great grandchildren. They were adorable people and a loving couple. My Great Uncle, was the sweetest, most gentile and kindest gentleman I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I remember them both very fondly. As with all goodbyes, it was a sad and sombre affair, reflecting on the loss of a loved one, but also turning the focus to your own life. The reality of death makes you ask yourself if you are living enough, if you are free, if you are doing it right.

Maybe it’s my advancing years and rapid approach to midlife, but at this service I found myself worrying about my own inevitable funeral. Should I live to a ripe(ish) age, the generations before me will likely be gone. As I have no children of my own and am never likely to, just who will be left to see me off? I won’t be remembered as that loving matriarch who had the longevity of a harmonious married life; a soulmate; a family. Okay so, by the time I die, if fate is in my favour, I may have my soulmate, I may even have that longevity of marriage, but I won’t have the family. I have never been that way inclined.

It struck me as odd today that I’m not pro motherhood, personally. I am missing the maternal gene, yet I have so much love to give, so much compassion; I think I’d make an awesome mum. All bar one of my cousins have ever growing families of their own. Despite being older than some of them I remain partnerless, marriageless and childless. It filled me with a desperate fear that I may truly end up alone; with merely a few blue rinses from the bingo at my funeral, mostly happy that with one less player there’ll be more money in the winnings pot for them.

There’s not a great deal I can do about that. Some of us are meant for certain things, others…not so much. One can only hope that at my final goodbye, no matter who is left behind, that if I am thought of half as much as those that have gone before me, I must be doing something right.

One can only hope.