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Starman

I'm listening to Lauren Laverne on BBC Radio 6 Music, she'd doing a tribute in memory of David Bowie who just died. The listeners are sending in the most heartfelt, emotional and loving declarations of how he touched their lives. The fine silver threads that link us all – death, in fact, is a beautiful catalyst to bring us all together.

That is why I think we should talk about death as it is beautiful - it brings out the best in human connection and pure unadulterated emotion. Death is the only certainty in our lives – everything else is steeped in the unknown. So why do so many of us try to ignore it? By accepting that death exists, and that our day will come, we can be free from the worry of it and live life more fully.

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Ghost in my womb...

I've only done this once before. Your 2nd anniversary looms over me and despite doing what I can to ignore it – it pokes at my ribs and pulls my hair. I feel duty bound on one level, but on another I don't want to subject my friends to attend the 'most miserable party of the year' either.

The pain bubbles in the playground of my stomach, aching, gurgling, crying out for the ghost in my womb to return to this world safe and well.

You are so real to me that my subconscious constantly forgets you aren't coming back. Snippets of thoughts from my previous life disregarding the reality of what's happened, flooding into my present life and for a millisecond I'm back there, to a time when you were safely by my side - when my life was a list of tasks in order to care for you, my precious girl.

But that's ok, the acid-like pain of those moments in the early days is gentler now. I'm not in denial, but every cell in my body is conditioned to your needs and it'll take time for them to recalibrate and work out a new purpose.

I smile now when I instinctively look at the clock to see when you're coming home from school, even though I know you won't. 3.05pm used to be a time that had significance in my previous life – I'd phone to ask what you fancied for dinner and discuss what you were up to after school. In the background I could hear the echo of the corridor filled with the noise of teenagers, you'd be half listening as your friends chatted in your other ear.

It's as though you're still there, half listening on the end of your phone. So I smile to myself as these thoughts slip away and the real world gently takes me by the hand.

 

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Comfy Slippers

There was joy in my heart all day today. I was dazzled by sunlight on my cycle ride into the City this morning – it obliterated the dark shadows that linger within me. It felt as though Martha’s beautiful character was dancing around me and contentment was abundant.

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Greek Odyssey

A friend has just texted me, she’s on holiday in Greece and has just finished reading my book whilst lying on the beach. Her words are abundant with care and compassion for me and I respond with sincere gratitude. Wow, I think, my book showing my beautiful girl’s face on the cover is lying on a beach in Greece.

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Long Road to Freedom

I wrote this the night after Nelson Mandela died last December, it seems to depict my post Coroner’s Inquest mood accurately.

Nelson Mandela died last night age 95. One man achieved so much and left such an impact on the world and so many people have and will continue to benefit from the sacrifices he made. After the suffering he endured, his humility upon being released surprised so many of us. His long road to freedom paved the way for a much smoother road for so many.

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Inquest looming…

Waves of nausea cartwheel around my body as I think about the Inquest into my girl’s death looming over me. It will be gloomy, there’s no doubt about that. How do I get past that point, that significant milestone on this treacherous journey and hope that there’s some of me left on the other side?

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Rhythm of Life

The trees rustle and whisper to me, it sounds almost like the tide ebbing and flowing. That rhythmic beat that’s always there. My own breath drawing in and out, re-energising me without being aware of it most of the time...

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My second official speech

I'm sitting at my kitchen table about to start writing my speech for today, I look out the window and see the sun slowly burning away the mist that’s hanging above the trees, making a single strand from a spiders web glisten like silver. It sways gently, nothing else is moving, it looks like a still from an old film set. A gentle and settled day looks promising, nothing dramatic or unpredictable from this snapshot. I breathe out and am amazed by how peaceful I feel...

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Kaleidoscopic View of the World

Many interviewers picked up on my concern that a word doesn’t exist to describe my predicament, in that I’m a single mother who has lost my only child and that I’d adopted my own word ‘smothered’, s for single, mother and ed for expired daughter. Most of us think that it’s too horrid to contemplate, so we can’t spend too much time thinking about the need for that word, which I completely understand.

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My first official speech

I did my first official speech last night at an Addiction Centre on the outskirts of Oxford. It was to launch a book called Steering the Mothership, The Complexities of Mothering, by Lisa Cherry. Each chapter is written by a different mother, including one by me.

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Resigned resignation

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Resigned resignation

As I wander around this new world having quickly learned a new dialect and obtained my new identity, I wonder where this takes me. Do I want to go there and do I have a choice anyway? Do any of us have a choice, or is there a faint map of our lives before we breathe our very first breath?

I wonder back to the perfect day at the beach, the day before my girl died...

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