Here are some biscuits I made for my sister ‘s recent visit. The “bite-sized pinwheel snacks” are from Lorraine Pascale’s “lighter way to bake book”. I thoroughly recommend Lorraine’s books and recipes. This book uses regular ingredients to make familiar bakes. Lorraine has tweaked the recipes to make them a bit lighter. I regularly bake her bread which uses skimmed milk in place of buttermilk. These biscuits contain all the butter and sugar you would expect in a biscuit but are made bite-sized instead. The recipe requires precision. You need to measure out two rectangles onto parchment paper before rolling out both the vanilla and chocolate dough to fit the rectangles. The two rectangles are placed one on top of the other before being rolled up, sliced and baked. They were delicious. While they are lighter than the average biscuit the temptation is there to have a 2nd and a 3rd!
It’s now over a year since I have been sharing my life with grief. I look at how far we have travelled together and I feel proud. This journey isn’t linear though and at the moment I feel stuck in a bit of a vicious circle. It’s like I am on an old fashioned merry-go-round and there seems to be no sign of it stopping.
There is a constant battle between my brain (my thoughts) and my heart (my feelings). My brain seems to be adapting to my new life better than my heart. My brain can see the positives in life while my heart struggles with the idea that life SHOULD be so different. I don’t seem to be able to experience one without the other. The word SHOULD is never far away…
- This week I received a lovely postcard that made me cry. My head was delighted that the sender had taken the time to write to us on holiday. My heart knew that the postcard SHOULD have been addressed to three people.
- I recently heard about a friend having a new baby. While my head is so relieved to hear that this baby arrived safely, my heart knows this SHOULD have been us too.
- Conversations about Christmas have started in work. My head allows these to take place. My heart however removes me from them knowing our Christmas SHOULD be so different.
- Yesterday I visited the Christmas department of a local shop. My brain is delighted with my Christmas lights spelling out Conor’s name. My heart knew I SHOULD have been in the toys section buying santa gifts.
This word SHOULD has me stuck. It stops me from sharing others’ joy. It can leave me feeling lonely and isolated. I have been trying to ignore the word SHOULD but it seems to be getting bigger. It’s now time to try a new approach. I have heard the phrase “Its okay not to be okay” so many times as a bereaved parent. The more time that passes since Conor’s death, the more this phrase makes sense to me. However, the more time that passes, the more I feel a pressure to have moved on. I feel this pressure from others who are waiting for the old me to return but I also put pressure on myself. I need to remind myself that it’s okay for me to still feel consumed by my sadness. It’s okay for me to miss my little boy and the life he SHOULD be having more than anything. I know I am no where near accepting Conor’s death and that’s okay too. I hope that someday my brain and heart will cease battle and enter into a supportive partnership like the vanilla and chocolate in these biscuits. In the meantime I simply need to stay on my merry-go-round, hold on tight and look up at the stars.