Find what you like to do and keep doing it.

For the year after Conor died I was a regular attender at a support group for bereaved parents. I met parents who were both newly bereaved like us and others who were facilitating groups a number of years after losing their children. Looking around the room it was obvious to me how much better those who were longer bereaved were functioning. They could talk about their children without the tears, sobs and snot (grieving isn’t pretty!) of the newly bereaved. Theirs was a language of love. Ours was a language of not just love but also of fear, anger, sadness, anxiety, jealousy & guilt to name a few.  I felt paralysed by my grief in those early months.  I wasn’t just dealing with the sadness of losing Conor but was having to re-learn how to live in a world I barely recognised.  At the support groups I asked these longer bereaved parents for advice. I asked what helped them to feel better. It frustrated me that I rarely seemed to get any straight answers or instructions.  I wanted to learn how to feel happy again. I wanted to learn how to live my new life. Yet I wanted Conor to be part of my new life and not simply a family secret.

It took me a long time to realise that there isn’t really any advice to give a bereaved parent (something the non-bereaved who want to see us fixed struggle with). All you can do at the start is to keep breathing. Slowly functioning gets easier and the new life a little less scary. You appreciate the good days and do what it takes to survive the bad days. You surround yourself with those who lift rather than knock you.  However,  one piece of advice I do recall receiving is to ” FIND WHAT YOU LIKE DOING AND KEEP DOING IT”. I have embraced this concept.  I prioritise doing what I like to do rather than simply doing what I need to do. We got in a cleaner which frees up our weekends. I now live guilt free – chores can wait. I have since found joy not just in baking but in crafts. Here’s today’s Cakes for Conor…


I made this mosaic tea tray in a class I joined with other bereaved mothers last year. This class is one of the highlights of my week. It brings me both peace and joy to have “Conor time” while making something so beautiful. The two hours pass in an instant. I recently made this patch for a national remembrance quilt…


Both these pieces were made by the person who failed her art exams in school! It isnt about having a talent its about finding what you like to do and doing it – guilt free.  It’s about giving yourself moments of peace and joy and making those moments last longer. They dont cancel out all the hurt but can bring some healing, if only temporarily to a broken heart.


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