Monday, 6 September 2010

That time of year...

The dahlias are for picking at the nursery so it must mean the end of summer.  I know I am not alone in thinking that September signals the start of a new year with the beginning of the academic year.  I feel like I need to look back on the summer as a playful interlude and that plans that have been talked and thought about need to be put into practice.

No2 went back to school today - into Year 10, how on earth did that happen?  He's had an eventful summer of pushing his luck and his boundaries.  He looked all grown up in his blazer this morning and as soon as he'd left, I was clock watching for him to come home again.  He text me within minutes of coming out of school to say that he'd been moved up, not one but two sets this year.  At the beginning of this year, due to his difficulties during the previous terms, his year head had made the decision to move him down a set as his behaviour had affected his academic progress.  He was absolutely mortified and it seems he became determined to rectify the situation.  Today's news is wonderful and I am so pleased for and with him.  So, he is now starting his GCSE's and I'm really hoping he will work hard and realise his potential.  We talked about working hard and playing hard to find a balance to the next few years.

I need to get some discipline in place myself too.  I have decided that if I write about it here, it will be real and therefore I will have to actually make a start.  You see, I have been asked to write a book.  I will be writing alongside one of the bereavement team at Helen House.  She is someone who I have shared many hours with over the last two and a half years, both on a one-to-one level and as part of a larger group.  I cannot begin to tell you how flattered I am to be asked to collaborate in such a project.  We will be writing a book about losing a child.  It will be my personal experiences and those that I have shared with other bereaved parents I have met over the last four years, married with what is known from research and studies on grief and bereavement.  We want it to be aimed at people who have lost a child or are anticipating such a loss.  Over the last three months we have worked on an outline and at the beginning of the summer holidays we met with the Chief Executive and Clinical Director and were given the go-ahead.  So now I need to write.  My first deadline is next Friday and I have spent the last ten days mulling over where to start.  I think I have my first line.  Or maybe that should be my first first line.

My strategy is to find a balance that involves plenty of creativity which I am hoping will inspire me to tackle some painful and honest accounts of how it feels to have your entire life turned on its head.  I need to have my home filled with colour and flowers - the two things that keep me sane.  The dahlia fields are calling me...


  1. That's wonderful - I cannot imagine anyone doing a better job than I know you will. Bear in mind what the authors I have met have told me - a book is a marathon, not a sprint. You are wise to pace yourself (and have flowers).

    And I am so pleased about your news on No 2 as well.

  2. I have absolutely no doubt your book will be a great comfort to many, many parents. Sending lots of thoughts of strength and peace for you as you write!

  3. oh good luck!

    good news all round... and be thinking of you!

  4. Hi T, lovely dahlias, of course, but it's so good to see you write here of your news. I'm sure the writing process will be a rollercoaster in many ways - wishing you courage, strength and creativity. Good luck!

    And well done No2. You go, boy!

  5. I love ali's words and wise advice.

    I am so glad for you . I am so glad for no 2. May your autumn be filled with mellow contentment...

  6. Oh, excellent news for both you and No 2! So good. Each autumn I love that start-anew-with-a-clean-notebook feeling. Enjoy. xxx

  7. I am glad that your boy is finding his way now and that you are too! I have bought my first Dahlia plant this week. The flowers add a welcome splash of colour to a fading garden. Good luck with the writing! x

  8. How very brave of you. I wish you good luck with the writing, just keep in mind that it will no doubt help many other people.

  9. So pleased to hear your son's good news and as for the book, I think Ali's opening words have said it all. Well done.

  10. Teenage sons! It's definitely a rollercoaster ride; glad your on the up!
    Over many years of teaching I have worked with Parents of children with severe learning disabilities, some of whom have died. I think your book will be a valuable insight for people like me who could never fully comprehend the loss of a child but might help us befriend bereaved Parents better. Thank you
    Chris x

  11. I just know your book will be so useful and meaningful for so many, and they couldn't have found a more perfect person to write it. Will look forward to hearing more about it as it progresses.

    And big congratulations to No 2!

    K x

  12. Your writing will bring such comfort to so many, T, and you must feel proud to e involved in such a fantastic project. Hopefully it will become therapy for you as well...
    Glad No.2 is calming down!x

  13. Your book will be great. Your blog is, so it stands to reason. You have written about something that many have not experienced, but it still touches my heart.
    When I feel a bit lost, I log onto this blog and if it is only the fabulous colours you post of your plants and work, I feel cheered and inspired. In fact, when I am sewing, I think of this blog.
    Go girl!

  14. That's great news about the book although it must be quite daunting when thought of as a whole entity. I hope that the words find their way onto the paper easily for you and that the deadlines don't cause you too much angst (being an absolute hater of deadlines myself). Great news too about No 2 - you must be really proud that he's recognised more effort is required and has risen to the challenge. I hope he's grown out of the antics of summer and his road to manhood is smoother from this point on!


Hi! Thanks for leaving me a comment, I really enjoy reading them and I will try to reply if I can find an email address for you...