Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I've left it too long. 

This blogging thing.

Now I don't know what to say!

A picture of my child, perhaps? All cute in the snow? Ah yes, the snow! We went to England in December. We arrived in a blizzard, one of the last flights allowed in to Heathrow before they closed it. And drove up north in a blizzard. All picture postcard black and white, the occasional blue sign jumping out at the last minute. Traffic on the motorway crawling along at... well.. crawling pace.

And the child, when we went out, all wrapped up, hats, gloves, scarves, coats. The only thing you could see/she could move were her eyes!  

And being there for Christmas.

And then getting home, and wearing a t-shirt and nappy again. Oh. And hat.

And bumping into things.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Remembering the Dead

A very long time ago someone told me that one of the hard things about losing someone close to you is the period 


After the shock, After the wanting to dissolve into a pool of salt water, After the numbness. After support network of friends and relatives have started drifting off and getting on with their own lives. For you it is still raw and real and at times unbearable. But your support network? They have slowly started picking up the pieces and are beginning to live their lives again.

And so I promised myself that I would always remember. That I would remember the dates, and I would always offer my support and love, if not every day then at least on those anniversaries. And so it has been that I have always done this.

When my friend Johnny was killed by an elephant I had my first proper taste of the truth of this.  And always on the anniversary of his death in July and on his birthday (just two days before mine, on the 15th January) I would write to his mother and his sister to say I was thinking about them. 

And now I have moved to Tanzania and once more I live close to Johnny's mother and sister. And I see, on his birthday and the anniversary of his death how perhaps my 'thoughtful' reminders are just too much.

And then a few years ago my good friend lost his two year old boy to malaria. It was absolutely devastating. Of course.  He was not the first child they had lost. It was almost too much to bear. And one year, on the anniversary of his death I gave his mother a card. Saying I was thinking of her on this anniversary or some such thing. And she opened the card, thinking it was something fun. An invitation to something maybe. And her face. Oh my heart nearly imploded in on itself.

So what do you think? What is remembered lives, as Reya says? Or is it just picking at the scab of wounds that should be left to heal?