A Eulogy: the thing you hope you’d never have to write

A tiny Methodist church in west Cumbria hosted a funeral for my Mam for over three times the expected amount of people. Here is the eulogy I wrote for this very popular woman, my Mam: — 1957. A year that could have passed as ‘uneventful’; it was quiet, calm, and with everything in its place….

A very merry unbirthday 

I started this blog on the day the alien came. Well yesterday the alien left. My mam, like the intergalactic warrior she has always been, took care of that; she took the alien on, fought a fight we couldn’t have and took it with her, and sent it to a galaxy far far away. Now…

Dad

Today my Mam passed away. Today is also my birthday. I don’t want to talk about either just now. Instead let me take you back to yesterday… As I sat eating my dippy egg and soldiers that my dad had woke me up with this morning (as he had done so many times in the…

Who Will I Be Afterwards?

Even in her hardest days, my Mam is still continuing to quietly give orders for what our family is to do in the future – buy matching mugs, get a dog, smaller car, sort out Christmas stockings, birthday presents, become property developers, change wallpaper, look after each other and be happy. Before the alien came,…

Faith

Sat in the doctors room and being told the alien was getting stronger and my mam was getting weaker was the day I lost all faith. I actually felt it rush out of my entire body, like a sponge being rung out or dust being blown off an old book. I was brought up Methodist…

I’m Allowing Myself to Grieve Already

As I walked to work this evening, with the dusky sky above me, the amber glow of the streetlights below and that crisp, but distinctly enjoyable, autumnal chill in the air, I sighed, and then smiled, and then I sighed again. Those seemingly insignificant, but beautiful moments are those I would always choose to share…

4 Reasons Why I’m Braving the Shave

I have seen a number of blogs and articles over the past few weeks which are criticising Macmillan’s Brave the Shave fundraising campaign. Whilst I can completely agree with the sentiment of most of these pieces, I would like to take this opportunity to put an individual reflection out there and tell the world why…

Why Ditching Apologies Is the First Step In Self-Care

Apologising has never been so prevalent in my life since the alien came. I’ve apologised for not being able to be with my mam as much, to my partner for my unpredictable wobbles and tears and to my friends for being non-committal with plans. People tell me it’s OK – I still apologise. My mam has apologised…

Families Must Adapt To Thrive

Along with my older sister I grew up with my mam and dad on a 10 house cul-de-sac, in a small coastal town in Cumbria; the perfect 2.4 setup. However, this is as far as the idyllic notion of family stretched. The path of the Harpers never did run smooth; we’ve had false starts, taken…

And suddenly it’s everywhere

Only an hour after the initial alien conversation the Reduce My Risk advert came on TV. The day my family left me after telling me the news, we parked up at a supermarket and right there was a Macmillan Cancer Support billboard. The next night I got in to bed and cried, I turned on the…

You can’t change everything

My avid followers (all 2 of you) may have noticed that the intervals between my blog posts have somewhat increased recently. In the initial shock of the alien landing I was blogging nearly every other day – I had a lot of questions, emotions, overwhelming sensations and new experiences that I had to work through in…

Sometimes I Forget

A friend of mine recently broke up with her boyfriend – she has good days, bad days, sometimes she cries, sometimes she’s scared, sometimes she’s angry. My advice to her has been to let herself feel whatever she is feeling; whenever that is, for however long and to not make excuses for any of it….