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The Cake of Love

The Cake of Love - Lorna's original tweet

I have a lot of love for Lorna and the photo of the birthday cake made by her Dad has opened up a conversation on Twitter that is desperately needed. Lorna lost her lovely Mum Glenda very suddenly. Her posts on Twitter have triggered other people to share stories of their own grief. People are now sharing stories of their own mums, and talking about when and how they lost them; and most importantly of all, how they feel about their loss. Stories of their grief. We will all go through it, yet grief is one emotion that we find incredibly difficult to talk about and the reason behind that is obvious - it’s incredibly complex and painful. ‘It’s a passage of time not a place to stay’, it’s ever changing and a process. 'Grief is the price we pay for love', as someone once said. We have to be allowed to go through that process in our own way and talking about it can help us with that. When we lose someone we love, we feel acute pain. We can cry, we can scream, we can feel anger, guilt, sadness, homesickness, a longing for times past. In honesty we can feel anything at all - grief is not 'one size fits all'. Openly talking about our grief gives others permission to do the same. Often we are scared of making people cry if we mention the person who has passed away but crying may be just what that person needs, or they may want the opportunity to talk about them, remember and to keep their loved one close. I think this comes from our innate desire to fix things. Someone is upset and we want to fix it and make it stop, but you can’t fix grief. It’s unfixable. It's a part of being human. But making connections helps us to heal. Sometimes listening to people is all we have - empathising with them allows them to feel how they feel without question. Human connection is incredibly powerful and is the only thing that can see people through their journey of grief. It can never heal the pain but it can give a reason and desire to carry on. It’s absolutely normal to feel the pain of our loss forever and to think otherwise is unrealistic. Years after we lose someone we can experience the pain of our grief like it happened yesterday. Lorna’s birthday cake is a story of love, of mother’s, of fathers, of Glenda. A story about connection, a story of carrying on amidst pain and grief, it’s a story that should be shared and it should give permission for others to do the same. 'Grief is the price we pay for love'.

Below is a poem my own Dad wrote about his Dad: my Grandad George, you are not forgotten.

You are not forgotten.

You are not forgotten:

nor are you some misty vision

hidden in the corners of my mind;

in all I do,

the glorious and mundane,

you are with me.

You are not forgotten:

I need no reminders,

though there are many,

to recall you;

I carry all you were

inside me.

You are not forgotten:

all that I am was shaped by you;

your hand is on

my shoulder still,

your voice still echoes

in my ear.

You are not forgotten:

time passes but you do not change.

You are here, in me,

my compass and my comforter,

my teacher and my friend.

You are not forgotten.

R.W.Bowman, January 2001

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