Losing friends or family always makes you contemplate about life. Maybe it's also about being older and having different priorities, understanding that it's not the material things that really make a difference or bring happiness. When I was told the news that my friend had passed away I remember my immediate reaction was 'I thought there was more time.'
n an R.E lesson the subject conveniently turned to the afterlife, and, without needing any cue, Freddy got up and spoke wonderfully in front of the whole class about Jade and most poignantly about how he sees her as a beautiful butterfly. Heart melting stuff and Ms H took the golden opportunity to elaborate and congratulate Freddy on such a brave show of emotion. Realising she was beneath the barrier, something wonderful happened between teacher and pupil and an understanding was made. This was confirmed when a Loom-band bracelet appeared anonymously on her desk with a note proclaiming her to be the best teacher in the world.
Something so harrowing happened today that I can't get it off my mind. I took the children to watch the Tour de France come tearing through the tiny country lanes in a neighbouring village and I ended up comforting a woman as she watched her husband slipping away before her very eyes. I just can't comprehend what she must be feeling right now.
England is on the verge of breaking into full spring at the moment; some trees are in full bloom, some are only halfway through while others are only just starting to show signs of life. Seeing the resilience and beauty of nature is reassuring and feels somehow symbolic of how my dad is willing me and my family to move through our still overwhelming grief.
Grieving is the bodies way of letting go. Trust your body, it has millions of years of knowing what to do when it comes to loss. Our natural response is to be strong, keep going, to not look back, stiff upper lip and all that. But doing that only stuffs down the feelings and they will eventually come up somewhere or somehow like depression, anger, drinking and drugs.
Apart from his first couple of games, which included a Community Shield victory and a perfect start of the season away at Swansea, David Moyes has struggled ever since in his reign at United. And in hindsight of the two embarrassing losses against City and Liverpool, both by a 3-0 scoreline, a decision is, for me, inevitable. He must depart and here are nine reasons why.
It is a very sorry state we live in when a wish to help young people is instantly assumed to be malign. I absolutely know where it comes from, and have a huge amount of sympathy for it. But, I know I must support and encourage men to challenge the assumptions, they will provide positive male role models which buck the trend, and show all of us better ways are possible.
I keep collapsing into a ball of tears, mourning my father's departure (as far as euphemisms for death go, that one is bearable, don't you think?) back in September. It was followed swiftly by that of a close friend, Kate, an accomplished artist whose personal kindnesses to me had, over the years, become impossible to keep count of.
The worst thing is the backsliding. It happens, and you just have to accept it. This is apparently one of the things that hits a lot of people the hardest: you're chugging along doing fine, and then it kicks you in the guts, as visceral as it is emotional. It's a cruel intrusion into your belief that you were doing well, and stirs up all kind of worries...