in dreams…


I was dreaming about Ali as I woke up this morning. Was I thinking about her as I drifted off last night? I can’t remember.

I was replaying one of the times we shared at the beach. It was after the doctor’s appointment when she’d been told the possible progressions of the disease that was swirling inside her, and that there was no way out. We all knew that was coming and she’d taken the confirmation seemingly calm…

When we arrived at the beach house Al went to rest on the big bed, in the room that looks out to sea. She soon joined me in the main room complaining of pain in one leg – worried this was THE next thing, that it was bone cancer already. What words did I use? I can’t recall but I did talk the fear away. She was always stiff upper lip and what sticks in my mind now is that I didn’t hug her! So many times I could use a hug and I can’t help remembering that I didn’t give Ali a hug at a time that I’d definitely have wanted one.

Not long ago I bought one of those v shaped pillows so that I can feel hugged in bed. I woke up this morning curled in the pillow, hugging Al in dreams…


(side note – it wasn’t bone cancer, there was no time for the cancer to move to her bones or brain before it did it’s worst)


I still hear you

A friend of my sister’s died yesterday, from cancer.

And my thoughts go to my own old friend, Al.

We had some great times here, at the beach house. Talking about life, love. Sliding doors, slammed doors. Sorting out the world. And laughing! Oh how I miss her laugh… I wish I had a recording of her laughing – she was the whole room’s positive energy in an instant.

Her children smile in photos, from across the globe, and my hope is they have inherited her sunshine spirit in overdoses. I can’t imagine the last while, listening to her incessant cough that no medicine could stop. The endgame chemo that was just to ease the pain and fear, no tangible result and yet – what would those final earth weeks have been like without it?!

When she died, I promised myself I would live.

The sun is shining, the crazy 5.30am wind has gone, I will sit on the deck and watch the wild sea til this winter sends me in.

life musing – in the bath


Let your ears sink below the water line and the neighbours noise is megaphoned into your brain. I’m glad I wasn’t down here for the door slam.

Youngest is out on the town for the first time in maybe more than a year.

The cats bowls are full again but I am hungry all the time. The cupboard is bare, the fridge full of nothing that will do it.

On the way to work I drove down the skinny lane and left three bags of old clothes behind the goodwill shop as instructed. The house is a bit cleaner for the return of the big kids from asia tomorrow.

There’s a certain point on the drive home, where you can see the bridge, and you see what lies ahead. Tonight the red line of tail lights was fluid but unmoving, if that makes sense. Ani Choying Drolma was singing the Mantra of Compassion and the United Kingdom was in the sky in front of me – it’s dark but not a cloudless night. There’s plenty of time to think on the way home. Closer to the actual entrance of the bridge and there’s a row of red x’s hanging high, directing traffic direction. What else could those red x’s signify in life? What should I STOP? Om mani padme hum, om mani padme hum…

The old dog across the road died yesterday. And tomorrow, with great difficulty, mother will go to a friend’s funeral. Peer group dwindling.



a milestone of sorts


Yesterday my bestie would have been 55. Now I’m doing that thing. Counting on years to those who have left. She wasn’t 55 she won’t be 56 etc so is there any point in trying to drag the dead along with us numerically?

It’s almost five months since she died! I can’t stand that. How can that much time have passed. It’s still so desperately raw I want to scream so she hears me.

I remember the last time I spoke to her,  ending the call with ‘love you’. She couldn’t say ‘I love you’. There was a pause, she tried, but she couldn’t say it. We’d talked about that many times – how she couldn’t say it to her children even despite feeling bucket loads of it. She thought it was her stiff upper lip British childhood. I knew it anyway. I’ve replayed her actual goodbye in my head so many times – the last time I saw her she knew it would be, and gave it all she had. I didn’t know it but turned on her stairs to wave, and heard it in her voice. ‘Goodbye my DEAR friend’.

I just want to hear that again, anything, anything at all.

I made all sorts of mental notes to do things better, differently, just do things! when she died. I’m no closer and I don’t know how to get there. For now I look after mother, go to work, worry about daughter. I’m tired and I miss you very much Al. I’m not honouring your life and wonderful, joyful spirit by shining.

Grandfather time plays cruel games, randomly plucking off those much loved while leaving others to wither slowly. What is my lesson in all this?


grandfather time plays

cruel games of random plucking

leaves others mourning


aged mother barely moves

daytime television blasts

stories forgotten


on the middle path

we are where we’re meant to be

what is my lesson?


Related posts :

God and the Buddha – both were involved

still grieving

death done well

the big C calls the shots my friend

still grieving


I remember Ali saying to me one day ‘you have a lot of anger’.

‘NO I DON’T’ I jumped down her throat and she just laughed which made me more angry.

I see it now Al 🙂

You were right of course, so wise. Not much older than me but wise beyond it. So many times since your death I’ve wanted to talk, reached for the phone. I can’t visit the cottage. Your boy is ok but I can’t see him there. I wonder how the cats are, must ask him. Wonder how your faithful keyboard companion is doing without you. At the lunch after your funeral, he was sitting in the box Gail’s cake came in licking up the spilt cream. Happy as the proverbial cat that got the cream, I just know he was going to be sick later but no one moved to stop him. At one point, as if directed in a movie and in slow motion, we all looked left in unison and just watched him without speaking. Let him have that little pleasure, his darling human is gone.

What do I do about the anger Ali? It simmers…. I don’t know why it’s there. There’s a rebuke in my head for just about every comment my siblings make. I keep them in but they fester. Why can’t I be happy, get on with them? Or why can’t it all just go away..

I miss your joy and your lightness. Your intoxicating laugh. I miss you friend. What an amazing gift you were in my life.