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Confessions of an Undiscovered Star

Entries in grief (1)


Life and Death

This has been a really up and down week. Normally I say that because of the ups and downs of being an actor - auditions, sucesses and rejection etc - but this time I do mean life and death.

My mum lost a very close friend yesterday. They had been friends since secondary school and she lost her battle with cancer after being incredibly brave, organised and no-nonsense about the whole thing. She is one of these people that planned out everything but it was still obviously very upsetting. She was still pointing out typos on my website last week! 

Death is something that has happened a lot more in my life that I would have liked. Over the years I have lost my grandparents, a dear friend and my Dad.

Parents will often buy a pet for a child so that they learn about death and I have had a LOT of dogs over the years (I mean we are talking a LOT - my house was like Battersea Dogs Home as a child, or more so like 'The Darling Buds of May' I thought) and I'm not so sure it has made these deaths any less upsetting or shocking - there's just been more death. 

One of my dogs is not well at all at the moment and we are gearing ourselves up for an upsetting decision. I remember having a book as a child about a boy and his dog called 'I Will Always Love You', an illustrated children's story by Hans Wilhelm which if I read again now would still make me cry (I won't drop a spoiler as to what happens to the dog...) 

My Dad died just over 5 years ago. I miss him terribly and always will but he lived until he died which can't be said of everyone. He went suddenly and without a prolonged illness for which I am thankful. Understandibly I had a very hard time and I didn't cope particularly well for a good year - as well as dealing with grief I developed anxiety. 

A particularly hard thing I found was the lack of contact from friends. They probably felt they were being respectful, that it's a standard thing to give people space whilst they grieve, but I felt so alone.  I think people can find grief embarassing or awkward - they don't want to act or speak in the wrong way so they didn't say anything. They were probably waiting for me to go to them but I just didn't have the strength and the anxiety made me feel such a loss of control.

Obviously everyone handles grief differently and perhaps some people wouldn't mind being given so much space but I found it isolating. I might add that none of these friends are bad people or bad friends! Death is just a tricky subject.

And speaking of friends....

One of my dearest friends and former housemates from drama school had the most gorgeous little twins a week ago today. George and Sam are teeny tiny little perfect miracles and here I am holding Sam:

“Everything's a wheel, turning and turning, never stopping. The frogs is part of it, and the bugs, and the fish, and the wood thrush, too. And people. But never the same ones. Always coming in new, always growing and changing, and always moving on. That's the way it's supposed to be. That's the way it is...

Don't be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don't have to live forever, you just have to live.” 
― Natalie BabbittTuck Everlasting