My dear friends…

I am very sad, but…I owe you an update. Unfortunately the news were bad. My dad died yesterday. It has been a horrific shock for me and my family as my father had not been ill – we had no opportunity to say good-bye, and that is a particular source of sadness for me.

However, I must tell you how overwhelmed I am by the continued show of support, the messages, comments and e-mails I have received from you, my FRIENDS in this fandom. We all have different ways of dealing with sorrow and grief, but for me reading your good wishes, and receiving your offers of prayer, and your virtual hugs and good vibes have been a huge consolation, distraction and source of energy. They have literally warmed my heart – which had been touched by the ice-cold hands of death. However silly and hippie-ish it may sound – the last few days I have felt cocooned in a white, soft cloud of love and positivity, almost like a shield that was trying to protect me from the dark thunder of grief. It is still there, and it is now making me smile through the fog of tears that are no longer unspilled. I cannot tell you how much consolation and strength your support, love and friendship has given and continues to give me. Your individual and combined messages are reminding me that there is joy and happiness, and that this world is a good one, even if occasionally thrown into turmoil by loss and tragedy. I can honestly say that I appreciate every single word of support that I have received, and that I truly think this fandom is a community of real people, of FRIENDS – even if we have never met in person. You are very real to me, as is your compassion and support. Thank you!

Is this possible in other fandoms, too? Maybe. Probably. But I think that there is a correlation between the man and the “well-wishers” he has inspired to get together. I *think* he is a nice, considerate, decent man, but I *know* you are a wonderfully kind-hearted, generous and compassionate group of people. You deserve each other. I really, really wish he’d know that there is a different dimension to our collective well-wishing than the mere extolling of his talent, character and physical assets. That there is tangible friendship, exchange of ideas, mutual support in matters that are not even related to “himself” – but hey, maybe he’d get jealous 😉 Ok, just kidding. That would automatically disqualify him from being our fandom “idol” *ggg*

Do I detect some cheeky fun in between the lines? Yes. The force of life is irrepressible, and after the tears the smiles will be back. Guess what: I was shopping today in a Euro shop (equivalent to Dollar Store), and I could not resist buying some sparkly flowers and beads… As long as the urge to create is still alive, I know I will be fine… You are all a huge help and I deeply appreciate the time and care you have taken with your messages, which I hope I will reply to properly at some point. For the time being, I am grateful and asking the universe to return the love you have given me tenfold! ❤ Thank you!

S. xxxx

PS: I have had a fleeting look at some new images *corrrrrrrrrrrrrr* – and at some of the funny and original fan selfies from London. My concentration is not quite good enough yet to write an *ooof* (although I can feel the urge building), and I am currently holding off on keeping up with stage door encounters and newspaper articles just because I do not want to mix up the man with my current predominant feeling of grief. Armitaging is a happy occupation, and I want to keep it so. Let’s see how long I can stay away before the magnetic pull of the bearditage, smoulderitage, leatherjacketitage, chesthairitage and the whole bloody lovélitage gets too much 😉

116 thoughts on “My dear friends…

  1. I am so, so sorry to hear your news and my heart goes out to you, Guylty. An untimely and unexpected death must be so shocking for you and your family. The only good thing is that he did not suffer long and is now beyond pain. That doesn’t make it much easier for those left behind but it’s better than a long decline. Huge hugs and prayers too if you think they help… Xxxxx

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    • Finally taking the time to reply to all the kind messages. The shock is beginning to wear off. Well, slightly. I am learning to bear the thought that he’s not there to be seen anymore… Hugs definitely help 🙂 THanks!

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  2. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. hugs and hugs and more hugs.

    My GuyMuse offered to come visit… but I”m afraid of what he thinks ‘condolences’ consists of and to be honest, he’s barely house broken…well I mean he IS housebroken and can be taken out in public MOST times but…

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    • Thank you, Zee – as I have said before, I *can* feel those hugs and thoughts and prayers, and they really help.
      Pity ’bout Guy, though – I bet the challenge of having him around would’ve been quite distracting 😉

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      • I mean, I can send him if you like…. you might send him back really fast tho… his bedside manner is… well his bed manners are awesome but… I’m going to shut up. My tongue is tied and he’s smackin’ my behind… very distracting….

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    • I know – it seems horrible to ask the question, hence I had to update you all at some point, and not just for some attention seeking on my part. But even a painful question is a sign of compassion and worry. Thank you!!

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  3. Dear S, I’m so sorry for your loss. Reading your message brought tears to my eyes, not only for the sorrow and pain, but also for your ability to still be generous, positive, and full of love. I’m sure your father knew that about you too and felt your love these last few days, even if you weren’t able to tell him. All the best to you and your family, and know that we are here for you. Big hugs, M.

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    • If I truly possess those qualities, then surely they were passed down to me from my dad, who was a kind, calm, generous and positively thinking man. We were very much alike, and I hope he took that as a sign of my love for him, too. Thank you for those reassuring words, M!!!

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  4. Liebe S.xxxx, das tut mir sehr leid für dich und deine Familie. Der unerwartete Tod ist immer schockhaft und scheint so besonders sinnlos. Aber aus deinem Text spricht auch schon wieder die G, die wir so mögen und mit der wir (glaube ich ) alle so unendlich viel Spaß haben 🙂 Es war für mich persönlich (wenn ich das mal ganz egoistisch anmerken darf) eine schöne Erfahrung festzustellen, dass Beziehungen der wirklich positiven Art im Netz möglich sind. Ganz lieben Gruß C

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    • Du hast sehr Recht – bei aller Traurigkeit haben doch die vergangenen Tage mir persönlich deutlich gezeigt, dass ich für mein Leben dankbar sein kann, weil ich von so vielen freundlichen, warmen, mitfühlenden Menschen umgeben bin. Ja, wir sind persönlich. Und genau deshalb sehe ich auch mit Freude in die Zukunft. Alles wird gut!

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  5. This is sad news. I am so sorry. My heart goes out to you and your loved ones.
    Whenever the final moment is to come – it is always to early for the loving people left behind. But let‘s hope he is in a better place now and beyond pain and grief.
    As sad and dark this moment appears – I can sense your strength between your lines. I am glad that you are still able to see that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel, and there will be better days to come again.
    We will be here when you are back in full motion, just take your time.

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    • Thank you i.f. – so nice to hear from you again!!! I think, over time I will begin to be ever more grateful for the short sharp illness that took my dad away – as opposed to long suffering. The strength between the lines comes for a large part from messages like yours. Thank you for that!

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  6. I so sorry to hear that, S. I know words can do very little in this cases and only risk to be banal and meaningless if not offesive. So, no words, but still more hugs and kisses. I’d like to be able to give you real ones, but I hope that even virtual friendship can at least lessen a little the pain. Love ❤

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  7. Liebe guylty, das tut mir unendlich leid für Dich und Deine Familie. Ich wünsche Euch viel Kraft und Stärke in der nächsten Zeit und viele positive und schöne Erinnerungen, die hoffentlich irgendwann den Schmerz überlagern.
    Alles Gute für Euch und sei unbekannterweise fest umarmt 😉
    Suzy

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    • Liebe Suzy, du sagst es – auch ich freue mich auf die schönen Erinnerungen. Eigentlich gibt es auch nur schöne Erinnerungen. Der Tod ist die einzig schlechte. Und ich weigere mich, mir davon das Bild von meinem Papa vermiesen zu lassen. Das hat er nicht verdient. Danke für die lieben Worte – die Kraft wächst mit jedem Wort, das an mich gerichtet wird.

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    • Thank you, Tamara – I am feeling calmer already. Well, it is still early days, but the panic is over, and I am allowing peace and comfort to replace the shock and anger.

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  8. It is very hard when you don’t have the chance to say goodbye–I am so sorry for your loss and wish you and your family all the strength and comfort you need during this very difficult time.

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    • Thank you, Stephanie – it really gives me consolation that you and so many others have expressed so much compassion. It’s like sharing the grief, lifting it away from my heart.

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    • Thank you, Tree – it is so nice to know that you will be there even if I need a bit of time. In a way I can’t wait to be back among all of you, but I know I will have a tough week in front of me, especially next Wednesday when the funeral takes place. I’ll get through it. I only need to read through these messages again to feel strength flowing back into my heart.

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    • The friendship I am being shown by you and so many others *definitely* helps. In fact, I think friendship and love are the solution to *everything*. Thank you, Lady!!

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  9. Oh sweetie. I’m so sorry for your loss. That happened to my dad last year and I know how horrible it is. You know we are all here for when you need a hug. (That was really bad grammer sorry) Know that you are loved and we all share your grief. with love and lots of hugs Wendy.

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    • Oh Ladysableh – so sorry to hear about your loss. I am glad to know that I can demand hugs any time 😉 – and I am also encouraged to read that you got through your own loss, too. Thank you!

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    • Abby – thank you!!! For all your messages. And your friendship. It continues to lift me up. And even though I think the universe fucked up royally with my dad, I still believe that this year is and will be great. Because I have met all of you and had so much friendship and love shown. Thank you!

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  10. Oh dear, that is indeed a sad news. I’m so sorry and virtually with you and your family, really. You are such a wonderful person and deserve all the love of this world. And you made me cry a bit, because you are also so strong: to try to find some good and lights in all this pain is something so brave, that I’m not so sure I could be able to do the same.
    Take your time to come back full of energy as always, dear. We will wait for you, no matter how long it takes.
    Hugs and love!
    Marta.

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    • Thank you Marta – and you make me blush. Hey, I am no saint. But I think that an experience such as this one can only be survived if you look for the positives in the negatives. There is more strength in us than we know, and sometimes it comes out when others encourage it. Your messages certainly have encouraged me. So thank you!

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  11. I am oh so sorry to hear your sad news. Losing your father is tough – I know. In time you will be able to enjoy the precious memories. hHs love will stay with you forever. God bless
    Christine xxxxx

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  12. I am so sorry for you and your family’s loss. My words are so inadequate to express my sympathy for you at this time. But I am so glad we, your fandom friends, we able to help you through this a little, after all you have done for us. It’s the “glittery bits” of our lives that help sustain us through the sad times. Please remember how much we care about you and appreciate the humor and creativity you share with us. And how your generosity of spirit honors your Dad..

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    • I don’t think your words are inadequate at all. They are heart-felt, and that is where the comfort lies, for me. So thank you very much for that. The glittery bits – so right. And I hope it is as you say, that in my spirit my dad can live on. Thank you!!!

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  13. My heart felt condolences.I know what you are going through.been there.on a lighter note.I promise to keep up with the lovitage,baritage,bearditage,chesitage,buttitage and every other itage I can think of.Hugs and much well wishes to you and your family…De

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    • So sorry to hear you have gone through this, too. Ah, unfortunately we all will, sooner or later. I had thought I had another 20 years, but well… In any case – thank you for your lovely words!

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  14. Dearest Guylty I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My heart goes out to you and your family.

    The words left unsaid are very hard, but I saw a friend today who said that her fil had died very suddenly recently and her husband took in a bottle of wine and talked and shouted and said everything he wanted to say before the undertaker took him away.

    I am seeing Mr Arsitage on Saturday night and I will ogle his bottom just for you.

    Sending you much love and strength

    xxx

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    • Oh, I love the idea of your friend’s husband. I might just do that, too (maybe in the privacy of the forest? Would also give me the excuse to go for a run…) There is still opportunity to say it all. It’s just that I won’t hear an answer. But I might feel it, and that is just as good.
      And oh – an Armitage Bottom-Ogling Memorial. Totally approved of by Guylty. Picture evidence? Preferably from stage door? Ok, I am pushing it now. But nonetheless – enjoy enjoy enjoy. And tell Armitage that his fans are the best.
      Thank you for your lovely words!!

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  15. Oh my dear friend. My heart goes out to you at this sad news. No matter whether a death is expected or not the blow is hard to take. May the love of family and friends – real or virtual – surround you and hold you close. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

    With love and hugs xx

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    • Thank you, Teuchter. The love is really surrounding me, and it doesn’t even make a difference whether it is from RL or virtual friends, the effect is still the same. I am quite humbled by all the show of support I have received, and I hope that all the love you have sent out to me will be paid back in kind at some time.

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  16. I am so sorry for you and your family. What nearly made me cry is when you say that you have not had time to say good bye to him and may be many other things that we think we have always time to say. You know, like tomorrow, or next month or may be never. In a wonderful life we should say to each member of our family that we love them but who does this ? Certainly not me. I presume that they know it and that it’s stupid to say them with real words but then it happens that they go away just like this and we regret our silences. I am so proud once again of our little community because we know when we have to take care of our lovely man but we know also that the real life is around us too with good and bad news every day and fortunately we know how to remain together even if we are all around the world. Again all my condoleances. I am sure even Pop Thorin has tears in his huge eyes. Tanti baci da Katia.

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    • Wise words, Katia – we should live every day as if it were the last, and we should never wait to tell those we love that we do so… Maybe our community here thrives especially because there is a tiny bit of anonymity left – which makes it easier to express compassion and concern and love and appreciation? Despite the anonymity, you feel very real to me! Thank you!

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  17. Dear S: Did you get my message on tumblr? I replied to you on Tuesday right after you told me and then resent it when I wrote again, worried I had not received your first message. Please let me know once you have a moment. I’m here for you and am sending love your way, my friend. xxoo, ~B.

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    • Oh B – so sorry that the message didn’t filter through correctly. Thank you for your messages – they were very touching, and I felt very much wrapped in love and good vibes. It’s good to have friends like you.

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      • Tststs, Igelstacheln dienen der Verteidigung, und so sind sie auch positioniert. Gesicht, Unterseite, Beine und Pfoten sind stachelfrei.

        Aber wenn du eher eine pieksende Umarmung brauchst, gebe ich mein Bestes. (Äh, Schlimmstes?)

        Ich freue mich, dass wir dir aus der Ferne ein bisschen Unterstützung geben können.
        Denk’ an deinen Papa und sag’ dabei alles, was du ihm so gerne noch gesagt hättest. Oder schreib’ einen Brief.
        Mit der Zeit wird die Trauer nachlassen – auch wenn dir das kaum glaubhaft vorkommt, wenn sie dich mit voller Wucht überfällt -, aber die guten Erinnerungen bleiben dir und werden immer einen Platz in deinen Gedanken haben.

        *einen Vorrat pieksige und un-pieksige Umarmungen mitschick*

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  18. I am saddened to learn of your recent loss. My deepest sympathy to you and your family at this unexpected blow, now and in the times to come, when you may feel his absence most …
    Although it may only get said once in a while (and then when you may be least able to appreciate it), you mean a great deal to so many. You are one of the ‘sparkly bits’ in life, so please take care of yourself! You will be in my thoughts & prayers.

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    • Dear Verbosa, thank you for your kind words. I like the idea that I am a “sparkly bit” – it has brought a smile to my face, so thank you for that 🙂

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  19. ah sweetie ,so sorry to hear your news ,……you can still talk to your dad , take comfort that he knows your thoughts , …..hes not gone , just in a different room …..gentle hugs for you and prayers for you ,your family and your dad .
    xxxxx

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    • I agree with Jane. Your dad is STILL with you and watching over you.

      My grandparents were married over 60 years. When my grandfather passed away over a long illness and we brought the get well balloons and arrangements home, there was one balloon he had really liked – a mylar balloon of an old car. Somehow that balloon managed to pull out of the knot, float down the hallway to come to rest over my grandfather’s pillow on their bed.

      Several times over the next several days my mom brought it back. She started putting it in other parts of the room, the kitchen, in the corner behind the front door, away from the hall and the apparent air condition flow.

      It never failed. That balloon would find its way to my grandparents bed to my grandfather’s side of the bed. No one ever saw it float. It was just…. there. My grandmother finally told mom to leave it there. It was obviously my grandfather letting her know he was STILL there.

      So he’s there. Your dad is still with you. I’ll bet you’ll feel him hug you when you most need it.

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  20. Warm hugs and an embrace of deep compassion. I am praying for you and your father. I know how much it would hurt me to lose mine and he is in an age where every day is a present, while I think that is every day of life anyway – from the beginning to the end and I thank for every good encounter in life and fandom, as every good second is a cherished present and in your ooofs you so excellently show the good and the wonderful brilliance of the world. Thank you, Guylty !!! I wish you to soon be able to cherish the good times with your father again, without being drawn down by sorrow.

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    • Thank you, C, I am trying to remind myself that the tears shall not be the predominant memory of my dad, but all the happy moments we had. It’ll take a while, and at the moment I am dreading the funeral, but once all that is over, I can concentrate on the memories.

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    • Mezz, thank you so much for your e-mail. I loved the text you passed on to me, it was really special and contained thoughts that I found very consoling. I hope to reply to mails properly, at some point. But thank you for the kind words!

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  21. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. Losing a parent is never easy, no matter their age.. I know the feelings that you are going through. I lost my father at a young age 10 years ago..eventually when the grief subsides, you will be able to think of him without breaking down every 2 min. Your dad will always be alive in your heart. God had grander plans for him.. You’ve now have a guardian angel who will watch over you and your family. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

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    • Thank you, Maria – I am trying to console myself with the thought that my dad may be watching over his family. He certainly is exuding his calm presence over me already, I am feeling fairly strong most of the time – which is good, as my mum needs much support. It’s good to know that grief will eventually tone down!

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  22. My deepest sympathy to you and your family on the loss of your father. No words can say how you are feeling at this time, as everyone feels lose in a different way. It is hard to loss a parent, but they can still be in your thoughts and feel them with you as time goes by.

    We are here for you in this time of loss. (((HUGS))) and prayers.

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    • It consoles me to think of my dad a lot – and yet it is still also upsetting. I know that will change over time, and I look forward to the time when I can just think of him and feel calm and happy to have had such a wonderful dad… Thank you Katie!!

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    • THanks, Crystal – knowing that others think of me really helps. THere is more between heaven and earth than all that we can explain by science, and the power of positive thought is one such thing. I firmly believe in it.

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  23. I’m sorry for your loss, Guylty. It’s a profound thing to lose a parent. I’m so glad to know you are surrounded by love and support within the RA fandom. It’s no surprise. You’ve given us RA well-wishers so much of your talent for words, crafting, photography–all done with your imitable style. Thank you and bless.

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    • Thank you Mia – somehow all those kind words you all are sending me are very much soothing my pain. I am not yet ready to talk about my dad or the loss, but it helps to be given so much love!

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  24. There´s nothing left to be added at the moment. A personal message is on it´s way, let´s see how long DHL needs for delivery.
    In der Zwischenzeit eine große Umarmung für Dich.

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  25. I just learned what happened. So sorry to hear about it. You have my deepest condolences, both for you and your family. Losing a parent is very hard, but as everybody has said, it’s good that you’re not surrounded by so much love and support. Hang in there, dear.

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    • Dear Judi – thank you for your kind words. With every day I am getting more used to the reality. The day of the funeral – next Wednesday – will be tough, but knowing that so many kind thoughts are with me, really helps. Thanks!

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  26. Pingback: For Guylty…”Friendship is a light in dark times” | Ancient Armitage

  27. I just learned about this today, I’m so sorry. (HUGS) Your positive energy has always been a source of inspiration for me, and it’s painful to know you’re going through something so difficult. My condolences, please hang in there!

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  28. Oh sweetie … I’m just now reading about what’s happened. 😦 Virtual *hugs* and lots of prayers are heading your way. I know, it’s so hard to lose your Dad, even more so when it is unexpected. Give yourself permission to grieve for as long as you need. It helps, in many ways. And we’ll be here to help along the way … *hug*

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    • Thank you Zan – sometimes it feels ok, sometimes it is unthinkable. It is harder at the moment because I am not at home, in my own surroundings, but in my parents’ house where I don’t even have a room any more. I feel uprooted. Thanks for the hug – I need it…

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  29. I didn’t read this before, so I’m commenting now. I’m sorry to hear of your loss and hope that you and your family have peace and happy memories. My father died about 1 1/2 years ago and the memories and sadness come and go but I know I was blessed to have him in my life. I appreciate your posts and wish you well.

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    • Dear Beverly, so nice of you to comment even though the post is a couple of months old. Since you have experienced it yourself, you know that their is no half-time for grief, and so your words are very much appreciated. I am doing quite well, I think, because I am focussing on the positive memories that I have, rather than getting side-tracked into the dark unknowns of “why” and “what if”. I prefer to leave the questions open and just deal with the answers that I have.
      Thank you! x

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  30. Pingback: Annual Review | GUYLTY PLEASURE

  31. Pingback: OT [+ a bit of RA]: Let’s Celebrate Memories | Guylty Pleasure

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