What I learned in 2014

Another year draws to a close. If I were to make a judgement about 2014 I would probably say it was not a very good year. However is life ever that simple? Yes some pretty awful things happened but so did some wonderful things too.

I attended three funerals, all people who had died prematurely including a seventeen year old friend of my son who committed suicide. A few weeks previously his father, my ex-husband had dropped dead completely unexpectedly, aged 51. As a mother it is hard watching my son suffer. My instincts want his pain go away and to make everything alright for him. But I can’t. He can only work through his grief himself. Of course he has his teenage moments still and I have learned not to react. There is no point trying to talk to him when he is in a blind rage. All I can do is send him compassion and at the same time let him know that sometimes his behaviour is not acceptable. He even apologised about it once – that is huge progress!

You may have read my previous post about the abuse I suffered in my former marriage. What a host of mixed reactions when my abuser died! He had been in the fourth stage of my metta bhavana (loving kindness) meditation many a time and it was at this time the benefits paid off. Of course there has been the usual anger, a little sadness when remembering happier times when we were young but also relief. It feels very strange being the only parent left now.

In the depth of the sadness in our household we also received some good news. My sons and I all passed our courses that we needed for various things. That was when it really struck me how you can feel happy and sad at the same time and just because you are grieving does not mean you should not celebrate joyful events too.

I went on holiday completely on my own for the first time. I had my purse stolen, fortunately it was the last day, and that made me aware how vulnerable I was. It has not put me off though, next time I will keep my card and my cash separate and I will leave a little cash in the hotel too. Luckily I was not hurt and I got all my money back from the bank. If anything it has made me more determined, I need to go back and visit Ravenna!

In our darkest moments we can connect to our imagination and creativity. I finished the draft of my novel and certain events of the year have given me inspiration for the next one.

Here’s wishing an inspirational 2015 to everyone.

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