Readers…don’t forget about the Great AOW Relaunch Giveaway of Wonder! (No, I really couldn’t think of anything more catchy. Soz. Yep, that’s right. I’m bringing back ‘soz’.) If you know of anyone who makes/bakes/designs wonderful things that we all need in our lives and will want to add a prize to our Giveaway Hamper (it’s an *actual* hamper!) then ask them nicely to email us at… Merci.

I thought that I had writers block when I sat down to write this post. I thought that I was tired and fed up and over-emotional and hormonal and that I couldn’t possibly think of anything to say. Then I realised that I couldn’t think of anything *else* to say because I only really have one thing on my mind.
I work with a girl who turned 18 just last month. She’s dedicated, driven, funny, gorgeous, has wicked taste in shoes and a filthy laugh. She’s so young, but I can tell she’s going to grow up to be one hell of a woman. You know when you meet someone and just know that you like them? That.
Last week she found out that her Mum is going to die soon. Very soon. Too soon, of course, but really too soon. Too soon for this young family to know what’s happened, what’s happening, what will happen. This sweet young girl is trying so, so hard to carry on and to maintain some sort of routine, some modicum of normality, but the pressure builds and bubbles over at sporadic points.
Lunchtime today was one such moment and her pain was so palpable, so vicious, it took my breath away. After I’d made sure she was safely on her way home and had locked my office door behind me I cried like I haven’t cried for a long time. Ugly crying, with bloodshot eyes and a blotchy chest and snot and everything. Once it was out of my system, once I’d cried away my anger and frustration and sorrow, I felt incredibly guilty. What right did I have to cry? How dare I cry like my world was ending? But it was the injustice of the whole situation. It was the teenage ‘LIFE’S NOT FAIR!’ It was, quite simply, overwhelming. 
What I have been thinking about all afternoon, apart from the lovely girl and her darling mother, is how lucky I am. Lucky in all sorts of ways. Lucky to have grown up, become an adult and started my own little family with both parents in the background. I focus so much on becoming a mother myself and on the relationship that Phil and I have that sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be a daughter with parents on the end of the phone.
So this evening, I’ll hope and pray for my friend and her family and I’ll count my blessings, each one precious and fragile and in need of nurturing. The last thing I want is to be a Maudlin Mary, but sometimes I find myself so wrapped up in the day-to-day life of Me that I forget to simply be lucky…  
Categories: Family, Friends and Relationships, Life Experience
5 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted February 14, 2012 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I understand why you cried.

    My bridesmaids sister died 10 days ago. She was a beautiful, kind and funny friend, who was taken too soon by cancer.

    And I've cried a lot. For losing a friend, but more for my bridesmaid and the pain I know she is in. It's just so bloody unfair.

    And it has made me take stock of what's REALLY important – like you I have a lot to be thankful for


  2. Posted February 14, 2012 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    That poor girl. My thoughts go out to her and all others in similar circumstances. But she's lucky too as she has people like you to care and look out for her.
    I often get overwhelmed by 'lifes not fair' feelings. What helped a bit was discovering that its a real 'thing' that we don't have a word for. In Germany its called weltschmerz – world sadness.

  3. Posted February 14, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    That poor girl. One of my oldest friends lost her Mum to breast cancer 3 years ago. It was so sudden, she was diagnosed in late October and died in early January. Like you say, too soon. All too soon. My friends and I cried more than she did at the funeral, not just for her Mum but for our friends pain, and her strength and bravery.

    You are so right, it's important that we remember what we are lucky enough to have. You can't value those things enough.

    Thebabywife, I am so so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you.

    K x

  4. Posted February 14, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    You're right, 18 is far too young to lose your mum. And it's not f*cking fair.

    I wonder, though, if there's ever an age when it's "okay" to lose a parent – once they've seen you married? Once they've held their first grandchild? Once they've seen that grandchild married? Do we ever stop needing our mums?

    I suspect the answer is probably 'no', and for me that's the hardest part of all.

    Sending much love to your friend.

    (Obviously I don't know what's wrong with her mum, but if it's the same as my mum let me know and I can send you some support and information resources that have helped me x)

  5. Posted February 22, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    You don't need me to say this Aisling (you're far too smart to need life advice from me!) but yes, you are lucky. and I can utterly sympathise with that poor girl because it's hard enough when you lose your mum at 30. At 18 it doesn't even bear thinking about.

    Personally I wish my mum had lived to see me (fairly) happy. The year she died she watched me trying (and failing) to save my marriage, trying (and initially failing) to get a new job, and trying (and initially failing) to get through my 30th birthday. I wish I'd given her more reasons to smile. I hope your work colleague gives her mum reasons to smile, too. It sounds like she is the kind of girl who will.


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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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