Author: Rosi Reed

Talking about the R word 0

Talking about the R word

I’ve having some vivid dreams at the moment. Last Sunday I dreamt I was pushing open the heavy door to a train station, when coming through the door the other way was someone I used to know.  As we passed each other, I said to her “it’s really all about resilience you know.  That’s the key to it all”.  Then I woke up. Since then I’ve been thinking about resilience a lot. Events of the last few days have caused me to think about resilience even more.   I know the word resilience is getting bandied about more at the moment because of the pandemic but for many of us, it’s something we’ve been living with for years. In the last few days...

“I don’t know what to say” 0

“I don’t know what to say”

A woman approached me at a local event 3 years after Nico died.  She was someone who had pointedly avoided me immediately after Nico died, crossing the road and concentrating on the contents of her bag with such intensity I thought she’d spotted a winning lottery ticket in there.  She may have been planning to give me some kind of explanation and apology but I’ll never know as she actually said was: “I didn’t speak to you when Nico died because I didn’t know what to say”.  Having delivered this line, she looked so smug and pleased with herself, so “well, that box is ticked” and all very like “I’ve just donated to Children in Need”, that I just wasn’t able to...

Is it really the Hardest Word? 0

Is it really the Hardest Word?

When I was a child my mother told me the mark of maturity is understanding when, how and why you need to say sorry.   She said it was important to know when you were wrong and that you should never be afraid to be wrong, so long as you also weren’t afraid to admit it.   She said sorry was important. She believed a true apology took three steps.  Step one was to admit to the person involved that you were wrong.  Step two was to actually apologise – but she said the apology only worked if you really understood why you were apologising and what you were apologising for.  The third step was to offer to make amends in a real and...

Crazy little thing called Grief 0

Crazy little thing called Grief

One thing is certain in life.  EVERYBODY is going to experience grief at some point in their lives.  No-one escapes this, absolutely no-one.  If you live in the world and have a family or friends, grief is going to get you one day, if it hasn’t already.  You can deny that and you can put your fingers in your ears till the cows come home, but my friend, it is going to be your turn some-day so you might as well sort out the way you think about grief now.   While we’re on the subject, this is a good time to think about how you can support someone who is grieving. My dictionary defines grief as “intense sorrow, especially caused by someone’s...

Time and other realities 0

Time and other realities

I really can’t speak for anyone else.  Grief, I’ve discovered, is a very personal thing and by that, I mean that everyone grieves differently and there are as many different versions of grief as there are people who are grieving the people they lost. There’s no right way to grieve; no correct or incorrect way to be or to feel.  There’s only your own way and so I feel I’m only qualified to write about my own experience.  It may turn out to be similar to yours.  It may be completely different.  But all of that doesn’t really matter because there is no right or wrong way to grieve. It’s almost unbelievable to me that we just had another anniversary of Nico’s...

A long reply to a simple question 0

A long reply to a simple question

Recently I was contacted by a mother who asked me a question.  I’ve been thinking about the answer for some time and I wanted to be truthful.  As I approach the anniversary of my son’s death, this has been on my mind more than ever.   The mother had asked me one simple question “Does it get better?” In a few days it will tip into it being another year since Nico died and with that in mind, I’d like to answer her question by looking back over the last few years. At the beginning there were no good days.  There were not even good hours or minutes.  Later there were sometimes good minutes, or minutes that you didn’t spend crying.  Crying seemed...

So what’s with all the sunflowers? 0

So what’s with all the sunflowers?

We laid him in a box decorated with blue skies and sunflowers in a church filled with huge stands of sunflowers.  After that day, friends of ours, and of Nico’s, gave us sunflower gifts to remember him by.  They still do.  Sunflowers have become a kind of shorthand reference not just for remembering my son Nico, but also for the lives of so many others.  Lives which blazed out, filling the world with colour, hope and love.  Lives that were then cut short, when they didn’t need to be.  Lives which are not forgotten. Sunflowers were never my favourite flower.  I can remember enjoying the sight of huge fields of sunflowers in the warm evening sun in Spain but I was not...

The Meeting – a poem 0

The Meeting – a poem

I’m so not a poet. Writing a poem for me is one of those occasional, when the feeling takes me, kind of things.  I first wrote of version of this one in 2014 but since then I’ve re-written it.  I realise poems are not my usual style of blog, but after all, poems are just words with a different rhythm.   I dedicate this poem to every parent who has ever sat in a meeting with Social Services, or with the Local Authority or an NHS Trust, a Supported Living, Care or Residential Home or any other official body who pretended to be listening to them, but in reality, simply wasn’t hearing them at all.  I’d also like to dedicate it to...

Joining, un-joining and re-joining the club 0

Joining, un-joining and re-joining the club

I’ve never been much of a “joiner”. I joined yoga for single class, ditto for Zumba.  I was a Guide for 2 weeks and liked the uniform which was paid for the day I left.  I’ve joined several gyms I’ve never been to and clubs I can barely remember and by now you’re getting the idea.  I’m rubbish at joining any kind of club. But there are some clubs that you join whether you want to or not.  Some of them are clubs that no-one wants to join, but you find you’ve joined them anyway. When Nico was diagnosed I joined a club I never knew existed.  I joined the club of “parents of disabled children” which is a large, well established...

Introducing Tiny Tim syndrome 0

Introducing Tiny Tim syndrome

If you have a disabled child you will have met this one before.  I call it Tiny Tim Syndrome.  It’s living with, dealing with and generally finding a way through the two commonly acceptable options for the future of your disabled child. Your child has to either get better, or die.  Getting better includes cures, miracle and otherwise – and can possibly, in some circumstances consist of the child becoming just more socially acceptable.  This means that they get a green-card either by acting like a “normal person” (i.e. they walk and talk) or if they are outstanding in other ways, such as athletics, comedy, music, writing or just gobsmackingly clever.  In the short term they can get away with even being...