Monday, 25 February 2019

Reflection

So, today, we should have been celebrating my son, Jacob, 11th birthday. 

It often puts me in a quandary as to whether I should share this on public media, or keep things private. I really respect people who keep their private lives private, and question my reasons for making things public. However, yesterday at the craft show in Stevenage a lovely lady came over to see me who had lost her husband just a year ago. He used to drive her to the show, but this time she did it alone. The drive, the show and faced those overwhelming emotions. Which is such an achievement. Personally it meant a lot to me, as she told me she had watched me on tv and decided if I could smile and get on, then so could she. And in that moment I realised the potential of sharing - not just the good times, but the struggles, the hurt, and the loss. We all go through it, and if we can give a little comfort, inspiration or just a feeling of unity then that is a very positive outcome to something that has the potential to break us.

So, here I am. I definitely don’t seek sympathy. I’m okay. I’m sad, and cry (a lot!!), but I’m okay. This time the void Jacob left seems a little deeper, a little wider. It is accentuated because I am still grieving my sister, and her upcoming 40th birthday just breaks my heart. And of course, there’s always more to each story. The details which make grieving more complicated than it should be. 

All this said, I trundled downstairs with my dogs, Dylan smiling away even though his arthritis makes first thing in the  morning a bit of a struggle. He made me smile. The day is looking beautiful. I’m going seeing my friend, and then have work from home, but it’s playing with graphic 45 (I know, work right!!). So, although the sadness lingers in my heart, it can be also be filled with gratitude, love and joy.

To my readers, thank you. For those messages. For coming and seeing me at the shows and being so kind. But also, for sharing with me. It’s important isn’t it, after all, we’re in this together. And maybe that’s the most important reason I write this, to remind you you’re not alone, because sometimes it does feel that way doesn’t it. It’s going to be okay. 

Now, let’s get those dogs out and enjoy some blue sky therapy xxxxx


58 comments:

Soo said...

❤❤❤

Maggie C said...

We can’t make any of it better but we can share your pain and hopefully diffuse it just a little bit. Not as a close friend but definitely as someone who cares! Xx

Unknown said...

Well I cannot believe that it's eleven years since that sad event happened. Life does go on but it changes and although it must still hurt, you have given so much of your life to others. Big hugs today. I think your smile says it all! Enjoy messing around with Graphic 45! Xxxxxxx

Paula Tonks said...

Keep sharing - and keep positive. Enjoy the sunshine and the G45! X

Lucinda said...

Sending you love and hugs Leonie. We lost our second daughter last year, and the sadness tinges everything. So many people have shared since that they have a similar story. But the one fried who had always been very open about losing her first son, was the one who gave me hope in the early days that we could survive the overwhelming pain. So thank you so much for sharing, it does help others and I hope it helps you. I'll hold you and Jacob in my thoughts x

Jackie T said...

Thinking of you on this sad day. Thank you for sharing. We are never really alone so many people are going through so much. Enjoy the sun and your crafty day ahead. Take care. Hugs Jackie

Sandie Braithwaite said...

Such a beautiful, thoughtful and sad post. I can still see you with Dawn, that first programme after you had lost Jacob. My tears were flowing for you, and my admiration for your bravery held no bounds. You were then, and still are, an inspiration to all of us. Keep smiling, keep crying, that's absolutely fine, keep crafting and keep messing! xx

Jo said...

Thank you for sharing and being so open. Happy Birthday Jacob, pretty sure he'd be super proud of his Mummy and also sure that he's probably somewhere with your sister getting up to mischief!!! <3 Take care and be gentle with yourself. xxx

Linda Simpson said...

Life is full of ups and downs and can be so hard sometimes to rise above it. You have given so much to so many people either on TV or at shows with your caring and sensitive nature. I can't imagine what you have been through especially over the past 12 months. You are one very brave, sensitive and inspiring lady with a heart of gold! May today bring you lots of joy and sending you all my love.
Hugs
Linda xxx

Claire said...

Leonie, I completely understand the benefits of sharing not only for you but others too. I lost my beautiful Mama in August to cancer, she was only 66. We were best friends and I am broken without her. Like the lady who came to you yesterday, that small moment probably made her day a little bit easier and maybe for you too. As you say we all face life’s dreadful moments, I’m stuck in one right now. But reading your blog has brought me some comfort. So sharing is good. I love you and your fab work. Much love ❤️❤️ X

Helen said...

Sending love today Leonie. I can still remember Dawn Bibby passing on the sad news on QVC and I was hearbroken for you.In terms of sharing your life, you have the right balance, providing enough to help yourself and others but keeping somethings more private where they should be. Keep smiling, keep crafting and share what you want to. Happy birthday Jacob xx

Kathryn said...

Oh love, life can be so hard somedays cant it, just remember you bring so much pleasure to others in ways you can’t imagine, myself included. And sometimes it’s okay to get off the roundabout and take a break, it’s getting back on and carrying on that makes us strong. You have your beautiful nephew who I’m sure fills some of the voids life has given you. My Nathan would have been 28 next week. I feel your pain. But we get up and get on don’t we, so just jump off that roundabout love, nurse the hurt but jump back on and keep bringing joy to us all xx

PeeJay said...

Thinking of you Leonie. Since we last met (at your last Rottingdean workshop), I lost my hubby of 33 years. It was his birthday on Saturday. It's a year of firsts for me. We've had the first Christmas, now the first birthday. I went on a holiday that we should have done together last Novemeber (a cruise). It took some thinking about but I decided to do it ... on my own ... but scattered his ashes whilst I was on it so he came with me, just in a different way. I've now lost people as close as can be ... Mum, Dad and hubby within 10 years. I know there's many worse off but it's still hard. We each fight our own little battles daily. Sending virtual hugs and see you in May xxx

trent999 said...

Thinking of you always.xx

Chris Curry said...

I remember how excited everyone was when you were pregnant and how sad we all were when you lost Jacob. We donated in his name and were happy to do so. One year or eleven years it makes no difference to your love for him. Your sisters birthday will be a hard day for you,but you have Charlie and you family and friends there for you. The first time of everything when you have lost a loved one is difficult, stay strong and keep showing the world what a great person you are, even when you are crumbling inside. Having lost my husband, my parents and my son in the last few years I do understand some of what you are going through, but you will get through it. On to other subjects, I am just back from walking my dog in this glorious frosty and sunny day and it does lift you. Now I am about to start my daughters ironing, nothing like as good as what you will be doing. Looking forward to seeing you soon on Hochanda. Please confirm you will be staying there. Lots of hugs and love to you and your family.xxxx

Bernie Simmons said...

Love and prayers. May you find comfort in a waggy tail and blue skies.
As you look towards the horizon and remember what you are to so many people. To those you have never met you give a smile and inspiration. To Charlie you give love and the hope that his world is not about to fall apart.
Nothing I or anyone can say will make this any better Just knowing you are loved by those you hold dear. and if you can on this day, hold and love them in return

Carol Fleet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol Fleet said...

Pam, so sorry to read about your husband xxx

Carol Fleet said...

Sending my love and compassion to you today xx Butterfly kisses to Jacob xx. That sweet lady was so brave yesterday. You are a beacon of hope to many people, and that definately includes me. Mum was delighted to see you too xxx

Auntie Boobs said...

Big hugs Leonie, I remember you having Jacob and all you went through as I wished I could have hugged you then because I lost a baby girl and know how you were feeling. Enjoy your hairy kids and the beautiful day it is today Jacob would be so proud of you and the lovely lady you are xxx

Sandma's Handmade Cards said...

Thinking of you and Jacob, and sending you a virtual hug. I wish you a day filled with sunshine x

KB said...

Thank you xx

Delia said...

Leonie - you are a bloomin' joy to us all and part of that is your honesty and openness. Pleae keep on telling us stuff for as long as it helps you. xx

Darcydaydream said...

💕💕💕

Carol Grieve said...

Hugs xx

HelenS said...

Thinking of you today and sending virtual hugs to you. Keep on smiling, it definitely helps. xxx

Tamara Morton said...

Thinking of you today, you are so inspirational. Sometimes we all need to pull together and be there for support, a kind word or by just being there. I was at the show yesterday and a lady came up to you with her daughter that watches you on the tele. You were just beaming and well just being you. You carry on as you are. I for one have got your back ( and if you like your Grapic 45 stash) xx

Unknown said...

this post is why I admire you and follow you. thinking of you today x

Nickyhaslam5@gmail.com said...

♥️♥️♥️♥️ you are an inspiration to me, enjoy the blue sky, thank you taking time to share x

Kathy Gledsdale said...

Thank you for this post, sending much love. Sadly in this uncaring age, there will always be nasty critics, welling to rip people apart. But I am grateful for your honesty, it helps when going through tough times yourself. so thinking of you xx

Carol Jacobs said...

What a beautiful story. Leonie I have been a fan for long time & only now felt need to comment. I am in my golden years & my family gets smaller each year so I cherish what I have & go back to reminise about those gone. Death is a hard thing to face but, we move on if not for us but those around us we need to be strong for. You are an inspiration for me your strength is amazing with what you have had to face. Love your perky personality, & lovely smile! I admire your strength, thank you for sharing this touching story. You are in my thoughts & prayers. Life is meant to be enjoyed!

Barbiedi said...

I would like to send you a very big hug, you are a remarkable lady, your smiling face on the craft Chanel must help so many people, i love your craft ideas and you definitely cheer me up, sending love to you and hugs at such a sad time for you. xxx

Lesley said...

Sending a massive hug to you.xxxx

Karen said...

Sending you love, hope, healing and hugs dear lady - you are precious to so many of us and the fact that you share makes you even more so xx

Littlelamb said...

Sending big hugs and thinking of you today.

Heidi Hobson said...

Aww my love I remember hearing the news on QVC. Me and mum cried it was just so so sad. Bless you lovely lady you give so much of yourself to so many people and always make us smile xxxxxx❤❤❤❤

Ann-Marie said...

Your an inspiration 🕊

Unknown said...

Yes, it's good to share and you give so much of yourself and your talents, it's so lovely to read the comments and know that you have so much support too Don't ever forget how much you mean to us all. Jan xx

Maria Moorhouse said...

Love you Leonie! That’s all ♥️♥️♥️♥️

wilma mackie said...

������

Tracy Welham said...

They say that Grief is the last act of Love, that's why it never truly goes away. Blessings, Tracy x

janet said...

I remember when you had the tragedy with dear Jacob all those years ago; you were on QVC I think? My heart broke for you then and again with the loss of your sister. Your courage has always been an inspiration and you have the best therapy -your dogs! There is nothing quite like doggy kisses for helping the hurt and I hope you are given many and often in the difficult days to come. I'll be thinking of you on 9th.

Diane INGRAM said...

Thank you for sharing your story Leonie, yes difficult decision to share but you are most probably helping far more poeple than you know, I just hope you can feel the love for you that we all feel.
x

Unknown said...

Leonie, you are, as ever an inspiration! You may not realise it, but by opening up on here, you give the rest of us hope and the fight to carry on. I remember the time that you lost your little Jacob, I remember my heart aching for you and crying for your loss, knowing exactly the pain you were going through, because a few years before, I had lost my two year old boy too. I have always felt like I was in a club that I never wanted to be a part of, but by sharing and talking to other people, you realise that many others belong to this club and we can get through this by showing we care. Well done hun, Jacob must be so proud of his amazing mum and by talking about him, you are keeping his memory alive. Love and hugs Maria (and Arwen) Lawton .xx

Unknown said...

Remembering the past is good, Leonie. Caring and sharing will not only help you, but others, too. Will be thinking of you Xxx

Sherrill said...

Thank you for being so open and real. You are an inspiration to me and so many, but today hurts, and shared grief is easier to bear. Thank you, grief can make us feel alone in a crowd, knowing others are out there pushing through it helps. I wish you peace and laughter xx

David Kirk said...

Isn't that what friends are for Leonie? There are times that a problem is so big in your head that you have to let it out or nothing else can fit! Sharing yourself is allowing others to take a little from you and friends love you all the more for it. No, they can't fix it, but they can help you face it and rationalize it, which prepares your mind to accept other things in your life. They may tell you what you already know but confirmation of life after loss lets you dare to accept that that life is there. We all smile when we're happy and let everyone see it. Why not let people see you cry? It's an emotion just the same. Feel free to share, we're all friends here. Love and hugs. The Captain xxxx

Carol S. said...

We all have our losses and most of us still struggle around the times that it happened. Missing the voice on the phone every day. Missing the laughter and fun. Missing making memories. But we know that we will join them at sometime. So we must still smile, still laugh and still have fun. So thank you for sharing Leonie. Big hugs, Carol S.xxxx

Unknown said...

Understand totally how hard it is have lost a daughter a brother both parents. And it’s good healthy to talk about them that’s what friends are for we are here for you give so much to all of us with your fun sense of humour your smile have seen me through dark days. Could believe had been11 years since you lost Jacob he was part of you and that never goes it’s like part of us that’s gone, so happy to have you share happy sad shoulderto cry on whenyou need it it’s all healthy. And what a wonderful little nephew you have with that same smile lots love tomorrow is another day see you soon x

Unknown said...

Leonie you are one special lady you give so much to other via Hochanda I love Wednesdays I think of you every year when they start advertising Ally Pally as I was at that show and Dawn told me you was about to go into labour then Jacob did not make it my heart broke for you and then your sister last year you are a fabulous Aunt to Charlie who is adorable and you are very lucky to have each other and we are very lucky to have you in our lives via tv never change and thank you for all the hard work you put into make our crafting fun love you loads❤️

Sall said...

Sending you love and hugs xx

carol edwards said...

Hello Leonie, I too remember the sad day you lost your baby Jacob . Going on each day is so hard and you wonder how you will get through each day nevermind the night. Somehow we do, sometimes talking about it, sometimes not. The feelings and memories resurface each time we lose someone close. Talking can help, other times we just want to keep our feelings so close to us. I've lost so many in recent years a lot sooner than than expected, husband, son and very recently my beautiful companion bichon. Take care and keep doing what you are doing as it's right for you Hugs carol xx

julie said...

Hugs Leonie xxx.like.the lady said you make me smile too xxx take care of yourself. 😚

Quirky Shepherd said...

Love and Hugs Leonie, its is good to share xx

Belinda Barton said...

Leonie, I hope you realise how wonderful you are, and how loved. I haven’t left a message here before but am going through a difficult time at the moment and wanted to send you a message because I just happened to catch your G45 show and it took me out of myself to a happier place for an hour, which was exactly what was needed. I wanted to say a big thank you.
Now I’ve read your message and all the emotional and heartwarming responses it puts everything into perspective and I realise how small my woes are in comparison to so many others, and also what wonderful kind hearted and sharing people there are here, yourself obviously included. The warmth and empathy is amazing. It must be hard to be so open sometimes but it definitely is good to share, especially given the lovely people here.
I hope you have many happy days to come with Charlie and all your family, friends and legions of fans. And thank you again for sharing your creativity, your sense of humour and making so many of our days a lot brighter.
Love and hugs
Belinda

Unknown said...

Wishing you well remember the happy times, my friends son died suddenly over 12 years ago and she has put her life on hold,she feels guilty that she is still here without him,I think you do a sterling job and you cheer many people up without you knowing it, so everyone deals with grief differently xx

Unknown said...

Wishing you well remember the happy times, my friends son died suddenly over 12 years ago and she has put her life on hold,she feels guilty that she is still here without him,I think you do a sterling job and you cheer many people up without you knowing it, so everyone deals with grief differently xx

Anne-Marie said...

I always think of you at this time of year. We lost baby Freddie on 26th Feb 2007. I was lucky to get pregnant again and this baby was due on 21st Feb the year after. As my due date came and went I kept saying to the midwife- I don’t want him to arrive on the same day. He didn’t- Harry had his 11th birthday on 3rd March but I will always remember you on QVC and what you went through. You’re an amazing inspiration so keep going and don’t stop what you’re doing x