Solo Survivor


It has been a little over 8 months since my mom died and my grief has barely scratched the surface. To be honest, I am numb but every now and again i am overwhelmed by an extreme sense of loss and find myself with tears in my eyes.

Having loss stacked on loss, it’s been hard to process it all. Mum died in the middle of 5 deaths around me and I have been feeling shell-shocked. So I do what I have done most of my life, I push it down and do what I must to make it through each day, largely on auto pilot. I don’t want my grief for mom to be ‘tainted’ by the other losses, so I tend to ignore it altogether.

But sometimes, grief will not be ignored and it can be overwhelming. Today, it is so intense. I am missing that wicked sense of humour and the twinkle in her eye; just being able to chat to her. I am so thankful I did everything I could to let her know how I felt before she died. But I feel robbed. If it wasn’t for COVID, I would have been by her side at the end.

My body is telling me to slow down – in a big way. I ended up with shingles and it is seriously painful.  The intense headache I had was the worst.  I wax off work for a week as I was really unwell and the pain was off the charts.

I am told that if you had chicken pox as a kid, you can have shingles as an adult – but nobody told me there is a vaccine for it!! You can cause someone else to get chicken pox but not shingles. It is supposedly brought on by stress. It reminds me again what amazing, integrated beings us humans are. We may supress anger or worry or any other emotion, but it will come out somehow in your body somewhere.

In the midst of this, our whole city was locked down because of 3 cases of COVID. Seriously, they keep changing the goal posts and it seems like we will be like this forever. We were forbidden to see anyone and had to be masked even if we went for a walk on our own outside in the sun. I can literally go for weeks without seeing another person. Whereas, in the past, this would have suited me, I am a more social being now. I am beginning to think it’s all too hard and find myself just disappearing into my own space.

The whole mask thing is putting up barriers between us as well as the vaccine. There’s now an us and them again and it is so destructive.  Aren’t we stronger together. Have we forgotten that a nation divided will fall? It’s clear we’re not all in this together – how many more businesses must fail while the public sector just gets bigger. How much longer is it going to be state versus state? We are often not free to move around our own state let alone the country. Families have been kept apart all in the name of ‘keeping us safe’.

Then I am reminded not to focus on the storm, to lift my eyes. It’s not about how I’m told to treat others, it’s how I actually treat them. My thoughts need to go back to whatever is true, and honourable and kind and lovely instead of being consumed by the crap all around us.  As Dr Wayne Dyer says, change your thoughts, change your life. Challenging but true.


  1. Lorna Mead

    Well done my very brave friend. You are a true friend and there are not many of them around these days. Stay strong. Love and hugs

  2. Chris Templeton

    So so true Su, very hard to figure out eh! I so agree with Lorna, you are a friend like no other… Thinking of you right now as you ponder your precious life, she lives through you…that wicked laugh and twinkle in your eye x

  3. Christine

    Well written Su. It’s very difficult to put into words how you are really feeling but you do it so well and make us think how honest we are with ourselves. It’s so easy to keep that mask on and assure others we are doing ok when really we are not. I read Psalm 43 today, verse 3 says Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me. David was also feeling overwhelmed and lost. Thankfully God’s loving presence can comfort you and light your way. We are all with you on this journey Su.

  4. Rhonda

    Su you are a precious lady in my life, I am so blessed to have you as a mother figure, family doesn’t require blood it requires love, I wish you health and happiness, you truly deserve happiness in your life, we may not talk for a few days but pls know your never far from my thoughts,xx


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