Promises, promises

Promises, promises

The world has changed since I last ventured here. My beautiful daughter Georgina Louise Anderson breathed her final breath in the early hours of 14 November 2013. I, too, have been changed – knocked sideways- by her illness and her dying.

A mere four months passed between Georgina’s diagnosis and death, but at least this gave her enough time for us to say some of what we had to say to each other (though no amount of time would  have ever really been enough). And  in her brave, selfless way, she expressed  her fears that her Dad and I would crumble without her, and her determination that this should not be so. We promised to try not to – that we’d look after each other and ourselves, and keep going.

We made our clever daughter a lot of promises that have proved quite tricky to stick to. For example, Georgina instructed that her family and friends should “smile and be happy”. I’m  managing a scary grimace, and packing myself off to comedy nights and arranging holidays, to try and fulfill that one.But, more importantly, I’m keeping writing, which she also wanted for me. A committed songwriter, herself, Georgina knew the power of words.

The writing is the easy part ; stuff is fighting to spew out into my notebooks and my diary and my i-Phone and onto serviettes and leaflets (should I be caught short). As my head is emptied of one stream of thoughts, the vacated space is immediately crammed with another series of questions and observations and memories. Not for the first time, I am shamelessly exploiting writing’s therapeutic potential.

The real challenge- sooner or later- will be to give this material shape. To arrange and transpose this outpouring into something that people might actually wish to read  and might benefit from.

Sooner or later. For now, I’m keeping writing.

I promised.

4 Responses »

  1. Helen, the shape will come – of that I have no doubt at all. Keep doing what you’re doing. Enjoy that tumbling of words and ideas. Feel blessed that you have the inclination and the means to express yourself and your emotions and experience. You’re one hell of a woman, one hell of a writer x

  2. Hi Helen – it was lovely to meet you in London recently and I enjoyed your shortlisted poem very much. I can only imagine the grief you’re having to work through, knowing how precious our children are and I do hope your writing continues to nurture and provide such therapy for your emotions.

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