Build your army #blog #gratitude #grief #bereavement #friendship #love #family

Happy Saturday 🎉

I wanted to start this blog post with a definition from the net of, ‘family’, but I liked none of them that met my eyes. Dig a little deeper, I’m sure I would have found what I was looking for.

I’ve written at least a couple of hearty emails to my family members over the years on the role they play in my life, especially since sunflower left the field. Thankful ones, usually, gratitude-full. Gratiful, if you like.

Now I’m going public.

So I’m getting married (incase someone new reading this blog didn’t know + please know that the level of excitement around a wedding combined with marriage as a concept for me and my partner(ship) and creating our own new family exceeds more love than you could comprehend.)

As someone who’s mum was her best friend, you never know how much it will hit when you can’t plan something described above with your own shadow and have mum pride creating a halo around you. What I do have however, is a nest of gold = family and friends like no other.

Despite my open soppiness and declarations of free flowing love – will they ever know how much it means to me that they’re playing an active role in something that I know my mum won’t be there for? Who knows. Words can try.

Last night one of my aunts invited me up for dinner and had the good old pen and paper out and we planned ideas. My cousins even got involved and my partner was there. Most know that a ‘family meal’ in itself holds a meaning and hefty weight for me, as I missed it deeply when my immediate family didn’t have sit down dinners anymore as the centre piece, no longer lived on planet earth. So a family meal, food ( = glue to the community) and involvement in something that I never thought possible from lost little girl land when my life was not safe or stable, was a magical evening.

We’re currently planning our engagement party and the bringing of our 2 families, cultures and communities together. We’re also being an active family. We’re working together. Chipping in. Getting involved. I love that about both sides of my family and it’s not a competition but I think my Labour supporting dads side has socialist caring community embedded ways in their blood!

You can build your family how you want it. And this blog isn’t just about weddings. It’s an example of something meaningful to you, and how you can lift the pain of someone so special that’s missing, by building your wall around you.

Walls can be metaphorically good and bad. We get told we shouldn’t build barriers, but sometimes we need big strong walls to support us, nurture us when we need it. There’s nothing wrong with building the unit you want, and unconventionally too.

One of my bridesmaids is a newer friend than many. Highlighting that the time you know someone is nothing on the value they give you as a supporter. Someone to share the good times. That will spend lengthy time with you on the phone talking the depression away, pushing it with all their might to an arms length – so you can begin to see your true reflection a bit more clearly again.

I wouldn’t say replace the person you lose with others. But I would say you can create as big or small an army as you could ever want. Be it empathy based. Quality over quantity or even the other way – dependent on your needs. Values driven and all the rest of it.

Another key point here is to give trust a chance. With my circumstances in particular, it has not been an easy ride (complete and utter understatement for a death by suicide = you need some huge fight in you and your army to build a bit of trust. But it is there. You may think all the others will leave you like they did. But remember, they didn’t leave ‘you’. They left whatever demons they were fighting there and then. They wouldn’t have chosen it this way. They tried. But their fight was endless and tiring, their army and legacy will live on. Sometimes you’ll win, sometimes you’ll lose.

All I know is, I wouldn’t change my army for the world. And I’m open to building it, restructuring and maintainance (so don’t get too cosy 😜 haha – had to end on a little sarc – this post was beginning to be more sickly sweet than any dessert I could handle! … What I do know though is I look after my army how they look after me. Granted. Gauranteed, and they won’t be going anywhere easily. An army is an army for a reason! Fight for what you love.

Abs X 💙

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