Grief, Letting Go and A New Novel, of Course.

Putting on a brave front is not the thing to do. I’ve found this out the hard way. Loss is something we all experience. Grief shouldn’t be ignored. However, I just soldiered on, thinking, for some odd reason, that grieving wasn’t for me.

I lost my mum a year ago and a few other things happened around the same time. It taught me that not all people are like me and that others don’t empathise in the same way. I learnt that people are thoughtless at the most difficult times.

I became introspective and withdrew from social media because I felt I was often misunderstood. I found myself over thinking my status updates and suddenly felt inadequate and a failure. I was grieving also but didn’t really realise it.

Then we lost our little Bendy. Yes, he was just a cat but even typing his name has me in floods of tears. My doctor has explained that losing Bendy reawakened the feelings I had buried at not being able to have children. Suddenly my grief was compounded by this sudden loss being felt all over again. Bendy had been the child I could not have and now he was gone. I was devastated. All those thoughts of being alone in my old age resurfaced. Thoughts of no one coming to see me when I needed people the most began to really frighten me. Being childless hit me all over again. So, like I normally do, I tried to put it behind me. ‘These things happen and you have to get on,’ was my motto. It’s so wrong. You must grieve and you must cry. Burying your feelings will only cause them to erupt at a later date. I know because it happened to me.bendywed

On New Year’s Eve my mother in law died and I took this much harder than my husband. I was suddenly overwhelmed. My heart began to race so fast that there wasn’t a single moment in the day when it wasn’t pounding away. I was scared to move. I couldn’t even play in the garden with my two new cats because it would race even more. I was crying at the drop of a hat and felt like life had no meaning.  The smallest thing that normally I would shrug off had me in the depths of despair. I was affected by how people treated me. Facebook updates by others would have me feeling totally useless and I considered giving up writing because it seemed to me that I was an absolute failure at it.

I finally took myself to the doctors for a routine check. He immediately arranged an ECG as my heart was going too fast for his liking. Fortunately it was okay and after a few more tests he diagnosed extreme stress and delayed grief.

I do miss Mum.  I miss her terribly. I missed her when she had dementia. Even though she was never really mentally with us, I could still see her. I can’t do that anymore. Losing both parents has a profound effect on you as I’m sure many people reading this will agree. Losing a pet is no easier, especially when they have been part of your life for 16 years.

So, moving forward, I am looking into bereavement counselling.  I’ve also told myself that as a writer I am okay. I may not be J K Rowling but a lot of people enjoy my books and that’s what it is all about isn’t it?

On February 1st I have a new novel out titled ‘She Saw What he Did’ It’s a fast paced thriller.  Abby Millers’ life changes when she looks through the viewfinder of her camera and witnesses something terrible.

postershesaw

‘Abby Miller thought she had the perfect family; a good looking, loving husband and a beautiful daughter. Her life was complete. The shock discovery that her husband, Jared, had been having an affair rocked her world. So when Jared suggested a short break to the Cannard Islands, to heal their fractured marriage, Abby agreed. An idyllic holiday turns into a nightmare when Abby witnesses something terrible. Suddenly her life and the life of her daughter are in serious danger and no one seems able to help them.

I hope you will read it. You can pre-order today for 99p Here 

Meanwhile my romance ‘When Archie Met Rosie’ is doing well and has wonderful reviews. Thank you to everyone who bought it and reviewed it. Reviews make such a difference. If you want to read a love story with a difference. Then this is the one for you. Go herearchieoriginal

We have two new cats now. They are named Lytton and Schrody. They won’t replace Bendy. He was very special. But I am sure these will become very special in time too.

boys

Thanks so much for reading.

Much love

Lynda x

 

The day the cat overshadowed the bride!

I cannot remember a time when I have not had a cat. So I thought it was time to blog about my pets and Bendy in particular. As a child there was always a cat running around the house and they became my friends. Better than having an invisible friend I guess, although I think I had them too. Yes, I know, you are not surprised. One cat actually became a replacement dolly for me. We seemed to always have a cat that was in kitten when I was a child and sooner or later those kittens would run around the house too only to slowly disappear as people took them home. Kitty (not the most original name I know) was my favourite cat as a child and I remember dressing her up in bonnets and baby clothes.

 

Yes, you heard me correctly. How the cat put up with it I shall never know. One day I actually took her for a walk in my dolly pram and she just laid there. Another time I put her on the floor with a pillow for her head and covered her with a baby blanket and told her not to move until I came home from school for my lunch. Believe or not, she was still there on my return. Kitty would even lift the knocker on the front door when she wanted to come in. Of course even though cats were a big part of my life then and still are now, I never for one moment thought a cat would upstage me at my wedding… But as usual I digress. Of course, the worst part about owning a cat is when they depart. I have lost several cats and each time I have said I would never get another one but life without a cat is a very lonely one indeed. As an adult I have owned many cats. There was Kelly whom I had for fifteen years and what an adorable cat she was. Of course, I always believed that cats would stay with me for a long time and so after Kelly died I brought home two kittens and named them Saoirse and Roisen and thought they would be with me for fifteen years too. As you can imagine their names caused quite a problem and most people could not pronounce them and that included by then husband. I would phone the vets and say ‘Can I book Saoirse and Roisen in for their jabs’ and the receptionist would put always put them down as Mrs Lynda’s cats. Everywhere I took them they became known as Lynda’s cats. The fact that they were identical confused everyone. Sadly Roisen was knocked down by a car when she was two and Saoirse died six months later from a stroke aged almost three. The vet told us that there had obviously been some kind of interbreeding which had been the reason for the stroke. Both cats were highly strung and it does make me cross that owners do not take more responsibility for their pet’s reproduction habits. When I met my second husband and we bought our dream cottage in the country we decided to buy a dog but somehow this didn’t happen. Instead we heard through a friend that they knew someone whose cat had just had kittens and were we interested. Andrew insisted we only get one and of course I agreed. However as soon as we saw the kittens we just knew we had to have two. Six weeks after choosing them we brought Iris and Bendrix home. Iris named after my favourite author Iris Murdoch. I met Iris Murdoch’s husband just before getting our cats and was thrilled to be shown around her home. The cat we named Iris was so intelligent and human that I felt naming her after Iris Murdoch was the only thing I could do. Bendrix was immediately named after the main character in our favourite book and film ‘The end of the affair’ By Graham Green.

Bendrix and Iris as kittens

Bendrix, of course came to be known as ‘Bendy’ It was Iris, however who became the hit of the village. She would visit the local school in the morning and sit in on the lessons for a short time. The teacher allowed the children to stroke her and she stayed for part of the morning before being thrown out. She would then travel on to the allotment next to the school where everyone came to know her. Whenever we went for a walk in the village we would whistle her and like a dog she toddled along ahead of us and as soon as we whistled again she would turn around and come back.

Two little rascals

Iris was a wonderful hunter while Bendrix just sat in a box in Andrew’s office getting fatter and fatter. We figured he was depressed and though about taking him to the vet. We would watch as Bendrix tried to hunt but Iris always got there first and would drop her cast offs for him to play with and then growl at him.

Iris on the line. One of her favourite places

Bendy would eventually retreat to his box. We finally took him to the vet who said to give him time. Then we realised Iris was in kitten. I have yet to see a cat as happy as Iris was when she was carrying her kittens and even happier when they arrived. She would spend nearly an hour trying to get them outside so they could hunt with her and when we prevented it she would bring in a huge bird and teach them how to eat it…
Iris with her kittens

Meanwhile, Bendy got more depressed. Iris sadly died shortly after having her litter. A fly landed on her and hatched his eggs. We had no option but to have her put down when the vet explained the damage the maggots would do to her. We buried her at the allotment and were very touched at the number of people who knocked to say how sorry they were that we had lost her. Amazingly while we were sad and missing her dreadfully, Bendy’s spirits lifted. He started hunting and very much came into his own. He became such a great hunter that Andrew grew tired of getting up in the mornings only to step on dead corpses as he walked into the living room. Bendy had birds, mice, rats and has been known to catch Bats. One day tried to get a pigeon through the flap. It was when he started bringing home bunnies that Andrew put his foot down. At night he was to stay in the kitchen. At least that way the carnage didn’t enter the lounge. Sometimes our garden looks like a war zone. Okay a slight exaggeration. He has been the source of many problems since finding his personality. He gets into numerous fights and lost the tip of his ear in one. Another day we came home from the shops to find him nice and snug on Andrew’s computer while all around him there was blood. It was all over the floor, splattered up the wall and all over Andrew’s desk. I screamed and fled from the room not wanting to see the carnage when Andrew found it. After not finding any carnage, we checked Bendy over only to find a cyst on his neck had burst and we had not even noticed it was there.

A bandaged neck until the collar was put on.

One other thing that Bendy likes is the camera. As soon as we point it at him he begins to pose. It was with this thought in mind that the day before our wedding we bought a bow tie with the intention of putting it on him. Of course, on the morning he disappeared. He however reappeared as all the guests were settling and I was about to make my entrance into our garden where I was to walk to Andrew. At that moment Bendy jumped onto the garden wall and Andrew quickly popped on the tie. Bendy loved it and when people started photographing him he began to pose. He was the centre of attention with all the paparazzi around him. I had to wait until his photo call was over.

The best cat
He then disappeared, only to return later that night with bow tie all askew, like a cat who had been on the tiles. He later won a competition with the photos we took of him. For a cat who was once lived in the shadow of Iris he had now proved himself. Everyone who meets him, loves him and I very much hope he is with us for a long time.