grief, Uncategorized

Dearest Richard,

December 2012

Last weekend we should have been celebrating your 42nd birthday. We should have been having a garden party, dinner in a fine restaurant or drinks in a wine bar followed by dancing. You would have lit up the dance floor with your enthusiasm, exuberance and energy.

June 2018

We still haven’t celebrated your 40th birthday, flights to Spain and lunch in a Michelin star restaurant cancelled, twice, because of covid. In your head, that means you’re still 39. In my head, you are forever preserved as young, vibrant and joyous. You were born two months before me and now I am older than you. You will not get old. You have been denied that privilege.

Your birthday will be marked with sadness, loss and heartache in perpetuity. At present, I cannot imagine a time when these feelings won’t dominate each anniversary that passes. Each thought I have of you.

And yet I smile too. I smile at the memories of the adventures we had together. Of the mischief we made, of being led astray by you, of the incitement of naughtiness between us. The most fun I’ve had in my life, you were there, leading the charge with your charm, cheek and ginormous heart.

May 2021

You had a tremendous talent for making everyone around you feel included, special and beautiful. The light that emanated from you bounced off everyone you connected with. It was your reflection.

June 2014

The fight to keep your spirit alive is a daily battle. Some days are easier than others. Some days, surrender is the only option. The only way through. Grief is an expression of love. To deny that enunciation, in whatever way it exposes itself, is to deny your existence. This, I have learnt from your beloved Henry. He travels through his grief without repudiation.

December 2017

Henry is building a charitable foundation in your name. He is creating light, from the darkness of your death, and he is preserving, perpetuating and extending your light for the benefit of others. Your light loves on.

Le Petit Singe, the charitable foundation that Henry has set up, raises money to help those affected by sudden bereavement, heart conditions and international environmental and social issues that Richard was involved with. Please visit for more information and to make a donation.


The Scent of Christmas

Wrapping presents, writing cards, eating chocolate and listening to classic Christmas tunes all help to get me in the mood for the big day. But there’s something missing from the picture, one of my senses is yet to be fulfilled, and that’s when I reach for my essential oils to concoct a festive feast for my nose. There’s so many to choose from at this time of year, each evoking it’s own memory of Christmas past.

Image courtesy of Black Velvet Styling

Pine and fir essential oils remind me of putting up the tree and decorating it, finding those lost baubles I’d forgotten buying and where I lived when they first went on the tree.

Orange and cinnamon bring to mind this delicious Italian chocolate nut Christmas cake by Delia Smith, which is a hit every time. To me it combines my all favourite Christmas flavours in one scrummy treat.

And last but not least, frankincense and myrrh, those most famous of nativity gifts. They bring back memories of my school plays as a girl and more recently my son’s star turn in his play group Christmas play. It was definitely a proud mummy moment.

I add a couple of drops each of 3 – 4 different essential oils to my burner, light the candle and let the scent of Christmas fill my room. If you don’t have a burner, you can always fill a small bowl/dish with water, add the oils to that and carefully balance it on a radiator for the same effect.

Wishing you all peace, joy, love and laughter for Christmas and the new year.

Image courtesy of Black Velvet Styling