Endings and Beginnings

The last 20 months have been the hardest and most painful in my life.

Losing first my brother then my mum within 18 months, and with a global pandemic rearing its ugly head in between has been challenging on every single level. At times it felt as if my entire world had brutally shifted on its axis.

Life changed beyond all recognition. I made the decision to come off all my MS symptom medication (I took advice from my wonderful neurologist, but decided to go cold turkey – I was in such an enormous amount of pain, what was a little more?)

Just as I was thinking about reconnecting with the world last March, it started to shut down. It seemed cruel and ironically similar to the first years of living with MS; an inaccessible world, yet this time everyone was going through the same emotions and fears, shut at home with no idea of when we could all be together again and live life as it was meant to be lived.

We all felt disconnected and yet in ways more connected than ever. My son moved back home for six months, continuing his university studies and starting work for the NHS. We bonded in a whole new way, living as two adults in a small cottage, keeping each other buoyed up as the pandemic played out. We adapted, shared our frustrations, found new ways to get through each day.

And that’s what life came down to in the end, putting one foot in front of the other, and if we made it to the end of the day having done nothing else than get through it, that was an accomplishment in itself. We grew and learned together and looking back on it, we have come through it stronger as our little team of two.

There is no easy way to deal with grief, but taking joy in small moments helps – snowdrops blossoming, an unexpected gift dropping through the letterbox, sitting outside with a coffee watching the clouds pass.

There are tendrils of new beginnings; picking up work and studies again, reconnecting with family and friends on a deeper level, the start of a new relationship.

Right now, I am still in the each day at a time stage, but as each day passes, it gets a little easier.

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16 thoughts on “Endings and Beginnings

  1. Sue Johnson says:

    Lovely to hear from you again after such a sad time for you and yes lots of little new beginnings for us all to feel positive about…I was only thinking about you the other day x

  2. Sassa says:

    Very happy to hear from you again! Missed you! ๐Ÿ˜˜๐ŸŒบ

  3. Archie says:

    Sorry to hear about your mum love. I made an acquaintance down the allotment today called Stephanie Rashford who works as a nutritionist and helps people with various illnesses and thought she might be able to offer advice? Anyway, hope to see you around the coffee shops one day. X

  4. Carina Muss, Frau says:

    So sorry to hear about your second loss, your mother. Yes, it has been a very tough time for all of us, but I think there is a small light at the end of the Corona tunnel. I also lost my half-brother, who I had only just met 2 years ago and who I lost far too soon!
    Stay strong and optimistic in this challenging time. Best wishes Carina

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hi there Carina, I’m really to hear about your loss too. How sad you that had just two years with him, my heart goes out to you. Sending hugs X

  5. Annie says:

    What a time youโ€™ve been through, so sorry to hear that news. Hope you are keeping well and that there is a sense of hope for you. Itโ€™s been such a tough year. Iโ€™ve been off Twitter and am so low brow now on Instagram lol ๐Ÿ˜‚ but lovely to see your latest blog. Sending all the positive vibes to you both xx

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hi Annie! Thank you for the lovely comment. Things are calming down now, thankfully. Time to take stock and slowly move on.
      I never seemed to get the hang of Instagram!! Hope you’re keeping well. X

  6. Annie says:

    So sorry for your loss Barbara, such an awful time for you.
    Iโ€™ve been off Twitter for so long and now I am being very low brow on Instagram ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚
    Hope you two are doing ok and that some sort of normal will return soon. Still locked down in Northern Ireland ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ ๐Ÿ†˜ ๐Ÿ˜ xx

    Ps I have posted a couple of comments on your recent blogs but not sure whatโ€™s going on as they never appeared lol ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hiya, Just got your latest one but not any previous ones. I do get a lot of emails from WordPress about them updating the site so I wonder if they got lost in the ether? Wales is slowly moving out of lockdown but Chris is in Bristol and at least happy that the gyms have reopened!! X

  7. Joan (Devon) says:

    Hello Barbara, glad to see you back, I was getting a little concerned about you, wondering if it was due to the MS. I was sorry to hear about your Mum, my Mum passed away in 2015 and I still feel guilty that I didn’t see much of her at the end with her being in Yorkshire when I was in Wales. Take care of yourself.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hi Joan, lovely to hear from you! My mum’s health declined rapidly after my brother died, so the blog was put to one side for a long time.
      It’s hard when you feel guilty after someone has died, isn’t it? There’s always regrets I think. I’m sorry to hear about your mum. X

  8. LynnRose says:

    I know we all missed you and are glad to hear from you we love reading your posts and are with you. I tend to neglect mine when I’m struggling.

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