Bookmark Everything

Are you a bookmark kind of person, or a curling over the top corner of the page kind of person? Or, perhaps you’re a highlight, underline and scribble little notes kind of person like Evee is. Me? I’m actually a kindle kind of person right now. My kindle goes everywhere with me around London; I never know if I am going to be queuing in the underground for an age, or if I’ll see a cute little café where I can read for a little while on the weekend. But I just close my brightly coloured kindle case and place is saved. However you like to mark your page, the concept stays the same, no one wants to lose their place, or forget a particularly beautifully written part of the plot. 

Bookmarks are something I have begun to carry around in my everyday life too (metaphorical ones, of course).

Over the past year, this blog has discussed in detail about how devastatingly overpowering grief’s presence is. Particularly when you are still learning the ropes to your new reality without your person. In those heaviest moments that seem to have no end, it is utterly inconceivable to even consider that you’ll ever feel a fraction of the happiness you used to when your person was alive. 

But with a little time, you learn that yes, these tsunamis of grief do pass and the frequency by which they wash over you does in fact lessen. Evee and I are nearly 18 months into our grief. I don’t expect these waves will ever stop (we will never stop missing our mum) but we are always learning new methods to stay afloat for when they do hit.

So yes, back to my bookmarks… 

My being was so extremely sad for such a long time, post-mum, that a lot of people (myself included) worried for my future happiness and health.There was no colour to my life or my emotion, it was simply grey. 

Fast forward to present day and I am a lot more mindful of my feelings simply because I actually have feelings outside of my grief. Today I am able to recognise the colour in my individual emotions rather than being all consumed by the greyness of grief; and I bookmark it all. I fold the top corner down on moments of happiness, moments of laughter, moments of peace with a little mental note: “Remember this if you get sad” 

  • I spend the day in Oxford to celebrate one of my best friend’s birthday. Goodness, when was the last time we did this? – Bookmark
  • The sunrise looks bloody beautiful this morning – Bookmark
  • Evee and I spend a day at the Natural History Museum which leaves me feeling so inspired that I just want to draw everything- Bookmark and mental note :”Please never forget today.”
  • I hear children talk about what they want to be me when they are older. They decide they are going to play in an orchestra together. I recognise the same innocence and enthusiasm that Evee had at that age and it makes me smile – Bookmark.

And I do get sad, but I am equipped. When I am weathering a new wave of my grief and I feel myself start to spiral because how on earth will I ever be able to feel true happiness again (!?),  I flick back through my wodge (good word, wodge) of dog eared pages and snippets of happiness. These snippets remind me of course I’ll be able to laugh again, because I laughed last week. In fact, I nearly cried laughing when a colleague sent me a funny and all too relatable gif of a Panda destroying a computer at work. I had to close down the window and walk away from my desk to compose myself and remain “professional” – Bookmark. (Please see exhibit A https://images.app.goo.gl/egBnBMC7GXAo763i8)

Grieving or not, life is difficult and can be so grey for everyone.

Be mindful of those little moments that weave colour into your everyday. Scribble little notes, underline everything. Bookmark it all. In no time at all you’ll have a whole collection of moments that add so much colour and life to your life.

“It’s a good day
A good day for me
A good day to see
My favorite colors, colors
My sisters and my brothers
They see ’em like no other
All my favorite colors”

Colors – Black Pumas

I hope you know how well you are doing.

Katie

19 thoughts on “Bookmark Everything

  1. What a brilliant post. It’s wonderful when the grey fog evaporates and we begin to see different hues and tints again. The panda gif is hilarious! x

  2. sherrysescape – I am a pediatrician and an introvert. I love nature and thinking about human nature and what makes us tick. I am also a voracious reader and I knit to calm my mind. I am in my late 50s. The picture on my profile is a picture of me in 4th grade.
    sherrysescape says:

    I love this! Thank-you.

  3. This is wonderful. We sort of do this with coloured sweets (skittles). We fill a jar with red and green ones. Red for bad moments, green for good ones. It helps show that the jar always fills up with green more than red.

    1. Hi! That is such a good idea, particularly because I guess you get to eat all of the other colours haha. Skittles used to be my favourite. The yellow and purple ones were the best, and don’t get me started on the skittles in the green packet! I might buy some soon…

  4. This was a lovely read. I remember last year I told you guys I had lost my mother as well dealing with that grief. A year later going an incredibly increased amount of grief. I think you’ve discussed a reflective and maybe even cathartic outlet I’ve been trying to find for months. I’ve relaunched posting on my blog in an effort to re find that catharsis. Thanks for this.

    1. Hi Fatimah! I’m really sorry that you’re struggling with it all at the moment. Please know that you are not alone. It sounds like a really good idea to start posting again and I look forward to reading some of your posts. I hope it provides you with a channel for all of your feelings (happy ones too!). As always, thank you for commenting 🙂

  5. I’m very much a bookmark person, but I see the appeal of being able to take your kindle wherever you go. Good reminder to pay attention to the positive things in life. Grief is rough.

  6. Myself with this process of my my mothers terminal cancer, I can´t think this way, think about specific moments with her in the past, I basically have to be detached from her. Seeing her as my mother I still do, but in a kind of detached way. Weird? I learned that in the army, we loved each other (for the most part) and by doing our jobs we literally put ourselves in danger to save the other guy that was our job. I kind of see this that way, my job is to take care of her, to keep her apartment neat, laundry, everyday to the supermarket since her tastes changes from day to day, keep track of the medicines she is taking at what time, e.t.c. All the while making her smile with my weird humor. She needs to feel confident, and I believe that in this type of harsh situation I´m able to function very good and keep my cool because I do detach myself emotionally, not completely emotionless but you have to see it as my job to keep her alive and as more comfortable as possible, quite like in the army with my guys. It´s your job, for me I got to see it that way if not I crumble.

  7. theinkwarrior – Just a virtual friend whose trying to help you to battle the reality with a bright smile 😄✨ and getting aided by this wonderful community 💟 do I need to say more??🤔🙃
    theinkwarrior says:

    Bookmarked this beautiful post!
    Loved this blog and how you’re dealing with your rough phase! Remember that you find a friend in me for whenever greyness looms over your mind

    Stay blessed, you both!

  8. queadrian – Dã-Thảo is my pen name, I like reading, love writing, And like gardening, I am a pensioner. I wave to heaven or go to he'll, I wouldn't know yet, But have to wait and see. DTQT.
    queadrian says:

    I’ve got stuck on this page from the first sentence of your writing, a very nice post, Thegriefreality!

  9. Tina – The best is yet to come. “Hope is one of the Theological virtues. This means that a continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.” – C.S. Lewis/Mere Christianity <3 "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." --Romans 12:12
    Tina says:

    Beautiful post! Wodge! I love it! I have learned a new word! I’ll bookmark that one. I do both, I bookmark and dog-ear pages. Thanks for sharing.

  10. tkbrownwriter – I believe family is a gift from God and should be treated as such. I love writing with a broad array of intent and purpose. I have written poetry virtually all my life, and much nonfiction in academia. My expanded efforts in all areas have finally taken off in retirement. I have much to accomplish now that I have the time. Other hobbies are painting, researching ancestry and myriad topics for my writing, knitting, crocheting, cooking -- always trying new recipes and always cooking for my health. I have many other hobbies, but these seem to dominate most of my time. Oh, did I mention I am the mother of three grown children and grandmother of seven. I have been blessed immensely and am the happier for it.https://twitter.com/tkbrownwriter/photo
    tkbrownwriter says:

    Yes, you live through it and move on, but you will always miss her. It will soon be twenty years since my mother passed, and it has been twenty-nine years since my father passed. There are days that I miss them still, but it is in a different way. The intensity of grief has passed. Mostly now, I would like to be able to share something with them from time to time, and I miss those times when we shared both joy and sadness. Bless You for sharing; it will lighten your load even more.

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