Monday, 27 July 2015

Day 27

Happy 40th Birthday Michelle.

My journey is at an end.
Thank you all for joining me.

'...there is no such thing as an ending, just a place where you leave the story...' Mrs Connelly - 2nd Marigold Hotel. 

I'll let Michelle have the last word ;-)

Trudy + Michelle  

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Day 26

As I look back on this journey, I find myself re-thinking why I started this.
Was it therapy?
Was it to help others?
Was it to find closure?

All of the above. But it was also a huge learning curve. I found out so much more about myself and others then I ever imagined.

I had many people say to me, how brave they thought I was. I didn't think I was brave for doing this. I  just wanted to finally write it down. I figured it might help others.
Along the way as I dove into the realms of my memory (its amazing what you can dig up when your not even trying), I made a pretty cool realisation.

On week 4 I wrote this:............

  • 1st Born (breech birth!  says alot about my character ;-) )
  • Strong willed
  • Independant
  • Bolshey
  • athletic
  • Leader 
  • 2nd Born
  • Patient
  • Quiet
  • Book Smart
  • Compassionate
  • Can eat like a horse!
That was my sister and I as kids. 

Life changes you. You grow up, learn new skills, become influenced by others around you (good or bad), and your character changes. 

Today I coach kids in a different country. I am my own boss. I strive to learn a new skill each year to move me forwards in life, and I try to live life to the fullest.

If I had to write down how I am as a person now it would be:
  • Strong willed
  • Independant
  • Bolshey
  • Athletic
  • Leader
  • Patient
  • Quiet
  • Book Smart
  • Compassionate     = ME
This journey taught me a valuable lesson, my Sister has been with me every step of the way. Over time, she has instilled in me the qualities that made her such a wonderful person.
I can pinpoint each time I learnt these lessons. They were not 'given' to me until she felt that I was ready to accept them. Granted my traits still far out weigh her's, but i am learning ;-)

So really, I'm still very much an identical Twin, you just can't see my other half, but I can certainly feel her.


Saturday, 25 July 2015

Day 25

Today Im surrounded by love, laughter, friends long standing, new friends, memories and family.
Who needs anything else?


Friday, 24 July 2015

Day 24

This is going to be really hard to explain, but I will do my best.

I woke up one day and something just felt different. I felt like I was weightless.
No pressure on the shoulders, no pain in the heart. No tears, no fear. Just pure joy.
Its a weird sensation when everything becomes clear. Like a veil has been lifted. I could use many expressive descriptions, but unless you experience it, there really is nothing that can explain the sensation. I felt free.

I've decided that I want to do something special to remember my Sister and to help others in the process. Yes its taken 27yrs to get here. But I'm here.

Thinking about a charity or scholarship fund in memory of Michelle. Her life meant something. I have come to realise that now.
This life event made a difference to so many.  I can use it to help others going through the same thing, then it wont be a life lost in vain. I need to bounce this idea of someone, get some clarity.

I have amazing new friends in Canada that have a great way of looking at things. Brainstorming with my Scottish GF we decide on a charity t-shirt each year. The funds will go to a different charity each year that best represents what she stood for.
As always, I have asked for the input from her close school friends and some family members for help. As ever they step up to the plate and are amazing.
They have come up with some charities that they feel best remembers her.
My job now is to design a t-shirt (I already have an idea), and to research the chosen charities.

I have a fire in me, and it feels amazing


Thursday, 23 July 2015

Day 23

Im sat here at home (UK), trying to decide what to write.
I'm surrounded by family photos with over 70yrs of history.
If I close my eyes, I can see the old  burnt orange corner sofa that used to fill our living room.
The sofa cushions that where balance and used for tents.
The coffee table that we would both hide under when listening to Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds, fearing that those big metal machines would appear over our garden fence.

I look around my neighbourhood ever changing and see all the places that we used to visit.
Camps that would be made in the summer, Parks that were played in.
Bike rides that we made. There is a large Royal woodland close by that we would walk around many times and play hide n seek in. Those woods have changed over the years, now when i try to find 'our walks', they have all been deforested.

While here I will go and 'visit' my sister where she lies with her Nan, Aunt and Grandfather.
The Crematorium is still the one place where there seems to be a veil of sadness that covers you as you pass through the gates. Its hard to feel happy and light when your surrounded by so much sadness. But I know this time and in the future, it will not last. A veil has lifted.

I never stay long. The memories a both good and bad. Michelle and I would play around the pond area while visiting our grandparents, that is no longer there.

They say time mends all pain. It kind of puts a great big water proof patch on it, that allows you to get back out there. Your never truly healed. You've adapted as a person. You have become stronger. You have more understanding and empathy. You see things in a new light. Living LIFE actually means something.  If that is what experiencing heartache makes you, then can it really be so bad?!


Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Day 22

My journey is nearly over and as I look back I wonder to myself, Why did I never go into a great depression? Why did I not go off the rails when given free reign to do so?
Why am I still standing when so many others fall?

I've never been on medication. I never saw a shrink. I never took drugs, smoked anything, got into trouble with the law. The only thing that I did do to have any control over my life was to succumb to an eating disorder. Thankfully that was short-lived.

I think the saving grace that I was fortunate to have was an abundance of support.
Sadly as we get older, move away, get jobs, new homes, new lives, we lose contact with those that we grew up with. Those that we could tell anything too.

I have found over the years that those of my friends that have or are suffering with depression have lost contact with those people that were always there for them. They have lost that belief in themselves that we all had as kids (hopefully).

FRIENDS Really are the life blood of any healing journey.

While I am not making light of this and there are many other factors involved with those that are going through hard times. We all need to know and understand that if you even have a handful of people that you can call on anytime, it makes the journey and the healing that much easier.

I've been thankful to find 'new' friends in Canada that I can go to if I find im in a moment of weakness (which thankfully doesnt happen too often now).

So while my story may nearly be over, and I have innate strength in me to survive most things, I urge all of you out there to take a moment to really think about those people in your life that are stronger then you, that YOU feel you could talk too. Trust me, it will help and its cheaper then therapy.

T + M

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Day 21

I no longer feel like i fit in. I've had an epiphany. I'm going to go work in Canada as a youth Tri coach.
Maybe if i get away it will get better. Maybe i will finally find myself.
At least in Canada no-one knows me. I can be me.

I choose to celebrate a birthday with a small group of my Lifeguarding friends that I meet pretty much the first month i landed. They knew a bit of my story, they didnt make too big of a deal. Just a nice pot luck and a cake. Still pangs of sadness hang over me knowing that I will never get to celebrate with my Sister physically by my side.

I miss home alot being in Canada. I've moved here alone, but for Miss kitty (Tippex), she is my companion, the only link that i have to my UK home.

Im thankful for Skype and FB. I get to keep in contact with all those friends back in my hometown.
One in particular has taken it upon himself to remember Michelle for who she was... an amazing, funny, loving friend.   When I found out about this, I must admit I did cry. But more so for the fact that even after so many years, there were still people that thought of her in a big way. I even showed both my parents and sisters. How can you be unhappy when you know that your Sister had such an impact on so many?
Without any nudging from anyone, he has built her a FB page.

Why?  I'll let him tell you why.

S Story

A few years ago i started a memorial page for Michelle,

Not because to create some sort of Facebook shrine, But to celebrate the life of a bubbly, lively joker. In alot of way's how people see myself.
As Children, its all to easy to not look underneath, and why people do what they do.
Hopefully sharing memories of Michelle throughout her time at EP, May in some way allow everyone to establish that really she was richer in friends then perhaps she ever knew.

I hope by bringing people together in one small area of the internet both Trudy, her family, and friends can find some comfort that even with their Tragic loss, that really in her short life, she HAD found enormous happiness and love for her life, after all why would somebody laugh and giggle as much as she did??

I was Lucky Enough to be in Tutor Group B throughout EP, Im sure the likes of Mr A and Mr S should they cast their minds back remember Michelle in some shape or form, probably alot like me in the sense she was larger then life. She had much to give and in her short life she gave it, normally to the point where her cheeky-ness would make us giggle. I Personally was shocked when Michelle left us, but i still have clear memories of her all these years later which must be a testament to her character.

Know that we are privileged to be here, but the privilege is to have known the ones who are now gone, If life had put a time limit on our time with Michelle, it's obvious she was too Gentle for this life, The good may die young, But the memories will stay till we are all old and grey.

Much love to Trudy and Family

And Across the Skies Michelle xx