What my Dad’s suicide taught me about the importance of kindness.

I never knew how much my dad meant to people until he died. The number of people who reached out to me and attended his funeral made me realise how much of an impact he’d made in his 56 years. Perhaps if my dad knew how much he meant to people, things might be different but I leave that thought to the many ‘what ifs’ associated with losing someone to suicide.

The one thing that I knew all too well about my Dad was he was a big joker. His desire to be the class clown and make people smile was one of my favourite qualities. His quick wit, uncanny impersonations, and annual Father Christmas appearances portrayed my dad to be a man full of life. A ‘no worries’ kind of guy. This was the side to my dad that everyone around him saw and one he wanted everyone to see. However, the side that people didn’t see was the sensitive one, the side that cared deeply for other’s feelings and what they thought of him (a trait I’ve inherited). The side of him that maybe a cruel joke or comment would actually hurt a lot more than some might think. 

We all have our struggles and down days. Sometimes there are times where our problems make us question the point of it all. However, even when we want to be authentic and show our true selves, it’s still hard to portray it without compromising the person we want to be seen as. This combined with the pressure of perfection that comes with social media is why I think it’s difficult to open up and be vulnerable and admit that sometimes we can feel defeated by this big ol’ journey called life.

As it marks almost 5 years since my dad took his own life, it gets me thinking about the importance of something that I think we all need a bit more of in our lives… Kindness.

While we may feel as though we’ve not got time to help others among our own problems, I know now to be more aware that everyone is likely to be dealing with their own too. As I’ve become more mindful into the way our actions will always have some form of a reaction, I think it’s so important for us all to live a little slower, become a little more present and take those 2 minutes out of our day to do something kind for someone else.

Whether it is holding a door for a stranger, asking a colleague about their day or just giving a compliment to a friend to let them know how amazing they are. It’s the littlest touches and thoughts that we remember and although we don’t always see the instant gratification of our good deeds, that one thoughtful gesture can make someone’s entire day, especially in the challenging times we are facing.

Now more than ever we need to be spreading kindness, a quote I read recently really sums the current challenges we are all facing…

“We may not be in the same boat, but we are in the same storm”

Here are a few ways to that you can spread kindness… (COVID friendly)

At home and in your community

  • Call a friend that you haven’t spoken to for a while
  • Send a letter to your nan and grandad
  • Send flowers to a friend out of the blue
  • Offer to pick up some groceries for your elderly neighbour
  • Send someone a handwritten thank you note
  • Walk your friend’s dog
  • Tell your family members how much you love and appreciate them
  • Help your mum with household chores
  • Check on someone you know who is going through a tough time
  • Help a friend get active

At work

  • Get to know the new staff member
  • Lend your ear – listen to your colleague who is having a bad day
  • Say good morning
  • Give praise to your colleague for something they’ve done well

In public places

  • Be patient with people in the supermarket, it’s so easy to get frustrated especially now we need to be 2 metres apart. However, a little bit of patience, and a smile will go a long way.
  • Let a fellow driver merge into your lane
  • Pick up some rubbish lying around in the street (use gloves and hand sanitiser)
  • Smile and say hello to people you may pass every day, but have never spoken to before

It’s very easy in life to think you don’t have an impact but because of you, that cup of coffee you bought for a friend made that crap day they were having a little brighter. That book you recommended to a colleague has them spending every night getting lost in the pages of it. And that stranger you smiled at in the supermarket, perhaps that smile made them feel like they’re not invisible to everyone. Never underestimate the impact of the smallest acts of kindness in life, because you never really know when someone needs it most.


Laura xo

New Year, New Me? What I hope for 2019.

Here’s something to think about…

Imagine what you could achieve if you never experienced fear or doubt.

I don’t mean the type of fear when it comes to running from genuine life-threatening situations, I’m referring to the fear of rejection, fear of taking risks, or saying what we really think. We’ve all done (or not done) things out of fear. Because by trying things we’ve never done means entertaining the idea that we could potentially fail or it not go the way we’d hoped. It plays on my mind a lot actually, how different my life might have been had I not let fear dictate some of the decisions I’ve made.

To some degree we need fear, it has essentially kept us alive for thousands of years. But like a lot of our evolutionary traits this fear has seeped into areas of our lives that have made it become more about limiting our potential rather than keeping us alive. For example, not applying for that job because you think you’re not good enough or they’ll reject you. Not going overseas to travel or live that lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of because you might run out of money, not make friends, not find somewhere to live (the list goes on) and be back to square one again. Not asking that guy or girl out on a date because you think they’d never be interested in you. A lot of what could be the best chapters of our lives never even get to happen because we predict the end before we even have a chance to enjoy the beginning. We essentially are consciously sabotaging ourselves and opportunities!? Mind-blowing huh?

I know I’m not alone in saying I’ve done a lot of things out of fear, I’ve stayed in situations longer than I should have in the fear that not being in them would be worse. I’ve stayed comfortable in situations because they are safe but safe doesn’t always make you happy. In 2019 I want to take more risks, risk failing, risk putting my self on the line, risk putting my self out there to be judged (blogging has done that I guess too), risk saying what I really think.

In 2019 I’m going to try not to let fear be so apparent in my choices.

Here are a few other things I hope to do more (or less) of in 2019

1. The past is the past, learn from it but don’t live in it.

This is a big one for me. When I lost my dad I spent a lot of time trying to run away from the past. I thought running was a good way of dealing with it but in fact it was more harmful than ruminating in it. Instead what I’ve learned is, the past does give us a lot of insight into what we should and shouldn’t do in the future, it teaches us a lot of lessons if we let it and not beat ourselves up over it.

2. Get out of my comfort zone, more often than not.

How nice is it in our comfort zone? It’s so easy, fear-free, and for the most part when we are in it we all know exactly what we are doing. For some people staying in their comfort zone is what makes them happy and that’s completely fine. For me, some of the best decisions I’ve made this year have started by me saying “f*** it, what’s the worst that could happen?” and just going with it. So, try that class, or hobby, leave that job if it makes you unhappy. Some of life’s greatest achievements require going outside of your comfort zone and some of the best experiences come from not playing it safe.

3. Forgive and forget.

A quote that resonates with me so much about forgiveness is:

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

The number of people that will wrong do us throughout our lives will be far greater than those who do acts of kindness (harsh but true). However, If we became bitter about every single one of those people it’s going to turn even the most positive of people sour. Don’t let others taint your kindness, or let your positivity be overshadowed by someone’s bad day. It’s a short life, after all, and it’s far too short to not just forgive, forget and move on.

Happy holidays friends.

Laura xo

Some honest truths. #WorldMentalHealthDay

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 21.48.14

Hey, it’s been a while ey?

Where to begin. I’ve struggled to write this year but as vulnerable as opening up about my story and past has made me, I truly believe that sharing and talking is the most cathartic thing you can do for your mental health and well being.

So let’s go back to 2017, my life was great, I had everything together (so it seemed). I’d ‘soldiered’ on through my dads suicide abnormally OK, and for the first time in my life everything was going right. I was working hard in the gym, financially stable, had an amazing network of friends and family and had even made the life altering decision to move to New Zealand. Unfortunately as 2018 rolled around, a desperate, dark sadness hit me with zero warning. Depression. WTF. Why was I suddenly crying everyday, couldn’t find the motivation to go to the gym, go to work or be sociable? Where had this fun, outgoing, positive character I’d been for the last 18 months gone? I want her back now. I put it down to moving to the other side of the world. Perhaps I was homesick, perhaps it would take time for me to adjust, and maybe I just needed a job, new friends, a new gym and I’d be OK again. So that I could be the ‘old’ me again. So I found all of the above, and I again seemingly on the surface, had everything to live and be happy for. So, why was I so desperately unhappy and why was nothing bringing me joy anymore?

The months moved past slow and my mood had not lifted and I had to be honest with my self and admit it was most likely depression. But how? I’d spent 18 months “dealing” with my dad’s death, doing all the the things the books had told me. I even wrote a blog on coping with grief!? Again, this inability to understand what was going on and why I couldn’t control it, consumed me in such a way I decided to come home and move back to the UK. The disappointment of something you’d wanted so badly fail and seeing others thrive in a lifestyle you’d always dreamed of felt like a punch in the stomach. Why is it everyone gets to be happy apart from me? After all I’d been through, surely I deserved a shot at happiness too? The victim in me came out and the “why me” cried louder than any other thoughts in my head for a few weeks after coming home. Although I desperately tried to cling on to the “it was the right decision”, the depression was still there. For the first time in my life, I felt zero control over it. This feeling was suffocating the joy out of everything I used to enjoy in life. I again tried desperately to cling onto the fact that I was ‘over’ my dad so it couldn’t possibly be that. I thought I was over it, I thought I’d got through it but unfortunately this couldn’t be further from the truth.

So I started counselling. I’m not ashamed to admit that I have it, when my dad died I always knew it was something that I’d need to do but it was more a matter of the right time. Although I could talk about my dad’s death without even a tear in my eye, I knew one day, I’d truly need to face up to a life without him. The new normal, the one that we all experience when a loved one dies. But even when you’ve read all the self help books, practise mindfulness, meditation and have ultimately accepted that  yes, “time is a healer”, that doesn’t eliminate the pain and sadness of grief. However, I’d also come to the abrupt realisation that avoiding it doesn’t either. It quickly dawned on me that all the “dealing” I’d done over the past 2 years had actually been a form of avoidance. A safety net that my own mind had given me to protect me from the sheer monstrosity that was my dad’s suicide. Even though I felt ‘fine’ in the passing months after my dad died, the reality of it all was actually, it had taken almost 2 years to really set in. and when it did… My god did it hurt.

Depression is horrible. But what’s more horrible is hiding it because it’s so isolating as it is. Am I ashamed to admit that I’ve struggled with it? No. Because even if it’s a part of me, it’s not me. Just like it’s not you.

Be brave, be strong, and know that you’ve got through 100% of the bad days so far, and that’s pretty awesome.

Take care of yourselves and remember, we’re all fighting battles that you don’t always see.

Laura xo


Stop Putting It Off : Why We Should Never Wait Until It’s Too Late To Change Our Lives.

In The End We Only Regret The Chance We Didn't Take

As a whole most of us do not like change. Change takes us out of our comfort zone and so by avoiding it, we ‘think’ we know exactly where things are going. However despite us seeking any opportunity to avoid change, it’s only when we look back at photos from years ago it hits us that actually everything has.

I know I’m definitely not the only person, guilty of scrutinising themselves whilst looking back at old photos and thinking “why the hell did I ever wear that outfit” or “who told me to pluck my eyebrows that thin!?”. However, ask yourself this, do you remember the moment or period of time (after those photos were taken) where you actively decided to change your sense of style or go less heavy on the tweezers?

Most of the time, we cannot pinpoint the moments when things changed (unless it’s related to certain events i.e having your first child, getting married or losing a loved one). However large events aside, from our friendship groups, to our hairstyles, to even the choice of clothes we wear. We can easily go through life completely oblivious to the changes going on right underneath our noses.

For me I never utilised change, I knew things did change because ‘that’s life’, however I didn’t actively go out of my way to alter the things I didn’t like about my self (or life). The reason for this is because the things we complain about are also the things that make up our comfort zones. So by avoiding change we feel ‘safe’, even if we remain in circumstances and mindsets that make us unhappy.

Me personally, I used to always pick my flaws apart, over analyse the mistakes I’d made, yo-yo diet and constantly compare my self to ‘Jo Bloggs’ on Instagram, who seemingly had it all (the list goes on).  Although being worlds apart from that person now in both lifestyle and health, the main reason I had engaged in these behaviours for so long was because it was all I was used to and it seemed easier to continue being this way then to do anything about it.

It was only when my dad took his own life, I actively pushed my self to do things outside of my comfort zone and intentionally seek opportunities to alter my life (in a good way). I developed better eating habits, used exercise as a way to heal my body instead of destroying it. I decided to start this blog AND move to the other side of the world. However, the worst part in all of this is that it shouldn’t have taken losing my dad, to actively change the things I wasn’t happy with in life. But if there’s one thing that the past year has taught me, it’s that you should never just give in and become a product of the things you can no longer change and instead become a product of the things you still can.

So even though I had absolutely no idea if making these significant changes to my life would pay off. I knew it was more important to face my fear of failing and do the things that both terrified and unsettled me, so that I wouldn’t look back and ask myself “what if?”. I wanted to use change to help create my own circumstances, instead of becoming ‘victim’ to the ones I’d found my self in.

Despite all of the above, to this day I do still have my regrets (I’m human after all). I wish I would have spent more of the last 3 years with my dad (instead of shunning that meal because I was too concerned with the calories). Told him I loved him more and most of all, I wish the last time I ever saw him, I would have hugged him for a few seconds longer (instead of getting back to my run) not knowing it would be the last time I would ever get that chance. See that’s the problem, we wish for things but don’t make them happen and instead like me, are quick enough to regret not doing so after the opportunities have passed us.

So remember this, you are entitled to become who ever you want to be and it’s never too late to do so. If you want to stop surrounding yourself with negative people in a bid to better your own head space, do. If you need to part ways with someone close because they are encouraging a habit you need to stop, then do it. If your job is making you ill from stress, change it because your health is never less important. The bottom line is that if you are not happy with something, do something about it.

You should never wait until its too late to make changes in your life. You are not expected to be the person you were 5 minutes ago, let alone 5 years ago BUT if you don’t like the life you are living or the person you are, then you owe it to yourself to start working on that right now.

Change isn’t always easy or comfortable. Change doesn’t always mean wiping the slate clean either, sometimes it involves completely re-grafting it but when you really think about it… How exciting is that?



Stuck In A Rut? How To Tackle The Negative Thinking Cycle.


Have you ever reflected on a moment in time or a particular period of your life and questioned the purpose of it?  The “I have no idea what I’m doing or where I’m going” moments. Or perhaps you find yourself in a mindset that you feel you can’t shift and have very little control over.

I’ve previously written about why it is ok to not have your life together or know where it is heading 100% of the time (even when everyone around you does). However, in the most severe times of uncertainty the “it will all be ok in the end” advice, doesn’t always ease the mentally taxing effects of not knowing how it is all going to pan out.

When you are not entirely sure where your life is heading, it can leave you feeling caught up in a fairly negative rut. The lack of direction in your life, can lead to a lack of motivation. The waiting for your big breaks, are made even more difficult when your best friend or colleague gets theirs and watching your peers buy their first home or get engaged, can hammer home how together their life is in comparison to your own.  These events alone are discouraging at the best of times but the broadcasting nature of social media, can makes it even more difficult to escape from.

So if you’re feeling caught up in the cycle of uncertainty or find yourself in a bit of a negativity rut , here are some ways to get that head out of the sand and into the sun.

1.Practise Positive Affirmations

Something as simple as telling yourself each day something you can do or like about yourself as opposed to things you don’t, can make a huge difference when it comes to breaking out of a negative mindset.

 “Affirmations are positive, specific statements that help you to overcome self-sabotaging, negative thoughts. They help you visualize, and believe in, what you’re affirming to yourself, helping you to make positive changes to your life and career.”

What we tell ourselves we can do (or can’t do), has a huge impact on what we will go on to eventually do. As you’ve probably gathered from anything I have ever written, I believe your mindset affects everything from your motivation to start something, to the end result and essentially provides the underlying foundations for everything you do. Similarly, how you talk to yourself internally, very much determines both the relationship you have with yourself and the person you are externally.

It is a too common belief, that our mindsets are fixed. However a negative mindset can be learnt and become habitual just like any other unhealthy habit (like drinking or smoking) and like smoking isn’t good for your body, negative self talk is just as damaging to your mind.

2. Acknowledging Negative Thoughts 

If you are stuck in a negative rut or you’re not happy with where you are in life right now, waging a war with your own thoughts isn’t going to make it any better.  What I mean by this is, try to counteract the negative thoughts instead of encouraging them. Acknowledge the feelings of being stuck, low or unhappy and don’t carry on engaging in behaviours that simply perpetuate the cycle. For example,  If you are unhappy about your weight and know that comfort eating makes you feel worse, avoid these behaviours, as these will only keep you caught up in a pattern you are trying to break.

3. Take Control Over Your Social Media (and unfollow).

Social media is used for a lot of beneficial purposes. It can be a place to post, share memories and beautifully captured photos and videos but also has the ability create a huge wave of lifestyle comparisons. I will admit that I do enjoy scrolling through Instagram, seeing what my friends are wearing or the amazing places they are travelling too. I also follow a lot of accounts that for me are inspiring and their way of thinking/living really resonate on a similar scale to my own. For these reasons I would never permanently delete social media (but perhaps limit my time spent on it).

However other accounts can leave me feeling a little deflated about myself or maybe their values and moral just do not echo mine.  We have very little control over what other people post online and I do believe everyone should have a certain level of freedom when it comes to their social media. However, what makes someone else inspired , happy or self satisfied may not necessarily do the same for you. It’s your responsibility to control who you let influence you and allow yourself to follow. In a time when you’re not feeling particularly content with your own life, the last thing you need to be following are accounts that make you feel even worse.

4. Or Better Yet Switch It Off  

Take sometime offline, explore other ways you could fill your time (try reading, writing, painting, exercise).  I can tell you it is hard to switch it off for a while because like it or not social media is addictive. However taking some detox time from your online persona’s can actually improve productivity, focus and even your mood.

“Sometimes it’s about creating a life that feels good on the inside, as opposed to concentrating on one that looks good on the outside.”

5. Take Small Steps (but do them daily) 

I spend 10 minutes each day listening to motivational speeches, why? Because somedays I also can wake up and see little point or feel directionless. I am a firm believe that the things you read and listen to now, will determine who you are in 5 years time. Dedicate 10 minutes each day to some form of ‘healthy’ habit’ i.e something your future self will thank you for.  This could be meditation, stretching, writing, reading up on recipes or doing a couple of squats (your future bum will thank you).  It really is the small things that will make the most change.

“Your future depends on what you do today”- Ghandi


One of my favourite quotes to live by is “this too shall pass” because if we can comprehend that even the good times have to end, then we should also find comfort in knowing the difficult and uncertain periods will end too.



‘Grandama Knows Best’: The Best Pieces Of Life Advice Ever Given To Me By My Grandparents.

Grandparents you gotta love them- Pockets filled with sweets, rich experienced lives and stories that usually start with “back in my day”, It’s no wonder we can learn a lot from them.

Every single one of my grandparents played a key role in my life while growing up (and still do). Now not all of them are still here to watch me grow up or give me any more advice, the abundance of stories, unconditional love and wisdom they passed down to me has provided me with a pretty solid foundation of how I want to live my life.

As I fast approach my mid- twenties, I’ve coming to realise some of the best, most true advice I was ever given was from my grandparents.

1.Face To face Will Always Be Better Than Social Media.

When I asked my grandparents how they made 40 years of marriage work, they told me “when we had problems we talked about it, not posted it on the internet like you kids do now”.

2.Keep Photo Albums (The Physical Ones)

Some of my fondest memories were looking through old photo albums of my parents with my grandparents. These days, we seem to keep a lot of photos online with Facebook and Instagram providing us with the opportunity to keep an online scrap book.  Although technology has allowed us to store more photos than ever, the chances are you won’t pass your laptop or Instagram account down to your grandkids, so lets keep scrapbooking alive.

3.The Sooner You Learn Patience The Happier You’ll Be 

My Grandad told me you’ll never be ahead, they’ll always be someone in front of you. Stop sweating the small stuff, take a breath and just take life as it comes. No one’s minute goes faster than yours, so there’s no point in rushing.

4.Keep Traditions Alive Throughout Generations 

Traditions bring families together, give a sense of belonging and create something for generations to reflect on. Every Sunday, we would sit down and have a big family lunch with my grandparents. Even though the amount of people at the table has gotten smaller with time, this is something that we still do and i hope to continue to do with my own family.

5.Get A Good Skin Regime And Start It Early

My Grandma told me that I needed to take care of my skin as soon as I hit twenty because that’s when it starts to age. She told me to “always take your make up off, put sun screen on and moisturise- your skin in 50 years time will thank you for it”.

6.Unplug And Be Present From Time To Time

It’s hard to imagine that our grandparents grew up in a generation where phones, IPad’s and laptops never even existed. However, they survived and so would we if we unplugged it once in a while.

7.Don’t Let Letter Writing Completely Fade Out

With the invention of emails and “DMs” (direct messages). Love letters are being replaced by emoji’s and limited to 140 characters. While these are the quick and convenient ways of communicating, there’s nothing more sentimental than a hand written letter.

8.Never Stop Learning

If you don’t use it, you will lose it.

9.Don’t Take Advantage Of The Body You Have

You have one body, this body will need carry you through life for hopefully decades to come. Don’t wreck it when you’re young.

10.Travel NOW

The opportunities as a generation and society that we have now are almost infinite. These opportunities to travel were not so readily available to our grandparents in their youth. So take every opportunity to see the world. Plus these memories will no doubt be the foundation of stories and advice you pass onto your grandchildren one day.






How My Dad’s Suicide Taught Me To Live More In The Moment.

Living In The Moment Blog

The image above is owned by https://traineracademy.org

The phrase  “live for the moment” is something most of you probably associate with hippies or spiritualists. I will openly admit that despite having heard a lot about the benefits of becoming more present and mindful, it wasn’t something I’d regularly practised before. For the majority of my life I’ve always been someone who seems to wish my life away.  I’d look ahead and decide that once I’d achieved certain goals or reached certain milestones in my life, it would be then I would start to truly live my life or be fully satisfied.

However, in July last year when my dad decided to take his own life, understandably my entire world and my families was destroyed. In a decision that to this day I will never understand but will hopefully one day learn to accept, it made me realise how quickly someone can be there one day and not the next.

After my dad’s death, I was pushed into a time where living in the past was too unbearable and focusing on the future brought on a great deal of anxiety.  Focusing on what I’d lost brought me to the harsh realisation that all memories we’d shared would be our last and focusing on the future meant thinking about a life without my dad. My inability to look backwards or forwards, forced me to focus on each day as they came and practise what I’ve referred to as ‘living in the moment’.

Although it took such a pivotal moment in my life for me to engage in this way of thinking, living in the present truly taught me how to accept moments for what they are and to enjoy the little things that happen day to day.

Here are some of the other lessons my dad’s suicide has taught me about living in the moment and perhaps some advice we could all use to help us become more present.

Take One Positive From Each Day

From the moment we wake up, one bad thought or moment can make us feel as though the whole day will follow suit. However, it’s as if this way of thinking will cause the day to go badly because we expect it to. So despite everything that could go wrong in your day, find one thing you can be grateful for.

Dream About The Future But Work On It Every Day

Its ok to find your self daydreaming about what you want in life and what you want to achieve and how happy you may be when you get there. However your goals, passions and dreams don’t work unless you do and the way you utilise your time daily is what will define your future.

Don’t Focus On Old Failures

What you didn’t achieve 10 years ago, should not define you now. In fact it has probably shaped the person and experiences you have today. If you were rejected for a job because you “weren’t experienced” enough or went through a breakdown of a serious relationship, it’s important for you to use these experiences as learning curves. However do not think that what didn’t go right for you in the past will necessarily go the same way now. Try, try and try again.

Conquer Your Addictions Now

Addictions we have developed in the past can cause us to also live in it. Junk food, smoking or alcohol addictions can cause us to live in a body, mind-set or lifestyle that perhaps we’ve wanted to part ways with for many years. Despite all of this, we still wait for the perfect moment or time to tackle our addictions and never end up starting because the perfect time doesn’t exist. There really is no better time than today to tackle them because even if you don’t, time is going to pass you by anyway.

Some days I wish I could have seen my dad’s death coming, so that I could of said more or done more. However there are few things in this life we can control and one of them is the way we deal with it. Learning to live in the present shifted my mind-set away from the anxiety of trying to control the future and the guilt of not being able to change the past, to one that instead questioned what I could to do today to make it a better one.

In all of this, the most important lesson I’ve learnt is that life is hard and it doesn’t always give us reasons to be happy but dwelling on the past and worrying about the future won’t give us one either.

Laura xo

The One Thing That Made Me Start Writing Again…

Today marks almost 10 months since my dad died. Looking back on the last 10 months, It’s extremely hard to comprehend how quickly time has gone and how much life has changed because it evidently does after any loss. However throughout the huge array of negative emotions that i’ve gone through, some positive things (that I never thought would ever materialise again) have also arisen.  Now believe me I would trade in an instance, all of the positives to have one last proper conversation with my dad or at least get the chance to say goodbye. However there is nothing more self destructive than ruminating on the ‘what if’s’, or at least thats what i’ve found true for me. So today I didn’t want to write about a number of months that have gone by since I last spoke to my dad or my feelings towards it. Instead I wanted to talk about the main reason I started this blog.

To a lot of my good friends they’ll know that i’ve always written, be it songs or poems. However after my dad died, I knew in the midst of loss of control over my emotions and feelings, I was determined to write something that I could read at my dad’s funeral. I wanted to write something that would encapsulate what I wish I could have said to my dad at the moment but also serve as a reminder of his life in my writing (something I never thought i’d be doing so soon). So I wrote a poem and read it in front of the many friends and family who attended his funeral.

After the funeral I didn’t read over this poem again, I didn’t share it with anyone but those at the funeral and left it very much untouched. However reflecting on the last 10 months, that poem was the fundamental reason for why I started to write again. I’d never shared any of my writing in public before and after I had, it gave me the confidence to create this space. A space where I could be open, express how I felt about grief and loss but also write honest content people could relate to.

I truly never thought i’d post this poem on the internet however I also never thought I would have started this blog either. So if these words resonate with someone, somewhere thats going through a loss then I guess i’ve achieved the ultimate purpose of why I love to write.

To me “These Words” (what I named the poem) served as the last conversation I would ever have with my dad and for that reason I did have it copyrighted just because I wanted to keep the original unaltered.

So if you were ever looking for a back story as to why I decided to brave it and write about my ideas on the internet, this poem was the reason and today as we bury my dad’s ashes, it seems the right time to share this.

These words were originally just for my dad but today I thought i’d share them with you.

These Words


In these words I’ll bring your freedom, In these words I’ll make you free.

In the words upon the sheets I hold, your pulse lives on through these.

I have written you upon this page and now you’re part of life’s big song,

and to the eyes that have not met this world, your legacy lives on.

Your charismatic nature, brings a smile to my face.

Though this world will never be the same, you’ll always have your place.

So we may not share the same sky and I so wish you were here.

But I know you’re somewhere listening and I hope it’s with a beer.

So when I look up at the blackest sky or the days that do not shine.

I know you’re looking down on me saying, “darling you’ll be fine”.

To a husband and a father and a friend so near and far,

You’re looking after all of us because you are the brightest star.

So to an eternity of freedom I will raise a glass of wine,

because your presence brought a richness to the poorest of mankind.

To a man who was so full of life in the darkest days you’ll shine.

I hope you’ve found your peace my love and one day I’ll find mine.


So no matter where you are in this world dad and no that no matter where these words go. We will forever miss you and remain the family of four we were, but maybe after today we’ll start to find that peace i’ve been so desperate to find.






What to do when life doesn’t go to plan/ preparing for the ‘unprepareable’…



I recently watched the film “Wild” starring Reese Witherspoon, a grieving young girl on a quest for self discovery by trekking the Pacific Crest Trail after the sudden death of her mother. Although I don’t want to spoil the plot, the film finished with a quote that I think perfectly describes life and how a lot of the time it doesn’t go to plan.

“we are never prepared for what we expect”- James Michiner

It made me realise that we spend so much time preparing for things in life but what do we do when the ‘unpreparable’ happens?

When I was a child I used to plan my life, I was convinced i’d be a cool mum at 22, married and have a family. By the age of 16 it was very apparent that I was thinking way beyond my years and now at 24 i’m neither of the things i had prepared or planned for as a child. Same goes with my job, I was convinced i’d become a marine biologist but life took me on a different course. Instead I studied psychology at university and for the best part of the last 4 years i’ve dabbled in numerous areas of work none of which included Marine biology (apart from the volunteering I did in South Africa).

Now I guess to a certain degree I have had some of my control over the way my life has gone the past 10 years. I decided to go to University and study Psychology for example. I also decided not to become a mum at 22 and for the most part i’ve chosen the types of job that i’ve applied for .

So what about the things that are out of our control? For example losing a loved one, having your heart broken, getting divorced or losing your job. The things in life we don’t prepare for because unless we are extremely cynical or pessimistic, we don’t expect or plan them to happen to us in our lives.

So what do we do? How we do we cope? And can we ever prepare?

Here are my thoughts…

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Maya Angelou

Be trusting

Sometimes when things don’t go the way we planned we become hostile. We feel as though life just doesn’t ‘go right’ for us whilst others just seem to have it all with no worries. In these moments of doubt sometimes all we can do is trust that what we are going through has a purpose. I guess maybe that’s why people turn to religion in times of turmoil, to gain the answers to why life goes the way it does or even just have faith that theres a higher power and this is it’s path for them. Religious or not, the saying ‘whats meant to be will be’ in times of chaos is sometimes all we can really put our trust in.

Be open minded

Sometimes the worst things can reduce our thoughts to one narrow channel.We can’t see any way out, any way forward or in some cases any way to go on. But have you ever realised that sometimes out of the worst things in life, some of the best things are born. Be open minded to new experiences and opportunities, keep hold of the fact that things will get better and most importantly “there are far better things ahead than any we leave behind”-C.S Lewis .

Life is about how you tackle plan B

Imagine if life was all written out for you and you knew every single detail of how it was going to pan out. How much would you enjoy it then? Now imagine a life with no surprises both good and bad? What would be the need for all of our emotions then?

Too many of us we fear the unknown and we ponder on the unrevealed uncertainties in life. However we cannot predict the future, nor should we fear it. One thing we can do is plan but plans are not set in stone, they’re guidance tools, not definitive statements of how our life should or will go. Because what happens when it doesn’t go to plan ,how do we tackle plan B? or firstly what the hell is plan B?

Well plan b is the unknown. This is why we mustn’t fear it, because some of the best things in life come from plan b. Some of the best things in life are unexpected because in those moments we had no expectations.

Let it go

Now i’m not saying if you lose a loved one, get divorced or go through any other traumatic period in your life you should simply move on and get over it, far from it actually. However, all i’m saying is the negativity surrounding it, the feelings that consume you, you need to learn to try and dissociate those from the experience itself. But first, let yourself feel all the emotions you need to. Allow yourself to feel anger, grief, pain but eventually you need let them go because the experience may stay with you forever but the heavy feelings that come with it, those don’t have to.

Its not your fault

I’ve spoken about blaming your self when your life is in turmoil in my post on grief . Sometimes bad things happen and we blame ourselves and question ourselves or the world.  Have you ever wondered why bad things happen to good people? I think we all have, well the answer is there is absolutely no reasoning for it whats so ever, it just happens. It’s not your fault, so turn the pain, the anger, the suffering into a way of fighting these tough times that life throws at you. Because in life you may never learn the answer as to why bad things happen to good people but you will learn the strength to fight them.



Laura xoxo

Dear Dad, (this one’s for you)


Hi Dad,

Today as you know is my 24th birthday and although we’ve never made a huge deal out of birthdays as a family, this year will be a pretty big one for me. Not because of my age or any milestone but because this will be the first one without you.

It’s a pretty difficult concept to get my head around that this year I won’t receive a card, a text message or call from you wishing your “Laura-Lou” a happy birthday. The void that I feel today no one else will ever fill, nor should they, it will serve as the constant reminder that I had someone so great in my life that they can never be replaced. However I don’t want to focus on what’s not here today,  instead I thought i’d share some of your photography with the world (all of  these photos i’ve only recently stumbled across). These photos have inspired me dad, to look at the world and capture it the way you did because you really did have a talent for capturing the beauty in what is around us.

So Thank you for these photos, maybe had you still of been here I may have never stumbled across them or even still, been blind to the little things around us that I now know are so important.

This year and many years to come I will consider these my gifts from you. Because these photographs give me the opportunity to see the world again through your eyes and they will forever give me some lasting connections to how you viewed this world we no longer share.

I’m so so proud to be your daughter, half of what I am and what I will achieve will always be half you. This year my birthday won’t be about celebrating me, it will be about celebrating you. Thank you for giving me this day and from now on it will be a day I always share with you.

I miss you deeply but heres to us. Happy our day Dad.

Love Laura- Lou