For months I had imagined the launch party for my book, daydreaming how happy and celebratory I would feel, drinking it all in after the slog and difficulties, as well as joys of writing it - and the annoying thing is I mainly felt befuddled! I know better than most, that we can’t predict or manufacture appropriate feelings at the appropriate time - but damnit I want to go back and do it again, have fun and feel celebratory. I also want to say my speech again, and include the things I missed out, and articulate better how grateful I am to all the people who believed in me and supported me to publish this book. I want to relive it without the total mind blanks of people’s name when I signed their copy of the book, friends, colleagues clients I know incredibly well, and love, but no, my brain froze, and I wrote the wrong names?!
On reflection I can see that it is quite overwhelming having every aspect of my life in one room at the same time, colleagues from St Mary’s Hospital Paddington, colleaguees from CBUK and Metanoia Institute as well as clients who contributed to my book, alongside my siblings, my husband, my children, childhood friends, new friends, old friends… and they are never likely to be alongside each other again. But what it does help me to see more clearly is that I have truly extraordinary people in my life, both at home and work, and how lucky I am to be doing something with people I actually like as well as admire and respect, and that my friends and family are central to enabling me to do the work I do.
So although I banged my head for a while, now I feel calmer, and grateful; grateful I’ve written this book and grateful to all who helped me do it. The next step is to get it out in the world, and do the work I want it to do - changing our attitude to death and bereavement. To let Grief Work.