Been rather busy recently so this blog has been neglected.
If you are one of the regular readers you might recall me writing about trying to learn to drive, something that Catherine had attempted but I had never been able to. The good news is that after some stops and starts (literally!) I am now persisting with lessons, and today I passed the theory part of the driving test. Big smiles and sigh of relief. It’s going to take me a lot more to get ready for the practical test, but the first two steps are done – I have a good instructor, and that first test is out of the way now.
I think about Catherine while all of this is going on. I imagine she would be pleased I had succeeded so far – she was happy when I got things done – but also a bit nervous at the idea of driving with me as I am not a ‘natural’ driver!
Something else on the horizon is launching my new “Grief Companion” training course – which is taking what I’ve learnt from my own experiences, what I’ve learnt from others, and the various training I’ve received, and trying to help people gain the skills to be a better support to those around them who are grieving. How many times have we felt inadequate, not knowing what to say or do to help someone who is going through such a difficult time following the loss of their loved one or family member or friend. Also, how many times have we bereaved realised that the people around us just don’t seem to get what we are going through – which is understandable, considering we’re on our own journeys – but their comments / lack of comments might have made our journey through grief feel even more lonely and hard to bear.
Well that’s the idea behind offering “grief companion training”, and I’m holding a launch event – a little taster session – for people who want to find out more, probably because they’d like to attend training like this, or possibly they’d like to host a training in their community centre, club, organisation, faith group or church, but maybe they’re just curious.
If you can get to Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire on 3rd June, you are most welcome. There are details here (including free tickets) and you’re welcome to write to me for more information if you need it. (If you can’t be there, then your good wishes for the event will be very welcome.)
PS. My driving test and my thoughts about living with loss/ the Grief Companion theme became connected today for a few moments. I arrived at the test centre early and went for a little walk, where I discovered a small garden outside a church that looked like it was closed and in process of renovation, and the garden itself was a bit unkempt. When I looked closer, I realised that each rose bush had a small “in memory” plaque for a loved one. What a lovely, simple idea that I am sure that other churches or organisations with a small front plot of land could easily emulate.