Archive for the writing Category

A Sample of ‘Driftwood’

Posted in Biography, education, Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , on January 1, 2018 by kathydasilva

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https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1207044

A while back, I got interested in trying to get people to look at my novel Driftwood, and perhaps say what they thought about it. So at createspace.com the little company that helps new authors get their work out there, they offer, a place to put a few pages, of preview of each novel, and you can get people to rate the text without them having to make purchase, should they not have the money or inclination. It in some ways gives you more than the cover sampler, and descriptions but, hopefully, it also makes a space for comments and criticism as both are needed when you first put your thoughts into a book. I am still working on other titles, and am hoping to steer my lifestyle in the direction of committing more time and energy, and make the most of the writing gift and interest I have particularly in creating fictions. We all draw from life, and though this is there somewhere in the text, I have deliberately kept the names and places more or less fiction based in all of my novels.

Just recently I was trying to check if other people had noticed my book, for example, and found lots of independent distributors, have got my title among there collections for sale globally, and as far now as Chile! But, too, other sites, have started playing with found PDF files, that maybe have been caught in transit, on the net. Some will describe this as a hack or rip, but, I have only so far placed any of my manuscripts with the Amazon group and affiliated companies. I started with originally http://www.feedaread.com and progressed to http://www.createspace.com the latter making it possible for Amazon distribution to be free from my point of view as author.  The above link is to http://www.createspace.com’s  review space. If people want to read a page or two of the book, you can do it here or look on the Amazon pages for a preview read experience..

One of the independent domain sites  (abouthistory.info), offered an entire manuscript as a PDF file, for free (to read on their tablets), and obviously, that means most people would see this as a way of reading the book without having to pay, but, to me, it was not the way I had permitted the book to be launched, or seen in public, together with the fact some of the text was not my story, it looked a little chopped about  in places, and sentences existed that were not anything to do with the story Driftwood. At this point you see me with my mouth turned downward in sorrow. This book has a message and has been written with good intentions to create discussion. We are living in troubled times globally, with too many wars and uprisings, happening, and always the innocent suffering.

My audio book, will soon be available too.

Thank You! .. Happy Holidays and please do go have a look.

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The Reading Habit

Posted in Autobiography, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2017 by kathydasilva
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BOOKS

 

I guess, that perhaps it is only when we travel on a long journey that we now think of what to read, or when the ever playing TV manages to blow  a fuse, and that Hollywood is given a ‘rest’ for a few days, that a new book gets to being read and absorbed. I happened to be passing through a railway station, when  I noticed a little old fashioned bookcase, that normally would be inside someone’s bedroom or living space was placed in the waiting room. I was at Southampton train station, and on my way back to London. I could not resist a perusal of the rather near empty or scant collection on the shelves. A notice had been placed to advise people to use the ‘free’ donations of book, in a fashion that would mean a healthy supply always being there, but, no one obeys rules right? I also noticed a small tin with a slit in the top with the possibility of a donation being the answer, for use of books, so I donated a small amount of coin, but had no replacement for the one paperback I took to use for a reading book on board the train back to Waterloo. It was a ‘whodunit’ type book, based in the Lake District, among the fells and dales of Windermere and Peaks. New author Rebecca Tope’s The Troutbeck Testimony, starts like a book with a mystery, and rather predictably continues, with the suggestion of the drama within the first few pages, and onward. However, it still meant something to me, to read something about England. Something set in England, in a land and a place I might myself have actually traveled to. Yes a paperback, and not an e-book, though either would have been as satisfying when you are alone and a bit bored. The habit of reading being something under attack lately. I prefer it, if what I am reading catches me in some way, for its style or subject, and sometimes sheer brilliance. Every time Christmas comes round it is as if someone in a rather elevated position of employ selects a suitable family choice of films to cover the holiday period, and yet how often I notice that the same titles repeat almost too frequently, year in year out. The book market is such that the number of books already written and authors seeking new audience, are so many that a person could not run out of options. Stars that shine, however, might vary, and what is elixir for one is perhaps like sour grapes to another. Nothing beats classicism, but, a true original, the type that become of ‘cult’ status, well each year perhaps produces a few hopefuls. I crept backward through time recently to John Steinbeck and some of his titles like To a God Unknown, which to me is one of those trans-fomative story settings, taking you to a land of extremes where drought, and survival of those conditions produce a number of deliberations among the characters, and the cause of which takes them and their livestock, over the hills and into new situations, and therefore dramas, which then flow from that authors pen like oil from a new found seam. And I remember one winter, strolling the beach at Shanklin, beneath the sedimentary soft rocks of sandstone and chalk, with thoughts of the time and period when such things formed, and yet, therein drama can be found, or created. There was a very tiny bar set in among the cliff side, full of friendly people, it was Christmas. Yes there is a reason to feel helped too by seasonal change, as I always find winter the time to write and take in, and absorb.

Being back at Southampton, but, without my sister to visit, has been a bit sad, and over a lifetime of going to and fro from the town where I was born, and meeting with friends and mainly my close family, it now seems a bit empty, like an empty house, all the ‘birds’ flown. I have a brother, a brother-in-law, and a step dad, oh and a cousin or two and their families, but, nothing of the persons who I grew to an adult, with, and who knew me very much more intimately, than, anyone else. It would seem, I need to somehow, come half-way, in my own world of thoughts and needs, to satisfy, what eternally is placed in my heart, but also to allow my own soul, something of a place of restfulness. So summers, take me to places where such a thing happens often, with strolls on a beach, but, my winters too need to be, like the house set up in the mountains, with the fire ablaze in the hearth, and the lamps low lit, and that blessed little book case of things that need to be read.

Why War No More…

Posted in Current affairs, Poetry, politics, Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2017 by kathydasilva

Traveling home tonight on the bus, I met a young man, who had his legs across from one seat to the seat opposite. It was at the time, when hardly any seats are free, I had ended up sitting next to him, but, he did explain that his leg had been injured, and therefore, he was resting it. He was from Afghanistan, and his story was amazing and awful, in one go. He lived with his brother, his brother, supposedly was looking after him. But, at twenty three, you would normally in this country be seeking some independence. He said, he was housed in with his brother, but, had no benefits, he looked disabled, but, was able to work a bit. He showed me his left arm, and it was not a good shape, apparently a bad mend to a broken arm, from a car accident in his native Afghanistan. His chest was partially caved in, too. He was slight and thin, and he told me he was very hungry. His brother, was supposed to be looking after his needs, but, it seemed he only afforded him one evening meal and that was something like a cheap chicken and chip take out. He worked for his brother on a building site, but, with no wage, only his living needs shelter and accommodation paid for, and £20 on a Oyster card. Is this a form of enslavement? I tried to give him some advice for his own sake, but too, his leg needed an X-ray. I hope he went onto the hospital. I came home, put a crumpet in the toaster, and felt sad and horrid and all those things, because, I believe he genuinely was hungry. It has become that bad, that the poorer people who travel by bus have taken to asking strangers for the odd pound or two to stay alive. It is time the Conservatives delved into their pockets for genuine change for the good.

I had just tried to catch something of the Craig Murray trial or pictures outside the Royal Courts of Justice today. Why is Jake Wallis Simons summoning, this wonderful human rights speaker to court? Why is trying to analyze world political situations creating such unease? Is someone afraid of the truth ‘leaking out’? The slow drip colander sifting through debris left by uneasy war cry in countries most of us have not frequented ever, and certainly would not think of as a holiday destination for some time to come. And yet, Afghanistan has a history, and there were good places to visit, and for what it is worth, overnight cultural historical sites are and have been demolished, and artifacts and wonders of ancient other ages, plundered. He spoke he said in Persian the boy on the bus. Who creates these uneasy wars? The war wounded are beginning to emerge, from behind the ruined walls. Craig Murray, often speaks on human rights issues. He was blogging about how Israel was destroying the homes of Palestinian residents, and stealing the land, for their own homes. I cannot see how it might seem right to do this thing. If someone decided to bulldoze my living quarters, I would be pretty traumatized, and devastated. I understand the need for calm though from the Israeli view point of wanting to maintain some semblance of a democratic society, amidst  a neighborhood of Arabic states who mainly have very dominant leaderships, and possibly to our western eyes, these seem like dictatorships as the countries do depict, their leaders on posters, like a kind of big brother approach, that the leader can see all that is going on at all times. Yes well done Israel, for maintaining the election systems. The Palestinian children, should be enjoying childhood however. I cannot condone, a system, that jails a juvenile, without the proper process. We do have juvenile courts in England, but, kids, who throw stones out of inherited hate, why are they ‘shot at’ with guns. Too much killing over land. The sale of arms to Arabs? Why anyone can justify this while watching Yemen’s children starve?

Yes what can Craig Murray possibly have said to Jake Wallis Simons of the Daily Mail. It all centered on the talk about the difference of the word Zionism, and Semetism.. two words really.. Zionism, is a slightly more modern, term, and possibly more secular in meaning, more about the state of Israel, than the inherited religion and it’s weight and value to the world. Yes, Holy Israel.. we would love you more if you spoke of your Messiah Jesus. That would be my personal wish. Humanism, versus faith religions. Is this whole argument a product of our modern age? I cannot see anything, wrong with good debate, there is no insult intended. Yet there the argument is, Craig thinking, like a lot of humanitarian people, that you cannot just stand by while one nation applies such damming force against another ‘tribe’, who after all, the other tribe, could be anyone. Jesus did say with the new Covenant that all that went previously  before, was changed. He was the pascal lamb, the last sacrifice required. The new Covenant is achieved already. All men can be free if they chose it. This though plain and simple is exactly the truth of our God. And be like little children who come unto Me, says God. I prefer to choose our loving God, Jesus. And all human troubles are the troubles we all have to live with. We after all are in an incomplete world if God is not with us. Heaven and earth will pass away and a new Heaven and a new Earth will be made in its place. Revelation. And still who bothers to now listen to the Word of God. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God. It is the first line of the bible, and it always fascinates me. If all men have the right to be Holy, then, why is it that just one section of the world community cannot share that loving God? If the row between Craig Murray and Jake Wallis Simons is purely about racial origins? Craig makes the point that the Labour MP’s who have been brought up ‘sharp’ about their opinions, in the press, with the press ever trying to indict our Jeremy Corbyn with one accusation or another, one of which seems to be ‘antisemitism’. The suggestion is that if you ‘accuse’ Israel of anything but, fair play in politics, then you are being critical of the whole Jewish race. I think this is the argument. But, I am so mindful, of a book I read about the second world war. I am so mindful, because it genuinely disturbed me. There was something very noxious about the Nazi mentality. There was something so ‘corrupting’ about the forces at work, around that period of war. There was report of Germany encouraging Jewish people to return to their homeland, and be spared their lives, but, too, that they would be ‘allowed out of the country’ on some agreed conditions. The conditions economically benefited Germany. And something too, and this will sound terrible but, I must say it, that just suppose if Germany with its warrior spirit or the original planners of World War Two, who decided, that this was the way to control ‘us’ the caretakers of God’s word and creation, put among us some ‘terror’. And the ‘terror’ lets call the it a human, one with deceit written in his heart. This ‘terror’, would influence, the world to further wars, when it suited. But, this man, would not be honest not an honest person at all. People it is said are powerful if they have money or knowledge and sometimes both. The German fascists were genuinely terrified of a true God, because after all He could intervene, and inspire, courage and strength in the faithful. And God looked after our ‘rights’, our rights of passage. Our rights to life. Have you ever wondered why our age has become so material? There is something very flawed about our material obsessions. There is the side of me that says Israel is very brave, because it is situated in the midst of Arab lands on all sides. But, we have to show grace. We have to be better than any enemy, we cannot be found guilty of hurting ‘innocence’.  And this again is where Craig Murray holds up an argument of pure humanitarian concerns, with the people who are neighbors to Israel. And I hear from God …what if everyone could realize that they could reach to the heavens for forgiveness, and the love of God? What if the Good News ..got out? All transgressions forgiven, all can be saved should they turn to the Truth, but, and yes it will be, the doorway, is labelled with the glorious sign.

King of glory my Savior is His goodness faileth never. ..here is where you enter, Jesus says all can come but, they must come through Me…. the portal.

The Glenn Greenwald Experience

Posted in Current affairs, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2017 by kathydasilva

 

This evening, I traveled to the Royal Society of Arts headquarters, London, to see David Miranda and his partner former Guardian, award winning, journalist Glenn Greenwald, talk about their experiences subsequent to the Snowden revelations, and their return to a country that had been out of their reach for about four years. Leading the discussion was Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, Shadow Attorney General and member of the House of Lords. This was quite a unique event, in that Glenn Greenwald, and his partner David Miranda, had been at the center of the most controversial of whistle-blows, possibly this side of the millennial change. Here we are in the twenty first century and, society has become tight lipped, and hidden. We behave like mice who have been put in a maze, with only certain doors open to us for expression. Tonight, was all but, an hour. A very short hour. Only enough time to cover essential facts, about the two courageous subjects, who for all the glory of the huge Snowden, story had become fugitives, unable to guarantee their own safe transition between one country or another, with possible threats to their freedom, and indictments hanging in the air, like lightning strikes.

It was, an emotional moment for the two of them. David Miranda’s own account vividly described to a live audience, who sat completely transfixed, as he described his nine hour ordeal at the hands of British GCHQ operatives, who bombarded him with questions and threats of incarceration. He had had to leave all his personal laptop and mobile phone equipment with the port at which he had arrived, hoping for an onward flight to Rio his final destination. He had decided to sit the nine hour ordeal, without taking food, or allowing a local British lawyer, to be brought in, for his knowledge of the law was such that a prisoner is only allowed one call to a lawyer. He was quick witted enough to remember this fact. His partner Glenn, had been called only after three hours of David’s detention to tell him where he was and when to expect his return. The talk and exchange lasted about half an hour, with question time from an audience only given twenty minutes. But, clearly the audience had an eager interest, in the whole topic of surveillance state, and Glenn’s book No Place to Hide, which now is in paperback and available through all good bookstores and online, was barely mentioned.

The audience questions were fast and flowing and surprisingly, dominated by women, who were keen to explore the subject of state intrusion and privacy on the internet. One person had said the net had been lost (they meant to the globalist agenda), well I hope not, I hope encryption will still make privacy possible again. There could be many worlds within worlds in computing. The Tor Project has proven, that I.D.’s can be scrambled, and therefore state intrusion kept out. I am in favor of invention with this respect.

I wondered that how all of this discussion was going on, in a building, which had association with ‘royalty’. Something of an institutional background with the whole room, covered in painting from a classical past, that, had me thinking, how distracting particularly because one of the paintings had quite a lot of semi undressed ‘gods’, and nymphs dancing about in a country scene. And then again, what a perfect simmering down from the ‘high’ alert that the two men, had had to endure for four years. Why is it journalists revealing big stories, become, vilified, for their efforts?

My friend from the Assange vigil Emmy, stood up to ask some questions, at the end, and became quite emotional. She is a Greek citizen, who now lives in Britain, with her family. She is someone who, takes an active interest in politics in general, but, also particularly in her country of origin. Her point was to emphasize, the how we as a world community have become entangled with Amercan NSA surveillance and sometimes, without much discussion. That the prime minister of Greece had found his own phone tapped by the NSA/CIA and had been threatened, and made to leave his job, during the time of the Greek Olympic year, 2004. His family had been literally kidnapped, and his hand forced. The citizens of Greece had been victims surveillance by the NSA initially for security during the Olympics, but the surveillance had continued for nine months afterward, when it should have come to an end. The publication of this fact, had only just recently come to light, and it was indeed Pierre Omidyar’s, The Intercept, who Glenn Greenwald writes for,  that had brought it to her and the public’s attention. So much has been occurring, in all of the European countries,  with regard to a tightening security grip, without public knowledge. Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, whilst on the whole did a splendid job of presentation, could not handle, the emotions being, poured out at the end of the talk with Glenn Greenwald and his partner David Miranda. In fact it slightly became frustrating, that not enough was discussed due to the small amount of question time.

I am pleased to have seen Glenn Greenwald live tonight and indeed to have listened to David Miranda tell of  his involvement in the Snowden revelations. I wished we could have had more time! Why no signing of his books??.. I was hopeful to get my hard back copy signed!

 

 

 

The Incomprehensible!

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2017 by kathydasilva

I have it is true a fascination for learning about computing, but, so far, the more I have delved, the worse, the old software/ computer, becomes and now I have found most of my files, sitting on my USB software files, as if it is a memory stick! Not actually on the stick part, but, inside the software on the computer? Well, update time, is due, and perhaps a change of machine. I am thinking, now, that not much is safe these days if held somewhere in transit on the internet either. Oh hail the old typewriter, for it was only the business of words to worry about, and I completely understand Will Self, for treating the whole business of internet as a thoroughly annoying distraction too.

I seem drowned in fear of ‘invasion’, however, and whatever, form, it might take, for my thoughts are precious , even if others, may think they are not. Privacy became an issue in all the debate about state surveillance, and the machine, the main culprit being the computer and its software, the main net, literally.  Glenn  Greenwald is about to come and talk in England, hooray! It took some time, and probably a vat full of courage, to tread on our soil again. I hope, we all are there, and overflowing with some appreciation for his wonderful efforts and writing. The new book, idea I had a week ago for publishing my blog pages, the ones I had to take off, are nearly ready to upload, but, I want to add some other pieces, and illustrate, the cover, maybe with some cartoon art. And progressively, I have been moving toward, some more art and essay work.

Sundays for me now are about keeping my sanity over, the whole thing of change, and adjustment. My sister, Alison, died two years ago, from motor neurons, and it is only now, that the absence of her calls, letters, and family moments, at Christmas, has begun to sink in. I had a tearful moment last Christmas, but, I have progressed through this year, surprisingly more focused than, the year in which she passed. And am about ready to get back to the main chunk of Storm.  Autumn is my favorite time, and we the ‘English’ can get back to our classrooms and are educative processes. The rigor of all that is ‘usual’.  It is like a gift the way I am feeling now. When I went to art school in Winchester, there were earlier memories, accompanying me, and the historical element of the buildings, and the earthy nature, almost suggested within the  building fabric especially the churches, and the courtyard flagstones. The town, is a true scale of what a person, can endure, without feeling lost. Such happy memories of sitting eating tea with my father as Alison tried for entrance for St Swithun’s School. Had she passed, both myself and Alison would have probably been boarders. I drew the high street on my foundation course, with people flowing up and down, abstracting the lines until they all merge, or cross over each other. My au plein air effort catching the eye of someone, who said I could sell it. The dreams and love of books, were just beginning to emerge. Even just holding an old style book with yellowed pages, and words perhaps belonging to another century, unfolding as a person reads down revealing, the nature of a previous generation who perhaps had better manners, more sense, who knows! Catherine Cookson, often talked of an earlier period of history in her novels. John Fowles also has used history to illustrate a certain mood, or feeling perhaps a loss of moral interest. If humans do not have boundaries, to live by, perhaps, we all become less grace filled. There is much to note that a good education and upbringing, can be so much better, than, young people, not really emerging knowing their own mind’s worth. The cathedral at Winchester has a tall steeple, and a long history.  The center of town, is mainly pedestrianized, and has a Tudor feel in the beams, and small windows. I took a walk to the top of the highest point in the autumn, with my aging mother trailing beside, me, with my medium format borrow from the college. King Alfred, is said to be one of England’s first real kings. His statue is erect in the lower part of the high road, which is open to traffic, and the small black lanes, are visible from the distance. I like to think of this moment, as perhaps, one of the last times, my mother had a sensible conversation with me, with all her lucidity intact. There a lifetime, there something lost too. The climb up the hill took us both along a winding path of glorious orange/brown leave litter. And at the top, I was still this uneasy person who had tried for a life of expression, and visual art. I had longed for something, still uncertain of the end. Erecting the camera, on a tripod, and trying to pick the view, that might pass as an idea for a ‘Rough Guide to Britain’. This was an assignment, for a course I had started to refresh some of my lost art career. The Rough Guide’s was a real competition. I have files now, that need to be digitized, at some point, but, it too shows, me sometimes that although the new cameras are quick to process images, the film backs, have a slightly more natural appeal to the end product. My mother had lived through, two marriages, and had ended up, realizing, that she had regrets. We had had a drink in a local pub, and something to eat, it was one of those habits of our teens, that our working mother, a landlady, chose to on occasions eat out. It had become a habit. The best part of my life, had been the times, when life trotted past, the windows of restaurants. And sometimes, food, the very thing that sustains a person, the warmth of which had a  heartening element. Overwhelmingly, today’s society, is splitting into the haves and have not, groups and it is uncomfortable to realize, this. I have since that time, born a child into the world, and suffered his loss, and my mother, then had got ill, possibly from the shock. She had had strokes, and still wonderfully, for as long as she could, she had been a counselor, and a solid friend.

I have been typing this, and repeatedly the sign saying Windows Synchronization has stopped, kept bleeping and appearing, and I have to stop and close the window in which it appears. I take this as an intrusion. A form of harassment, and it simply could be, just the software. Or the back door elements. It is totally unsettling, that cached data, can be removed without a person knowing, and yet too, this is going to be published, so why the need? I am Jane Austen, I am Charlotte Bronte, I am Katherine Da Silva. I am concerned, people, think it is OK to hack.

 

Grenfell Holocaust

Posted in Current affairs, health, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2017 by kathydasilva

GRENFELL

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(picture copyright of publisher K Da Silva 2017)
I continued my journey from Knightsbridge to see for my self, the horror of what has happened in the last week. It was not made easy for, all the surrounding tube stations, and it seems also buses coming into the immediate area of this fire, have been stopped from picking up passengers, and dropping them in the vercinity. I managed to walk from a further tube stop, nearby, I knew this area from a long time ago as an art student, Nottinghill is adjacent. I am grateful too, that on such a sunny day, this route proved, more of a spiritual walk of faith, to attend something so fundamentally right, and acknowledging the scale of the disaster, as a goal. I regarded this afternoon as a prayer walk. I had thought about the whole dilemma of tower block residents. I had too been in a top floor apartment, in Barkingside, but, my block had a fire hydrant point with miles of hose wound round a wheel all ready for when firemen attend to put a flat’s fire out. The one thing I do remember is the stairs in this council block were not that wide, they were narrow and not deep. So if a few hundred people tried through foggy smoke, to make a hurried way downward, you can imagine, the trouble, and accident it might cause. People who survived did describe this inability to see ahead, through the smoke. I did some fire training once with the ferry group Stenna Ferries. Infact, I went for a whole day to the fire training center in Sussex. The firemen, told us bluntly that our catamaran, which was the type of ferry we would be hostessing on, was made of a similar material to aircraft, and mainly aluminium, and it is the only metal that will catch fire. So inevitably all ferries have sprinkler systems onboard. This is the issue being raised it seems by everyone about the panelling in the Glenfell tower block. What an almighty blunder to have placed these panels all over the outside of the building. All the evacuees, needed a guide down the main staircase. They needed some training, previous to a real fire. The smoke, disables everyone’s vision, so you have to learn to descend feeling your way down (like a blind person), usually touching the left hand wall, and get everyone to put their right hand on the person infronts right shoulder. I can imagine sheer panic, because of no guide being there and it seems lessons yes, will be learned. Why no advice on the phone from the fire brigade other than placing a wet towel around shoulders?
The pictures tell their own story. People have lost homes, and loved ones, and there is no solace.

CSC_0185(copyright of publisher K Da Silva 2017)

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DSC_0149(copyright of publisher K Da Silva 2017)

 

 

The Grief Experience

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Current affairs, health, politics, Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2017 by kathydasilva

I went yesterday to visit my child’s grave in Southampton. He, my two year old bar three weeks off his second birthday, is buried near to my grandmother and grandfather. The two people in my life, that managed to stay faithful in their marriage, and believed that the sacred vows of love until the end, were the expectation.  They, my grandparents had married first in the Church of England, and after a while, my grandfather, had grown, more and more concerned over the fact that his faith really had belonged to his origins at birth, the Roman Catholic Church.  He talked this over with his wife, my mother’s mother, and she agreed to become a Roman Catholic, with him, and they married, a second time, in the Catholic Church. Hence, all my family are now Roman Catholic at least in origin.

It meant of course that buriel was the chosen formal end ceremony. I had not expected any part of the grievance, and trauma, that came, when I had had to leave, my little baby in the coffin box, at least four feet beneath soil filled with stones. Visiting the cemetary became a frequent event for the first year after he passed. But, my head was filled with so many strange voices. I would wake believing he was talking to me, saying things like, ‘You haven’t changed my nappy’. I kept thinking, that this was real, or possibly real, and did that mean he was alive and feeling wet, from a wet nappy, and also, that it could mean he was ‘alive’. Repeatedly the trauma kept producing this kind of thought, in me, and I was in quite a bad state. It was like a glass wall between me and the people around me, for a long while. I could see people enjoying themselves, but, for me the world was never going to be the same ever again.

I did the usual counselling sessions for bereaved people. It did help a bit, and I still worried if he was alive and starving in the grave for a long time. It may sound strange, but, my hope has always been on the optimistic side of everything. I could not believe he had gone.  The counsellor gave me the model for this type of trauma, calling it the Whirl Pool of Grief, and showing me, that at times, I might feel I was getting over the loss, and then sometimes, there would be something, that would drag me back to the middle, the core of the crisis, and it would all feel momentarily bad again. And she advised me to be kind to myself, and on those days, ‘Wear your pyjammas, and relax, allow yourself time.’  I still have not written the book on grief, that in my head, I thought might help others who suffer. Many, many of the mothers, whose children died young, would talk with me at the cemetary, and share their own experiences. Some of them had had breakdowns, through trying to carry on as normal, but, of course not giving time for the grieving process to occur. Some of them, had panic attacks, sudden palpatations, and sweats, that caused one woman to stop her range rover vehicle at the side of a round about, and use the dew on the grass to wake herself up from the panic and shaking, she was experiencing. One of them, had simply gone to take her children out for the day, and had sat in her car, with her hands on the wheel, and then could not move, not one single muscle. She had been carried to the ambulance, and hospitalized for over a week. They had told her that her body had completely siezed up due to the stress of the grief.  The way a child had died, varied, from illness, dying at birth, or accident. And like any news, of loss, this weighs heavily, in the minds of those closest to the individual who has passed. I still prefer to use the word ‘passed’, because even the nature of the whole cycle of life from birth to death,  it is the later, that is so extreme, in emotion felt. I know I prefer being alive for example. God has often showed me, what the peace of heaven is. I have often had the experience of being ‘taken up in the spirit’. It is a hard thing to describe, but every ounce of anxiety vanishes, and you experience a complete sense of belonging and peace. So I just wish I could remember this when, I get to feeling so full of grief.

The worst thing about my recent visit was being watched by someone with a camera. I have been involved with the IPCC investigating, the accident I was involved in as a pedestrian a year ago. I felt completely vulnerable to the person who had a camera, and it made me a little angry. The whole solace of visiting is to remember and to feel close to where my child lays. I pray, talk to the air around me, and generally, acknowledge his passing, my missing him, and a whole host of feelings.  The thought that someone thought they had the right to photograph myself in this most intimate of situations, is vile.

The dilemma of my own child’s death, which incidentally happened in Great Ormand Street Hospital for Children, on 7th July 2005, was to leave me forever, with a memory, a tragedy within, a day of tragedy, the day of the London Bombings. The wards, in intensive care, had been cleared, but for my own baby. The reason being,  to make way for casualties. However, the babies, who were in need of intensive care, got mostly moved but for mine. And the only ‘child’ casualty that appeared to be a boy of around twelve or thirteen, in pyjammas, though no visible wounds or bandages. You hear tell of faux flags and faux dramatized events through YouTube.com but, I cannot tell if this singular boy was an actor. We the parents were instructed not to go downstairs food would be brought up if necessary as the canteen was going to be used as some sort of ‘mash’ first assessment centre.  My child had had a fibril fit, and the cause of which was in part due to cardio myopathy, and other complications.

The graveyard people, the gravediggers had made the form of a question mark with the flowers left by people, noticing the date, and possibly thinking he was a victim of the bombing attacks. The hospital had been behind with all his medication on that day. I had been told by quite a few of the doctors that my boy Marcos had had every chance of recovery.

My elderly parents, came to help me back to my town of birth, with the body of my baby, we were allowed to do this, with some special permission. Marcos was wrapped up in a large hospital blanket. We rather dramatically drove through the night to Southampton. On arrival everyone went to bed, and I with my son beside, me in my mother’s living room on her sofa bed. And the next day too, I had laid him on the sofa cushions, as if asleep. And I too, had seen what I thought was his chest rise and fall. But, people say it is an illusion. I had visited the funeral parlour where he was prepared for his funeral day. The chapel of rest, was low lit with candles, and rather sombre. But, right until the day of buriel, I had visited daily, kissed his forehead, and hoped, he would jump alive some how. I had repeatedly said, ‘Marcos, Marcos, mummy needs you’, in between sobs, and the general unreality of the whole loss. And I felt I was betraying him, somehow, if I left his side.  It is terrible, losing someone, and there is no advice to how to grieve, or for how long to grieve. I guess, I grew like the other souls around me who miss someone, learning to live with the hole that the loss creates. So in life, as much as the joy of the birth and my son’s two years of life, gave, me, in equal doses, now there is sorrow, too. I do believe in heaven, I do believe, I will see him again, and I do visit the grave not so often but, whenever, I hear his little voice, somewhere in the air. And hopefully, we will be together, when I come to the end of my own days.

It is twelve years on from that day.

If any of the above helps, at all I will feel happy, and also the counselling was a good support service that I was told about by my doctor/GP.