It’s been a long time since I last wrote a blog entry, and there are two very different reasons for that gap. The first is that somehow, amazingly, and with the help and support of so many around me, I have rebuilt my life into something which I enjoy and take pleasure from. It is a success of the blog that I no longer need to write the blog, and even struggle to find the time to do so! To have a normal social life again, to work and be interested in work, and to be able to relax – these are huge landmarks in a life post bereavement, and this is what I now have.
The second reason is slightly less positive. Up until this point my blog entries have focussed on elements of grief which have been pertinent at the time of writing: starting to socialise again, or coping with Christmas. But now, at least for the moment, my experience of grief is relatively stable. Each new month does not bring a new challenge but more of the same. That’s not to say I have nothing to write about. Rather, what is left to write about are the issues I envisage following me for the rest of my life. They are not stages in a journey – they are traumas, emotions, and changes that will persist. And they are therefore harder to acknowledge, trickier to verbalise, and I am more apprehensive about making them public. These are the demons that I carry with me but am forever pushing down just below the surface of my consciousness. Part of me doesn’t want to give them too much time or attention, and the thing is, maybe I won’t. If this is the last blog post I ever write it is because I’ve decided against the opening up of my Pandora’s box.
However, one of the reasons I started this blog was for it to act as a kind of campaign. A very personal, near- reaching campaign and one that will be a mere drop in the ocean of heartbreak and tragedy, but a campaign nonetheless. I had certain aims in mind and for me those aims related to “doing well by Greg”. I refuse to let his manner of death, and by extension him himself, be misunderstood and judged and vilified. I thought I would do that through explaining, and by simply talking. The more I talk and publically face what has happened to me personally the less society can look away from the social issue more generally. A secondary aim was to give a voice to the experience of grief, and this particular kind of sudden and tragic grief, and I have not yet done that comprehensively. If the blog were to stand as it is it would not be honest – it is a cherry picked version of my experiences, as I have so far written only what it has been palatable for me to share.
In short, this blog is not yet finished. I have a certain ambivalence about continuing so it may well remain unfinished, but I hope not.
The Cooking – Cupcakes
So to ease myself back into the blog – cupcakes! I wanted to do some baking but did not want to leave my house, and realised I had all the necessary ingredients for a basic batch of cupcakes. This would also give me the chance to try out my piping bag (which has been sitting in the cupboard unused for a very long time)!
Cupcakes is obviously a very simple recipe; it is something to bake with children because it really is that easy. Not something worthy of a blog post, in all honesty. However, these cupcakes are different because I invented them! Yes that’s right, this is a recipe of my very own creation.
So I admit I used bbc good food to remind me of the ratios for a cupcake mixture. But I improvised with flavour using what I had in the house. One dollop of peanut butter and a good sprinkling of chocolate chips in the cake batter, and one more dollop of peanut butter in the butter icing. Now we have peanut butter and chocolate chip cupcakes! And I did it all by myself (almost).
Using the piping bag was good fun but I’m not sure I totally have the hang of it yet, and I only used one nozzle! (So much to explore). I suspect my cupcakes would look a little out of place in a shop window. Taste was good but not chocolatey enough – is that down to the number of chocolate chips, or the chips themselves? Would it be possible to do a kind of melting chocolate middle with peanut butter icing? Can my skills stretch that far? Something to investigate…