24 years ago on 18th August my dear Mum died when I was 31 – only 10 months after my father died so a double whammy in a short space of time. It was probably the worst day of my life and I was devastated for a long time. It felt like the world just stopped on that day and nothing was real for quite some time. Lots of other challenges were going on for me at that time in my life and I felt completely lost. Now this doesn’t sound very happy or inspiring but that does come rest assured!
I let go, quit my job (that I actually hated) and stopped everything apart from being a Mum. I bought a very old, knackered piano and played sad tunes endlessly, crying and wailing along. Somehow I needed to release the pain via the piano and I lost myself in this process for 2 weeks. Gradually I resurfaced into reality. The funeral was difficult but was a celebration of my mother; she was such a feisty, practical, emotional, exuberant, moody, beautiful and funny Mum! I can see her now giggling in her own adversity! Olwen Sarah Bicknell was very special. She gave birth to me at 42 which was unusual in 1960! She loved to dance, cook, go shopping and walk in nature she was a farmer’s daughter – hence the practicality and was a natural listener and the village counsellor! So many ladies would come and bear their souls to my Mum! She had a stroke aged 55 and experienced depression and frustration for many years but with my Dad her best friend and carer at her side, in the end made the best of a difficult situation.
I began a complete transformation of my life from then on! I found a new job working for a Mental Health charity which led eventually to me training as an Occupational Therapist! This gave me a wonderful job that I loved, an income and independence and freedom – more of that later! Sometimes we need to stop and start fresh, step into the unknown and trust! Most of all believe we can do it!
Hence the ‘Insight from Experience’ title of this blog. We all have experiences that colour our lives and help us learn lessons, mine were empathy and compassion at that time. So today I recognise how influential my Mum was to me. How inspiring she was in surviving a stroke, carrying on and being supportive to me for many years. I loved her dearly and hope to also offer some of the support, empathy and inspiration to others in the future! She would love my life purpose, because this is how it feels to me! Helping others become healthier and happier through healthy eating, juicing, life coaching and offering a lovely warm environment with therapies and lots of nurture to either improve or prevent long term illnesses such as strokes. I want to be around for a good length of time, to be healthy, happy and fulfilled and I want that for all my guests and clients! So today we offer our new website and look forward to meeting or hearing from all you lovely people who also have your stories and experiences to share!