Coping with Heartbreak and Bereavement

Yesterday I said my final goodbye to my beautiful mummy. It's been 2 and a half weeks since we lost her on 19th December.

I spent 3 long days at her side, staying a further day after she'd gone to just be with her to say goodbye. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life.

My mum was my best friend, my go to for gossip and a girly chat. She was so loving and kind, she supported me through everything. She was a doting Grandma to my little boy. She was my creator. She brought me into the world and raised me to be the woman I am today. She was the centre of my universe until that time came that she had to give me that little nudge into independence. She gracefully accepted every step of the way as I began to need her in different ways, and she became Grandma when I had my little boy in 2014. It was only when I had my little boy that I fully appreciated how much a mother loves their child, so I then knew how much my mum loves me. I learned the true meaning of how good of a job she did letting me go off into the world to find my way, because I now know how strong that bond is with mother and child.

I went home the evening after she passed away in a daze. I was at a loss of how I would cope without her, totally delusional through grief and lack of sleep, finally falling into bed and sleeping for 14 hours straight.

When I awoke the following day at around lunch time I just picked up my usual breakfast and carried on. I didn't even need to think. I just knew what to do and I did it. The rest of my life had fallen apart, and yet inside me there is a knowledge that doesn't just go away.

I had lots of advice over the last month, but not one person said 'stick to plan'. Lots of the advice geared towards doing anything but sticking to plan. Now having gone through it if I were to offer any advice to anyone facing grief or who finds them self in this situation, it would be stick to plan. Just carry on.

The plan isn't there to be thrown away when times get tough, it's THE plan, not a back up plan just for the good times. It's there with you through good and bad. You have to eat to fuel your body. You might not take pleasure in eating, you might not feel hungry, but just eat.

One thing that is so important is that you shouldn't ever be made to feel bad for prioritising your own wellbeing. Sometimes your own wellbeing is all you have left to focus on and it is very important to look after yourself at times of grief.

Prior to losing mum, my Zumba teacher Wendy said to me "you shouldn't feel guilty for doing normal things" and she was so right. You have to carry on and do these normal things that need doing. Be kind to yourself, because you can't give up everything, even though it feels like you should.

Everyone copes in their own way and the truth is I didn't know how I would cope, but I had the benefit of knowing I would need to go through this. Other people don't always know they are heading for heartbreak so it's thrown upon them at a moments notice, but the coping mechanism is there within us all and it finds a way of organising your life when you are fuzzy headed and have lost the plot.

Yesterday I successfully food optimised my way through my mums funeral. I ate a salad on my way to my mums house, I ate a minimal amount from the buffet (just protein foods) and I finished on a Harvester Takeaway of chicken and salad once I'd got back to my hotel.

Right up until the day before the funeral I had told myself that I'd blow it, then I realised I was setting myself up for failure and I just flipped my outlook and told myself 'I can do this' and I did. I coped.

I've successfully food optimised through the most difficult time of my life. Yes, at times, I haven't been perfect. I'm only human, but here I am at the end of a difficult journey and I did it. If I can cope with this I can do anything, and if I can then you can too.

My mum was so proud of me for reaching my target and if I can pass on just an ounce of the inspiration my mum gave me, then I've done her proud once more.