My uncle died yesterday.  Uncle Tony was such a lovely, lovely man, although he did love greeting my brother with a knuckle rub to the head.   An ‘in’ joke from childhood that went on for over 40 years.  He will be missed incredibly.


I’m writing this sat in my local Costa as I didn’t go into work today.  I was understandably upset yesterday when I heard the news but when my (very lovely) boss gave me a much needed hug and an offer to take time off, I did what I always do – I turned the offer down.


“Oh, I’ll be fine.  Seriously.  But thanks, I really appreciate the offer,” I replied.


I had a project to finish at work so I sat quietly in the corner, trying not to be the office Dementor, sucking all the good vibes from everyone else.  Every time my nose started tingling and tears threatened to fall, I’d tell myself to man up … and I just carried on.


It’s what I do.  It’s probably what a lot of women do because if we didn’t ‘man up’ and ‘carry on’ what would happen?  OK, the earth wouldn’t implode and I’m pretty sure life would find a way to cope but I know I never, ever cut myself any slack.


I analogised this (as best as I could) yesterday to a (male) friend as he was trying to persuade me to take at least a day or two off.  I told him:


“If I get off the hamster wheel, I worry I’ll never get back on.  Does that make sense?”


“No,” he replied.


Of course it doesn’t.  He doesn’t live my life or have any comprehension of just how many balls I’m juggling (and dropping) right now.  He doesn’t know, because I haven’t told him.


I woke up this morning and gave the idea of having a day off serious thought.  I’ve never been one of those people that takes time off because I have a headache, or my throat is sore, or my leg has fallen off.  I was that kid at school who always had 100% attendance record.  But as I kept trying to sniff away tears this morning I realised that the way I was feeling wasn’t just about my lovely uncle dying.  It was bottled up grief about my mum (his sister) dying, my auntie dying earlier this year, my nine year relationship dying (and all the associated crap that came with it) … pretty much everything that’s dragging me down that I fight hard to deal with every day.


So.  I bloody well took the day off.  Yeah, I felt guilty.  Feel guilty.  But I have to be kind to myself because there’s no one else to look after me, but me.


I know where this feeling I have will lead … and it worries me.  The best thing I can do for myself is to press the Pause button, if only for a day, and take a deep breath.  At least until I pick Dexter up from school … because life goes on doesn’t it?


Pause and reboot.




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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

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  1. Oh Darling. Am so sorry for your losses – all of them. You don’t need to lose yourself too, perhaps? It’s not what any one of your beloved relatives would want for you. I think some breathing ( and crying) space is a perfect idea and if you really let go (scary, I know, believe me) you might just feel liberated. XXX
    Anya from Older Single Mum recently posted..Friends.My Profile

  2. Oh sweetpea, massive massive love to you.
    I am so sorry for all your losses dearheart.

    Huge amounts of hugs for you

    Von xo

  3. Loss is awful and multiple bereavements more so. Poor you.
    You have not taken a day off. You have taken a day to invest in yourself moving forwards as positively as you can.
    You have to care for yourself to be able to care for others.
    I lost my Dad 3 weeks ago and today is a bad day although there have been ok and even good ones along the way.
    You are human – I know that is a shock but you are. Take care.
    Kate on Thin Ice recently posted..This is the roomMy Profile

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss Kate, I didn’t know. It’s been 7 years since I lost Mum and it’ll be a long process for you, as it still is for me, but we need to give ourselves a break now and again x

  4. I think mums are copers, that’s just what we do. Every now and again we NEED to give in and indulge in some ‘me’ time. You obviously needed today to process some thoughts, good on you. If you don’t do it, it will eventually catch up with you. So sorry to hear about your uncle, sounds like he was one of life’s greats.
    Suzanne recently posted..Young at HeartMy Profile

  5. Sorry to hear about the strains you are under hun. Taking a day off isn’t a luxury to feel guilty about- it’s a necessity from time to time! Show yourself the kindness that you would give to a friend and allow yourself to cry, rest, have a tantrum or whatever you need. It’ll help you to get ‘yourself’ back again. Sending (((hugs)))
    Nadine Hill, Juggle Mum recently posted..It’s Cocktail Hour!My Profile

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