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Susanne Breen

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Widowed in April 2016 after her husband died from cancer. A social worker, translator and accidental writer. Mother of two with one living at home plus 3 mad pets on the shores of Carlingford Lough. Originally from Berlin but now living in Ireland a number of years. These days she's learning to adjust and cope with widowhood.
school lunch

Back to School and Grief Don’t Mix Well

And the "Mother Of The Year" awards goes to... Where were we? Feeling miserable? Being a useless mother? Not sleeping? Too much crying going on? No energy? Yeah, something like this. So, school has started. And we survived the first week. Another big achievement considering I nearly poisoned my daughter. And I totally grossed her out. All in one day. Last Monday - first day of school. I started off do well. Got up early to fix her uniform, to make her lunch, to make sure she gets up on time. Doddle right? Just one kid left, nothing else to worry about... When we left the house I noticed I had used a blue thread to fix her black uniform. Oh, well. Spent the day doing whatever until it was time to collect Katie from the bus stop. As she walked towards me I noticed a somewhat not impressed look on her face.
Let Him Go sun-flower

We Let Him Go The Hardest Thing I Ever Had To Do

What a month this has been! I was dreading it and so looking forward to things that happened this month. First Philipp's adventure. And I am still on a high about how well that turned out. (Did I mention just how proud I am ) And then there was the last weekend. I was so looking forward to seeing Rodney's friends. And, OMG, how I was dreading it. For many reasons. There was the obvious question - would I be able to let Rodney go?
Elbrus

Brave Son Climbs Mount Elbrus after Recent Loss of Father

Our son climbed Mount Elbrus this week. The highest mountain in Europe, one of the seven summits. Now, while this in itself is remarkable for anyone to achieve, it was something else for Philipp. Not only had he lost his dad just three months ago, he is also very ill. He doesn't talk about it much, it's not an illness one likes to talk about. Is isn't a visible illness either, so if you'd see him, you wouldn't notice. He's a bit pale, a bit too skinny, maybe. He wouldn't tell you that he is ALWAYS tired, that he's running to the loo ten times a day, every single day. He wouldn't tell you that he is in pain. He wouldn't tell you that he was hardly able to leave his room for two years, that he had spent his teenage years pumped full with high doses of steroids and tons of other meds.
A Bird In The Bathroom

A Bird In The Bathroom

So, we had a bird in the bathroom yesterday. The joys of living with two cats. I would have thought they had killed every bird, shrew, rat, mouse in the neighbourhood by now. Nope, Eliza managed to find another one. And brought it in the house. Because it is so much more fun to play inside. What was I thinking, leaving the backdoor open?? It’s like an invitation, right?
Carlingford Lough postman more reliable

Is the postman in your universe more reliable than ours?

Hi Handsome, How have you been. You must be so fed up with me talking to you ALL the time, so I figured another letter might be nice for a change. I hope the postman in your universe is more reliable than ours. A birthday card for you arrived yesterday. It got delivered to the wrong house (together with some pretty vital stuff) and it took more than 3 month to get here. I’d make that a speed of less than one centimetre a day. That is slow. Even for Ireland.
weekend

Day 102 Bank Holiday Weekend

Bank Holiday Weekend. Ugh! So, I had a 'stay in bed and stare at the ceiling' day. I hate those. I am feeling paralised and useless. My heart is pounding in my throat and I have nightmares during the short naps I get. I know, that getting up and doing stuff would help, make it better, but I can't. In five minutes I tell myself. Just another cup of tea... Go downstairs to make tea, only to get dirty looks from the cat. Her food bowl is half empty. I argue with her for a while but eventually she wins. Back to bed. I can hear people chatting outside, laughing. Bugger off! Someone's knocking on the door, but I CAN'T get up. Leave me alone! (Later I found that a friend had left a bag full of rhubarb, herbs and homemade jam by my door.) The whole day went by like this. I'm glad it's over. Yesterday was different. A nearly normal day. Early in the morning I took the hound for a run on the beach, my daughter and I went to the cinema, son came over for dinner, laughter and chatting. The cats had brought a huge mouse (or tiny rat) in the house, so armed with two brooms (and lots of screaming) I got it out. Where it died of a heart attack shortly after. (We had a similar experience recently with a bird,  I'll tell you about it another time.)
sleep sheep

Sleep? Let’s just get rid of nights

After Rodney left, after his party, I had so much energy. I didn't know what to do with myself. I just wasn't tired, even though I had very little sleep, it didn't bother me. For the last month I have been just so exhausted, all the time. My sleep is completely fucked up, as Philipp would put it. Instead of being awake until 4:30 AM, I am now staying awake til 6:30 or 7 AM. The amount of sleep I get is even more reduced, from 4 – 5 hours to 3 – 4 hours. I stayed awake for more than 2 days last week, eventually I fell asleep and slept for 14 hours. Waking up about 6 times, checking the date on my phone – yep – not the time, Rodney is still gone – back to sleep. Somehow my tired brain must have thought if I just sleep enough time will revert back. Didn't work.
hello-Evil-Elvis-the-Cat

Hello! How do you make an introduction that’s not boring

How do you make an introduction that's not boring. My name is Susanne and I found this site only a few days ago. (OK, that is boring) I only put a short "Hi" in the members forum and got ever so lovely responses very quickly. I also offered to write a blog for you. When my husband became ill I set up a FB page to keep our friends informed, instead of having to call or email everyone separately. Yes, I'm lazy. Very soon I started writing longer pieces, and I realised quickly how helpful this was. The support I got in the comments from our friends, most of whom live quite far away, was immense and became a lifeline. But I also noticed writing things down helped me to cope better.

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