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My daughter aged 13, died 6 months ago and now she's no longer here, I feel lonely and abandoned

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 26 May 2017
Dear Patricia Marie,

I don't know what to do, or where to go for help. I keep having panic attacks, and can't go on feeling this way for much longer. My daughter aged 13, died 6 months ago, after suffering a devastating degenerative condition. She gave me the greatest purpose in life, and now she's no longer here, I feel lonely and abandoned. When my daughter was alive, I received much support from my family and friends.

However, since she's been gone, I have hardly any understanding from my close ones. In fact, if I mention my daughter, the conversation soon changes, leaving me feeling frustrated and tearful. I am lucky to have another child, and a caring husband, but he gets annoyed with me for expecting too much from people. I am very close to my mother, but as soon as I mention my daughter, she becomes extremely upset, so I withdraw from opening up about my feelings. Can I please ask you, am I wrong for expecting others to be there for me?

Patricia Marie says...

The loss of a child is the most devastating experience a parent can face, and you should not be expected to 'get over' the pain it causes at any stage.
For 13 years you took care of your daughter who was totally dependant on you, and as you so rightly say, gave you a purpose. I make a heartfelt request to you to see that your purpose as a mother still goes on with your living child.

Let me ask you not to see your husband as annoyed, nor your friends as lacking compassion. It's not uncommon for friends to pull away during a grieving period, simply because they often do not know what to say. Have you considered that they could be feeling guilty if they have children who are all alive and well? They may well want to help, but don't know how. Tell them what you need, and don't push your husband away, as he too is having to deal with his own grief, as indeed is your mother who seems to be struggling to come to terms with the loss of her granddaughter. Your quarrel is not with them, but with what life has thrown at you - taking your beautiful daughter from you. Whilst you have every right to feel angry, by expressing it to others, you will only be hurting yourself.

Counselling won't bring your daughter back. Nothing will. But it will allow you to explore the feelings that you are clearly needing and wanting to express. Grief can feel very lonely, even when your loved ones are close. I think you would benefit greatly from attending a bereavement group, as sharing your sorrow with others who are going through similar experiences could be comforting, and will help you to feel understood. And I urge you to see your G.P for help with your panic attacks.

When you are feeling lonely and wanting to feel close to your daughter, perhaps light a candle and enjoy those special memories you have - which can never be taken from you.
Your life is forever changed - but it's not over. You must feel at this moment that you won't ever recover from your loss, but be patient, and allow yourself time to heal. I believe with the right help and support, you may begin to find a way forward that acknowledges and continues to incorporate the love you will always feel for your daughter.

Cruse offer bereavement support groups in most areas: 0844 477 9400 www.cruse.org.uk 
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I'm worried what will happen when I can't look after myself

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 19 May 2017
Dear Patricia Marie,

I am 72 years of age, have no children or partner, and becoming increasingly concerned about what will happen when I can no longer look after myself in my own home. My closest friends have pre-deceased me, and I feel so very alone in this life. I do not know how to go about selling my home, sorting through all my possessions and perhaps moving into a care home. The thought of all of this scares me witless. As my health seems to be deteriorating lately this has been a recurrent anxiety for me. Do you know of any organisations who could help guide me through the process?

Patricia Marie says...

I can fully understand the anxiety you have with regards to making future plans, however, what really saddens me is the loneliness you have been suffering. Your friends have sadly passed, but you are very much here, and need to be enjoying your later years.

Age UK, the largest UK's charity, is dedicated to helping those of mature years. They provide information, support and advice to help get through those difficult times the elderly can experience. Whether you're wanting help regarding property matters, have concerns about the possibility of going into a care home, or having trouble sorting benefits, this charity can assist with all your practical worries. Furthermore, they can put you in touch with your local branch, who could organise for you to join in some of their regular social gatherings, where you could meet others who are in a similar situation to yourself, and hopefully you will soon be able to fully embrace the next chapter of your life, with new found friends.

I also recommend The Silver Line. This free help line was established by Esther Rantzen who wrote about loneliness after the death of her husband in 2002. She described loneliness among the elderly as a "creeping enemy which erodes confidence" and wanted to offer a telephone friendship service for the lonely elderly. This charity organisation provides friendship 24 hours a day, and could organise a befriender to call you regularly - so you would always have someone there for you. Please don't distress yourself any further. Make these calls - the help you are desperately seeking is only a phone call away.

Age UK: 0800 169 6565. Available every day from 8am-7pm. (www.ageuk.org.uk)

The Silver Line: 0800 4 70 80 90. Available 24 hours. (www.the silverline.org.uk)
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Animal Heaven at the National Pet Show

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
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on Wednesday, 17 May 2017
by Annette Kellow 

This week I was invited to the National Pet Show held in E14 by Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, a yearly show in which they host an array of animals with an entertaining and educational factor.

I arrived at Excel early and was ushered through to a large auditorium which looked like pet heaven with many different arenas, stands and varieties of animals.

Luckily I was given a clear map of where to go and what to see so I headed straight to the dog area where I watched 30 big yellow retrievers on show, who were part of The Golden Retriever Display Team. They were so obedient, sitting and turning on cue to the music (Could It Be Magic by Take That was in full force) and each had its owner leading them along, whom they doted upon. I couldn't imagine my dog being so good even when treats are involved!

I then went to the hen area. Fresh Start For Hens rehouse ex-commercial hens which have care centres across the country. These particular birds would otherwise be killed or left unwanted as when they stop laying eggs they are deemed to be useless and often owners do not want to pay for them anymore. Fresh Start For Hens look after them and care for them, then they are rehoused with new individuals who are wanting hens as pets or companion animals. I think the highlight of my day was cuddling a sweet hen who snuggled into my lap then swiftly fell asleep!

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I also visited the small furries Theatre, the secret rabbit garden, birds of prey arena and miniature horses paddock- I even had a parrot who started having a little light hearted conversation with me!

The National Pet Show has an in depth educational side to it too. You can learn about the care of animals including dogs and find out how rescue services work.

Professor Noel Fitzpatrick had many talks throughout the day with up-to-date information on a variety of animals. He shared his insight on exploring the incredible bond between human and pets alike and how they help in many areas of life- as a companion, a working dog, police dogs and how you can learn from each other.

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Caring for a pet is a rewarding experience but he explained the importance of educating yourself before taking on an animal- there were many talks on the day for people interested in learning about specific species.

For any doting pet owner who enjoys treating their loved one (or even spoiling them to absolute bits!) there was also a wide variety of pet accessories, beds, treats and more toys than your pet would know what to do with. I came away with a few treats, balls and a rather fetching dog lead which my dog completely ignored when she smelt the other goodies on offer. As they say, whoever said that diamonds were a girls best friend never owned a dog!
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My boyfriend resents me wanting to spend time with my daughters

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 12 May 2017
Dear Patricia Marie,

I have been seeing a man I met on the internet for the last six months.

Everything seems fine, except he resents me wanting to spend any time with my daughters, aged 24 and 26. I made it clear to him from the very start that they were a huge part of my life.

Both of them have left home now and I try to see each of them at least once a week for a day or an evening to catch up on what has been happening in their lives. I miss them an awful lot since they moved out and although we talk on the phone most days, somehow that is not the same as actually seeing them.

However, my boyfriend gets quite irritated if they ring when I am with him, and always tuts and shakes his head if I say I am going to visit one of them. And he never asks how they are, or suggests we visit together. He has no children of his own. He is now 54 years old and I think he wishes he had his own children, and perhaps resents my close relationship with mine.

What can I do, as I can see this becoming a big stumbling block in our relationship?

Patricia Marie says...

This man knew your children were part of the package at the outset, and can't pretend they don't exist just because he would rather have you to himself. He needs to accept how important they are to you, and not make you feel guilty for wanting to spend time with them, or indeed speaking with them on the telephone. You should never be put in a position where you feel you have to choose between your partner and your children.

Your boyfriend is clearly showing signs of jealousy. The trigger for this may well be that he is resentful as he has no children of his own, or alternatively there may be other factors contributing to his irrational behaviour. I suggest you open up to him about your concerns, as this may prompt him to share his feelings with you. Listen to what he has to say, but make it clear that his attitude towards your daughters is having an adverse effect on you, which if left unresolved could spoil your relationship, and may ultimately destroy it.

Instead of you visiting your daughters alone, invite them over to yours for dinner. Tell your partner it would mean so much to you if he could make an effort with them. Include him in the hospitality. Perhaps he could organise some games to help make him feel part of the family. You never know, if he allows himself to get to know your girls, he may actually enjoy their company, and even better, begin to bond with them.
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To Snare a Spy launch at the Sloane Club

Posted by Young Ladies About Town
Young Ladies About Town
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on Wednesday, 10 May 2017
By Katrina Schollenberger

The Nare hotel is Cornwall's top luxury hotel. With breath taking views, two restaurants to dine at and a spa, The Nare country house hotel accommodates all your needs for a luxurious escape to the coast.

Thriller novelist Jon Stock, former writer at The Daily Telegraph, has penned a new spy book set on the south coast of Cornwall based at The Nare hotel. I was invited down to the Sloane Club in Chelsea recently for the launch of the book, featuring wonderful seaside-inspired canapes, champagne, and a discussion with the author himself.

Toby Ashworth, proprietor of The Nare Hotel, talked guests through a typical stay at The Nare and what they'd be able to do and explore while visiting the Roseland Peninsula. Jon Stock then took over to explain the synopsis of the novel without giving too much away: 15 year old Noah always looks forward to his annual family stay at The Nare in Cornwall, however, 'Russian roommate, Alexei, says something that will change his summer – and his life – forever'. The tale follows an exciting journey through land, sea and love, with twists that don't disappoint.

Image-Five---The-Nare-launches-To-Snare-A-Spy

Jon explained his writing process, research and how he incorporated characters into the novel from the people he met while writing in Cornwall. He thanked The Nare for their gracious hospitality while he was writing the book and happily proceeded to sign copies for guests.

Fellow guests in attendance also included CEO of Small Luxury Hotels Filip Boyen, CEO of Pride of Britain Peter Hancock, CEO of Good Hotel Guide Richard Fraiman among others. All in all, it was a lovely evening with great company to celebrate a 'thrilling' novel!

Purchase your copy of To Snare a Spy at www.narehotel.co.uk/tosnareaspy 
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