birthday cake with candle and flower at the side

The First Birthday That You’re Not Here

As soon as uncle Dom’s funeral was over, I knew that I had to face Race for Life in memory of him, but I also knew that it wouldn’t end there because another date was coming up… it’s his birthday today.

Usually I would be getting ready to head up to his and auntie Linda’s house. But today I’m sat at home doing, well, nothing much to be honest. Uncle Dom always knew how to party and celebrating his birthday was one of the best type of parties he did ever throw, with the efforts from auntie Linda of course.

I always thought he would make the race and he would stay for his birthday but time just wasn’t on his side. Who’s going to dance those cowboy moves? Who’s going to gather the family spirit? I’m sure the house, on today especially, is very quiet without you. But auntie Linda can that time to think about all of your birthdays that the two of you spent together and smile.

One minute it’s grandad’s birthday, 4 days later it’s granny’s then 10 days later, here we are, on your birthday. Maybe you’re all up there together having a joint birthday party? I hope you’re celebrating in uncle Dom style.

I’m sending you a big hug from me and Danny, just like we always gave you when leaving your house after a visit and again when you were in hospital. Your card is here. You know how organised I am – I bought it back in June not long before you passed away.  So maybe this blog post can be my birthday card to you? Perhaps, even a little chat, with you on the listening end. After all, you did wish me a happy birthday twice this year.

Regardless of any little debates you had, you would always make me feel special. I’m no model but you always said I was. Whenever I had news about work or the house, you always encouraged me to go for whatever I wanted to. That’s something I’ll never forget about you.

I hope there is a way that we can communicate. Maybe the next time I look up for granny and grandad twinkling in the sky, I’ll see an extra star and think of you.

Cheers uncle Dom, *raising a pint* here’s to you.


Remember, grief affects us all in different ways. If you’re struggling to cope, take a look at the Macmillan Cancer Support page for guidance.

angel wings coming out of a love heart shape

Just Because I Smile Doesn’t Mean I Don’t Miss You

Today I smiled a whole lot more than I have done over the last few weeks. Losing someone can tear you to pieces or it can help you to become stronger. There’s nothing anyone can say that really makes it better but it does help to know that there are people around you that care. When you start to smile more, it doesn’t mean that you miss them any less.

The person you lost wants you to be happy

They want you to continue to cherish all of the amazing things there are to life; even though there’s evil. Looking over you, they want to see you making more memories; even though they’re no longer there to make them with.

Listen to sad songs from time to time but don’t dig yourself too far into a hole where all you have are sad lyrics and darkness. Be grateful for all of the good times you’ll forever hold close to your heart. Remember the upbeat person that they were and add their spirit to your life.

There are going to be times that aren’t as easy as others. Finding ways to smile more can help. Don’t neglect the possibility of laughter and warmth from your loved ones.

Uncle Dom, whenever I smile, remember it doesn’t mean I don’t miss you. The acceptance of losing you has hit me hard. Knowing you would want us all to be strong as difficult as it can be, is what I hope for.

I’ll smile when I think about your vocabulary of words; those rock ‘n’ roll dance moves, the classic Irish accent; the time you gave to listen; your strength when suffering; most of all, your love for us all. You’re not here in person for me to tell you all of this so I hope that by using some of your magic, the message will get to you.

The next challenge

Race for Life is getting closer. I’m going to do my best to hold it together. At the end though, it’s likely I’ll cry wishing you were here. It’s time to accept that there’s nothing we can do about that. We have to do everything in our power to live your life on. A piece of you will always remain a part of us.

https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/team/tasha-and-danny

Life, Love, and Memories with Our Loved Ones

On 21 May 2016, it was nine years since my loving grandad passed away. Therefore, I seemed it would be appropriate for me to write a post on the theme of losing someone. Our loved ones are very precious to us.

Though someone we love may have passed away, they are still alive in our hearts. It never gets easier but some people are able to feel a sense of acceptance. You never want to believe that someone has been taken away from us. But for as much as we love them and they love us, each know that deep down, they will both we thought of.

Our loved ones are never a thought away

Just like my granny and grandad’s grave says, ‘never a thought away, loved and missed everyday’. Always and forever.

Yesterday, my boyfriend had finished work and appeared at my house afterwards. He brought flowers – not just any kind – but blue because I always remember how my grandad used to be a Manchester City fan and then, red because he turned into a Manchester United.

Also, Daniel brought some purple flowers as that was the colour that my granny and grandad wore on their wedding day. Gestures like this make me think that Daniel was brought into my life for a reason. He reminds me so much of the generosity and love that my grandad had for everybody.

I’ll always miss them

I used to always wonder when I would get to the point where I would not cry when visiting my granny and grandad’s grave. Yesterday, I was proud to have stayed strong for about twenty minutes whilst Daniel and I shared a conversation at the cemetery. It was not until the point where Daniel looked at me and said,

You miss them don’t you?

And it got me. The tears came strolling down my face. I said to say goodbye with a smile and they know I will back to see them again soon.

Daniel lost his nana in December 2015, so for him to do something like this for me which is hard for him, really shows me how strong love can be. We tend to discuss our grandparents love stories and memories regularly. They are people who we both feel inspired by. And together, we wish to share a love as moving as theirs.

It’s okay to cry

I have learnt that it’s okay to cry. Everyone deals with things in their own way, and whether I cry or not, I still reminisce on the memories that brought so much joy into my life. We went on many adventures. What’s more is that, we shared the toughest time of our lives losing granny. I could not be more thankful for how grandad carried on for us, for his family.

The image of his love and kind-heartedness will never disappear from my mind.

We all have someone in mind when we think about that one person that would do anything for you. You do not even have to ask, they just do it from the bottom of their hearts because they know you so well.

So for the person/people who are in your hearts today, do that one thing for them and smile at the memories you shared together.

Losing Your Loved Ones Is Never Easy

Losing your loved ones is never easy. In the early hours of Sunday morning, a beautiful mother and nana was lay to rest. Her name was Kathleen. She was one of the loveliest and thoughtful women, who was the nana of her lovely grandchildren. One of these grandchildren is my boyfriend. In just over the two and a half years that I have known her, she always brought a smile to my face when entering and leaving the room.

Regardless of her illnesses, she was still the bubbly and talkative woman that everyone knew. She cared for her family, she attended church every week and she loved her cat Sooty very much. Now though, after all she has been through, the time had come for her to be lay to rest where she will now be reunited with the love of her life.

Your heart never lets go

The point of this post is not only to write about one of the loving and kind-hearted people who I have met but to point out how precious life is. You hear about things happening in the world, you do not think that they are going to happen to you. At other times, you are well aware that one day, something could happen but no matter how much you prepare for that moment it will never be the right time. Your heart never let’s go and a piece of hearts will always be with our loved ones.

I am very grateful for the light that you brought to my life at times when you reminded me of my nana. You’ll be missed and loved every day by your dearest family and friends.

God bless, Kathleen Sweeney.