A creative lifestyle blog.

Tuesday 23 December 2014


Today I have something a little different to share with you.

It is time to be honest and open up a little about the woman behind this blog. You may know by now that I have an obsession with craft and stationary supplies, you may know by now that I enjoy spending my weekends baking but I am pretty certain that 99% of you are unaware that I am an unfortunately an orphan.

 Being an orphan is not something that tend to I chitchat about in my day to day life let alone something I casually share on the internet but I feel that is something that needs to be discussed more openly. Despite being a natural ginger and becoming an orphan at the age of 10 my life has been very different to that of the likes of Annie. I feel that having spent over half of my 24 years on this planet without parents that maybe some of my thoughts and feelings may potentially help others dealing with/or coming to terms with the loss of a family member or parent, especially at this time of year when it is so very easy to feel alone. 

Christmas is and will probably always be a difficult time of year for me. Being an orphan sucks 365 days a year but there will always be certain days like anniversaries, birthdays and of course Christmas that bring it right back to the forefront of your mind. I am sure the same goes for anyone who has lost of relative but Christmas without a family is hard and it is even harder not to become a bitter scrooge towards those enjoying the festivities with their own families all around you.

To me the worst part of Christmas Day itself is not missing out on all the excessive Christmas presents or a turkey the size of a small child but instead it is missing out on that sense of unity. Even if I spend Christmas with the boyfriends family or extended members of my own family I still feel like the odd one out and can at times struggle dealing with the all consuming sense of loneliness. 

For a bit of background I guess I should start by saying that my mother passed away in 1995 when I was just 4 years old. I have no memories surrounding her but I was lucky enough that my father filmed parts of my childhood capturing her in film forever so I can at least take an impression from that of the women that brought me into this world. 

My mother died of breast cancer when she was in her mid 30s. She had been married for roughly 10 years, traveled the world, made a career, brought a family home, had a child and was taken from this earth at an age in which no one is expected to die. After a long battle with cancer and going through various bouts of chemotherapy and loosing all of her long thick dark hair she passed away at home and I was told that she had "gone to live with the angles now”.

Loosing a parent is hard, especially at such a young age. I remember laying in bed one night desperately crying out for my mum and my dad just coming into my bedroom and sitting next to me on my bed crying. I didn’t understand death or even the concept of never being able to see someone again but in time I began to adjust to what had happened. 

I did in time adjust to life without a mother but I remember being at primary school, seeing all the other kids being dropped off by their mums at the school gate and thinking that it wasn’t fair. I would regularly get annoyed when my dad couldn’t put my hair up in the latest hairstyle like all the other girls at school. Partaking in things such as school sports days where parents where invited made me feel different. But nothing sticks out in my memory as much as having to sit on my own whilst the rest of the class sat and made Mother's Day cards. 

6 years later in 2001 when I was just 10 years old on a typical Saturday my dad went out for a date with his girlfriend to a local Indian restaurant. Everything was normal and I was more than happy to stay at home with the baby sitter and watch Popstars the Rivals on the television.

At some point that night my dads girlfriends friend phoned the house phone and sounded panicked so I told her of my dad and his girlfriends location. Thinking nothing of it I went back to my trashy Saturday night television and before I knew it my dads girlfriend walked through the door with her friend followed by about 3 or 4 police officers.

It had happened again but this time, it was a million times worse. Not only had my dad passed away from a heart attack in the bathroom of an Indian restaurant but my entire world quite literally shattered to pieces. 

I can remember sitting at the dining table in the kitchen being spoken to by a police officer just thinking to myself that he was liar or that this was some sort of sick joke and my dad would walk through the door any second being like “gotcha”. The days after he died are a complete blur, all I can really remember was sitting in his girlfriends house crying. I don’t think it really sunk in or I came to terms with the fact that he was dead until I was taken to the funeral place where I saw his lifeless body covered in bruises from the post mortem. 

I remember my dads funeral, I wore his favourite outfit of mine which consisted of double denim and embroidered jeans. After the funeral life had to go back to “normal” but unlike when my mum died this time I had lost every single sense or normality. 

To this day I have never been back to the home that I grew up in with my parents. Certain family members cleared the house for sale and I went live with my mums father, my grandfather. My grandmother, his wife, had only recently passed away and he himself was dealing of the loss of this daughter, his wife and now his son in law. My uncle that had lived in Scotland my whole life came back to live with his father and then I moved in and there we lived for a couple of years as one weird dysfunctional family. 

A few years after living back with his father my uncle moved out with his girlfriend and it was just me and my Gramps, as I used to affectionately call him. During my teenage years living with my grandfather I didn’t cope with things particularly well. In hindsight I can now see that I spent a lot of my time hanging around with the wrong people trying to convince myself that I didn’t need a family if I had so called “friends”. Now firmly into secondary school and with about 3 years of alcohol and underage club nights and skipping school under my belt I genuinely thought that I was happy. I had a large group of friends both in and out of school and I thought that I had this whole orphan thing down.

That was until the weekend just after my last exam at secondary school. I was soon to turn 16 and had decided to spend the weekend at a friends house after a a day of shopping and general teenage shenanigans. I was sat at the computer desk in my friends hallway probably wasting my youth on Myspace when I got a phone call off one of my dear friends who is actually my second cousin asking me if I had heard from my uncle yet. This time, I instantly recognised the emotion in her voice from and just straight up asked her if my grandfather had died? I don’t remember her exact words but it was something along the line of “you just really need to speak to your uncle”. With that, I felt my heart break. 

I don’t know whether it was because I was older now and understood the situation more but the death of my Gramps literally ripped me to pieces. Once again the only person I depended on had just gone. Once again my life changed in an instant. 

I was so lost after my grandfathers death. I debated moving to America to live with a handful of relatives over in the States but I couldn’t make a decision to save my life. In the end I moved in with my uncle that I had lived with before to a village 40 minutes away from my hometown and decided to continue on with my original plan before my grandfathers death of going to the local college to study art, media and photography. 

Overall I do think I made the right decision in not just running away from my problems to start again on the other side of the world but a huge factor in my choice to stay was my friends. 

I often wonder if my desire to surround myself in people was a coping mechanism for the loneliness I felt as a child because as soon as I turned 18 and received my inheritance some people I had been friends with for years never really treated me the same. Of course there would be people that would see an 18 year old girl buying her own home in a middle of an economic recession and be jealous of that but those that knew my past and what I had been through still treated me differently. I considered myself fortunate that my parents had the foresight to write a will and put things in place for me but people have said to my face on more than one occasion that I am in fact "lucky". How on earth could I be lucky when I had to go through emotional hell?  

To be honest with you, I don’t think that I really started grieving until I was about 18. Between all the stress of education, puberty, relationships and everything else teenagers go through I never really had the time to sit and think about the consequences of becoming an orphan. 

It was only when I met my current boyfriend of 6 years that it dawned on me that I if I was to marry him, no one would be sat on my family side of the church, no one would come wedding dress shopping with me, no one would walk me down the aisle, no one would make a speech about me growing from a young girl into a women. This continued until it dawned on me one day that by being an orphan and an only child that even my future children would have no aunties, no uncles and no grandparents from my side of the family. 

Pretty depressing right? And yeah, it is, it still makes me upset to this day but they are facts that unfortunately will never change. Up until two or three years ago I pretty much point blank refused to even consider getting married or have children based on these facts and do you know what? That is even more depressing. 

It is only now really at the age of 24 that I have finally come to terms with everything that has happened. Being an orphan fucking sucks, it sucks more than anyone could imagine or even put into words. Even if your 50 years old before your parents die and you become an adult orphan you will still feel that mind numbing pain and loneliness of knowing no one is there to have your back when you mess up or give you cuddle when shit gets hard. 

Fortunately I have come to realise that there are silver linings to all situations no matter how dark and life destroying they may be at the time. Throughout all the pain and suffering of loosing your parents or relatives it teaches you to stand up on your own two feet. 

I for one am not going to accept the life of misery that my emo teenage self had presumed was ahead of me and instead I will get married, have children, travel the world, find a career and all the rest of it because I want to and there is nobody here to stop me. Having to do things on your own teaches you that you can handle the hardest of situations and that you do not get a single thing handed to you, you have to work for it. I truly believe there is nothing that life could throw at me now that I could not or would not learn to deal with in time and I hope you realise this too, as humans we are stronger than you could ever possibly imagine. 

Christmas will be tough, anniversaries will lay heavy on your heart and your birthday will never be same again but in the end you still somehow manage to find the strength deep down inside you to keep on keeping on.

I have spent one too many Christmas's feeling isolated and like no one understood how I felt and I do not want anyone to have to feel that pain so I truly hope by sharing this with the big bad internet that this helps even just one person to know that they are not the only one feeling a little bit lonely this Christmas. 
P.S. If you have any comments regarding this subject please feel free to leave them below but if you would like to speak anonymously please don't be afraid to drop me an email. 


  1. Wow. I had no idea what I would find when I clicked on the link to this blog post. It was a really touching read. It made me so grateful for the family I have. What you've experienced is something I can't really relate to in any way, but to read something so personal has got me thinking from a totally different perspective. It's easy to be consumed by the 'happy-family' image of Christmas unless you know different and you've addressed that right here.
    Jennifer x

    1. Thank you Jennifer. I am so glad you took from this what I had intended, this is not a give me a pitty post more of an appreciate what you have post - especially at christmas!

  2. Wow, I came across your blog post whilst googling various diy projects and interior decor sites. Little did I know I would come across such a heart wrenching blog post. Sadly I lost my Mam less than 4 weeks ago, unexpectedly and as yet, we still do not what caused it. I am trying to surround myself with things I enjoy to help take my mind of things, hence why I am googling home styling blogs at midnight! I am still adjusting to the thought of never seeing her again, never having a huge hug off her again and not having her right by my side in all of the things I have planned for my future. I want to say thank you for being so honest and being brave enough to post this for all to see, including strangers like me! I can't imagine how you must have felt to go through the same at such a young age, and not only that, but then to endure similar twice over after that. I'm sure you will know all of this, but I want to say that you should be so proud of yourself for coming through the other side and becoming the person you are. I too don't want to be the kind of person who sits in a dark room and wallows, instead I am trying to be the kind of person who remembers all the good times I was lucky enough to have shared with my Mam, and who celebrates her life by being a happy, positive individual whom I know my Mam would be so proud of. I feel like I'm rambling, sorry. I think it helps to put thoughts down onto paper (or a keyboard!) and you are proof to me that some people out there are amazing and can shine through such difficult times that might happen to them. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for that x

    1. This is such a truly wonderful comment, thank you!
      I honestly hope that reading this has helped you, even if just a little bit, at such a difficult time.
      My thought are with you x


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