The rhythm of life

It’s been too long without Rosie. Fact. One single day without her would have been long enough. Day to day it’s simply rubbish that she’s not here. Now there’s an understatement. Emotions aside life is challenging enough without the complexity of having to do everything alone. Caring for my children is the hardest and most rewarding task. There we have it, a series of statements of the bleeding obvious.

When Joey says, “all the other children have mummies”, it’s then that I feel truly alone. Without Ro by my side I feel myself foundering. Now of course that’s melodramatic. I’m not sinking, by no means am I. Life has thrown all sorts of challenges at us since Rosie left and yet I keep kicking as hard as I can to keep my head above the water line. Part of that is thanks to the support of family. Part of that is because of close, close friends, both old and new.

But for me I truly believe that life is meant to be shared. Not necessarily all of it with everyone but with the right people in the right way. The highs, the lows, the sorrows and happiness. And the joys and challenges of having children. One of Joey’s constant refrains is “when will I have a new mummy?”. To which I say that he won’t have a new mummy but one day he will have a step-mummy – if I find the right person to be with. How do you explain the concept of love to a five-year old? I’m not sure I could explain it to an adult. Plenty of people far cleverer than me have given it a go and failed, so what hope do I have?

From what I’ve just written you might think that I’m morose or depressed. I’m really not. Because with those new and old friends, with my family and with my two wonderful children I feel supported, inspired and driven to success. And no matter how challenging life feels at times I know that I have a bunch of people rooting for us.

As an aside, yesterday, 15th October would have been Rosie’s 40th birthday. In the 40 days running up to the big day, Secondary1st published 40 facts about secondary breast cancer. There were also videos from her friends and family recounting some of their favourite memories of Rosie. #40forRosie was the tagline. You can check it out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It was so inspiring to see it come to life. And on her birthday dozens of people posted photos of cakes, biscuits, pieces of fudge and much more besides, all with lit candles atop.

Philosophers through the ages have tried to answer the question “why are we here?”, and I’ll be damned if I can give a decent answer. But for me it’s about creating a wave of happiness that sustains us and the people around us. My children need to see that despite life’s challenges, life does carry on, and it’s simply better to tackle it with head held high, shoulders back than it is to feel low and defeated.

And that’s the point of this blog. I have two choices. One, allow the pressures of life to weigh me down and ultimately take me down. Or two, accept that life is challenging. Smile. Be happy with what I do have and just get on with it.

It’s the second one that I choose. It’s the second one that Rosie chose, right to the very end. So come on life, bring it on.



4 thoughts on “The rhythm of life

  1. After losing our 28-year-old daughter to secondary breast cancer nearly two years ago, I’m with you in trying to keep the second option as my choice. Her not being here still hurts every day, but she wanted us all to try not to miss her too much. We remember her smile, her enthusiasm for life and her wish that we ‘just get on with it’.
    Thank you for the reminder Elliot.


    • Hi David,

      I’m so sorry for your loss. I feel it is always worst for the parents than it is for everyone else. It’s the wrong order of things. If you’d be interested in learning more about the work we’re doing to raise funds to research secondary breast cancer please do get in touch with us at

      With kind regards,



  2. Hi Elliot
    Thanks for your reply. Would you consider adding a link to the YBCN (Younger Breast Cancer Network) to your ‘where to get information’ page? At the moment they don’t have a website, but they have a large FaceBook group with many sub-groups for people with specific needs. A quick search online will take you to them. Our daughter Emily found that contact with young people in her position was crucial to her emotional well-being.

    best wishes


    • Hi David,
      That’s a very good idea. Leave it with me. Rosie was a member of the YBCN so I know how effective it is a support group.

      Sending kind regards,



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s