Where oh where is love?

How could we have love without grief?

The US culture seems to suppress grief, take grief away, heal grief, get over grief, but think about love without grief.

Could we love someone if we didn’t grieve when they died?

No. We couldn’t. That wouldn’t be love. Or that would be the pale shadow of love, love without loss, love that turned from the grave and forgot.

We cannot love without grief, so we need to make room for grief. We need to stand by each other during grief. We need to help each other, be present, be there, say the wrong thing, say the right thing, say nothing and just give love.

Love builds the Taj Mahal. Love writes Rumi’s poems. Love is the memories of the person we loved, we tell our children about them, we hold them in our hearts.

Love loves without logic, without sense. Love in spite of alcohol, addiction, lies, how can a person love an abuser? They love the person, not the abuse. They love the person, not the actions, not when the alcohol takes over, when the meth takes over, when the oxycontin takes over. Love loves the whole person and grieves the damage.

Love and grief are intertwined, a rosebush with thorns, there is no one without the other. No joy without despair, no light without dark, no you without me, no joining without separation.

I enter grief as I enter love, whole heartedly, oh, I may be afraid of the dark but I go there anyhow, I know as the waves close over my head and I sink into the depths:

There is no love without grief.


The picture is my mother, Helen Burling Ottaway, in high school. She died of cancer in 2000 and I still miss her terribly.

Why I Hope My Doctor is Off Having a Cup of Tea (as seen on The Huffington Post. Yup, ACTUAL Huffpost!)

I have helped out in the ER when the doctor was running two codes simultaneously… the last time a person yelled at me for running late, I said, “Well, I had to call pulmonology, cardiology and infectious disease about my last person. How are you?” In the US, apparently primary care doctors running at burnout has risen from 40% to 50%. Not a good situation, so thank you for this post…..

The Ridiculous Mrs H

I recently wrote an article on the eight weeks I spent in the NHS, in the build up to having my tiny little Iris. It was the scariest time ever, and unfortunately I’m not very good at being funny when I talk about it! I was over the moon to find out that The Huffington Post wanted to publish it!

I’m so overwhelmed by the reaction I’ve received off the back of it from the amazing people in the NHS and their patients. Please, take a read, and share if you want, and as always I would love to know your thoughts on it!

Here it is….

The other day, I was in a hospital waiting room waiting for an ultrasound appointment. There was a couple next to me, and they were not happy. Apparently, as the whole waiting room were finding out: their doctor was running late. After…

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