At Sea Without a Compass.

12 Aug 2017

Members that regularly comment on the blog will have seen that I had a funeral for my youngest daughter this week. We do not know the cause of death and have to wait weeks for the post mortem results.

She had lived in the antipodes for the past eight and a half years and at some point was diagnosed with BPD/Emotional instability. She never understood how beautiful and talented she was.

She was at times a self harmer and to escape her mental problems she turned to drugs.

Earlier this year she returned home to the UK, as she was too ill to look after herself and her partner could not cope any more.

She had two older sisters. One of my other daughters also had some health issues and she too had to return home when her mental health deteriorated.

It was a very difficult time and I wrote this poem:

At Sea without a Compass

Fred and I are cast adrift, at sea without a compass

When I heard of my child, in the clinic again

My emotions shut down, cos I can't take the pain

My younger child too, in pain and unable

To even share a meal with us at the table.

I feel strange and estranged, sometimes deranged

To whom can I go, when we all hurt so?


But now she is gone and we still go on

I can take heart at least, that now she's at peace

When I wrote to ask for hugs I had a wonderful response from the regular contributors. Thank you for all the hugs that helped my tears to flow. It is so heartening to feel the love and support of an online community, who have some experience of the vagaries of mental health.

Thank you for listening.

Another Sally

A Moodscope member

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Carol Anne

Aug. 13, 2017, 5:15 a.m.

Another Sally - so terribly sad for your loss. My words are inadequate and I wish I could give you a huge hug just now. It's times like this, that you need to be cloaked in love, friendship and positive healing energy. I like that you are able to find that thought that she is now resting peacefully with no further battle. Will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers and today I'm intentionally going to send love your way. X



Aug. 13, 2017, 5:42 a.m.

I am so so sorry Another Sally to read this. Sending you a big hug. You are in my thoughts. What an amazing blog full of love and understanding of grief at a time that you are the one at sea. Thank you Sx



Aug. 13, 2017, 6:14 a.m.

Another Sally, I have been thinking of you and your family all week. I have shared your story with my husband and we both feel so very sad: we are not supposed to bury our children. It's the worst kind of grief and bereavement. Your poem is heartbreaking but full of inner strength too. I hope that maybe knowing you can drop by here and we will do our best to hold out our hands to help pull you up out of despair some days, might be a little comforting....or we will just wrap arms around's not much in these circumstances. She is at peace from all her life's torments. Biggest hugs from Bear x x x



Aug. 13, 2017, 6:23 a.m.

Sending you hugs & love. I am very sorry for your loss (another Sally)



Aug. 13, 2017, 6:38 a.m.

I hope my words can carry a charge like gentle arms surrounding you and your family. Please know that my heart is with you and yes love is here for you always.



Aug. 13, 2017, 6:49 a.m.

With a gentle love and huge sympathy. Ruth


Hopeful One

Aug. 13, 2017, 7:10 a.m.

Hi Another Sally- it's always so sad to loose someone so dear and younger than oneself. I lost my first grand daughter last year . She only lived for 18 days passing away due to an incurable Vein of Galen vascular brain malformation . xoxoxo



Aug. 13, 2017, 7:22 a.m.

Dear HO, so very sad for you and your family's loss. Been thinking about you and missing your wise words. Bear hugs x

Another Sally

Aug. 13, 2017, 8:21 a.m.

Oh, HO I am sorry for your loss. A first child/grandchild can be so longed for and to be lost like that must be heart rending. I will share my many hugs with you. Xx


Aug. 13, 2017, 8:44 a.m.

Hopeful that is so sad Sending hugs and kind thoughts. Xx

Tutti Frutti

Aug. 13, 2017, 8:54 a.m.

HO I am really sorry you and your family experienced such a loss. Some friends whose eldest child was at nursery and primary school with my daughter lost a daughter shortly after birth. A lot of us attended her funeral to support them and we saw something of what they went through. Sending love and hugs TF xoxo PS It is nice to hear from you again though. I like your comments and hope we will hear from you again soon. But no pressure if that's not what's best for you right now.


Aug. 13, 2017, 1:22 p.m.

I'm so sorry for your loss HO. My thoughts and love are with you and your family.

Hopeful One

Aug. 13, 2017, 9:50 p.m.

Hi Guys- thank you so much for your kind thoughts and words .


Aug. 13, 2017, 7:20 a.m.

Love, hugs and wishes to help you



Aug. 13, 2017, 7:43 a.m.

Gentle hugs x



Aug. 13, 2017, 8:04 a.m.

I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your beautiful poem. Best wishes for strength and love every day. X



Aug. 13, 2017, 8:20 a.m.

So sorry to hear about the pain for you and your family. Sending love and strength. xx



Aug. 13, 2017, 8:31 a.m.

Hugs. Ax


Tutti Frutti

Aug. 13, 2017, 8:39 a.m.

Another Sally I am really sorry to hear about your daughter, I missed your earlier comments (although I have seen some of the supportive comments on later blogs). Adding my hugs now. Love TF xoxo



Aug. 13, 2017, 8:41 a.m.

Another Sally, what can I say! Your strength in writing that poem was immense, losing a child is every mother's nightmare and yet you took the time to share with us. What a feat. I lost a dear friend to suicide in May. I am still grieving and the shock for family is immense, they are still reeling... you just wish you could rewind time... Thinking of you and Fred and your other daughters. Go easy on yourself, and remember the dear little girl that you brought up, and sweet memories of when you were happy all together. I wish we on Moodscope could do more to help and support you at this tragic time. Shall be thinking of you though. Warm virtual hugs. Sally.



Aug. 14, 2017, 4:21 a.m.

I would like to say the same words Sally said. Hugs from South America, I know, very close to me there is a mother who lost two children of hers and today woud be their birthday.


Aug. 13, 2017, 8:43 a.m.

Another Sally, You are an indeed a very special person. To be able to share that moving poem and communicate about your daughter so honestly, is so moving. I cried when I started to read the blog, I cried during the poem and I am crying now. I am sure by writing you are helping many people who are grieving who don't have a voice. I want to send you a quilt of comfort and reassurance. Your words are powerful and healing. At sea without a compass is such an eloquent phrase. Leah xx


Salt Water Mum

Aug. 13, 2017, 9:25 a.m.

Dear Another Sally, I echo Leah's words, you are truly a very special person. And I too am crying here. I wish you strength, comfort and peace. And like Sally said, I too wish I could do more to support you right now. Thinking of you, SWM ***


The Gardener

Aug. 13, 2017, 10:29 a.m.

Dear Another Sally. That poem! I hope you will not be offended at such a time but your grief has made me feel how lucky I am. Struggling with a bug and a worsening Mr G I read your blog this morning (and HO's sad addition). One of our grand-daughters went the way of your daughter (except the drugs, I think). The whole family supported her - then she became pregnant by a horrible man, the child was threatened of being put into care - again, the family rallied. Two weeks ago I went to the UK for her wedding - not to the father of the child, but to a quiet man who she has lived with for 10 years, and who has been super to the daughter, our g-grand-daughter of course. He had a difficult childhood - then, last Saturday week the family rallied again, making huge efforts travel-wise, all looking super, to glory in the, hopefully, happy ending and welcome the new member. And I was there enfolded with that lot. An e-mail from her mother came last night - a sort of 'finale' of the honeymoon - at the local agricultural show the g-grand daughter gained honours riding a shire horse. Family, extended family, farm workers, retired farm were there. Today I am planting an Iris garden - now, it has a point. It will be dedicated to your daughter, all those suffering in a like way, hoping they will 'come through'. And a plea for me that one day I will see my 'lost' daughter - a tiny thing who arrived among us at 5 weeks old, 50 this months, I have not seen or spoken to her for 6 years. At least I know she is alive and well. Sunday worship this morning was from Northern Ireland - all the tea-jerkers, Morning has broken, Amazing Grace, and my favourite prayer 'Make me a channel of thy peace'. My iris garden will face the church, within the sound of clock and bells, I may introduce a little plastic message 'Make me a channel of thy peace'. I hope you find peace and that you can concentrate, as I do all the time, on the fact that there WERE good times. This may seem egotistical - but you made me look at my situation in such a different way. Love and peace ***


Another Sally

Aug. 13, 2017, 2:20 p.m.

Dear TG, I am so touched that you would dedicate your Iris garden to my daughter. It humbles me to hear that you feel lucky not to be in my place at this time. However, although my loss is permanent, I can adjust to the hole in my life. She had been away all her adult life, so in some ways she is just across the other side of the world. But for you, the ongoing distress of caring for MrG and grief at losing touch with your daughter, seem to me much harder to bear day in day out. In some ways it is you who makes me feel that I must feel glad for all the good things in my life. I don't wish to make light of losing my child. I think the enormity of what has happened is still sinking in. I have experienced a lessening of anxiety though, because now the awful has happened and I do not live in dread of 'the phone call'. Thank you for your kind words and I wish you well. Love, Another Sally x

The Gardener

Aug. 13, 2017, 4:35 p.m.

The irises are planted - white, deep violet, pale blue and bronze/brown. I thought about your sadness so much - especially as I had only recently heard that our grand-daughter had self-harmed. I must be naive, had not heard of this practice among the young, Nobody can 'make light' of losing a child, there is no worse grief. Two of our children were dangerously ill at 4 years old, one was at constant risk flying on to oil rigs in the North Sea, then caught up, with HIS children in what looked like impending civil war in the Far East. Your mention of the 'dreaded phone call' is very evocative. Again, I wish you the courage and strength to 'resurrect' your life. xx


Aug. 13, 2017, 10:56 a.m.

What a moving blog, Another Sally. I too missed your news earlier this week and I am so sorry and shocked. Sending warmth and gentleness to you and all your family, hoping that you find yourselves surrounded by love and support and that you come through into a sense of peace. xx



Aug. 13, 2017, 11:53 a.m.

Very touching, Another Sally. Loss is never easy. Your poem is so moving and left me feeling sad for the pain you have had and still going through. You are very courageous. Thank you for sharing, perhaps your words are the beginnings of finding a compass. I hope you start to find some peace, with time. MM xx



Aug. 13, 2017, 1:17 p.m.

So very sorry for you,can't begin to know what you must be suffering.Hugs and best wishes for better times ahead.xx


Ach UK

Aug. 13, 2017, 2:29 p.m.

So sorry you have to go through this difficult time. Best wishes X Ach.


Another Sally

Aug. 13, 2017, 2:31 p.m.

Dear All who have responded so far, I sent the poem to Caroline a week or two ago and last Friday she said she would like to post it today. I have often been moved by the way this community reaches out to send love and support to those who are hurting. Thank you all so much for responding the way you have. I am deeply grateful for all your hugs and kind words. Love Another Sally ***



Aug. 13, 2017, 3:25 p.m.

Dear Another Sally. I am late to Moodscope today so although I read your blog earlier I was away from home and unable to reply from my mobile. Your blog and your reply to Gardener were so moving and generous of spirit. The way you express the loss of your daughter tells me that only those who have suffered in the way you have, could tell us what it is really like. I love your poem, all your replies today etc. I am so sad for you but I think death can be a form of release from terrible sadness and despair, that phone call. I am grateful you have explained as far as you know it,the circumstances surrounding your daughter's death. It was incredibly brave of you to share this with us. I could go on and on but you have said it all. I salute you and Fred and wish you well for the future. Jul xx


Another Sally

Aug. 13, 2017, 4:43 p.m.

Dear Jul, having had two daughters living far away, both with mental health problems, we have had the 6.00am phone call about 4 times and had to fly out to our children in time of crisis. I came to dread picking up the phone when it said number withheld or international - often it was call centre stuff, but the adrenaline rush caused such stress. At least they were both living at home when this happened. I don't know if I could have flown out again if my daughter had died abroad. All the trauma of repatriating her would have caused a state of collapse I think. It was Fred and me who had to make the call to her partner and our friends and family, imparting the awful news that no-one wanted to hear. Only the telling of it kept it real, though I still find it hard to believe. Thank you for your kind words. Another Sally x

Mary Wednesday

Aug. 13, 2017, 3:32 p.m.

Beautiful words, Another Sally. There are no words we can say in return. As you say above, the worst has happened and now you can grieve - and move on. My prayers for you. I am just going out to mow the lawn and will pray for you as I do - and maybe, like The Gardener, sing Make me a Channel of Your Peace.


Another Sally

Aug. 13, 2017, 4:44 p.m.

Thank you Mary. I like that hymn too. I am grateful for my faith at this time.AS x


Aug. 13, 2017, 4:51 p.m.

Beautifully written and a lovely poem. I hope you got some comfort from writing it and sharing it. I've read all of the lovely supportive comments and can only add my support, thoughts and love to you Another Sally, along with hugs and strength being sent your way for you and your family xxxx



Aug. 13, 2017, 5:19 p.m.

Dear Another Sally, I have a dear friend who sadly lost his own son. But when I am sad or troubled he tells me to 'take care and tread gently' I always feel comforted and calmed by this phrase, so I pass it on to you at your time of loss x


David Gosling

Aug. 13, 2017, 5:57 p.m.

Hello Moodscopers, Sorry to hear of anyone who has lost a member of their family to Mental Health conditions. I have faced my own death three times with serious attempts on my own life which required hospitalisation to recover from. I also had an Uncle who committed suicide after he was failed by Care in the Community Policy of Margaret Thatchers Government. As in Bipolar, the gene was transferred across the Generation from him to me. Sorry to hear of your loss Another Sally but you probably would have needed a Sextant at sea. I have developed a very different Persona to cope with the condition even fooling myself at times. The people who write on here can be completely different to when you meet in real life, as with all Social Media, they mainly only put forward a sometimes false image of themselves. Therefore who is deluding who? Good Luck to you all in your personal mechanisms to live and cope with whatever life throws at you. I hope I have not upset anyone again, if so just do as I do and Delete David Gosling.



Aug. 13, 2017, 6:14 p.m.

Dear Another Sally, It must have taken a lot of strengh to write your lovely poem. My thoughts are with you. Sending you lots of big hugs ***


Only Me

Aug. 13, 2017, 8:06 p.m.

Unfortunately sally I know exactly where your coming from, my daughter died aged 23, a horrific & tragic death. Look after & be kind to yourself x



Aug. 13, 2017, 9:17 p.m.

I am so awfully sorry for your loss, dear Another Sally. I am not a frequent commentator but I want to extend my most sincere condolences and offer my sympathy, prayers and support in this very difficult time. I also want to thank you for sharing your pain openly with us, and trusting us to help you carry it to lighten your burden as much as we can. With love ~ Otir



Aug. 13, 2017, 9:39 p.m.

Dear Another Sally, I have just caught up with recent blogs. I too am so sorry for what you have been going through, so movingly put into words. Sending soothing and healing hugs to you and your family. LP



Aug. 13, 2017, 9:42 p.m.

Hi Another Sally I wanted to write that today is the best I've felt since last April and then I read your blog and realised that,sadly,you are grieving and I feel so selfish. So,no more about me; all I know is that losing your child must be so painful for you and your family and not knowing why untolerable. Please accept my sincere condolences; we have never met but I feel for you as all Moodscopers who have written messages do.


Another Sally

Aug. 14, 2017, 7:45 a.m.

Dear Lacey, thank you for your condolences. Please do not feel selfish, if you have been feeling better then hold on to that and enjoy every minute. During my outdoor swim this morning I could see a faint 1/2 moon up above me. It somehow gladdens my heart to see the moon. When my daughter was away I believed we could see the same moon. Maybe she still can and it keeps us connected. Take joy where you can find it. Love, Another Sally x


Aug. 14, 2017, 1:45 a.m.

Just sending love, Another Sally...



Aug. 14, 2017, 4:51 p.m.

Dear Another Sally, I am just catching up on Moodscope and am so sorry to hear about your loss. Your poem is beautiful. Your strength is inspiring. Dear Gardner, such a wonderful gesture to dedicate your iris garden to Another Sally’s lost daughter. Moodscopers are amazing. Sending you and your family Love, Peace and Hugs. Vickie xx



Aug. 14, 2017, 6:20 p.m.

Dear Another Sally, I am very touched by your post and also your responses here. Lots of love to you, Melanie xo


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