Emma Pearson

My life is a whirling mix of swishy strands, dark and glowing brightly, rough and silky smooth – all attempting to be seen, felt and integrated at once. Here are some of my themes. 

I am British and now recently also French (because of Brexit), and I have lived in France for the past 21 years. I am 52 and sometimes feel to be an “older widow”, and yet I feel so young. I lost my best male friend Don to bowel cancer in September 2015, my brother Edward to glioblastoma in January 2016, my husband Mike to pancreatic cancer in April 2017, and my sweet youngest child, Julia, to grief-related suicide, in July 2019. And I met a new love (let’s call him Medjool, after my favourite kind of date), off one single meeting on a dating website. Our relationship has exploded into blossom as of June 2019. 

I am widowed and I am in a new relationship. I have lost a best friend, a sweet brother, a beloved husband and a precious child, and I still have both parents who are alive and well. I live my days with my grief wrapped in love and my love wrapped in grief. I no longer even try to make sense of anything. I just hope to keep on loving and living for as long as I can, while grieving the losses of loves that are no longer breathing by my side.

I suspect my writing here will be a complex mish-mash of love and sorrow. I also write on http://www.widowingemptynests.com/.

What You May Not Know About Grief

What you don’t know is that
People die because of Grief
People die because of a Broken Heart
People Die by Suicide
Because their Grief is
Too Much to Bear

I had a call just last night from the
Now-orphaned-daughter of a friend
A widow
Whose husband was my friend and colleague
He had helped Mike get to
Chemo treatments on occasion when
I just couldn’t manage to fit it all in

But my friend also died
Just months after Mike died
And my new friend
My friend’s wife
Missed him too much
And like Julia chose to end the
Desperately Painful Grief that had
Settled over her life and her being
Her present and future and
Even her past
Replacing the love she had once felt
And reveled in and rejoiced in

Not a fair reward for
Decades of love

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In The Past 24 Hours...

In the past 24 hours…

…I collected my youngest daughter’s “personal effects” from the clinic she’d been attending

…I was told that her death by suicide most probably wasn’t pre-meditated, but an “on the spur of the moment” action

…I learned that my baby girl had been terrified at the possibility of being a carrier for Lynch syndrome – she still needed to wait three more years before she was eligible for testing

…I heard that she had included me, her mum, in the short list of “reasons she wouldn’t take her life”


It makes me heave. I feel sick. I just want to vomit it all up.


In the past 24 hours…

…I have sat in my bed and looked through the pictures and artwork that Julia had on her bedroom walls at the clinic

…I have sat on her bed and read through a calendar where she recorded her mood, what she ate, what she was thinking…it’s full of pain

…I have knelt on her floor and opened and closed and opened and closed again the cartons I collected with Pascaline from the centre

…I have put the ceremony card from her service on my office shelves


It turns my legs to jelly. My throat constricts. My tummy clenches more.

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  • commented on Engagement from Two Sides 2019-09-17 11:03:56 -0700
    Sarah and Mike – thank you for your openness and your courage writing about this – two sides, of many
    “But sometimes there just isn’t any way around that with grief. Sometimes you just have to let the pain be there”.

  • commented on A Shared Grieving 2019-09-16 23:39:03 -0700
    beautiful and terrible all at once

    stunning, Sarah

  • commented on Your Touch 2019-09-09 22:42:11 -0700
    The “never again” is so very hard. When I had been widowed about 16 months, a widow of 5+ years said that to me, and it was a shock and a blow to hear the words, but now, at almost 2.5 years, I realise just how right she was. The “never again is so very hard”

  • commented on Sandcastles of Safety 2019-09-05 23:33:06 -0700
    Stunning piece of writing.
    This is particularly powerful (and true): I try to shift myself into building something more lasting – me

  • commented on Something New 2019-09-02 22:51:43 -0700
    I am really looking forward to reading your joint posts
    And indeed, no two experiences of grieving are alike.
    Thank you both

  • commented on Hello Goodbye 2019-08-28 02:31:59 -0700
    Mike – I love how you are honouring closings and openings and old doors and new doors, and welcoming me too with such warm words. I love another aspect of our “common link” with Sarah, which is that I love to use her art in my blogposts.

    I am glad that you will be continuing to write.

  • commented on What if I Forget? 2019-03-15 00:00:24 -0700
    The way we harmonized in song and in life. The way that our marriage was like a duet. What if I forget ….
    Beautiful writing, Kelley

  • commented on Follow the Yellow Brick Road 2018-11-18 05:46:25 -0800
    Lovely, Sarah. And Lovely Sarah.
    Yes – receiving receiving receiving and giving giving giving. I think that both can happen at the same time too. And I think too that both giving and receiving lead to a fuller heart, always fresh, always being renewed, always growing.
    Thank you for all of you, your gifts, your generosity, your wisdom.

  • commented on H O P E 2018-11-18 05:43:46 -0800
    Mike – you may be the technical grunter in the team but your writing is exquisite, your introduction to Michele (and yourself, and Megan) breath-taking (literally taking breath away). Thank you for all you did to touch 200 hearts – and therefore all the hearts that those 200 hearts touch.