28 May 2006 – This is a day that changed us forever.
I wrote the song “Time to say goodbye” four years after my wife miscarried as a way of expressing my deep sadness and a letting go of the hopes and dreams we had of having children. It was to acknowledge the child that we will never hold in our arms, but who will also never know the troubles of this world.
It has taken me eight years to write this blog.
This is the first time I have shared this publicly.
Paul S Allen
Time to say goodbye – Written and arranged by Paul S Allen (aka Paulusthebrit)
Words and music © Paul S Allen 2010 (All rights reserved)
Video and image © Paul S Allen 2014 (All rights reserved)
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If you need help, get it now, don’t wait!
Please check out the following supports sites.
The Miscarriage Support website has a lot of very useful and practical information for women and men. It also has contacts for support networks across the country.
If you are needing immediate medical assistance or you have concern for the physical or mental health of yourself, your partner or someone close by, get help straight away.
- Emergency Services call 111 (in New Zealand)
Other support services
- Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
- Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757
- Suicide Crisis Helpline (aimed at those in distress, or those who are concerned about the wellbeing of someone else) – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
- Healthline – 0800 611 116
- Samaritans – 0800 726 666 (for callers from the Lower North Island, Christchurch and West Coast) or (04) 473 9739 (for callers from all other regions)
- Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email email@example.com
Fear in itself is neither positive or negative. It is a result of the stimulus of a situation on an area of our psyche that produces a chemical reaction in our bodies. The fight or flight response.
Fear should not be eliminated altogether it serves an important purpose, that is to protect us from harm.
What is needed is, to be able to control and use it. We need to take note of it and understand it then make a decision how we are to act.
React or respond? For the most part the best result of the onset of fear is for us to respond, that is, to act in a considered way.
The main way fear becomes truly negative is when it cause us to become paralyzed and unable to make decisions. Fear can be tamed. When I went to Toastmasters I was taught that it was not about getting rid of the “butterflies in my stomach” it was about making them fly in formation.
Fear should highlight areas that need to be addressed and either fixed or avoided. What fear are you facing?
- What are you being challenged by?
- What are the things that you need to let go or move away from?
- Why do you react the way you do to certain situations?
Fear should result in change, either to the situation or your response to it.
Fear comes in many guises, danger: things that could lead to physical harm or death; change: letting go of the past, moving out of comfort zones, moving from familiar to unfamiliar, risk of loss.
No forward progress can be made if you are tightly holding onto the past.
To get over fear you need to build strategy, develop the ability to control the adrenalin rush. Talk your situation over with trusted friends, mentors, coaches.
To have courage you need to be en-couraged. The great thing about this is when you have courage you can become the encourager.
The wisdom is in knowing which fear needs to be respected and which needs to be dealt with.
There are many irrational fears, phobias and anxieties, these need to be addressed with care and often with professional assistance.
OK, I know I do not have a permanent disability, but over the last few weeks I have has the misfortune to experience life on crutches. Over the time I have had to use public transport, buses, taxis, shuttles, air travel and the generous assistance of coworkers and friends.
I have eaten at restaurants and cafes and have had an overnight stay in a hotel.
I have learnt that there are some great and helpful people out there, to which I say thank you.
My short-term inconvenience is minor and I was reminded of this while waiting for a plane at Wellington airport when I saw a child on crutches who only had one leg. She will grow up having to live with that for life.
So what have I noticed?
- People are generally great about it and look out for you.
- Some buses can kneel to assist you on and off.
- People offer to help
The not so good.
- I have had to get over my pride and accept help.
- At home we only have a shower over the bath and balancing on one leg is tricky as is getting in and out.
- Buses sometimes stop in strange places to far away from the kerb and the jump is a long way.
- Vans are very hard to get in too
- Wet grass is not a good surface to hobble over on crutches. One of my crutches sunk in six inches.
- Staying in a hotel room alone poses a problem when moving hot drinks around. Wet bathroom floors in hotels are slippery.
- The upper body workout is hard work and tiring.
What have I learnt?
- Do not hurry down stairs! (marble stairs are very unforgiving)
- If you are on crutches for a long time wear thick gloves to pad your hands.
- Metal drink bottles and thermal coffee mugs with a lid are an essential.
- Make sure you have a small stool in the house that will fit into the bath.
- There is no shame to ask for help.
- I am no Superman
My ankle will heal (eventually) and this is a temporary inconvenience. I have a lot to be thankful for especially my wife, I have a great work place with a good team of people.
Over the last few weeks I have had my usually busy life curtailed by an injury.
I have had to have my leg elevated and take medication that has left me with a foggy brain.
The world has continued to turn, the social structure of the community has held together and all without me. This is a good thing, other people have had to step up and take control for some things and I have just had to step down from others.
This process has helped me re-evaluate certain priorities in my life and consider how much time I spend on projects. Yes I have watched a lot of TV in this time, but thankfully the London Olympics has been on and I have been inspired by the single focus and dedication of the athletes. These athletes have sacrificed much to attempt to achieve personal bests and Olympic glory.
If I am to achieve success in community development or for particular causes I need to prioritize involvement’s. This will mean I will have to relinquish some commitments. This does not mean I am not concerned with the causes I let go, it means that I am deciding to focus on areas that I can make the biggest difference.
I have always been a busy person, but my body is not keeping up with my mind. Perhaps my badly sprained ankle with torn ligaments and chipped bone has been a blessing and a warning. It has forced me to rest and to slow down. It has made me realise that I am no superman, I cannot be strong all the time and I need to focus more.
Sometimes it is right and proper to re-evaluate life and it priorities. To step down requires a determination to overcome ego and self-importance, to concentrate on what is important not what is urgent.
Sometimes the squeaky wheel needs to remain squeaky, sometimes things need to be done by other people.
By holding on tightly to leadership or other roles you actually hinder the cause you are trying to help and from others that need to take over and lead it to the next level.
So what next? Time to workout where to focus, to develop skills and talents that I can pass onto others.
I am moving up not moving out; I am focusing not getting busier; I am getting values and priorities in order not just being driven by “good” causes.
When was the last time you re-evaluated your priorities? Why not take a few moments and make sure you are on the right road and make some changes if you need to.