Blog: Mel's Muse

Showing posts categorised as 'Bereavement'

Following The Funeral: Living With The Loss Of A Loved One

With nearly 40,000 deaths due to Coronavirus in recent months, there must be hundreds of thousands of friends and family having to live with the reality of loss.  You may have been through Coping With The Initial Shock, learned, in a small way, about Looking After Yourself, dealt with the...

Posted at 15:37pm on 3rd June 2020

Come Holy Spirit

The aim of my book, Picked For A Purpose is to show each one of us the purpose that God has for us, which is to bear fruit for him.  That fruit is to show love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  But he doesn’t expect us...

Posted at 11:38am on 31st May 2020

How To Plan A Funeral In The Coronavirus Era

Before the days of lockdown - due to the coronavirus - planning a funeral following the death of a loved one might have been perceived as a positive and constructive experience.  Although not intentionally so, making funeral arrangements, whether for burial or cremation, could be seen as a welcome distraction...

Posted at 17:54pm on 18th May 2020

Bereavement: How To Deal With Denial, Grief & Anger Following The Death Of A Loved One

In these times of Coronavirus, many of us are suffering the death of a loved one. I wrote last time about Looking After Yourself following bereavement, and pointed out - from my own experience - the trauma of having to break the news of that loss to another family member. ...

Posted at 15:14pm on 17th May 2020

Bereavement: Looking After Yourself

Last time we looked at Bereavement: Coping With The Initial Shock, using my own experience following my daughter’s death, and quoting from the book I wrote some years later.  What I learned was that numbness and denial, disbelief and a wandering mind, are common experiences when we first learn of...

Posted at 15:27pm on 12th May 2020

Bereavement: Coping With The Initial Shock

“The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our separate ways, I to die, and you to live.  Which of these two is better only God knows.”  Socrates

On this VE day, when we commemorate the courage of those who gave their lives in WW2 so that we might...

Posted at 12:51pm on 7th May 2020

Are You Having To Deal With The Death Of A Loved One?


I was reminded by my Facebook memories this week that it is now ten years ago since I was invited to speak on an American Radio Station about the death of my daughter.  I wept.  Because no matter how long ago the event, this is something I shall...

Posted at 12:55pm on 5th May 2020

Suicide Prevention Day: The Trauma For Those Left Behind


I spent the morning speaking with a male friend, of longstanding, whose mother took her own life when he was in his mid-teens.  Coincidence?  I had no idea that today, Monday 10th September, 2018 is World Suicide Prevention Day.  Nor that my daily newspaper was...

Posted at 16:04pm on 10th September 2018

Break Loose (2015) Fly Free (2016)

What are your New Year’s resolutions?  How likely are you to achieve them?

I read an article recently, which said that 95% of diets fail.  Why?  Precisely because they are diets!   Counting calories or eliminating certain categories of food focuses your mind on the very thing you want to...

Posted at 12:34pm on 4th January 2016

Dear Mel, What Do You Know Of Author, Paul Gallico

On this night, the one-hundredth anniversary of the sinking of Titanic, comes a reminder of the sinking of another ship, the MV Victoria

Hi Ms. Menzies,

I performed a Google search on author, Paul Gallico and your name came up, and I noticed you used to work for him. ...

Posted at 21:44pm on 14th April 2012

Dear Mel, How Can I Promote My Book On Radio Shows?

Dear Mel,

We "met" on LinkedIn. I recently visited your website and enjoyed a few of the many things you offer. Something that struck me is the similarity of our book covers. You can see mine at I've written two books on grief recovery (any type of loss) and conduct...
Posted at 17:16pm on 7th April 2012

Dear Mel, How Can I Approach Radio Shows To Promote My Book?


Dear Mel,

We "met" on LinkedIn. I recently visited your website and enjoyed a few of the many things you offer. Something that struck me is the similarity of our book covers. You can see mine at

Posted at 15:00pm on 6th April 2012

Interviews With Authors About Their Books: Continued

I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to post the second part of this article: blame my recent appointment as Chairman of ACW - a national association for writers.  As I said in the first part of Interviews With Authors About Their Books,  a reader of my blog asked...

Posted at 16:59pm on 31st March 2012

My Daughter's Tribute To Her Grandfather

My grandfather, Bill, 97 and ¾ Photograph taken approx. 1941

I started to call him Billy when I was little and he replied with Milly (even though my name was Amanda).  He was the only one that was allowed to call me Milly and Millicent when he was cross with me...

Posted at 05:26am on 25th January 2012

A Tribute To My Father

Photo: My father in his Flintstone tie on Christmas morning, one week before he died.

My father, known to his parents as Beel, was born in Elgin, Scotland, on 15th April, 1914.  The middle one of three boys, he was raised, largely, by his mother and maiden aunts, because his father,...

Posted at 23:37pm on 15th January 2012

Edgy Christian Fiction: Books For Summer Reading

If you're anything like me, a book will be essential packing for your summer hols, the perfect partner for a picnic lunch, a bonus for the beach and a relaxing read for bedtime.  So here are four book reviews for sensational summer reads, all with a Christian world view that...

Posted at 04:59am on 16th August 2011

Online Book Club Discussion Summary: A Time To Live By George Pitcher

Are you in favour of assisted dying?  Would you like British law to be amended to allow euthanasia?  Or is the risk of abuse to the elderly, disabled and infirm too great a concern?

Most of my real-time Book Club members admitted, when we met on 28th July, 2011, that they'd...

Posted at 19:00pm on 3rd August 2011

Online Book Club Questions: A Time To Live By George Pitcher

QUESTIONS How did reading the book either confirm or change your previous opinions about euthanasia / assisted dying? What, in your opinion, were the most persuasive arguments put by the author against...
Posted at 17:29pm on 2nd August 2011

Living With Grief Following A Bereavement

If you have come here because you’ve heard that I shall be speaking about grief and loss on the OpenToHope blog radio show (airing at 9.a.m. California time [5.p.m. UK time] on 10th June, 2010) then it’s probably because you are coping with the loss of a child, or have been bereaved in some other...

Posted at 19:41pm on 5th May 2010

Heroin Addicts Like Kate Walsh Show That The Grey Areas Of British Law Need A Black & White Reform

We read, this week, of a situation which has complied with British law but which is, nevertheless, a grave miscarriage of justice. Kate Walsh’s parents, when their sixteen year old daughter died of heroin in a dirty squat, were denied the protection that the law is supposed to provide. They are not alone. British law...

Posted at 02:01am on 5th November 2009

Bereavement Poetry - Death Is But A Door


I lost my daughter some years ago, so I know what it’s like dealing with the loss of a loved one. You wonder...

Posted at 00:06am on 26th September 2009

Assisted Dying For The Terminally Ill?

Revised: 15th January, 2010

Does it ever strike you as strange that medical advances, in Western civilisations, are such that we can prolong life by nearly half as much again as our allotted three-score-years-and-ten, yet the legal position of euthanasia is constantly challenged? Of course, we don’t call it euthanasia! That in itself would challenge our sensibilities,...

Posted at 01:18am on 27th January 2009

Bereavement Poetry: Crossing The Bar By Alfred Lord Tennyson

In the following excerpt from my book, A Painful Post Mortem, one of the characters, Rosie, has been asked by her father to read a poem at her sister's funeral. Curious to remind herself of the long-forgotten verses, she looks out an old book before she goes to bed.

When the baby had been...

Posted at 05:50am on 29th November 2008

Successful Step Parenting: Do You Know What It Takes?

I’ve been asked by BBC Radio 5 Live if I would take part in a debate, arguing the case for the premiss Can A Step Parent Take The Place Of A Real Parent? The e-mail was from one of their producers, who said he’d found my book, Stepfamilies on a Google search. During the telephone...

Posted at 01:21am on 27th November 2008

Poetry For Grief - In The Silence Of Friends

Not everyone experiences the five stages of grieving: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance; and even if they do, they may find that they occur in a different order. But frequently, at just the point when we most need them, our friends seem to melt away. They have supported us in the early days with...

Posted at 01:39am on 26th November 2008

Do Grief & Loss Conform To A Pattern?

This article was revised and updated on 28th July, 2010

One of the most shocking aspects of attending the funeral of someone you loved is the sense of desolation you may feel afterwards. Everything in you has been working towards this moment, to such an extent that it has emptied your mind of everything else. This,...

Posted at 22:13pm on 18th November 2008

Making Funeral Arrangements

It’s a paradox, but there is a sense in which planning a funeral is a positive and constructive experience. Although not intentionally so, making funeral arrangements – whether for burial or cremation – is a welcome distraction from grief and loss. As long as those who are bereaved are actively contacting funeral planning services and...

Posted at 01:18am on 2nd November 2008

Dealing With Denial, Grief & Anger Following Bereavement

REVISED & UPDATED 1st December, 2010

I wrote last week about dealing with the shock of losing someone you love and said that numbness is a normal initial response following a bereavement.� The loss of a loved one is a traumatic event, and this is the body's defence mechanism kicking in,...

Posted at 20:55pm on 18th October 2008

The Initial Shock Of Losing Someone You Love - How To Cope

“Life,” said Lewis Grizzard, the original grumpy old man, “is a sexually transmitted terminal disease.”

It took me a moment or two to take it in when I read that statement. When the penny dropped, I laughed aloud. It’s just such a clever line!

And on a physical level, it says it...

Posted at 03:02am on 15th October 2008

Bereavement - Dealing With The Death Of A Loved One


‘Life is a public performance on the violin, in which you must learn the instrument as you go along.’ The quotation is attributed to a friend of the writer, E.M Forster, and is taken from a new book titled, Advanced Banter. It struck...

Posted at 00:43am on 8th October 2008

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