Lifting the veil of denial

The world can be a cruel place sometimes and you just have to read a newspaper on any given day to see so many horrific things happening. From accidents to acts of atrocity. When you think too hard about it, the world does not seem a very safe place. Scary enough when you are on your own, but as a parent, responsible for the lives of children, it can be extra scary. Hubby and I have a theory that because of this, we all live in a semi-permanent state of denial. Everyone does.

Otherwise we would never step foot outside our front door, or we may never even get out of bed. The truth, that our existence is so fragile and that horrible things could happen at any given moment, is just too terifying for our brains to deal with most of the time. So in general, we live our lives in a state of denial. We try to be careful, but how many of us have done things or allowed our children to do things, that in hindsight could be seen as less than sensible? I know I have. Especially in my younger days when I was travelling, I put myself in what now seem to be obviously dangerous situations, but at the time, just seemed harmless fun.

It may just be me, but sometimes, when driving down a motorway or over a bridge, I suddenly become aware how one wrong move, just a sharp turn of the wheel for example, could lead to a horrific accident. Or if one of the other road users did something like that, how it could be the end of me. When you think about it too much, it can seem amazing that there aren’t more accidents, that we have survived this long. Because even everyday activities carry hazards and dangers that for the most part we all blissfully ignore.

And of course we do. What would be the alternative? A life lived in fear? Never turning on a socket in case you got electrocuted? Never speaking to another human being in case they are a rapist or murderer? Never crossing a road in case you got hit by a bus? What kind of life is that? Of course there is a scale and some people are naturally more wary or superstitious than others, but most of us, live with a veil of denial blurring the edges. We try and be careful and keep our kids safe but we don’t linger too long on the possibilities and the dangers. Because to do so would drive you crazy.

Then every now and then, something happens in your life that briefly lifts that veil. That reminds you how fragile we are, how every day where something horrible doesn’t happen, is a gift. We had an experience like that this weekend. Nothing newsworthy, but something that reminds you that even if you were the most cautious person alive, there would be no guarantee of your safety or survival.

On Saturday evening my husband’s auntie had a stroke. She is in her 60’s, similar age to our parents and not what I would consider “old”. Now I am going to cut to the chase and say there was a happy ending. After a horrible 24 hours or so in limbo with the Drs using the term “if” she wakes up, and with us all trying to prepare ourselves for the worst, she thankfully woke up. She remembers her husband and relatives and can move her arms. Of course she is not out of the woods yet and she has slurred speech, but, she is still here.

But for those 24 hours, that was by no means a certainty. The veil of denial came off and reminded us that you never know what is going to happen. You can be happily living your life, cooking your dinner, and then boom. Something terrible happens. The world as you know it is forever changed. Someone you love is hurt, or worse, gone forever.

I know this is quite a depressing post and I apologise. Believe me I am so relieved that all worked out so well. Hubs and I both slept so well last night, I think because of the emotional exhaustion combined with the relief that things did not turn out so much worse. We have to cling to the positives, that is what keeps us going. So I am going to lower the veil of denial again, move way from the horrible “what ifs” that otherwise would drown me. I am going to remember how lucky we are every day.

Mama and More

Brilliant blog posts on

Post Comment Love

41 thoughts on “Lifting the veil of denial

  1. It is hard not to give in to the fear-mongering that abounds, and in many ways I sometimes wonder if we weren’t better off, less stressed or cynical when access to the news and horror stories didn’t surround us constantly. You are completely right however, we have to be thankful every single day for our blessings, and Ido often have the same thoughts you describe, and even more often think “there but for the grace of God go I” – or put another way, (in deep booming TV voice) “it could be YOU!”. But thus far it isn’t, and we just need to keep on living, not existing, and hope and pray for our safety and that of our loved ones. It’s not a depressing post, but an honest one about what we all probably think. Thanks for linking to #AllAboutYou xx

    • Thank you lovely, and you’re right, I’m not sure knowing so much about all of the horrors helps us in any way! You are spot on with living rather than existing is the way to go, and not focussing too much on all the horrors out there! xx

  2. You’re absolutely right: life is fleeting and one swoop can lift the veil of denial. I’m glad all worked out for you and your husband’s aunt. Your words and experience reminds me to live life to the fullest and never take a day, minute, or second of it forgranted.

  3. I’m so glad things have turned out OK for your family. My parents are in their 60’s and whenever I hear of someone becoming ill or passing at that age it pulls me up (lifts the veil) and I realise it’s all too close to home.
    I went through a spell of reading of reading a news app on my phone over early morning coffee, after a while I came to see that starting the day with all the negativity in the world pouring in was not a good idea – I deleted the app!
    We can’t pretend the bad things aren’t there, and we shouldn’t shirk the truth, but within our four walls and the comfort of our families we can keep it at bay – veil intact!
    Great post, thanks. x

    • Thank you, we are so relieved and it has definitely reminded us how lucky we are. It’s good to remember sometimes but you don;t want to be drowned by all the negativity so definitely worth deleting the app i think! xx 🙂

  4. I hope your husband’s auntie feels better soon, I too worry a lot and think as parents we are programmed to be so cautious, it’s natural but like you said, important not to stop fear from really living. Hugs #allaboutyou x

  5. I’m pleased that hubby’s auntie pulled through, and here’s hoping she makes a full recovery and lives to a ripe old age.

    You’re so right, none of us know what’s lurking around the corner which is why we have to make the most of our lives. It’s not always a barrel of laughs when we’re in the midst of child rearing, but these days are very precious.

    Hugs to you hon, it must have been quite a fright xx

    • Thanks hon, it was just such an odd day with not knowing, so it was a huge relief when she surprised everyone and woke up! Definitely reminds you how you just never know what is going to happen, and to savour every minute! xx

  6. This is a great post and I think you are so so right about the veil of denial!! I find living here helps with that even more, we don’t have the news in our faces apart from what I choose to read and often I’ll start reading and stop because i can’t bring myself to read the awful things that happen daily in the world. I do think though that as awful as it is sometimes it’s good for us to have that veil lifted to remind ourselves of how lucky we are and how delicate life truly is!
    I’m really pleased to hear that your husbands aunty is recovering well, I hope she is fully recovered soon. Pleased you guys have managed to get some good rest too!! Xx

    • Thanks lovely, I can imagine it is definitely easier to ignore all of the bad news being over there, it must be lovely! Like you say though, good to remember how lucky we are so we truly appreciate it! xx

  7. I totally agree with you-it only takes a moment to remind you that life is very fragile indeed and how easily we take things for granted. I’m so sorry you had to experience this and I do hope your husband’s auntie comes through it all OK xx

    • Thank you, she seems to be doing ok at the moment so fingers crossed she will be ok, it really does remind you how fragile life is! xx

  8. I was thinking about the fragility of human life just last night after reading a very emotional blog post from an inspirational mother who is dying of bowel cancer and then soon after watching the horrific ebola scenes on the news. A wave of sadness threatened to overwhelm me and I had to back away from my own mind that had started picturing what it would be like to be in that position myself. I’m still feeling a little shellshocked by it if truth be told. I hope that your husband’s aunt continues to recover x #allaboutyou

    • Oh gosh it does all sound very emotional and when you start picturing yourself in that position it can feel so very real. Hope you are feeling ok now! xx

  9. Ahh bless you poor aunty too I hope she has a full recovery. So scary and I am with you I am always all the sudden very aware of what could happen if this… or if that just happens.. or if I do this then this will happen. the world scares the crap out of me now that I have children. Even today we got a new balance bike for Buba I was too scared to let him try it in front of our house because the traffic is getting bad lately. One wrong car move and they could be up on the sidewalk where we were. Could I save him in time? I hate thinking like that but it happens. Scary. Great post I am glad I am not the only one who thinks like this. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me Best wishes to Aunty! #sharewithme

    • Thanks lovely she is doing so much better thankfully! It is so easy to imagine these horrible things happening isn’t it? I read a book the other day and a child in it got knocked over by a car, I was sobbing, just the thought of that happeneing to your child is too much so I don;t blame you for worrying! xx

  10. I know what you’re saying. My ex boyfriend’s sprightly early-60s dad fell over one day whilst out for a walk and was then diagnosed with a brain tumour and died within about three months. Life is very fragile indeed. If you lift the veil for too long you begin to wonder how any of us make it to a ripe old age, so I guess it’s best to let it drop and take that leap of faith. X #sharewithme

  11. First off, I hope your husbands aunt continues to recover well. I completely agree that we live in denial, you just couldn’t function any other way. I occasionally allow my mind to drift towards what ifs and it’s crippling. You have to just get on with life and enjoy it, none of us know what’s round the corner. Great post Caroline x #sharewithme

    • Thanks lovely, I know exactly what you mean and we just have to not worry too much about the what ifs as there is no point worrying about things so far out of our control! xx

  12. Oh yes, I tend to have those moments (usually when I’m on a bridge) when I think if someone hit my car know I’d be a goner. Not helped that I had a dream once where I did go over the side of the bridge and was plummeting to my death, I woke up before hitting the ground!
    I think you’re right we do live in a little bit of denial because, like you say, it’s better than the alternative! xx

    • Oh yikes what a dream! I can undertand why that one haunts you on bridges! Definitely better to live in denial than constantly worry about the what ifs I think!

  13. I can totally relate to this and I often have to bring “normality” to life as I can get so consumed by the horrible world around us. I’m so sorry to hear about your husbands aunty and wishing her a speedy recovery.
    It’s incidents like this that make us appreciate life again if we get complacent in every day goings on.
    Great post! Xx #brilliantblogposts

    • Thank you! It’s difficult sometimes to strike a balance I think between being aware of how fortunate we are, and not worrying too much about what could happpen! xx

  14. Oh lovely! I hope she is OK? I literally cannot think about bad things happening as when I do? I spiral out of control and then I am totally screwed. I try to keep upbeat and then tackle things head on if and when they crop up. Hope all is well now bab. And you and the bump are doing well xxxxx

    • Thanks lovely she is doing much better! I thinky ou have a good attitude, worrying about the what ifs really doesn’t help anyone! xx

  15. I am so scared of the things that is going on. In and out of my life there are a lot of things that worries me and I think that it resonates to the blog. What I am holding on to is hope. Small. A glimmer. I have to. I almost lost it but when I became a mother I held on to it. Reading your post that hope might as well be denial on my part. #pocolo

  16. What a totally true and thought-provoking post. I really enjoyed reading this – not in a horrible way because I am macabre or anything but because I understand exactly where you are coming from. I wish your Auntie a speedy recovery. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo 🙂 x

  17. Good to hear she’s doing well, that must have been truly emotionally draining for you. I have sleepless nights too, especially when I read or hear terrible news stories. Unfortunately, we don’t have a choice, but we must never give up on believing in good.

    • You are so right, we have to focus on the positives or we would just get swamped! Thankfully she is doing a lot better, it was deifnitely a very emotional 24 hours! xx

  18. So sorry that you and your family have to go this. I’m all for the veil of denial. I usually only listen to the new if I have to go beyond 5 km of my home. Its so depressing and fills you with fear. This morning I tuned in and the first thing I heard was the dreadful news of that poor missing girl. Now, I back and tunned into Cbeebies land were all is safe and happy. I hope auntie makes a good recovery. Look after yourself

    • Thanks lovely and I know what you mean, we tend to live in a safe Cbeebies focussed world in our house too, much better than watching the news! xx

Thanks for taking the time to write something. I love comments and read every one xx

Your email address will not be published.