Missing Mum

IMG_5787At the time of writing this, on March 17th, today is the second anniversary of my Mum’s death. I’ve missed her every single day since, and there comes the realisation, as you process your grief, when you know you’re going to miss them for all your days to come.

My Mum was my parents. My Dad left when I was about eight or nine-years-old and she worked long, hard hours in a sweet factory, to pay the bills and make sure we had everything we needed. (I’m the youngest of five, but two of them had flown the nest by then.)

When I was a young boy, I would run down the path in the estate I used to live in, and she’d have just got off the bus, and I’m jump up on her and she’d swing me around. If I’d done that in the later years of my Mum’s life, when she was frail and had turned into an old woman… I would have been charged with manslaughter.

I love her so much. Always. I always did and I always will.

When you lose a parent, your world changes. There becomes a before and an after. Reality fractures.

Losing my brother last year, combined with the sobbing mourning of my Mum, then being exiled from London and the woman I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with… and becoming homeless. It’s no real surprise I went a bit AWOL in a mental sense. It’s quite a lot to deal with. I think I said elsewhere that it’s been something of a psychological tsunami… wave after wave of heartbreak, confusion and loss.

For months on end, I actually believed… I’d made myself think this was the only sensible option… that it was my last day. Suicide was imminent. It was terrifying – every waking moment and in jagged dreams… that’s all I wanted… to end my life and escape the agony I was in. I think I annoyed a lot of people with my sporadic ramblings about topping myself… but they weren’t cries for help… that was actually how I was feeling… right on the edge of ending myself, actively plotting on how I was going to do it. I was having a ‘nervous breakdown’, as they used to call it. Full on. I had a Crisis Team from the comfortable hospital who’d meet me every day and have a chat and try to bring me out of my malaise – essentially, my new best friends were paid to talk to me.

And from the depths of that despair and horror and heartbreak… I’ve risen up again and I’m ready to forge the life I want to live.

My Mum gave me the most precious gift… consciousness. She created me, loved me unconditionally all her life… and now she’s gone, I still have this amazing gift – the present – and after months of tumbling confusion and self-hatred, lost in my own head, returning to my peaceful centre is such a heartening relief.

I cried a little, this morning, when I woke, but with a snot-bubble smile at the end. The rest of the day, I’ve been feeling energised, positive and creative, and it’s been such a long time since I had this drive and this focus on the truth that I can actually build the life I want to lead, if I work hard and stay conscious. I’ve got at least ten books in my head that have been percolating up there for years, with plots imagined at bus stops, supermarket queues and sleepless nights. They need to get written, so that’s what I’ll do.

It’s hard to build a raft when you’re trying not to drown, but I’ll get out of here. I’ll find a home to call my own – get some rescue kitties and lots of soothing purring. I’ll write and keep on writing until my imagination runs out or death guides me someplace else.

In the late Summer and Autumn, I was really so confused and angry at people in my life, who I love, just turned their backs on me. I was ill. I have a note from the doctor to say I was having a breakdown! I’d gone rogue, or whatever. I said a lot of hurtful things, lashing out in pain, and rather than burning bridges, I think I may have nuked them.

Now, all the anger and bewilderment and negativity has fallen away again.

If I hurt these people I care about, then I hope, someday, they find it in their hearts to forgive me. I’d gone bananas, proper. I cannot, though, hold their current lack of forgiveness as a burden. It’s not mine to carry. It’s up to them to deal with that business. I felt betrayed and rejected by the people I loved the most… and they weren’t very nice to me… but all is forgiven, this end. And, most importantly, I have forgiven myself. The past is done… it’s gone… you can’t change it. I’m in an awkward situation, being a homeless, but getting out of here and finding my own home… that’s going to be a great chapter in my autobiography. I’ve had an interesting, sometimes surreal life.

“The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less.”Eldridge Cleaver

You’ve just got to let all the psychological debris you’re carrying fall away from you. Live in the moment… practice conscious awareness… meditate… there is only now, for us, and it’s such a wonderful present. It’s the greatest gift any of us will ever be given. Tune out of the repetitive, looping nagging in your brain and stand silently, listen to the traffic or the sounds of your area. Look at the clouds and actually look at them, rather than just glancing up like you’re checking for rain. Feel the breeze on your hands and face. Take deep breaths and be conscious of them. Focus on your lips and take notice of the rush of air as you breathe.

You can overwhelm your nagging mind by falling into the senses. Taking a hike up a mountain overwhelms the senses and the mind falls quiet… consciousness takes over. It’s almost impossible to look from the peak of a mountain and have worries about bills or relationships running through your head. I’m sure the same is true with many other activities.

I feel like the real me is emerging. All the negative emotions have been discarded. I knew how to do that all along… but I guess grief is like an addiction, and you have to go through that mourning process. It’s an important phase of recovery, so I was told at the comfortable hospital.

But here, now, again, I am happy and at peace with the world and myself. And I’m fired up and determined to use the new psychological and spiritual strength I’ve ripped and knitted and bulked through my trials, to build a new life and set about making a raging success of myself while helping others through their own dark times. I’m stronger than I ever imagined I could be. Proof of that is I’m still here.

I made it through the toughest time of my life. I did it. I had a lot of help from some incredible friends, but in each challenge and tragedy, I’ve gained the strength I needed, just at the right time to get me through.

My future is a blank page. I have no ties to anywhere or anybody. I’ll find a home and I know I’ll fall in love again, and then some other woman would become the most beautiful in the known Universe. I wonder if I’ve seen her face, yet, or chatted with her on Twitter or Facebook? Perhaps she’s a complete stranger to me, now, and there’s an adventure ahead to make sure we bump into each other? The Universe/Multiverse moves in mysterious ways! I’ve been witness to that many times.

And this adventure that’s coming… and the blank page I’m going to write a great life on… it’s all because of my beautiful, selfless, eternally loving Mum – Brenda Floyd.

Apart from the tears, this morning, today has been more of a celebration of her life, rather than there being a focus on her passing. I’ve thought about her so much and smiled. Precious memories warm my heart, whereas before, when I was losing the plot, those memories would break my heart over and over, balling me, crouched down on the floor, inconsolably sobbing – rocking with tears.

My Mum gave me life, and I truly want to live, now. I have – hopefully – a few more decades ahead, and it’s going to be a most splendid trek into the unknown. I have lots to do, and I’ll do it. I will find treasure through my work. My best writing is yet to come.

Thank you, Mum. I love you and miss you so much.

Ah, for one last tight hug… out of the ether, just for a minute to say goodbye properly…


P.S. If you find any of my blogs useful to your own life, I’d appreciate a small donation (towards my survival/new flat funds), if you can afford it, via PayPal, to:


Literally, perhaps, for a cup of coffee you’d buy me if you saw me huddled up on some street corner. I may get there, yet! 😛

Facing Grief

IMG_5787It would have been my Mum’s 76th birthday, today. I miss her so much, and my brother, Paul, my precious little cat, Scratchy… and the rest of my stupid family that I doubt I’ll ever see again, and my beautiful, beautiful two surviving, old cats… my boys; my life companions for more than sixteen years.

I’m over my ex – we can’t get divorced until May 1st… which is going to be such a big day, because Avengers: Age of Ultron hits the cinemas then. I am so excited and looking forward to that day and watching that film. Perfect timing!

The cataclysmic confusion of the break-up has lifted and cleared. I’m glad I’m not with her, even though my life is in such a state of flux at the moment. But now that’s gone, I’m hit with these waves of grief… it’s time to face it all, and it breaks me down so quickly, so surprisingly… in private, in public, walking down the street… but I’m glad I’m immersing myself in it, at last. I’ve initiated contact with a grief counselling service in the area. I’m on a waiting list, but they’ve sent me leaflets and it is unlocking me, allowing me to finally begin to accept the impossible fact that they’re dead… they’re gone… but they’ll always be loved.


My doctor’s surgery is opposite the maternity hospital I was born in. It’s now a University campus, but it will always be where my life began, the moment my Mum held me in her arms, at last, and loved me every moment, through all my trials and troubles and fuck-ups, unconditionally, all her life.

To be here, in this homeless hostel, without anyone in my family to talk to, is so hard… so damn hard, every day… but they left me for dead, they turned their backs on me and supported my charming, successful narcissistic, abusive ex who’d call me a cunt, so often, in private, ridicule me in public and make everyone laugh with her while I just smiled and took it.

I should never have married her.

The third day with her, when we first met, before we were married, we were listening to music at the hotel we were staying in, and Eva Cassidy’s ‘Fields of Gold’ began to play, but I tried to turn it off, because it reminded me of my Mum’s death.

She was very, very drunk and insisted I listen to it, then she laughed at me when I began to cry. (I never felt I could talk about that grief, with her, after that, and I didn’t. I just held it in and tried not to break.)

I should have walked out right then… but she said she’d probably have killed herself if she lost me… then, of course, she kicked me out of what I believed was my home, less than three months after we were married and I had become her unwanted property, less than a week after my brother’s funeral… where she watched me carry his coffin… where she held my hand during the ceremony, while I was sobbing my broken heart out.

And though I share these details, I am so relieved to be free of that… free of her… and now, my new life is unfolding… my wisdom is returning. I have so many stories and theories to write down and share with others who may need them, just at the right time for them.

This grief is hard… losing my Mum, my beautiful kitty, Scratchy, and then my brother, and then my family… of course that’s difficult. Of course I had a breakdown… of course I was angry… of course I was utterly broken, destroyed and of course I fell into a living hell… but I am out, now… I’m on my feet again, and I’ll cry when I need to, but I am moving on, stronger, wiser and more peaceful than I’ve ever been.






I have a new friend who has helped me smile and laugh again. I have other friends that have held me up when all I wanted to do was fall… all I wanted was death. So many of you, on Facebook and Twitter, have sent me your love and lifted me, too.

I’m am so fortunate.

I recognise this, now. I am here. I’m moving into my own flat or house in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I have a roof over my head.

If my Mum was still here, or if she’s looking down on me from I don’t know where, she’d smile and she’d be proud, because she’d know the best of me is about to be unleashed. And – sorry for the swears – but about fucking time, eh?

Life: Part Two… it has begun. I’m going to build something brilliant, and love all the days I have left to live. It’s one thing writing down that intent, but now it’s time to alchemise them into actions.



“I will take negativity and make it inspire me.

I was not a book from a library.

As I stand here, alone, I declare I was not a loan;

To be picked up and dropped off at a later date.

And you barely even made my spine bend.

Just skimmed through some of the interesting bits then skipped to the end.”

– Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip: “You Will See Me”

For my lost family…

The Peshawar Attacks – By Muhammad Talha

AttacksMy name is Muhammad Talha. I am a Pakistani. I have been living and working in Dubai for 2 years now. I have a small wonderful family… a beautiful wife and two children (daughter and son).

I woke up late this morning, around 11:00 AM, to the sweet smell of tea priming up on the stove and the sound of the Tv set (tom and jerry taking each other on with pots and rakes). I washed up, had breakfast with my wife and daughter and changed the channel to a news network in Pakistan. I expected to see the usual images of the ongoing street protests in the country against last year’s rigged elections. Instead I saw the distinct image of army personnel in a civilian street. I thought to myself, “so the military has stepped in… Go Nawaz Go!” But, in a minute, my surprise turned to disbelief. When the reality showing on the box had finally settled into my mind and turned to horror a silent tear brimmed and trickled down my face. I hid it so my daughter wouldn’t start her questions (she is a very observant and inquisitive 3.5 year old). At that time the news was showing 29 children killed. Being a parent I know that the ultimate sadness for a father or mother is on the slightest harm coming to their child… no words can express the grief on their death. But having your child murdered is another dimension of pain. I switched back to Tom and Jerry and strode back to my room to settle down the turmoil in my heart and mind.

I grew up in Karachi. I have had numerous mobile phones snatched on gun point, tended to an uncle who lost a limb in a bomb blast, seen cars set to fire, heard gunshots and bomb blasts close to my house, seen protests and government brutality on them. I have seen, on TV, attacks on mosques, churches and Hindu temples. I have seen reports of honour killings and rape. I thought I had seen the full spectrum of human degradation, hate and violence… but I have never felt greater despair and anguish than today. As such I can go on about how bad I felt but I believe every one of you, especially the parents among you, already know that feeling. So I will divulge to other aspects of this ‘happening’.

For me, there are 4 aspects we can talk about:

  1. The facts
  2. Islam’s take on this incident (and on terrorism in general)
  3. The motives
  4. The Solutions


Lets quickly get the facts out of our way:

  • TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan) sent 6 attackers in army uniforms and suicide jackets to a school
  • 10 blasts were heard and gun shots went on for at least 6 hours.
  • 141 were killed – 132 of them children (all below 18 years of age)
  • 122 injured

Islam’s take on this incident (and on terrorism in general)

I believe, and I hope you would agree, that no religion should be judged on the actions of a handful of deluded, crazy, inhuman low lives. Therefore, I have chosen to keep it simple and give you 3 verses from the Holy Quran to make the point.

  • Chapter 5 Verse 32

…if anyone slew a person―unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land― it would be as if he slew all of mankind: and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of all of mankind. Then although there came to them Our Messengers with clear Signs, yet even after that many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.

  • Chapter 6 Verse 151

…take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom.

  • Chapter 4 Verses 90-91. The first verse is the infamous Jihad verse which is always taken out of context and is incomplete without verse 91. The context is that a party attacked the Muslims at the time of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) these verses were revealed to guide them to deal with the situation.

Verse 90 …But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks.

Verse 91 Except those who join a group between whom and you there is a treaty (of peace) or those who approach you with hearts restraining them from fighting you or fighting their own people. If Allah had pleased, He could have given them power over you, and they would have fought you: therefore if they withdraw from you and (instead) send you (guarantees of) peace, then Allah hath opened no way for you (to war against them).

The motive(s)

You can see in the heading of this section that I have deliberately used the word motive(s) and not the singular ‘motive’.

As such, TTP have taken responsibility and said that the reason was “To avenge the Pakistan Army’s operation against Taliban in North Waziristan (Operation Zarb-e-Azb)”. I will not go into too many details about the Taliban and Al-Qaeda here but I hope I have made it obvious that they are renegades and their actions are completely un-Islamic. Religion is not the reason, heaven is not their goal. It is, in fact, all about money and power. The attackers themselves could possibly be (and probably are) brainwashed youth who may be blowing themselves up for the sake of God… but the leaders, the brain-washers are nothing but power and wealth hungry maniacs. They work for money and for the destabilization of many countries, one of which happens to be Pakistan.

So allow me to bring to your attention 4 major things going on in Pakistan right at this time.

  1. Imran Khan (whom I think many of you know already) has staged history’s longest… peaceful… protest against the Government (who came to power through rigging last year’s elections). It has been going on for more than 3 months now and is close to culmination. The present Government is corrupt to the core and would do anything to stay in power.
  2. About two weeks ago a huge government side deal was unmasked @ Reko Diq (an area in the Baluchistan province of Pakistan). It has huge reserves of Gold, Copper, Gemstones and second biggest reserves of Shale Gas (the closest alternative to oil) in the world. Total worth of the reserves are estimated at +3 Trillion Dollars. Government officials were trying to sell rights out to a foreign private company and take billions of dollars in kickbacks. It is all at stake now because of the media’s exposure of this treachery.
  3. Pakistan holds a critically important geo-strategic position in the world. Destabilizing Pakistan, waging war there and taking control is in the interest of many countries. Just to give you an idea about Pakistan’s geo-strategic position… here are 4 points
    1. It is the gateway to central Asia. It shares its borders with Afghanistan, China, Iran, Tajikistan and India
    2. It has an un-paralleled Transit economy. This is because Pakistan has one of the biggest natural harbours in the world, so it is the trading link of China, Afghanistan, Iran and Tajikistan to the rest of the world
    3. It has huge reserves of gold, gem stones, silicon, natural gas and shale gas
    4. It is the most important Muslim country because of its nuclear weapons capability and advanced missile technology.

So what I am trying to say is that powers within and outside the country have a heavy stake in Pakistan’s instability at this point in time. I firmly believe that the Taliban work for money. On their own the Taliban can do nothing… they need funding, training and heavy intelligence support to carry out such a plan. I cannot, and should not, single out any entity and put the blame on their shoulders (because there is no absolute proof)… but the least we can do is to try to stay informed when dealing with unknown adversaries.

The Solution

It is my humble opinion that education and the rule of law are the only solutions to this deeply violent situation in Pakistan.

Education, both worldly and Quranic, is necessary to prevent the youth from joining Al-Qaeda’s ranks. I guess some of you may think that Quranic knowledge is not the issue here… but let me tell you that the Quran forms the basis of the lives of most muslims. If they knew that a cleric was bull-shitting them by taking a verse of the Quran out of context to make his case… then the solution would be struck at the grass root level.

Establishing the rule of law is quite an obvious one isn’t it? But it is quite complex in a country like Pakistan. Law can be established by people with integrity who have been chosen by the masses as their leaders. For the past 67 years Pakistan has either been led by military dictators or one of two political parties who have literally been taking turns at coming to power (through electoral rigging). All of them have looted the country and instilled corruption to the core. The education system was never allowed to develop, the poor kept becoming poorer, the police and judiciary are in their pockets. The divide between the rich and poor is huge. They have even assumed that natural resources are their own and sold them in ways I cannot describe here.


One of the things I have tried to highlight in this blog is the huge potential Pakistan has of becoming strong and prosperous. I am sure the leaders of the world are equally aware of the same. But if they let our corrupt leaders buy land and own business in their countries (from money looted from the people). If they allow mass murderers to take asylum in their cities and actually control Karachi over the telephone (yes I am talking about Altaf Hussain). If they will be allowed to construct buildings in Dubai and horde money in Swiss banks. And if they rape Pakistan’s sovereignty and continue to kill 50 innocents every time they surgically bomb to kill one Al-Qaeda terrorist… then… I am afraid… the blood of the children killed today is on their hands as much as it is on the hands of the Taliban and the deluded killers.

Despite the gross picture of Pakistan you have seen above… the Pakistan I know is a different place. It is a country which produces some of the top GCE O-Level and A-Level results in the world every year. It universities pump out business people, engineers and scientists who get brain drained outside of the country in top positions. It has the biggest river network (which runs from north to south) and as a result has probably the best organic agricultural produce in the world. It is rich in minerals, coal, gem stones and gas. Its beauty is unsurpassed. Its people are patriotic. Its streets are teeming with tape ball cricketers every afternoon. Its armed forces are powerful and ready to die for their country. It’s a wonderful place. Not the horrendous terrorist pumping machine it seems from afar.

The world we live in is very complex. Actually human history has always been tumultuous and power games kept it complex. So I would say the fate of Pakistan and the world at large is in the God’s hand. I just remembered a verse from the Quran which I quote here to end this post.

Chapter 8 Verse 30

“They plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners”

By Muhammad Talha (@MTalhaImtiaz)