LIVING COURAGEOUS LIVES

Princess-eugenie-scoliosis-929007PRINCESS Eugenie opened up about battle with debilitating scoliosis which left her with 2 large metal rods in her back. The emotional royal, who will marry Jack Brooskbank in the same venue at Prince Harry and Meghan in October, paid tribute to her older sister Princess Beatrice for her support ever since she was diagnosed and underwent treatment aged 12. Her determination to fight through pain of scoliosis means spine twists and curves to side. During a speech at youth empowerment WE Day in Wembley, London, on Wednesday, Eugenie said her sister encouraged her not to be disheartened. The princess, daughter to the Duke and Duchess of York, urged women to “live fearlessly” in the face of adversity. The 27-year-old told audience: “When I was 12 I was diagnosed with and treated for, scoliosis has two twelve inch metal rods in her back. Understands pain in life but it did not stop her from doing the things she loves to do. Said sister encouraged her not to get disheartened, not give up live fearlessly. Today, able to get to work with and support the young people going through same things, encourage them to not let diagnosis win so live courageous lives. Credits bigger sister’s inspiration, love, team work, support in messages from their speech: “Never give up, find that tiny game inside you that gives you the belief you can change the world so you don’t have to face anything alone. Their mother Sarah Ferguson Duchess of York tweeted congratulations to daughters on Twitter posting: Leading by example of unity and confidence. Well done. And Princess Eugenie announce engagement to long-term partner Jack Brooskbank in January. The pair will tie the knot at St George’s Chapel, Windsor the same place where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry October 12.

 

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£10,000:ALL AGE 25 CITIZENS

House keysIPPR says pay all 25-year-olds a £10,000 inheritance, thinktank said government could create a citizens’ wealth fund to address inequality. All UK-born citizens be given £10,000 “universal minimum inheritance” when they turn 25 to help address growing wealth inequality as thinktank proposed. Tax reforms and a selloff of assets including government’s stake in Royal Bank of Scotland to help create the citizens’ wealth fund worth £186bn by 2029/30, Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) said. Such a fund will give everyone stake in the economy and help young people invest in their futures. Through buying property and investing, education, starting business, according to report of IPPR Commission on Economic Justice. The fund could be large enough to pay all 25-year-olds as a one-off capital dividend of £10,000 from 2030. Report proposes capitalising fund uses the mixture of asset sales, capital transfers, new revenue streams, borrow amount for return reinvested in decade. These includes reformed wealth taxes as gift tax to replace inheritance tax and “scrip tax” of up to 3% requiring major businesses to issue equity to the fund. The authors propose national asset sales including RBS stake. IPPR on wealthiest tenth UK households own 44% nation’s wealth, least wealthy half of households own 9%. More than 70 governments around world’s sovereign wealth funds help alleviate poverty. Norway invested oil income sovereign wealth fund from 1990 now worth more than $1tn (£713bn). IPPR report claims UK’s revenues from North Sea oil if invested in a sovereign wealth fund in the 1980s, worth more than £500bn today. Carys Roberts, an IPPR senior economist, said: “Who owns wealth and who inherits wealth is more important increasingly so, as share of national income paid to people through wages declines. “A citizens’ wealth fund would enable all citizens to collectively own portion of our national wealth, to ensure everyone benefits from rising returns to capital, not just people who will inherit or who already own assets.” This grand noble idea on paper to help ALL 25 year olds tremendously good but exacerbates wealth gap even more given equally to All regardless of wealth. The rich gets richer by grant £10,000 pocket-money while deprived person gets a headstart. An average property is worth £160,000 to £500,000 depending on location beyond most 25 year olds so does this money bring required change? With most 25 year olds already heavily in debt with student loans, unemployed lives at home £10,000 borrowed wealth another ploy to dump national burden of debt on young people by a very rich wealthy few preserving and growing riches. The rich do not need this money as already provided for realistically it is hardworking citizens struggling to pay mortgages or choose to feed family is a major issue that needs attention. It is brilliant to help 25 years olds get up the property ladder but without the regular paid wages as article points out income depleting means repossessed property for the investors creating this scheme. It is really too good to be true so a rethink by this thinkthank is urgently required. Naive 25 years old will run after a “free” £10,000 pounds grant only to realise the catch years later after losing it all. So do not do these only to add more insults to injuries of people already suffering. Can alternative scheme ensure genuine resources used to pay good salaries so people earn money and live without such borrowed wealth on top of debts? Sure you can.

A LIFE FULL OF GODLY JOY

Zephaniah 3:17 says that God Almighty in heaven rejoices over us with singing! Can you imagine God’s great Majestic sonic booming maestro sound echoing throughout the firmament and universe because God is so joyful about you. Yes you, it seems oxymoron to even suggest God is happy with you let alone is joyful over you. Perhaps you spent your whole life miserable, angry over God as unfair killjoy ready to lash out and to point out only your faults to punish you. Such misrepresentations of God’s TRUE reflection of eternal joy in heaven with saints and angels rejoicing over all saved in Jesus Name in the LORD GOD saps joy out of life. Yet in the midst of sorrow Jesus comforted His apostles and disciples to have joy in spite of adversity, knowing grief or pain is momentary so they will be reunited forever in heaven permanently. Godly joy is not absence of the circumstances we would prefer not to endure or have to put up with in life. Rather our source of joy comes from Christ in us our hope of glory therefore external or internal issues trying to derail our joy is negated by the blood of Jesus. Even within those dark gloomy days of deepest grief, pain, loss or sorrow Christ encourages us to look up to Him to rejoice forevermore. As a matter of Godly joy eases sorrow so takes out the sting intended to wear you out to lose confidence and faith in God. It is the Joy of the LORD GOD Almighty that replenishes and sustains us to keep on keeping on despite hardships of life. Absolute perfect joy of God flows into us from God cancels the bitter, toxic, vitriol intended to depress or separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. The cares of the world can sometimes overwhelm to distract us to forget the goodness of the strength the joy of the LORD brings us. Preoccupation of sadness, bitterness, anger, grief, sorrow, melancholic living distracts us from refreshing joy in the presence of the LORD. Often the darkest times is when disconnected from God so most vulnerable to things of the world that try to come against us. Pure Joy is found in Christ residing in our hearts to help us to overcome in life. In fact God’s crown of rejoicing reward is given to all who manage to remain joyful even if all odds are against them. Another verse in Bible says, God is disappointed because HIS Children do not reflect HIS TRUE joyful qualities so world has a distorted view of who God really. The believer’s responsibility of joy is not an option but a duty of care to reflect joy of the LORD to the world and to the fellow believers in Christ by good example as Jesus did during His passion of sorrow to save us.

TRAUMATIC DEATH GRIEF

traumaticbereavement-thirdTraumatic tragic death bereavement is completely unexpected loss, worst form of grief people go through. Suddenly changes lifeplan dramatically, cancels activities so a shock to the system. One minute conversation is taking place about life but the next minute subject changes to unexpected death. It is most painful if the person appeared healthy, full of life with a great future suddenly cut short by death. The numbing shock of loss is hard to sink in and feels that loved one is about to walk through the door home. Seems like a dream, surreal but wide awake with sleepless nights so deep within the heart an overwhelming pain lingers on. Everyday passes by without a text, contact or phone call, facebook so realises it must be really true. Shock is a normal reaction and unbelief deceased person is really no longer with us here on earth. Sudden change of plans means numbness while taking in loss starting to sink in. Though we understand death as part of life it does not make it easier to accept. Death is painful and difficult to experience it hurts beyond belief and complicated. At times pain seems insurmountable but support and a therapy can help to understand, accept and ease the pain. After death of a loved one life is never the same but talking therapy helps to provide skills and tools to assist with creation of the new normal to integrate life into new existence. Annette was on the way to mortuary when Julia phoned to support death of daughter Amber, aged four, who drowned in a swimming pool, and going to see her body. Many people would not call at that moment they feel encroaching on a raw traumatic grief. bottomJulia, friend of couple, a psychotherapist specialises in dealing with loss knows when people in throes of overwhelming grief, sharing the pain is the only thing that makes even the tiniest difference. Grief professionals don’t have endowed special powers its empathy compassion. Phil answered the phone, so Julia liked to say something to make it better but knew nothing could do that, so she said the only thing she could. “I am terribly sorry to hear your daughter, Amber, has died; I’m sorry the devastating pain that has happened to you. How can I help?” 25 years as grief psychotherapist taught Julia great deal about human condition that focus on grief means focus on life, loss exposes things that matters about a person, their strengths and weaknesses. When someone dies, it reveals faultlines in bereaved family, even deepest, most hidden ones. If you know about loss you know about family, about love, survival, resilience and strength. Knowing about loss means you know about life. But there is a paradox at the centre of loss, and it is this. Grief is the most intense pain there is, and we will do anything to avoid pain. So we run away from it; we run away from our own grief, and we run away from others’ grief. Yet, says running away from grief means we will not recover but embracing helps move through the agony and deal with pain. bereavement-and-traumatic-grief-counselling-pinnacle-therapy-counselling-in-london

Allowing ourselves to be while it washes over us, is only way to survive because we have to feel the worst in order to let it change us. Then we can start to find out who we are going to be in wake of it. This is the message at the heart of Julia’s new book, Grief Works. “If you ignore grief and push it down, you can live and you can function, but you live a very narrow emotional life because using emotional energy to cope,” she said. “Everything in psyche will be squashed down, and that means small things can trigger a much bigger kind of effect. The fact is to do the work of grieving. You have to let it run its course. Pain is agent of change; pain allows you to change, it enables you to reach a new reality.” Her book traces journeys of many of the bereaved people she has walked alongside; she describes how she wept and mourned with them. “let clients know what they say has an impact: Tell them when feels shocked, sad or upset,” she says. So talk about relationship with bereaved and a relationship with friends in service of a deceased. Say what you feel if thinking about them if it’s useful to share. One of the many moving stories in her book is that of Bill and Sally, whose 13-year-old son Matthew died of rare virus. Sally tells Julia losing her son has made her feel dead, no more expectations of life; so does not want to go on living. “I said quite plainly, although she was giving up on herself, I refused to; I would fight for her, held her and whispered hidden strength within her said, to live.’ Julia, in 50s, mother of 4 grown up children, grandmother of four, vivacious and fun: has time to feel recharged with life. You know it helps feeling of clients who like Sally regain joy to be alive again. Helps Julia’s interest in answering questions on experiences of traumatic loss to help open hearts for the healing process.17848

There are two sorts of loss, says Julia: expected loss and traumatic loss. And perhaps, for one in her profession, her own losses have all been expected ones. Her father died at 87, sad, grieved but it not traumatic loss. Bereavement work involves charity Birthright, Well-being of Wo/men made her aware of the pain of losing a baby although wonders was unconsciously influenced by parent’s loss of three parents and three siblings by the time they were 25. “Everything seemed OK, but thinks back aware of some unresolved grief. Almost only personal experience of a shocking, out-of-nowhere, loss figures such death brought loss closer and changed how to deal with grief. Julia was a close friend of Princess Diana, a connection echoed when asked by William and Kate to be a godmother to Prince George in 2013. That is, she says, a very joyful role lots of fun, and the chance to enjoy the little boy as he grows up but she doesn’t want to say much about it or Diana, save she agrees her death made difference to the nation’s approach to grief. So, too, she says, did other major shifts of history, especially the first and second world wars. “Our parents, parents of people of my generation, were the generation that couldn’t afford to grieve. Were parented by survivors of first world war simply to survive but modern luxury means able to deal with it differently.”traumaticbereavement-fullwidth

Despite public outpouring of grief after Diana’s death, doesn’t think most people are sufficiently aware impact traumatic bereavement has, the ripples it leaves or how long they persist. As someone who experienced a traumatic loss at the age of nine, when three-year-old sister was killed in road accident agrees with her analysis. It is 44 years since death, and shockwaves still reverberate in the family: everyone is different because of it, next generation touched by it in ways too subtle for them to fully understand.

Traumatic losses shape future of family as subject of great interest to Julia; so, is the way men and women deal with loss differently. Men, tend to want to move on to make plans, to focus on new horizons. Women on other hand want to spend more time remembering the person who died so want to immerse themselves in the pain. But the fact is, each can learn from others. “You have to do both things: you must have time to grieve and mourn and other time when you have break from the grief. You can create circumstances where you grieve, and circumstances where you move on; so men and women help one another. IMG_20180303_141134He can help her go for a walk to a park or gallery can help him talk about how he feels to express some of his loss.” The problems set in when individuals fails to understand the pattern of grief in the other; they think of them as selfish or they don’t care enough, but it isn’t about that due to the different ways of coping. Grieving is an intensely individual and incredibly lonely experience, which can make it difficult time in family, group of people going through something sparked by same event, but is in each case very differentThe way to cope, is be open in communicating feelings to others in your family. Families that fare best share feelings openly when a death disrupts complex finely tuned balance in a family. So needs a reorganised and open approach to help with process.”

At the beginning, and this is especially true of a traumatic loss, the grief is all-consuming: but over time, says Julia, you find you are starting to live again. The mistake some make, though, is believing they can go back to being the way they were. “Some people say, ‘This isn’t going to change us.’ But that’s not how it is: and it’s when you recognise that bereavement is a life-shattering experience, and that you have to grieve and rebuild, that you can move on positively into a new phase of life. originalYou don’t forget the person who’s gone; you can never do that, and you should not worry that you’re going to. But you keep them in memory so their loss helps you become a new person you become; and maybe in the end is greatest tribute to make to anyone who passed to Glory. Grief affects us all so hope in God and read HIS beautiful WORDS in Bible to guide prayers. Powerful scriptures will help you face feelings of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It is very normal to feel it is not really true the person is still alive soo will be at home, then in shock, angry they died, hoping the loved one comes back alive, realising they passed on into Glory and finally accepting loss and accepting new unexpected sudden sad changes of life. Crying, weeping, feeling low not eating properly, sad, confused, depressed are all part of feelings of pain, hurt of loss, bereavement, grieving and mourning. It is normal to feel helpless, lost without a loved one with deep sorrow and pain. One helpful action is remember a loved does not want your life destroyed and ruined because of them. They see you in heaven so like you to live and continue life despite feeling changes happening. There’s no shame in being sad. The life we’ve been given was never promised free of pain or sorrow so during times we hurt most run to God and HIS Word for peace and comfort. Psalm 117:7 says God cares about death of the righteous.listingbereavement-jesus-wept

Help from family and friends 

Listening. Be a friend who is prepared to give their time, to listen and to acknowledge the extent of your friend’s loss. Listening is the key. Bear witness, and allow your friend to be upset, to be confused and contradictory, or to say nothing at all. Every time they tell their story once more, or are allowed to say how important the person who has died was, burden of carrying pain on their own is incrementally a little lighter.

It’s not about you. Follow a mourner’s lead: they may not want to talk about their grief right now, or with you. It is good to say something to acknowledge their loss, but then let them have the control they need, they had none over death so choose to talk or not. If they ask you to come and be with them, and want to talk openly to you, go. If they truly don’t want a visit or don’t want to deal with it at that time, don’t force it on them. Don’t confuse need to speak, call, contact, with friend’s need of privacy to come to terms with grief. Some kings or or important dignitaries, leaders buried in secret. Deuteronomy 34:5-7, Numbers 27:13-28 says God buried Moses Himself without gravestone marker, headstone, monument remain unmarked, Israelites not have idol worship. So Moses’ eternal soul rests in peace buried in the Moab valley opposite Beth Peor near Mount Nebo from plains of Moab near top of Pisgah. None knows where Moses’ body buried, concealed in grave stops people flocking to idolise him. In Jude 1:9 angel fought with Michael over Moses’ body, only unique burial by God. Moses’ body soul, alive in Transfiguration met Jesus with Elijah alive from heaven on Mount in Matthew 27:1-10.

loss-300x225 (1)Mourning state of total shock and disorientation exempts you from performing actions requiring attention to detail. Time is given off work at least minimum of 2 weeks plus due holidays to grieve and mourn. Time is needed to sort out paper work, fill in forms and to notify various agencies of the departed. In mourning people wear symbolic or an appropriate colour suitable for the age of the departed. To be able to attend unhindered to funeral arrangements it is important to dress appropriately. The family decided obligated choice agreed on to help support family. Immediately following burial mourning the mourner does not listen to music, go to concerts, does not attend joyous events or parties unless absolutely necessary. If a date set prior to death strictly forbidden or to be postponed cancelled. Week-long period of grief mourning observance referred to by time to grief. During this period all mourners traditionally gather the home and receive visitors. Mourners refrain for a week from showering or bathing, wearing leather shoes, jewelry, shaving. Some communities cover mirrors in the mourner’s home so they not concerned about their personal appearance. It is customary for mourners to sit on low stools or even the floor, symbolic of the emotional reality of being “brought low” by grief. Meal of consolation first meal eaten on return from funeral consists of hard-boiled egg or other round oblong foods. Biblical hospitality means during this seven-day period, family, friends or colleagues visit and call on mourners to comfort them. Is considered great time of kindness, compassion to pay respects to visit the mourners. No greetings are exchanged, visitors wait for mourners to initiate conversation. Mourner is not obliged to engage in a conversation and may completely ignore his/her visitors. Visitors take on hosting role, attending to guests, bringing food and serving it to the mourning family. Mourning family avoids cooking or cleaning during this period. Those responsibilities become that of visitors to ease burden and pain.

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Acknowledgment. Death isn’t catching, but those who are bereaved might think so, judging by the fear they see in other people’s eyes. People are frightened about whether to come forward, about what to say, about saying the wrong thing so, in the end say nothing. All of that comes from a belief whatever you say should make things better but have enough wisdom to make the pain more bearable but you can’t or need to. Be kind enough to acknowledge them and their suffering is difficult enough. Offer to be there if they need you, suggesting that they should be the one to ring you, is probably asking too much of your friend at this time. It is better if you take the initiative and make contact, and then follow their lead: they may want to see or speak with you or not. Often, people don’t make contact because they feel they don’t know the bereaved person well enough. If you are erring one way or the other, better to err on the side of making contact.

Practical help. Doing practical things is often what really makes a difference. Don’t say, “Let me know if I can help”; actually do something helpful. At the beginning of a bereavement, there may be a lot of people around, so bringing food may be the best thing you can do. Taking food around for longer than the initial crisis is particularly appreciated.Traumatic-Bereavement-Ind1_m

Honesty. Be honest because honesty is comforting and easy to deal with. So direct honesty helps complex messiness of grief so an enormous relief to people. Be honest about what you actually can do rather than covering up because you feel guilty about what you can’t. And be specific to say, “I’m going to come round for half an hour” or come on Tuesday” don’t say, “I’ll come when you want, tell me, and I’ll be there”, and then find you can’t deliver on that offer.

Be sensitive. Being honest is important, as being sensitive. Promiscuous honesty is not a good idea. Be aware of showing too openly your life is trotting along as happily as can be, feels like you rubbing their nose in your happiness.

Be in it for the long haul. Remember to make contact and be supportive after everyone else has gone. Usually three months following the death, people get back to their lives, as they should. But it is by no means over for the person who is bereaved. Sending a text or popping is hugely supportive.Gay couple hugging and walking in park

Writing. Letters, cards, texts or emails: it doesn’t matter what you write – all are extremely helpful. It is better, however, to say that you don’t want a reply, because some people simply can’t respond. And it is never too late to send them. It is a welcome surprise to receive a card much later, because it is when everyone else has forgotten and your friend is still grieving. When you do write, try to make it personal and avoid tired cliches such as, “She’s had a good innings” or “Better to have loved and lost because they are trite in some way diminish personal importance of this very loved person who died. You don’t need to go into long explanations of why the person died or theological explorations about death; be loving and personal, warm and acknowledging.

RAPTURE ETERNAL RESURRECTION

Believers have assurance of eternal life in Christ so mourn with hope for their resurrection. In the Bible Jesus raised Lazarus from death, widow of Nain son, Peter raised Dorcas, Paul raised young man who fell dead sitting on a window ledge. The dead arose alive when Jesus was crucified and went into town seen by many people. We pray and ask GOD to raise loved one too in Jesus Name so thank God Jesus raised Lazarus. Bible says Christianity lasts beyond earthly life into heaven so mourn and grieve with hope in Jesus Christ. Christians call death falling asleep to pass into glory to be with God. Although grief pain hurts deeply and so feels tragic loss yet know future reunion family circle will be complete in heaven in the Presence of God Almighty. In the Rapture, the dead in Christ will first be resurrected to join those alive together to meet Christ in the clouds into heaven. The signs of the end times are predicted by Jesus in Matthew 24. So death is part of transition into eternal life although it is better to have loved ones on earth as members of a family, God calls them to higher service in heaven. Rest in peace safely beloved in the loving arms of God so no more sorrow, grief, pain, tears we love you and miss you terribly but God LOVES you more. We shall see you one day in Jesus Name for you are delivered because your name is found written in the BOOK OF LIFE according to Daniel 12:1-2. All asleep in Christ in dust of the earth wake to everlasting life in heaven in Glory in GOD’S PRESENCE. The Holy Spirit of God is our Comforter in times like these so we draw strength from the word of God to carry on in life in Jesus Name. GOD Our Father Comforts us too through His Love and Words of comfort from loved ones, friends and family. 

Extract from Grief Works by Julia Samuel

Topics

EXPRESS MARRIAGE TRENDS

Sophy on her wedding day in traditional attireWith Valentine day approaching people are looking for love and romance for a form relationships. So couples celebrate established meaningful, love fulfilling a family bond. Others also ready to settle down prepare and advertise for love in new ways using social media, Facebook post and was married six days later. The marriage took place quite quickly than the normal traditional longer process of a family searching and taking years for the marriage to be finalised. CHIDIMMA AMEDU, did exactly that advertising for love and marriage on Facebook. He found a beautiful wife who said, ‘he is the most handsome man I’ve ever met and I liked him instantly.” Those who use Facebook come across pretty strange posts in their time. But this time however the random friends requests, being added to groups you did not ask to join, and tags allows “friends” to marry. Others clog up timeline with posts or photos you don’t necessarily want. But a Nigerian man took it to a whole new level posted unusual advert. Chidimma Amedu put up a post on 30 December, asking women interested in being his wife to reply, he told the BBC.Chidimma Amedu on his wedding day

The proposal

“Am of age to and I am ready to say I do and am wasting no time. “Send in your applications – the most qualified will be married on January 6, 2018. Application closes 12 midnight 31/12/2017 he posted. He followed up with subsequent posts. ‘Am serious about this oh and don’t say you did not see it on time Good luck.’ He received a couple of responses, but one from Sophy Ijeoma is someone special who caught his attention. She wrote in her reply “Am interested, just DM me… lols,” her post read. At first, she thought it was a joke and she simply replied to keep thread flowing. A direct message from him to her inbox, followed by a Facebook call, would change her life’s trajectory. Chidimma placed the advert initially as a joke but became optimistic when Sophy said she was interested. So two days after their first conversation, he travelled some 500km (300 miles) from his home in the northern city of Abuja, to Enugu in the east where she lived. She had been waiting for him outside a retail store and in true fairy-tale style, “it was love at first sight”, she recalled. “He is the most handsome man I’ve ever met and I liked him instantly.”The couple on their wedding day in Igbo attire

After 2 hours of awkward conversation, he asked her to go to meet an uncle who incidentally is also resident in Enugu. So he asked what was going through her mind at the time, she said she thought it was all a bit of a joke but was excited about it and thought Chidimma was also quite an interesting character. “We got to the uncle’s house and he said: ‘Uncle, meet the woman I want to marry.'” Like Chidimma his family don’t seem to hang about when it comes to getting things done because uncle gave his approval. The couple are friends on Facebook for over a year but never spoken to each other before the advert. Getting family backing for your choice of spouse is an essential part of Igbo culture. Whereas picking your future wife from dozens of respondents to a Facebook marriage advert and marrying her in six days is decidedly not. At this point in their day-old relationship, it was beginning to dawn on Sophy that this fellow was not playing, but how do you commit to marrying someone you only just me. She would not comment on whether they had even shared as much as a kiss at that point, but maintained she was captivated by how focused, determined her new fiancé was. “When I saw him for the first time, I definitely found him attractive, but what I didn’t know was how serious he was about marrying me. “It was after we met the uncle and his wife, I realised that this could actually happen and I wanted it.”A family member felicitate with the couple

The engagement

It was now her turn to worry about how she was going to get the approval of her family to marry a guy she had just met on Facebook. But they had momentum going for them. Having met and fallen in love at first sight, or first message, if you like, and getting Chidimma’s uncle’s approval, couple decided to complete the cycle by visiting Sophy’s family the same day. Approval from the family is essential in Igbo tradition and Sophy recounted how she relayed information to her mother. Her dad passed away, and her mum said she did not have a final word in terms of giving approval for her to be married, so up to Sophy’s elder brother to give his blessings. It appears the odds firmly in their favour as Sophy’s brother gave his blessings too. So after a few questions from her brother it became official. Chidimma and Sophy were engaged to be married in six days.The happy couple cutting their cake

On the rebound?

Last year Chidimma was engaged to another woman and the wedding was scheduled for December, but then that relationship fell apart in March leaving him dejected. As December approached, the disappointment of not being able to fulfil his dream of getting married made him put up the post, he said. In wedding it was a blend of old and new “I had the desire to get married, had date in mind, but no bride, decided to place an advert as a joke, but I was open and up for it.”  Asked whether she knew about earlier engagement and her thoughts on how this seemingly rushed marriage might be seen as a rebound, Sophy dismissed any suggestions that her relationship was not well thought through. “I don’t care about that when you see what you want, you go for it.” They are friends on Facebook for more than a year, but had never met or spoken to each other until the advert. Am interested just DM me… lols” was all it took for the union to be formed. Sophy admitted her friends were sceptical about the whole thing, while some are still in disbelief, but as she said: “When you see the one, you will know he is the one.” And they got married on 6 January in a traditional Igbo ceremony, and posted photos of wedding day on Facebook of course to the amusement of the social media community. Chidimma put up a post saying people may have thought he had been joking but clearly wasn’t. And as expected there was mixed reactions, but mainly a lot of support for the couple. They hope to have a church wedding in April and honeymoon somewhere nice.

DEPRESSED MUMS SINGING

Mum singing to babySinging speeds up’ recovery from post-natal depression. Singing helps mothers recover from post-natal or post partum depression more quickly study suggests. Researchers found women who took part in group singing sessions with their babies experienced much faster improvement in their symptoms than those who did not. The study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, looked at 134 mothers with post-natal depression. Early recovery is seen to be crucial to limit effects on mother and baby. Post-natal depression is estimated to affect one in eight new mothers. And previous studies have indicated singing can help improve the mental health of older people and those with dementia, but this is the first controlled study of its effect on post-natal depression. The women were placed into three groups:Mother and baby music group
  • one took part in group singing
  • another took part in in creative play sessions
  • a third group received their usual care, which could include family support, antidepressants or mindfulness

The singing workshops saw the mothers learning lullabies and songs from around the world with their babies and creating new songs together about motherhood. And those with moderate to severe symptoms of post-natal depression reported a much faster improvement than mothers in the usual care and play groups. All the groups improved over the 10 weeks, but in the first six weeks, singing group already reported an average 35% decrease in depressive symptoms. The Principal investigator Dr Rosie Perkins said the study, although small, was significant because it was important to tackle the symptoms as quickly as possible. “Post-natal depression is debilitating for the mothers and their families. As research indicates some women think accessible singing with their baby helps speed up recovery at one of the most vulnerable times of their lives,” she said. The lead author Dr Daisy Fancourt at University College London, said singing is another useful therapy to offer women. babies with musical instrumentsMany mothers have concerns about taking depression medication whilst breast-feeding and uptake of psychological therapies with new mothers is relatively low,” she said. “These results are really exciting as suggests something as simple as referring mothers to this community activities could support their recovery.” Dr Trudi Seneviratne, who chairs the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Perinatal Faculty, said: “It’s exciting to hear about the growing evidence base for novel psychosocial interventions like singing to facilitate a more rapid recovery for women with post-natal depression. “I look forward to more work in this area in the future, as it will be enjoyed by both mothers and their babies.”Since the study, Breathe Arts Health Research has started running singing workshops in partnership with the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust for women with post-natal depression across the south London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. Community and socialising helps overcome isolation and loneliness of new mothers. The feel good factor of singing with the babies is definitely a win- win situation lifting the mood and going out of the home helps to lift their spirit too. Isolated mothers can organise own singing sessions with friends in communities and their babies benefit too from a calm, happy, relaxed mother. If child raising is recognised or considered as a valid hardwork and to celebrate mothers and carers the world will become a better and safer place. So families must be prioritised and to help mother’s like Finland pays both parents to raise their children. Depression is caused by loneliness, pressure, stress of modern living without extended family support and children become depressed too. So it is good news to help mother’s and also to improve motherhood as an honourable collaboration with God’s idea to multiply to replenish the earth.

ENGAGED/MARRIED ONE DAY

Nicole and Danny Rios hold hands and smile as they get married

Nicole and Danny married in their back-garden by the groom’s father in Smithtown, New York. The couple got engaged and married on the same day. Nicole Rios, née Carfagna married Danny Rios less than two hours after he proposed to her surrounded by friends and family. Nicole suffers from lupus, a long-term condition with no cure, which is aggravated by stress – so to save Nicole the anxiety of planning a wedding, Danny put it together for her. The symptoms range in severity and can affect different parts of the body. In 2015, singer Selena Gomez  suffered same condition and was treated by chemotherapy. The pair had gone on a trip to Walt Disney World for Nicole’s birthday, and were returning home when Nicole noticed a string of lights in their driveway. “Danny leads Nicole by the hand, he is smiling, while she is open-mouthed in shockI thought Danny’s mum and step-dad had decorated our house for Christmas,” Nicole said. “But Danny took me by the hand and I saw a big tent in our backyard, with our family lined up outside it. “Behind me I hear Danny saying ‘you know how much I love you, right?’ that’s when I realised I was about to get engaged.”When we walked into the tent I saw more family and friends were there. He brought me into the middle of the tent and proposed, I was so happy, I couldn’t believe it.”According to Nicole, Danny’s favourite moment of the day was her facial expression as they approached the tent and she has framed this photo and placed it on his nightstand. The proposal was only the first major life event for Nicole planned by her husband-to-be for that evening. “I said hi to everyone and Danny asked me to come inside the house and talk to him,” she said. “I assumed he just wanted to process what happened. “In the bedroom he told me he loved me and he said, ‘If you want, I have everything set up to get married.’ Danny, on one knee, proposes to Nicole in front of their friendsThere was a dress and tux hanging there in the bedroom. His dad had gotten ordained that morning. There was no pressure because our friends and family thought it was just an engagement party, he told me to think about it. “But I didn’t need to think about it. Suddenly all my jitters and anxiousness went away because I knew I wanted to marry him. I just said yes.”Not even their friends and family knew about the wedding as Danny had told them it was an engagement party. Nicole says she would not have coped well with planning a wedding. “Stress is not good with lupus. I would have been sick the majority of the time, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it. “It’s been a tough time with me being sick and Danny helping me with everything. “What if we’d planned the wedding then on the wedding day I’m sick? So this took all that stress away.”Nicole and Danny, in dress and tuxedo, kiss at their weddingDanny picked out the wedding dress with Nicole’s mother and bought it in two sizes, with the smaller size a perfect fit. Despite the short turnaround, Nicole said everything went ahead without a hitch – including a hasty arrangement of her ‘man of honour.’ “I had joked with my brother Mike in the past that I wished I could have a best man because he’s my best friend,” she said. “When I was getting ready, Mike came into the room and asked to be my man of honour. That was the best thing ever. “The wedding was perfect with us surrounded by our family and friends. I felt so loved. “It was a great surprise. There had to have been people watching over us for it to run as perfectly as it did.”

By Tom Gerken and George Pierpoint, UGC & Social News Team