After such a difficult year and a hard beginning of this New Year, I thought it would be perhaps useful or encouraging to share a piece I wrote for the launch party of Siân Esther.
I would love to share how through difficulty and for me this was the grief of losing both my parents, the creativity of building Siân Esther helped to bring joy when there was great sorrow. I firmly believe that creativity can help us when we are experiencing challenges. Probably for most, it won’t be by building a brand but perhaps it could be enjoying arranging flowers in a vase or baking a cake but hopefully this will be a little encouragement.
It’s entitled the turbulent waves of grief as grief does not go away but rises up and comes crashing down. I have found that through the time of the pandemic there have definitely been moments of sheer grief; whilst realising that after all of this is over I still won’t see my parents again and during moments of great joy for example having my daughter Rose, there is also deep grief that she will never meet her other grandparents, who would have loved to have a relationship with her. For me, what I try to hold on to is the beautiful memories and the values they instilled in me to build a great brand and hopefully be a wonderful Mother. After the virus has been defeated, let’s hold on to the memories of what life was like before and build new ones as hopefully a better people…
As like many, my life has turned out completely differently to what I had planned and hoped for. I lost both my parent’s by the age of 28 through two different sudden situations and often found myself riding the waves of grief, usually feeling totally normally and then suddenly out of nowhere grief would rage up like a wave. For me my sleep was hugely affected and I would wake up for hours with anxiety and worry about things I never had done before.
What I did learn from this horrendous time was that I could become resilient and this was especially helped by my support network of friends and family and I was so grateful for a lovely home and comfortable bed to sleep in. The Physician Joe Kasper says that “when something so traumatic happens and when we can’t change the situation, we are challenged to change ourselves”. For me that meant finding greater meaning in life through building a luxe cotton nightwear brand – Siân Esther that was purpose driven and one which would play a small part in helping other women. Many women go through tough situations and yet don’t have the support network that I so greatly valued.
What I also learnt that whilst I could use resilience as a tool for growing my strength and turn a difficult situation into something good, it is also important to be vulnerable with people. When my Dad died, the way I thought I could cope with it was to be strong and encouraging for Mum but it was only when Mum died that I properly grieved for them both; by letting others in and being open and real to build better relationships. Resilience is not just about being strong.
I listened to a talk by Stephen Foster at Holy Trinity Brompton in London, who repeatedly said “no risk = no reward” and that it is easy to be so aware of other’s reactions around us that you can miss the opportunity in front of us. This really struck me as I had become even more aware of other’s reactions since losing my parents. Life is short and so we have to grasp the opportunities.
The Siân Esther pyjama brand has been built on my Mother’s ethos of fewer, better quality pieces. A collection that is classic with a modern twist, it is elegant and effortless with a beautiful drape. I want to support the women’s charities and enterprises I have partnered with to give disadvantaged women that feeling of comfort and security, like when you put on a pair of pyjamas. The pjs have been designed for pottering around the home, sleeping in or with the summer range, for cover-ups at the beach.