Tuesday 23 July 2013
Beauty and hope
I found beauty today. For the first time really since my daughter died. (The world seems hideously ugly after such a brutal loss). But today there it was. Plain to see. Pure and simple beauty.
There it was. The most perfect pudgy skin, huge saucer like eyes tipped with thick pitch black eyelashes. Oh the eyelashes - so familiar. So like Chloe's. And the little grin; revealing four or five tiny stump like teeth. There he stands totally oblivious that he has turned some light back on in my world.
Oh our little Roman, my one year old grandson, you really are the most special child.
I take time to watch Roman. He enthrals me in a whole new way. He's just a miracle - perfect. He pulled all my pots and pans out of my cupboards today; breaking two of my favourites. Did I care? Heck no! He threw my fire logs on my new rug. So what! He threw all my new Christian Dior skincare in the bath - admittedly that hurt a little - but I got over it. Finally I have leant not to sweat the small stuff. I get it - there isn't enough time.
I have a whole new little person to love with every fibre of my body. Just like I loved Chloe. Just like I love Hannah. Being a grandparent really is all it's cracked up to be. It's the best!
You see I've found a tiny glint of light through my deep dark misery. After such loss one can, if one wants to, look at things with new eyes - I think. I'm so aware of death; that sometimes it makes life shine a little brighter. Before I took my two perfect daughters for granted; now I marvel, really marvel, at anything that has the power to push through the grief. Sometimes, not often, things can look more glorious than they ever did before.
Chloe's been dead for five months now. The grief started way before she died. Maybe it even started when she was diagnosed three years ago. Strangely the five months feel forever; and the three years like it went in a flash. The anticipation of her death meant we lived so intensely those three years - in some ways I lived the best way I ever have? Maybe I was the happiest I've ever been? She really was the most wonderful daughter and she was my friend. We had such lovely times together.
The grief feels a different shape now - still solid and heavy but the jagged edges are softening ever so slightly. I miss her much more and one of my biggest fears is that the memory of her is pulling away, like a little rowing boat drifting off into the distance. That upsets me more than anything. If only somebody would give her back to me. Maybe it's the pain that keeps it close. If that's the case I'll have the pain back. But I guess it must be our need to survive - the very sharpest edges of the pain are starting to soften just a little. Life is a little more tolerable - and interspersed by a few (not many) of moments that are really worth living.
I know there are some other bereaved people who read my blog. I don't dare to ever offer advice; I hate it when people tell me how I feel or how I will feel. To me grief is so personal and is between you and the person you've lost - a new kind of relationship. I loved my child so entirely that my grief is very simple - other types of grief can be far more complex and in my experience not always less painful. All I know about grief is what I've felt and what I continue to feel. I'm one of those irritating "glass half full" people - so I knew I'd want to focus on trying to find the hope. And I just want to share my experience. I've suffered the worst of losses and been right down into the pit of despair. I couldn't see a way out; many times I didn't want a way out.
But just now - five months in - there are more little shoots of hope and a few of those wonderful moments. I never believed that would ever happen I know I still love with all my heart; and I know I am loved by my dear family and friends. I will live with the terrible emotional disabilities caused by my "tsunami of the soul"; but somehow I can see a little ray of life. I will always be deeply deeply wounded but I feel I will shape out some kind of life now.
Thank you for reading xx