Thursday 26 December 2013

A Chloe-less nightmare Christmas

Christmas; a time for reflection and a total nightmare

I always said I'd try and write honestly as I  share my journey.  Firstly because it helps me to write and secondly I want someone somewhere to feel a tiny bit better because they know that somebody else is feeling things that are just too unpalatable to share with a general audience.  Isolation is a big problem for us mourners.  Worse of course when it's a child.  Most people just can't deal with the enormity of that kind of loss. The simple truth is they just don't want to keep hearing and quite frankly I don't blame them.

This time of year Christmas parties, which I used to love, have become no-go territories.  "How many children do you have:",  "how was your year" such harmless questions feel, in my situation, like being stabbed with full force into the guts.  It is agony.

And then, God forbid, I answer and say "pretty crap year actually. My 18 year old daughter, the love of my life, died of bone cancer one month after her 18th birthday.  Before that she spent three of those tender, wobbly years of adolescent going through every single torturous medieval cancer treatment all of which was actually devised 40 years ago ...........

Those three years were characterised by loss.  Loss of hair, peace of mind, fertility...... and many many other things.  Those losses were hers alone to bare.  But the final loss is ours.

Bit of a conversation stopper however you look at it.

So no parties for me this year.

I haven't written for a while as I didn't have anything interesting to tell you.  Life had kind of settled into a more constant gnawing emotional pain; interspersed with odd moments of contentment and maybe,even, a glimpse of possible joy.  The happy moments have felt so vivid in contrast to the constant background of grim grief.  Loosing a child in not for the faint hearted.  Believe me!  I have needed every ounce of strength and energy just to get up each morning.  The journey to some kind of distant sanity is as harsh as grinding, as terrible as one can possibly imagine.   Can I get there?  I don't know.  Do I want to get there?  I don't know that either.

I'm often struck by an overwhelming to desire to press an imaginary re-wind button.  Please could I start again.  Please could I have another life.  A life that doesn't hurt quite this much.

I remember I couldn't believe that childbirth hurt quite so much.  Why did nature make something so natural hurt so much.  Never got that.  But this! Oh this is in a completely different league.  Sharp, stabbing, deep, gnawing.  No location, just everywhere.  Although the tenderness in the heart and in the belly is the worst.  My child who grew in my belly.  My child who was part of my heart. My child: my child.

I like this picture.  It captures my mood and that makes me feel less isolated.  The tear; the hands cushioning the face.  The hands gently stopping the words.  The words don't help and sometimes  they feel too ferocious even for me to bare.

Christmas is not a good time for the bereaved. So obvious; but so true.  Christmas is for our children so whatever are we left with when they aren't here?

Again I lean on my wonderful friends and I wonder how much more I can keep taking.  I feel greedy for love have a paper thin skin to any real or imagined hurt and know I have lost a huge hunk of my spirit.  A faded version of my former self I fear.

I don't know what happens from here.  The first Christmas without my daughter really really hurt. More than I had imagined. I only hope I find a little peace in the New Year and move on with my plan to do something marvellous in my survival and in my daughter's name.  She was too magnificent for anything less.

Oh and one thing us bereaved need to say our loved ones name.  Please don't turn away.  For me it is the most beautiful name in the world Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe, Chloe.....

Aw now that feels a little better.

Merry Christmas all and my heart is with you if you too are suffering some loss this year.  I hope we all feel a tiny bit more positive in the News Year xxxxx