I’ve been lost for words for the last twelve months. I think I expected year two to be easier, yet it was a hell of a lot harder. The first year I know now was about recovery, rebuilding and healing the body from trauma. It was about digging for hope, finding it in the darkness and gripping onto it for dear life. It was a year of firsts, of social reintegration and making sense of something that was not supposed to happen and that was never expected to happen. It was about trying to be the best mother, the best wife, the best friend, the best family member with very little to give. It was about further losses because some people did not understand we had so little to give. Year one was about survival; hanging on to the deep end and hoping you would not get too tired and sink to the bottom. It was the year Lily went to school and made all her new little friends and in turn friends for me. Year one saw me leave the job and friends I loved to simplify my life and spend more time with Lily. And Daddy as Lily would say. Year two was like the film ‘Sliding doors’ where the plot splits into two storylines, presented as parallel universes, in which different events ensue, consequent upon whether or not the main character catches a particular train. For me, one train was transformational and very special as we opened a wonderful business in our local village and it was inspired by our children. On this train our life is less complicated, a lot slower and time is more plentiful. We get to bring Lily to school every day and three afternoons we pick her up from school. A value that is unquantifiable. We know how important this is for our daughter. Des has also established his own business and is typically flying it. There is just enough chaos for growth. I couldn’t have imagined being on this train when I think back to that day two years ago when we lost him. We wouldn’t be on this train if Bobby had lived. On the other train there are days of black holes, pain in your heart and a feeling of doom. Quiet periods are not easy, the snow nearly finished me off. There are days of longing and wondering why, why, why? There are months of tests trying to get to the bottom of why. There are days of wondering could we do it again. Could we carry another baby and try to take some of this pain away. There are days when the other losses are very painful also. There are days when you are exhausted, dreams are catastrophic, and the wrinkles are plentiful. Plane crashes and loved ones dying just to name a few. I’ve learned that this is the path that is grief. There are sliding doors; plenty of them and you hop from one train to the other during the same week, day and even hour. A course in cognitive behavioural therapy was a valuable lesson about irrational beliefs and negative unhealthy emotions. The word ‘should’ needs to be removed from all our vocabularies.
It is hard not to relive every moment. The June bank holiday will never be quite the same again. The Friday was about broken waters, bed rest and unexpected labour after midnight. It was about speeding tickets and future court hearings and Des being the man he is not saying why. Saturday was about life and death; it was about large teams of people trying to save Bobby’s life. Saturday was about hearing his one and only cry and later switching off his life support and watching him take his last breath. Saturday night was about disbelief and trying to decide what to do about Lily. Sunday was about professional photos from ‘Now I lay me down to Sleep’ and Lily meeting her brother for the first time. Sunday was about family and friends meeting Bobby for the first and last time. Monday was about planning a funeral and Des having to do it all as I was for the birds. Tuesday was about going home with no baby to spend time with Lily cuddled on the couch. Wednesday was about a funeral and a cremation. The June bank holiday will never be quite the same again.
Year two my husband lost his lovely mother. Year two was bloody rough.
This week we will head into year three. My hope is that we get to spend more time on the good train enjoying more time with each other, seeing our businesses grow and do more of what we love together. Grit and determination will help us spend more time on the good train. There will be time on the tough train; I’m just hoping for less often and less dark.