I have just spent the last 45minutes listening to this LBC radio programme
and it has reduced me to a bit of a wreck .As they opened with “A difficult thing to talk about but the most difficult thing to go through”.
Broadly speaking ,the theme of the programme is ‘How to cope with Christmas when you have lost a child’ .
I agreed with so much that Jimmy Edmunds and Jane Harris, (the makers of the TCF film, Say Their Name), and Susan Hughes, a TCF trustee, plus all the other bereaved parents who bravely phoned in ,said ,that it made me feel I am not wrong or alone in feeling the way I do .
There was so much in the programme that resonated and applied to me , I jotted down a few notes. I apologise ,as I said it all before ,but Rosie dying and my subsequent grief and the thought of Rosie being forgotten is the reason I write this stuff.
So if you read this and treat another bereaved parent slightly differently ,some good has come out of it .
Please don’t edit Rosie out of Christmas ( or any other type of ) cards .I find it shocking and paralysing when her name is left off . Saying her name won’t make it any worse – not saying her name ,will.She never leaves my head . Do people think by not mentioning her ,they are easing the pain or distracting me ? I am not stupid .
People that tell you they make it worse – they don’t .Staying away makes it worse .It is a parents worst nightmare .Nothing worse could happen .So friends who put themselves first are unlikely to be genuinely caring. Being excluded or ignored ,hurts .
There is pressure out there to be having fun and be happy and of course it is possible ( and important ) for us to have fun and be happy , but you continue to have a broken heart while you are doing it . It doesn’t just go away.
The rule is ..there are no rules .But self-protection is key.
We are in shock and shock is body-wrenching.
We have a thread of disbelief .
Our child dying is NOT normal.It is not what we wished for .It is a physical pain .Our hearts are truly broken
Is time a healer ? No. You don’t ‘move-on’, you don’t recover , you learn to live with the pain .We’d do anything to bring our child back, but we can’t , so we learn to integrate grief into our life and we learn how to enjoy life .We see things differently .Hopefully the guilt,anger, fatigue,yearning,sorrow and pain become more manageable and we learn to live with them . We reach a state of ‘new normal’. We work,play,try new stuff and enjoy being with the friends and family we feel protected by .
Sounds like psychobabble- probably is ,but it helps to makes sense of the way that I feel