Goodbye Summer

Wow, it’s September. The summer has gone, the Autumn (proven by the incredible plunge in temperature) is here once again. Summer seems to have passed me by and I struggle to remember a nice, sunny day of it. Did we have any, or is it my darkened mind that has tarnished their memory?

I love summer, always have. I hate the rain, I hate the grey, I hate the wind, the sun is where I find my happiness, it’s my power source but as we approach another long and bleak Cornish winter I feel I haven’t had my batteries fully charged with what I need to get through it.

I hated this summer mind, hated it like no other. All it seems to have brought to my door is more grief, loss, disappointment, fear, stress, anxiety and rage and for once I’m looking forward to winter as the beginning of winter means a new year is just around the corner.

I find myself writing this the day after my baby was due to be born and so much has happened that I nearly forgot that this had happened to us too, this that I thought would be the worst thing to happen to us this year, so forgive me for this rather maudlin post.

‘They’ say things happen for a reason but I struggle to contemplate what the reason is for so much heartache to fall on my doorstep this year. 

I’m not a bad person. In fact I’d go as far as saying that I’m a fairly nice person, a caring person, a fair person, a tolerant person. So if things happen for a reason, please can someone enlighten me as to what that reason is? Because I can’t see it right now. 

I’m not going to say Why Me? Because, quite frankly, why not me? What makes me so bloody special that I shouldn’t have a hard time more than the person next to me. I just struggle to know why all my babies couldn’t be with me now instead of just the one, special, precious one that was strong enough to stay with us. Why both my parents have been taken away from us so they are unable to witness my beautiful boy grow into an adult and give him the magical memories grandparents provide. Why we have been dogged with such bad luck where other matters are concerned. So to you people who say it, please give me the reason and if you can’t, then stop saying it to people when dreadful things happen to them because it doesn’t help. The saying should be, quite simply… “Things happen” and that’s the end of it.

So as I say goodbye to Summer and hello to Autumn I hope, beyond hope that our run of bad luck has come to an end and that the changing of the leaves will also bring the changing of our fortunes. As those leaves fall away from their branches and begin to become one with the earth once more, our misfortune will join them and leave the hope of a brighter, more fortunate future.

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The G Word

On the 31st July 2015, my darling, funny, intelligent, witty, kind Daddy lost his fight with Multiple Myeloma and passed away peacefully at St Giles Hospice, Whittington.

He was transferred to the hospice exactly a week before and we were all called on the Saturday to get up there ASAP if we wanted to see him. We all did. I got there at about midday, my brothers were already there and I found dad very unwell but at least conscious and talking, if what sporadically.

I spent until the Monday with him by which time his speech was less and apnoea lengthening. We had to come home as I have no one that can look after Noah, David had to go to work and a Hospice isn’t the place for a 20 month old, it’s simply not fair on the patients nor my father who deserved some peace.

This is where it begins. The debilitating, unimaginable and unchangeable. The Guilt.

You see we were all there when my beautiful mum left this world. My brothers, my Dad (they had divorced many moons ago and my dad remarried, but they had remained friends and he was there), my ex. This left me scarred for a long time, the only memory I had of her for a very long time being the moment she passed but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We were there for her in what was probably her most terrifying moment and I’m glad the last thing she saw was all her children and I would suffer my entire life and be happy knowing that she felt secure in that moment.

We had planned on going to see Dad again the following weekend. I phoned the hospice daily for updates ‘very poorly, unconscious, no change’ was the reply each day. This gave me hope that I would be able to be with him too. I felt that I owed him at least that.

My eldest brother went up on the Thursday and he told me Dad was unconscious but the same, on the Friday morning at about 0900 he told me his breathing had changed, by 0930 he had gone. The day before I was due to be there. The day before I wanted to be there. The day before I needed to be there… for him, for my Dad, but I wasn’t.

So much guilt is wrapped up in grief. So much I wasn’t aware of. Along with the incredible sense of loss, heartache and anger comes this new emotion I hadn’t experienced in grief before. You see with mum I was there, totally. I felt lots of things when grieving her loss but I never felt this level of guilt. I’m not saying I didn’t experience it, I felt guilty about some things but they were things I couldn’t have changed and were done for her benefit (or what we thought was her benefit).

This guilt with Dad is slowly eating me up and I know nothing I do or say can change anything or take it away so have to somehow come to terms with it, deal with it and get over it, but I’m struggling.

I should have spoken to him more.

I should have gone to see him more.

I should have taken Noah to see him more.

I should have told him I loved him more.

I should have known him better.

I shouldn’t have stuck my head in the sand.

I should have been there. I should have been there, at the end. Like I was there for mum. I feel I have let him down. I feel that he must think I love him less because I couldn’t give him what I gave mum at the end, my time. 

On Wednesday we say goodbye for the final time and I’m dreading it.

I love you Daddy and I’m so terribly, terribly sorry.