When what you see and feel is the ultimate stranger to your soul – by James
I have experienced and worked through many challenges in life. My father was abusive and eventually shot himself, my dear dear mother fought a long battle with cancer which she lost, I survived a hijacking at gunpoint; I allowed myself to fall into substance abuse and spent a long period of my adult life being on my own, experiencing soul destroying loneliness, something which I have never acknowledged. The Greek philosopher Epictetus said, “It’s not what happens to you but how you react to it that matters.” I believe life is about choice, how you react is about choice. I have lived by that credo.
I feel that I have been extremely blessed in life. I have the most beautiful and awe inspiring wife who has been the best mother one could hope for to our children. We were blessed with two healthy children after been told that there was no way we could ever have children. We have a lovely home, are gainfully employed and have incredibly genuine and committed friendships and family. Simone’s family have become like my own, each of them uniquely brilliant people who I have learnt to lean on. I am personally a very positive and optimistic person and someone who lives each day as it comes and makes the most of what life’s adventures have to offer. I strive to understand before doing and love to learn create beautiful things with my hands. I am generous of spirit and place my family and friends before myself, with the requisite boundaries that is.
Losing our child though makes everything that has gone before me pale in comparison. The hurt which losing our child has created has carved out a new place in my soul, a place which I have never visited before. That place I know now will be part of all my days. I am filled with a deep despair, a void which all the love from so many cannot mend. For the first time in my life I feel helpless because I realise that time will only ease the pain but never erase it. Not 10 minutes goes by that the sweet smiling face of my Belsie does not fill my mind, my eyes brimming.
I, like Simone, would love to have another child. I have a dug up innate fear now of leaving that helpless little bundle of joy in her/his cot, the events of 15 September etched in my mind. This, I think, a fear which we all have but which we protectively suppress because ‘it will never happen to us’. I want another child but need to work through my insecurity for a time first.
I can be gentle and comforting to my beautiful wife but I can’t fix her broken heart. I can’t take away the constant memories she has of our sweet daughter, the sight of her agony,pain and loss almost unbearable for me. She has suffered many challenges in her young life already.
Simone and I discussed last night how we thought we were doing. We both think that we are doing well but both acknowledge that our lives will never be the same again. We are writing this blog which has seemingly helped so many already and plan to help more through our charity going forward. The immense support continues with so many bringing much appreciated food and simply dropping in to give us a much appreciated hug.
Our inner pain though is so personal that I don’t think we can even shine light into each other’s hearts.
“The hardest thing that I have ever had to hear was that my child was dead. The hardest thing that I have ever done is to live every day since that moment”.