My darling Bella
It’s dark here, very very dark.
The massive waves come constantly and I feel like I am being held under water indefinitely. I feel like it’s the worst it’s been in the last 11 months. The undealt with grief from your death and the grief and trauma from your brother’s death. It’s all just so so much, too much. Thank goodness your dad is doing okay at the moment and he can carry us both. As exhausting as this grief is for me, I know it is also so hard for him as he feels so desperate that he can’t do more to help me. He is a fixer remember, and there is just nothing that can be done here to fix this.
I am having some serious therapy, trying different meds, doing acupuncture, exercising, trying to eat properly…everything that can be done to help me cope with this and nothing seems to help. It’s all just so so exhausting. Some days are better than others, but some days are almost unbearable. My anxiety is bad. I am anxious about most things. Anything out of my ordinary day-to-day. Your dad has been away the last few days and I was so anxious that something was going to happen to him while he was gone. When I don’t pick Murray up from school I sit with a deep anxiety in the pit of my tummy until I receive the call to know he is home safely.
I am living in a cloud, under water, somewhere hovering above/below the earth. Merely existing. My memory is absolutely shot. My ability to do simple things like reply to a message, remember to put on the alarm, anything really, is completely non-existent. My mind is so consumed with thoughts of my 2 precious angels in heaven. Whereas for the months after you died, and then Thomas, I couldn’t be on my own, wanted to be surrounded by people a lot, I am now finding that being with people is pretty hard as it requires energy which I mostly don’t have. And so as long as I have Murray and/or Dad with me I am okay. I can’t be totally on my own for any period of time really unless I am running, gardening etc, but mostly also can’t be surrounded by people either.
Whoever said time heals has never lost a child, never mind two. Because time is making this worse. Time highlights the things you are missing out on, the milestones you don’t get to experience, all the things you aren’t getting to do. In the first few months you can still imagine things, but almost 1 year later, how would you have looked, what would your little personality have been like, how would you and your brother have interacted. What would our life be like? I know eventually I will learn to live with this, to come to terms with this, to gain acceptance. But for now it’s just too damn awful.
I have read (I am reading it for the 3rd time now) this amazing book I was given called “Living on the Seabed by Lindsay Nicholson”. She lost both her husband and then her daughter to Leukaemia. She writes incredibly beautifully and insightfully into her journey of grief. She wrote this “Time is not the universal healer. As it passes you do adjust to life without that person you love but I don’t think you ever really get over the death of a partner or child. You just get better at putting on a public face. The pain is always there.”
I often find it hard to tell people how I feel. I find it hard to physically find the words, for it to seem like I am complaining. That why I find writing so cathartic. Because I get to write how I feel, get to process my thoughts. And give people some insight into me without me having to verbalise it over and over again. Because it all takes so much energy, energy I just don’t have at the moment.
Your brother still talks about and asks for you. Yesterday in the car he was asking questions about Thomas and you. Telling me that his baby brother was sick and went to heaven. And then said, “Sissie is a baby, sweet Sissie, sweet.” He is trying to figure this all out too, missing you as we do.
Next month it’s the anniversary of 1 year since you left us. How is that possible? Its hanging over my head, there all the time. How do you begin to acknowledge that day, live through it? Not let the thoughts of that day a year ago eat you alive? I just don’t know.
I saw this beautifully written letter yesterday and I like to think that this is the message you and your brother would send to us.
“Dear Mom and Dad
I wish I could have said “good-bye”. It sometimes seems unfair that I never even was able to say “hello”. I am OK now; everything is better. I miss you and always will, but I believe we will be together again, in time, for all time. Right now though, that seems like an eternity. In time, it will be for eternity. Please, remember me, use my name, tell my family and your friends about me. Never forget me or pretend I didn’t exist.
Thanks for all you did for me. Mom, thanks for putting up with the changes in your body; thanks for everything you shared with me. Thanks for talking to me; I know your hopes and dreams for me. Thanks for the songs you sang, and for those gentle pats you gave me while I floated inside. You may not realize, but the rhythmic contracting of your heart helped me rest peacefully and reassured me. As I grew, I could feel your heart beating better and better, and it gave me such a wonderful sense of comfort. Thanks for the tears you shed for me. I know you did everything you could for me and I am fortunate to have you for my Mother. I am sorry for the pain and sadness you have suffered.
Dad, thanks for being there for Mom and me, it must have been so hard for you, trying to be strong and brave for Mom when you were confused, upset and afraid yourself. I will miss growing up with you, wrestling, being tossed in the air, just sitting on your lap learning how to use the TV remote control. Please don’t ever forget about me. I will not forget you.
If there is something I have learned, it is that you will not find the answer to the “why” of this, not now anyway. God did not make this happen, but He will help you live, love and laugh again. Sometimes that can seem very difficult when you hurt and so badly want answers.
I want you to live today; be happy. Bring laughter back into the house. Dare to dream again. You know so much better than many that life is often too short, too unpredictable. Tomorrow is never guaranteed.
I would rather this all be a very bad nightmare, but I can’t do nothing to change that now. However, you can make something good out of my death if you use it as an opportunity to love each other a little more, and reach out. There are so many hurting people out there who need a hand, or a hug or a “hello” or just someone to listen. Don’t be afraid to admit you may be one of them. Be gentle with each other. On a still, clear night, look for me, out there in the peace and quiet. Look up, not by the Big Dipper or the Milky Way, but over there in the corner of the sky. See that small, twinkling star you never noticed before?
One more thing before I go, thanks a lot for everything you did for me. Thanks for caring and sharing. Thanks for trying and for crying. I love you, lots. And Mom and Dad, “good-bye”, “good-bye for just a little while longer”.
Love you, Your Angel Baby”
I love you my darling child, more than you will ever very know. And I miss you more than is possible to put into words.