How do I even start today’s post? Okay so I have to firstly reflect on yesterday when at 12.01 I hit the publish button on my blog, my tribute to Julie, her life and the pain of losing her. That was so hard to share with you all. I woke to wonderful messages of love from my two cousins and my Aunty Shelia. It’s 7.27 and tears burn in my eyes, crying again! It’s becoming a daily habit. It is comforting but heartbreaking after all these years to just talk about her again. The day and evening continues with messages, texts, phone calls, personal comments on the blog from people I know and don’t know just sharing their pain. I’m so grateful to everyone for their support and love, I consider myself so blessed.
We all hide our true feeling of grief thinking that we are alone, that no one could feel the pain we feel. It humbles me that so many people wanted to share their stories of grief with me. Not for me to take that pain away or to fix them (no one can) but just to share in it, thank you.
Lauren and Dawn came to see me for the day and we spent the afternoon catching up on the last 12 years and times before that, of our shared childhood, poor Lauren couldn’t get a word in. Molly was glad of someone there to throw her ball for her though.
Prior to them arriving I felt unwell, tired from only 3 hours sleep again, waking up with sweats and cramps, running to the loo with the one minute warning, never pleasant. I am still troubled by how Rebecca is handling how she is feeling. I called the Macmillan general helpline and spoke to a lovely lady called Sarah. She was very helpful about things that might help, local hospices and support groups. All which are being posted out to me, so I’ll let you know how that goes.
My mom called in the evening to say that she had seen my post, she cried, now this is massive for my mom, she doesn’t do showing emotion. I was glad that I had done something to share our loss, her loss, even if it was too painful for her to see it on a screen. After a long day I was exhausted and slept. Not like me at all, I slept for 5 hours, wow. Peace at last, I escaped from myself and the world I now live for 5 hours, like so many going through dealing with cancer there is very little escape.
I woke and felt okay, but then the one minute warnings started again and just wouldn’t stop. I have a funeral at midday. Oh no! I can’t not go. Cancer nurse Daisy said in her wonderful Indian accent “If you go more than 10 times, you go A&E” well I’d only been up two hours and I was up to number 6, what was I going to do? Steve could see I was struggling and we have to yet again discuss toilets! Will I ever get used to talking about poo? The plan was Immodium and then get some fluids into me as I was weak. Showered and dressed I had to go to the funeral, I just couldn’t not go.
I met Helen, Jerry, Joseph and Tom through football. Richard played in defence with Tom. Football season, every Sunday’s through whatever weather, we were always there, devoted mom’s and dad’s watching our boys. Jerry managed the football team. Joseph usually only came throughout the summer or milder weather. He had cerebal palsy from the age of 5 months old.
Helen, Jerry and Tom have devoted their lives to caring for Joesph. In recent weeks the Facebook posts by Tom and Helen were building towards the inevitable that Joseph was not going to be able to continue to fight to be with his family who he loved some much.
The service was held in a beautiful 900 years old, local Church of England church where Helen and Jerry had been married and their sons had been baptised. It was the second oldest church in England. I was worried about getting through the service but thoughts just kept coming back to them and praying that they could get through it. I met Jane, Dominic’s mom outside. He also played in the football team. We went in together, tissues shared between us. Inside it was cool and peaceful and for the second time in as many weeks I found myself in church saying a prayer for my loved ones and for them today.
The service was beautiful but heart wrenching. Not a dry eye anywhere. The sight of young men carrying a coffin in to a church was just so moving. In support of the family and Tom, his friends were there, young, fit, full of life and yet joined in respect of the family’s loss. Richard couldn’t make it to the funeral, which I know hurts him. I could hardly stand for the hymns, my legs were shaking, I was dizzy and felt so sick. Nothing compared with the anguish the family were feeling.
Following yesterday with the tribute to my sister. I have no idea what it feels like to lose a child. How can anyone empathise with that? How can we even comprehend the depth of suffering? Tom had written a tribute to his brother, Jerry dedicated a beautiful poem which were read by others, but Helen stood so proudly in front of us all and held herself together to talk about her love, joy and happiness of being Joesph’s mom and the sorrow and pain she now has in losing him. No parent should have to bury their child.
The service was over an hour, the coffin was carried out by family again with Tom. Most people don’t know what to say in grief, or shy away from others’ pain. I sadly am not due to the people I have lost. Outside the church I went straight to Helen to hug and hold her, to tell her how proud I was of her for her courage in giving a beautiful tribute to her boy. We just stood, holding each other crying. I passed on Richard’s love to her, Tom and to Jerry, giving them all tearful hugs. I then stepped away for others to come forward to share their pain.
I couldn’t go to the crematorium I knew I couldn’t make it. I don’t even know how I drove back home. Once back with Steve I just couldn’t speak for over an hour, there were no words, how could I describe for him or you the depth of that family’s sorrow? I just hope that they were comforted today by the people who were there to stand with them in their grief.
So it’s one day at a time for them, for me for all of us, whatever hardships we are all facing. I like them am not alone. We have to take comfort where we can and sometimes lean on those who can help carry our burdens.
I am so sorry that this has again not been a more uplifting post. I do like to add humour as you all know. It just wasn’t fitting for today nor yesterday. I will however try to be positive again tomorrow, if I can ever get off the loo!
Karen starts cycle two of chemo tomorrow and my thoughts are with her too. With you all the way mate, chemo buds together! I hope she can take this cycle and her luck can finally change.