Rock bottom, there is only one way from here, I hope

I’ve not written a post for a few days because I’ve had a particularly bad time. Not that any time at the moment is good. Saturday evening I had to call an ambulance for a family member, it was bad enough dialling 999 and living through that phone call again, but one of the paramedics that came to the house was one that came to help William on the day he died. When I opened the door and he was stood there I froze, as it turned out, he didn’t want to come into the house either. A trip to A&E followed, whereby the nurse who attended us was the nurse who attended William that morning, and the room we were in was right next to the resus room we were in that day. Everyone knew who I was.

Waking up the following morning I was beyond distressed, it felt to me like Monday 15th December 2014, day 2 of losing William, but without the shock, it felt like a train had hit me, but I didn’t have the added shock factor that I did on the 15th December, that by now has gone, I now know William isn’t coming back and I will never see him again. Sunday 25th January 2015 seemed and felt worse than any other day, and it was. The 6 week anniversary of losing William, Sundays always seem worse than any other day of the week. As the day wore on I became more and more agitated, my stress levels increased, my thoughts not making any sense and I finally broke.

Monday the 26th I woke in a bed in hospital, now realising how helpless I am at coping with the situation. I can finally admit, I am not coping, I am not strong enough to deal with this, although I have been accepting all the help I can get, it is not enough, and waking up that morning in hospital was a sure-fire sign that I am not managing. Thankfully, and I am pleased, I will now be having daily visits from the psychiatric mental health team. I am not embarrassed to admit this or tell you all about it. I am proud to admit that I cannot cope with losing or living without William, I cannot do this without serious help, my bond with William unwavering, stronger than ever, the mere existence that life has inevitably become is one of total misery and despair. It is not what I want, as much as I don’t want a life without William, I equally don’t want a life of misery and despair. Like they say there is only one way to go from hitting rock bottom. Today is day 1.

Losing William is an indescribable journey of survival

The cruel reality of losing William is not just a daily struggle of grief, but the overwhelming burden of guilt of getting to live whilst William doesn’t. Why should I go out for a coffee, when William can’t come with me? Why should I go and breathe the sea air in, when William can’t come and sift the sand through his hands with me? My days are filled with ‘necessary’ trips, to the doctors, to CBT trauma therapy, to the hospital etc. However, I then found myself stood in Dunelm Mill on Wednesday. My therapist asked me to keep a diary, I didn’t have one, or a notepad. This would mean I would have to buy one by myself. So, after picking up the DVD of William’s service I pulled up outside Dunelm, got out the car, walked in and stood there. Taking in the people who were going about their browsing, not knowing the true pain of the person stood in front of them, trying my best to smile if people looked at me, and making sure I remembered to acknowledge people when they let me pass. I felt like I was pretending, and I was, just a performance.

It was a start however, going somewhere I didn’t have to go, or get asked to go, but chose to go. I wasn’t brave enough to go in the supermarket today, the supermarket where we’d take Grumpus down the toy aisle and marvel over his captivating laugh at Tickle Me Elmo. Doing all these things I know would not have even been an option 5 weeks ago, or even a week ago.

People say to me about acceptance or coming to terms with it, but these are 2 things that I will never do, how can you ever accept your child dying, especially so needlessly or come to terms with knowing that I will no longer wake up to Grumpus anymore. No, I will not do either of these things, and that is something I am certain of and I have made that decision, and I’m pleased that I have, because it is something I no longer need to fight to achieve. I am however, trying to live with it, and I know the fact I’m writing this now, shows I’m ‘living with it’. I am prepared for people to tell me that in time living with it should become easier. I hope so.

When I had my first assessment at therapy they asked me whether I felt suicidal. Did I, do I? My answer was and still is, no. I don’t want to take my own life, I wish I could go to sleep and not wake up, I don’t want what life has to offer me now, because it feels empty and so painful. However, the way I seem to work this through is that Grumpus didn’t get a choice, the one thing he wanted and I want for him the most is life, breath, a physical existence. However much physical pain I feel and however much I feel that life is not worth living, it would be totally selfish of me to take away the one thing that he needs and wants the most, and that is life.

So that is what I’m doing, surviving.

I don’t want William to be a memory

Yesterday I collected the DVD recording of William’s funeral. I didn’t take it out of my handbag, and it sat in the corner like an elephant in the room. Everyone had forgotten I had collected it, they were focused on the CBT trauma therapy I had been too just before. That suited me, when I arrived home, everyone wanted to know how I felt the CBT trauma therapy had gone and how I had been affected by it. No-one realised that the withdrawn silence was due to the DVD that was sat in my bag.

I toyed with the idea of playing the DVD, whether or when I could watch it, if at all. But I couldn’t stand it any longer, I didn’t know what emotions watching it would evoke, but the emotions that not watching it were evoking were becoming more and more difficult to hide. So, we watched it.

I was gone as soon as seeing ‘In memory of William Oscar Mead’ came onto the screen. Seeing my son’s name in flowers, seeing my son’s nickname in flowers and hearing the song we had chosen to walk in to.

Then we came in carrying William’s tiny white coffin. Knowing William’s little body was in there. I just looked at the TV, desperately wanted to jump into the screen, take William out of the coffin and cuddle him, hold him so close, breath him in, kiss his face, cry over him and love him, physically. The raw, painful reality of never seeing him again came flooding out. My tears the words my heart cannot say. At this moment in time, I would do anything, anything in this world to see William, even if it was in that tiny white coffin, to see his face, to feel his skin, to hold his hand and to feel his body close to mine.

I think i will have to watch the DVD several times, maybe more for me take in the readings, the poems, and the people. I can barely remember anything from that day, I can’t remember standing up and reading two poems or the letter I had written for my precious boy. “Being your Mummy and Daddy made our lives worthwhile, only YOU gave us that.” At that point i looked across at his coffin, emphasising the word ‘you’, maybe somewhere, subconsciously I wanted to make sure William heard me, but I think William heard it all.

The curtains closed and the song that led us out begun and I knew then I would never see William again. As I watched this on the DVD I relived that moment all over again, watching myself having to walk away was heart wrenching. Sobbing, the screen turned off and ‘In memory of William Oscar Mead’ appeared once more.

I don’t want William to be a memory.

Silence is the most powerful scream

As each day passes I recognise that I scream more on the inside than on the outside. It’s just as loud, but just because you can’t hear it doesn’t mean it’s not there. I would rather be anywhere else than in my head right now. It’s like a constant merry-go-round of questions, the same questions, just worded differently.

As a person I’m very black and white, I like things to be just so, I don’t like uncertainty and I like to be in control of myself and what I’m doing. This is the first time I have never been in control, I can’t change what’s happened and I have no control over how I’m feeling. It’s frightening to not know how I’m going to be feeling from one minute to the next.

I don’t have control over anything that I think or what goes through my mind. Especially anything that relates to the situation, and that is all that goes through my mind. Not having control over what I think is really scary, it’s a constant headache, constant questioning, questioning of life, questioning my belief’s, questioning my own ability as a mother. It seems to be the only way I can have any control at the moment, by questioning. Why has this happened? Why has this happened to William?

I know how William died, but why is something I have to try to somehow find peace with sometime. I have never been what I would call a particularly ‘religious’ person but I have always been open. I suppose I’ve always believed in ‘something’. I like to believe, and I do believe that William is in heaven. I like to believe and I hope that heaven is close, close enough that William can reach out and touch me so he knows I’m here, close enough so that he can hear me say ‘Goodnight sweetheart, I love you.’

Coping with anger

Today I had to relive that morning, the lead up, Williams death and his funeral all over again with yet another professional. Although I know it’s necessary to help establish answers, not just for us but for William. It’s so hard.

To begin with I am ok, then I start shaking, first of all on the inside then uncontrollably on the outside. My temperature seems to plummet and I sit there shaking and freezing cold.

The questions run through my head, the what if’s, and especially the hindsight. Hindsight is a wonderful thing if you have the benefit of it before the event, but it is a curse after the fact. We have to endure an inquest, questions need to be answered, the doctors, the specialists, SERCO, everyone that seemed to be involved in William’s care up until he passed away, why did he pass away? We all know now that William shouldn’t have died, that his illness should have been picked up and investigated at one of the 6 appointments we took him to in as many weeks leading to his death.

The feeling when I think about this is beyond anger, it’s very difficult to describe, I know that not one particular person had a hand in his death, I know that the doctor’s didn’t miss, or not diagnose him on purpose, but there were oversight’s, there were failings, simple failings at a general doctor level.

Like we keep getting reminded time and time again, William had wonderful parents, William was so loved and very loving, William was so happy and so content, he was beautiful, intelligent and had so much to give. I know that only we gave him that. I know that we fed off each other, I loved him and he loved me back, pure and unspoken love, a bond that will never be broken.

No matter how many questions are asked, how many questions are answered, how many apologies we receive, none of it brings William back, I will never see him again, touch him, smell him, hear his little voice. Never hear him say ‘mummy, I love you.’ Living with this pain is not anger, it’s a lifetime of torture.

I miss him. So much.