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.