Sonntag, 10. Juli 2016

Six years

I never wrote anything last year. It was five years, half a decade since that horrible 10th July that took Lennon from me.

And today, six years on, part of me still just wants to just hide away.

It is the memory of this day that tortures me so much that I cannot find any words for it. I miss him, I wish every morning that he had never left, I try to imagine what life would be with him, how we would all be without that scar in our hearts. How would we be today, if we had not experienced such pain and such a loss. I envy that image of me that in reality doesn't exist.

But what makes today so much harder than oher days, is that when I look at clock I know at what time he was still here, what time I said "see you later", the time when I got the call that there was an accident. After that it all becomes a blur, a state of shock, a pain that was too painful to bear, but that none of us could escape from.

As time went on I have learned how to escape, how to live each day, sometimes easier, sometimes harder, but on the 10th of July it is impossible to find that escape.

And part of me wants to relive this day, to remind me that unfortunatey it was real.

Oh my dear Lennon, there are so many happy moments we shared, and when I wake up tomorrow I promise that I will try again to think of these, of the playgrounds, the beaches, the fields and places we visited together, hand in hand. I miss you.

Mittwoch, 9. Juli 2014

Four years

Today it has been four years since the day that took my child from me. Four years in which I was haunted by the horrible memories of that brutal day. One of the so-called stages of grief is "acceptance", but I am not sure this theory applies to losing a child. 
My head knows, but my heart will not accept it. 
Sometimes it feels more like giving up. And then my strengths crumbles beneath me, as if someone had just now told me what happened and for the first time it sounds true. 

Sometimes I get asked how I manage to deal with such a loss - and frankly, I wonder myself how anyone can deal with such a painful experience. Because I don't deal with "it". What would dealing "with it" mean anyway? 
I just continue living. 

Lennon now has four little siblings, three of which will never meet him. Each of them is a little fascinating person that fills me with so much pride and love, and I try to be a "normal" mother to them, because each of them is just as precious as he was to me. When the accident happend I wanted to disappear, I thought I would not manage to look after Bessie or be a good mother to her, because I was in so much pain - just being awake was hurting so badly

But a friend gave me a reality check. 
She reminded me that each child is the most precious thing we have, so if I had left Bessie behind, because I lost Lennon, I would have made him more precious than her. And that is not true. 
I think all mothers can understand, that even though we love each of our children individually and for different reasons and characteristics, each of them receives 100% of or love. 
Lennon leaving has broken my heart 100%, but then there is Bessie, who I love with 100%, Brodie, who I love with 100%, Trudie, who I love with 100% and Phoebe, who I love with 100%. 
That is why most days I try not to focus on the loss, because then my heart is 100% broken, but focus on the four that are here with me. 

Maybe I am running away from my grief, maybe I should accept "it" and "move on" as sometimes people suggest, but for right now, I am doing much better to by simply changing the focus. 

What counts is that Lennon's four siblings are raised without traumatised parents, that they can laugh and play and enjoy being children. Life as an adult becomes more serious anyway. The accidents will haunt me for the rest of my life, but I don't want it to haunt their lifes, too. 

Lennon will always remain my precious first son. 
If anything I would like anyone reading this today, and those who knew him, to remember him today for beeing that cool little boy that would cycle on his balance bikes around the pavements of Edinburgh, that would always wear his cap slightly tilted, that adored his little sister, that would not get out of the 'little tikes' toycar in playgroup and that would always pick the jam buiscuit, who loved cocktail tomatoes and Pom-Bear crisps, who could watch the movie 'Cars' back to back and that made us as parents so incredibly proud and happy. 

Lennon - we miss you every day.

Dienstag, 9. Juli 2013

Three years

Three years .... Three years without kissing, talking to, playing or even just being with Lennon. Three years on and I still have as many questions. I do occasionaly find my own answers, but I have no way of telling whether these are ultimately also the truth. I so desperately want there to be a reason or a meaning, but to be honest, I just don't know if there is. 

At first I was sure that this tragedy would make me a bitter woman, and I am surprised to say that it hasn't. But what it has, is that it made me a scared, less trusting, probably even controlling woman. You might see me and think that I have regained some strength or control, but I actually feel pretty lost. Life as a bereaved mother sucks, because it is so incredibly hard to judge if danger is really approaching or whether I am being paranoid. It's always just one foot ahead of the other, never the entire road at once. 

I try to think back of how I was prior to Lennon's accident and I don't recognise that woman anymore (even looking at old pictures is like looking into the eyes of a stranger) - instead I find her naive, gullable, even pathetic, yet I also envy her for her confidence in life. I long back to be so carefree. But then the weirdest thing is that I probably never was carefree, it's just that from where I stand now, the worries or fears I used to have seem insignificant. When the accident happened a part of me died, it's gone, just like Lennon. And strangely this realisation helps me to handle each day as it comes, because I know that it is impossible to have my son as well as my old self back, so I have to make do with what is left of me to make it a decent day for Lennon's siblings - Bessie, Brodie and Trudie. 

Our life - and I - would be so different if the 10th July 2010 hadn't taken Lennon from us. And now, three years on, my wild little toddler, would probably be a little boy, so different to how he was, yet surely still as adorable and amazing. There are hundreds of possibilities how we all would be today, but it is a pointless exercise to dwell on them, because life is what it is. And wasn't it John Lennon who sung "Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans." We played the song 'Beautiful Boy' at Lennon's naming ceremony, yet I had no idea how different to our plan this life would happen. 

Lennon - I love and miss you with all my heart - and as I cannot turn back the time, I do hope that one day I will find an answer.

Mittwoch, 13. Juli 2011

It's now been a year since I last saw, held and kissed Lennon. At first I was scared of that dreaded 10th July, but then I realised that my heart already broke this time last year, and even though it kept on beating - it remains broken. So I don't have to be scared anymore. 

Instead I found it soothing to have people remember our Lennon on that tragic day and I really cared about other people caring. Thank you.

When I first started writing this blog I wondered whether time could be some kind of healer. And given that it's been a year I have been asked occasionally whether our loss has become easier to deal with, or whether am I feeling any better. Well, ....

An outsider might say that our life seems quite normal again. I gave birth to my third beautiful child Brodie, Bessie is being an amazing little girl and we do everyday things such as visiting a playground, sitting in a restaurant, meeting friends, even going on holiday. But the truth is that I also cry every single day, I visit his memory stone and am shocked to read his name and I am in complete despair realising that the photos I look at are the only ones I will ever have. But worst of all are the images and the feelings from that awful day that I relive day in and day out. They seem to be forever burned into my memory and they are so brutal that they would take anyone’s breath away.

How could seeing and revisiting those pictures ever become any less painful?
How could this ever heal?

Losing Lennon can't be compared to a wound, which would have the chance to scar over and eventually heal. Losing a child is more like an amputation, like losing a limb. (Although given the choice I would have given both legs and arms, even my life, if that would have meant that Lennon could still be here. But I wasn't given that option.)

Assuming someone loses a leg, would we expect this person to ever walk like he used to? The best one could hope for is that this person may learn how to walk again - but never to walk as fast as before.

I am quite certain that I too would admire the person that would continue to face life full front instead of indulging in self pity.

So that is what I am trying to do. I am forcing myself each day at a time to make it a worthwhile day for Bessie and Brodie. But it's not easy and it seems like a pretty thin line that I am walking on, as my heartache remains a constant companion.

So is time a healer? I am afraid I have to say "no". Instead I assume time is a teacher. Losing my son is not like a wound that will ever heal  -  all I can hope for is that I learn each day how to cope with losing this vital invisible limb that was more important to me than my legs and arms. 

Lennon - I love and miss you. Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Montag, 11. April 2011

I noticed that music has become so powerful in triggering and taking control of my feelings, that I avoid to listen to songs when I am at home alone. I tend to prefer complete silence.

One song that - when played on the radio - completely overwhelms me and that makes me break down in tears is a song called Helele by Safri Duo & Velile. It was one of those world cup hits last summer. And when I hear it I travel back in time to the Wednesday before the accident. Germany played Spain in the semi final and even though people had asked me to come and watch the game with them, I decided to stay home with Lennon and Bessie and spend the evening with my precious kids. Bessie went to bed even before the game started. Lennon and I were both wearing our football outfits, I was drinking wine, he was eating pizza, we played with his cars on the carpets and then he just cuddled up and fell asleep in my arms while Germany lost the game. When the game finished this song was performed on TV and I picked up Lennon and I remember so clearly how lucky I felt to have this amazing son and thought that I would never have to feel lonely as we were so connected and had so much fun together, whatever we did.  With Lennon in my arms I moved along to the song and felt so content and fulfilled.
And hearing this song I remember the moment and my feelings of happiness so clearly, but my heart breaks because I know that this moment is gone forever. And instead there is a part of my heart that will forever be lonely, that part that loved Lennon and will continue to for at long as it beats.

And crying can be so exhausting, so I tend to avoid situations that will take out even more energy. It's only when I drive in our car that I turn on the radio, so more often than not I arrive at my destination with watery eyes. Meaningful songs about love and loss bring out the tears anyway. Yet it is also the happy songs that remind me of how happy-go-lucky I once was and how easy life really seemed to be that crush my heart. It's hard to accept that our life changed so quickly and so drastically and that I have to continue knowing I lost something so special.

In a way I am grateful to those beautiful songs for reminding me of all the special times and moments, yet sometimes I simply don't feel I am strong enough to put myself into a situation whereby emotions take control of me and I cannot hold back the tears.

Dienstag, 22. Februar 2011

Recently I have been taking part at a bereaved parents meeting, an event I would have never ever wanted to visit - and I guess neither did any of the other participants. Listening to others, who experienced the loss of a child, doesn't really bring me comfort, but at least I realised that I am not the only parent to have experienced such tragedy and that there are others who are feeling the same kind of pain.

I also had to realise though that the wounds in our hearts will never heal. For most participants it had been two, three year, or even more years, yet they still missed their children just as much. I suppose everybody deals with it, because there is no alternative and gets on with each day, but let's face it, our hearts are scarred for life.

Some naive part of me was hoping that in this meeting someone would reveal that this is the worst ever practical joke played on us, and that in reality our children are still alive - or that someone would give me the key to unlock time-travel, - or  at least give me some sort of convincing evidence that our children are really still here with us, even if only in spirit. I don't even know if this would in any way make the loss easier to cope with, yet I am longing to find proof that I will see Lennon again one day. I am so desperate that I have read anything that has come my way, starting from near-death experiences, mediums and fate to as complex issues as metaphysics and relativity theory. There can only be one truth, either there is something - or not. But as I am not the first person to pose these questions I kind of think it is unlikely that I will be the one to unlock the secret of life after death.

Some might think that it doesn't matter to find an answer, yet to me it does. I only ever manage to get through each day at a time. I can accept not seeing Lennon today, but I cannot accept not being able to see him tomorrow, or never. So if I found proof that there is another dimension and he is there, I would at least be comforted by knowing that one day will be that tomorrow and I will be reunited with the child that I love beyond anything, whose little feet I long for to tickle and whose hair I long for to smell.

Freitag, 31. Dezember 2010

Earlier this year, when Lennon was still here, I heard of a mother - a friend of a friend - that lost her son who was around Lennon's age. The story hit me really hard and I kept thinking of this mother, wondering how she could ever go on living. That night when I put Lennon to bed I cried and told  him to never ever leave me, as I would not know how life could ever continue without him.

Only a couple of months later I too am that mother. Yet I did not die either - I am still here, something I could have never imagined possible. After the accident I was sure that my broken heart would just stop beating. But some survival instinct combined with the responsibility and love I feel for most of all Bessie, made me survive another second, another minute, then an hour and suddenly weeks turned into months.

Yet life is not the same anymore.

I remember one perfect hot sunday. We took the kids to Portobello beach and Lennon was splashing around in the sea, laughing loud when the shallow waves touched his tiny feet. Later the four of us went to a friend's BBQ and Lennon stripped down in the garden and he was so proud when he was allowed to carry his dad's beer. In the evening we carried our two exhausted kids home and I felt like the luckiest woman alive to be the mother of these amazing children.

Having lost Lennon has broken my heart, even if it kept on beating. I am still able to feel all the love and adoration for Bessie, she is my daughter just as he will always be my son and I want to make her life as happy as possible. But I can't imagine that any day can ever feel this perfect again, as Lennon will be missing, no matter how good any moment may be.