I used to be sad.
Openly, publicly, sad.
I wore my sadness like a badge of honour.
Like a battle scar.
It defined me - my cuts and my pills and my tears became all that I was.
I wallowed in it, and somewhere along the way I became so obsessed with what I had lost that I wasted what I had.
I took for granted everything and everyone that could still make me happy, and I focused on how sad I felt.
I missed out on so much,
because I was so focused on what I was missing.
I am still sad. Even more so than before.
(Although “sad” seems far too small to describe how I feel.)
I think I always will be, at least a little, but what I know now is I can’t let sadness be all that I am.
I can’t let mourning what I no longer have stop me from appreciating what I have still got.
Because one day I will lose that too, and it hurts more to regret what could have been than to miss what was.
Sometimes the only thing that gives me hope for the future is the thought that one day my child might talk to their friend and say “My mum lost so much, but she made it through and I am so glad.”
And that is all I aspire to.
I don’t think I’m doing as okay as I like to believe.
When we were children you would hug me with your arms around my neck.
You smelt of something I can’t describe but it reminded me of home.
You made me feel safe and I didn’t want to let go and told you you were the best.
When you were happy you’d hug me with both arms wrapped around my waist.
You made a noise that I can’t describe but I now hear before I sleep.
You messed up my hair and I tried not to laugh and told you to let me go.
When I last saw you, you hugged me with only one arm.
You smiled that smile I can’t describe but I can see when I close my eyes.
You walked away and I waved goodbye and told you I’d see you in the future.
I want to write to you
Although you will never read
What I want to say.
I want to tell you that I miss you
I want to tell you that I love you
But somehow I can’t put pen to paper
Without the page blurring
And my heart aching.
You can never read what I will never say.
I think the only way that I am coping; the only way that I am, in the eyes of so many, doing okay in the face of such devastating, heartbreaking loss is that I have felt this way for years.
For years, I have felt the pain of a loss so profound that it hurts to dwell on.
I have ached, and cried, and even now this fresh wound feels familiar because the old trauma never properly healed and now only scar tissue covers my heart.
The fact I have hurt for so long is the only thing that now keeps me going.
It was never supposed to be like this.
Even in my darkest dreams I never thought this could happen.
I always knew how fragile my own mortality was - I toyed with the notion that one day I might simply be gone and nothing would hurt, or matter, any more.
But you were always the solid one.
The strong one.
You were the one who was meant to rule the world one day.
I could picture your lives without me,
But I don’t know how to live mine now that you’re gone.
I thought that I’d have longer
To say all I longed to say.
I treasure our childhood;
All the games we used to play.
The way that I felt so secure,
Sure things would never change.
Though time would move on around us,
We would never age.
Then, as we grew older,
I felt so left behind.
Were you inconsiderate?
Was I sometimes unkind?
For years I tried to catch you up,
While you strived to stay ahead.
Wounded, I aimed to hurt you
With the words I said.
Sometimes it takes a tragedy
To unite those left behind.
Both our childhoods died that day,
Although we remained alive.
Since then we grew closer,
Maybe because I grew up so fast.
Whatever the reason, it’s nice to say
That we were friends, of sorts, at last.
I used to sit and wonder if
We’d get on when we’re no longer teens.
Recently as adulthood loomed closer,
I began to imagine the scene.
Sitting around a table,
drinking glasses of red wine.
Laughing about the past times
Whilst your children fought with mine.