Thursday, 4 September 2014

Small Steps...

Picking up my blogging right now is really hard.


I don't want to have a blog full of the heartache that we're all feeling here at home, it's always been my happy place full of achievements and fun stuff. Even when my partner had Meningitis my blog was where I recorded each and every improvement. Right now it doesn't feel like we can ever have improvement, although logic tells me each and every step back to normal life is a step forward.

Our youngest child started school yesterday. He's 4, he is coping incredibly well on the face of it. He was excited for his first day and ran into school. He has stopped telling everyone we meet all of the details about what happened, which is a relief, but school are ready for it and ready to explain to other parents if their children come home with our son's 'news'.
He has sorted it out in his head. On advice from a Family Support Worker we let him go and see his sister in the chapel, and since then he has stopped being scared that she is still upstairs, and has accepted the permanence of her death.
He isn't sleeping well, so he's tired. He's scared of dark and shadows, so he won't go to the toilet alone or go upstairs without me, and he's only falling asleep with the light on. World's Apart very kindly sent us an amazing night light which is really big and bright, and sound activated, so when he wakes he only has to speak and he has light.
He's scared we'll die. If someone lies in bed late he asks if they've died. He's made me promise I won't get confused and kill myself.  I promise.

Our 5 year old moved over to year 1 and the big school yesterday. He had a good day, he was 'Star Of The Day', and it was meatballs for lunch. He's eating again now. He knows lots about France, and is still wearing his Cockade from the funeral last week. His class are going to study France this half term, maybe if he's up to it he'll sing them something from Les Miserables.
He misses nothing. He sees me go to check on the older children when they sleep in, and asks me if I checked to see if they are dead. I can't lie, so I just give him a hug.
He's going to sleep with the light on, but sleeping well. He has been given a Disney Cars torch that is motion activated, so he can have light at night when wakes. He uses it to check his brother, I know, I've seen him, but I didn't let on.
He's terrified he will die. He's scared he might eat some mud or too much toothpaste or anything else poisonous. He warns his brother whenever he feels he's doing something dangerous. Death is now something that doesn't only happen to the elderly or the very ill. He's realised so terribly young that life is fragile.

The teenagers are all coping in their own ways. They all know it's okay to be happy, smile, laugh. It's okay to watch comedy on TV or have fun with your friends. You can listen to music or play games. You can cry for a reason, cry for secret reason, and cry for no reason. It's all okay.
They're all having help from CAMHs for bereavement counselling. They all need to know it wasn't their fault, and they couldn't have prevented it. No-one can truly be inside someone else's head, we only see what they choose to share. This was true of Elspeth, and it is true now of our other children, and we're trying our best to make sure guilt and anger are not what they feel inside.

Both of our 16 year olds did exceptionally well in their GCSE's. Elspeth had 3 A*'s and 4 more A's and had 11 GCSE's in total. Jake has an A* and 4 more A's and 12 GCSE's in total. This is brilliant, and we're so proud of them. It means that Jake has secured his place at a Specialist Engineering College in the midlands, and will be leaving us, as was always the plan. I'm pleased he's still following his dream, although we'll miss him terribly, but have warned him he'll never be too far for a surprise visit, and he will be joining us alternate weekends and holidays.

The small steps will add up, I know that. It's such a long road ahead that I know we'll never reach the end, but maybe if we keep counting the small steps, we can see the progression more clearly.

First ever LEGO model all by himself, following the instructions x



34 comments:

  1. Didn't want to read & not leave a comment, thinking of you all x

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  2. I am glad you are all thinking positive, and also Jake is still following his dreams. xx

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  3. Oh Jenny, I feel your pain reading this and it made me cry twice. You are doing amazingly, going through the motions and taking steps to get back to 'normal' - whatever that may be for you all now. Your two youngests break my heart - it is so sad that they have had to learn about mortality so young. Sending you so much love x

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  4. Aw, poor little guys, kids are pretty resilient though, and it sound like you are getting them help. That has to be super tough though. I feel like anything I have to say is just trite or captain obvious, but huggles to all.

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  5. Oh Jenny so heartbreaking. I really feel for your boys but it sounds like they are getting the help and support they need and I am sure in time things will settle. Although things will never be the same you will settle into some kind of 'normality' it just takes time. Love to you all, as always xxxx

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  6. I'm glad that the children know how important having plans still is, and that there is some normality and routine that they can follow. I'm glad that it is giving you the same, that you are taking each day on and travelling through it, together. Elspeth would have wanted nothing more than for you all to keep going. Congratulations on the excellent exam results, what a wonderful achievement, from both of them x thinking of you all, every day x

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  7. Oh Jenny, you have been in my thoughts so much, especially this week with school starting. Those lights and torches sound great for the boys and it's encouraging to hear that the children are being given the support that they need to help them deal with their emotions. I hope that you and Euan are getting that support too, as it is such a weight for you both. Each minute, each day is a step, just keep taking those steps. Know that we are all there walking through each day with you, even if you can't see us xx

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  8. Like everyone else all I can do is say that I am thinking of you all x

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  9. We're all thinking of you all Jenny. Take it a day at a time and make sure you take the time to look after you as well xx

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  10. Your children are so incredible Jenny, you must be so proud of them. Your post brought me to tears. Baby steps x x

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  11. Beautiful written. So nice to hear of them all 'coping'. Love to you all xxx

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  12. Yes small steps. There's nothing I can add but wanted to comment to let you know you are all in my thoughts. Jo x

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  13. I'm so pleased that the boys had a good day. You're doing so well together as a family and we are all here if you need us - any time.

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  14. Small steps is the best way forward, thinking of you all xxx

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  15. Thinking of you lots. It sounds really hard but your kids sound amazing and I hope their journey through this is as easy as it can be, bit by bit as they rebuild their new normal. I really wish your pain eases quickly xx

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  16. Love to you all. I am glad your little ones are getting support at such a time, where I think we, as parents, would need it most. It sounds as though your steps are a perfect fit for you and yours. Sending you strength for when you need it. xx

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  17. Keep going Jenny, keep taking those small steps. It's OK to stop and pause when you need to as well. Don't worry about blogging, only do it if it helps and supports you.

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  18. Thoughts are with you lovely x small steps xxx

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  19. There is so much pain in your words. My thoughts are with you and your family x

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  20. The night lights sound brilliant - my 3 year old and 5 year old both prefer a bit of light! Congratulations on such brilliant exam results!
    Fantastic lego building x
    Small steps and lots of cuddles along the way xx always thinking of you - especially when I see sunflowers x

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