Sunday, 15 February 2015

Six months later...

There seems no way it can be six months since Elspeth died, but it's true.

Six months is such a very long time, but I don't really remember very much of it, and it seems more possible I miscounted. It's a very demoralising thought that six months has already passed, but today it seems more as if it was six days. It's so tiring, I'm so weary. It makes it hard to sugar-coat anything.

Some days are okay, and others are not. We all feel the lack of progress, the failure to have moved on, the loss of confidence, the loss of you.

There's a lot of anger now, and frustration and even confusion. A house full of people who are short-tempered and frustrated, and overly-sensitive, is a hard place to live in. Everyone walks on eggshells all the time, but still manages to offend everyone else. We spend half our time explaining throwaway comments and asides that have devastated someone unintentionally. But we need each other, so we move from anger to tears in rapid succession, and step back onto the eggshells to start over again.

The children are no longer deemed 'Children In Need'. Everyone's happy with their progress, and has been since the beginning. The little boys coping very well and performing well at school, and five nights on a sedative from the Doctor have brought our youngest back into a routine of sleeping through. The three teenagers all have exams. They have so much stress to handle and I lie awake at night wondering how they can do it. How can they go to school and achieve, how can they focus? We're so proud of them, we really are.

I rarely cook properly. It's so hard to go and stand in the kitchen alone and cook, when for so many years you'd bring your homework and sit with me while I did it. I'd listen to you read and explain unknown words, and sometimes we'd discuss stuff that you can only discuss when you're alone, but you don't need any of those things now. You'll never need them.

The relentlessness is what's so hard. It doesn't stop. There is no getting off the treadmill, no break, no time off. We can never escape the fact that you aren't here - it goes on forever.

We are still waiting for the twice-delayed inquest, which will not be next month as someone is on holiday all month - lucky them. I hope they enjoy their holiday while we sit at home under a cloud, waiting to move on. I know emptiness follows the inquest, I've been told, but waiting for something that's going to be so painful adds another frustration. It gives us something else we have no control over.

We're doing it though, we are. And we will get there. I am the woman who jumped and landed, and I didn't stop walking because I knew I'd broken my leg. I had to keep going or I'd never make it to the van. That is where our lives are now. We can't stop, we can't pause, we can't smell any flowers, we just keep going. And one day we'll make it.

It was your 17th birthday 3 days ago, and that was a day everyone was dreading, and it went okay. Your 6 year old brother bought you flowers. He chose them very carefully. He said that he didn't want to get you anything you couldn't use, so you have purple and white flowers and a card saying Happy Birthday in fancy writing. You don't have driving lessons and band t-shirts and art materials. You can't use them.

Your friends organised an amazing time. They got together as a huge group and went and spent the evening together on a hill overlooking our town - the same place where our oldest walked to on the day you died. It's a very fitting place, and they had an awesome time. They celebrated your life, and came together to talk about where they are now - all moving forward and nearly half way through their college courses already. I hope they all do fantastically in any exams they are sitting this year. They miss you.

We ended up mostly spending your birthday together, talking and just being there, and when bedtime came everyone breathed a sigh of relief that we'd got through that day. We will feel the same today, as we do many days. Wondering where the time went, but glad that it did.

I hope you can see us. I hope you can enjoy the smiles and join in with the laughs. I hope you see that they are increasing, and we will get there, wherever there is. But we aren't there yet.

Here are some smiles I've collected this month...

6 months after the loss of their sister, and we're smiling

There aren't many, but I think that's mainly a reflection on how many photo's I've actually taken, the teenagers revising, and the last week being very hard. You can be proud of your brother though, he's been rewarded for writing a fabulous 4 page story about The Gingerbread Man - complete with alternate ending featuring an elephant!

6 year old with lots of class stickers for achievement

We miss you x

21 comments:

  1. Such an honest piece of writing that I wish you didn't have to write. I hope the inquest doesn't get delayed any more for all your sakes. Thinking of you xx

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  2. beautiful words, love to you all.

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  3. I'm all tears & useless words but much love for you as ever x

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  4. Oh, I'm just so, so sorry. I can feel your pain in this post and I know how deep it must run. I lost my son 11 years ago and it gets better, but not for a long time. Many hugs to you

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    1. Thank you Ginny. And I am very sorry for you, that you have lost your child xxx

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  5. Sending love Jenny. This brought tears to my eyes, especially about her friends getting together on that hill. She should be there with them. She was there with them but... it just isn't far. Hugs x

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  6. Getting together to celebrate Elspeth's birthday up the hill was just magical, a lot of people showed up and each person contributed to bring things to make the evening special. We all sang happy birthday and helped each other set off lanterns which were almost as beautiful as her. Everyone misses her so much. Thinking of you all always x

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    1. Thank you Abbey. I'm sorry I took so long to reply. We thought of you guys, and saw the photo's, and it looked so amazing, but we just couldn't be there this year, hopefully next. We're thinking of you too xx

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  7. It is still such early days Jenny don't feel like you aren't doing well it sounds like you are all doing amazingly well especially with all of the added pressures of exams and everyday life. Your boys are a huge credit to you and you will keep collecting those smiles. Sending hugs and much love to you all xxx

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  8. Bug hugs to you all lovely. Heartbreaking, but honest and you. Such beautiful smiles and I am sure your angel is looking down on your all. Sending such love and hugs x

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  9. six months is such a short time, and you are all doing so incredibly well, even if it feels as if you are not. I love the way you celebrated Elspeth's birthday, it's time like this that will make you feel that she is still close, still loved, still missed. Keep collecting those smiles xxx

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  10. Massive hugs- it seems so good to read that Elspeth's friends found such a heartfelt way to celebrate the day- and that you all found your way through. Send lots of love to you all xx

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  11. Thinking of you all, Jenny. You all sound like you are being so strong. I can only imagine how hard things must be at times. The fact that you are all there for each other as a family means the world and you will keep each other strong. I love that Elspeth's friends celebrated her birthday and her life. I wish you all the very best and I hope that there are many more smiles to come from your gorgeous lot xxx

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  12. Thinking of you .
    And what a beautiful collection of smiles, please keep collecting the smiles .
    Love to you all.x

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  13. Honest and beautiful piece of writing. I hope you keep collecting smiles. Thinking of you all through this time and I hope the inquest comes back soon xx

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