In most parts of the world suicide is still a crime. It's not important to me on what grounds unaffected people around the world decide suicide is a crime, but I do think personally it counts as theft. It takes so much more than your friend, relation or acquaintance. So much more than they could ever see. It takes your stability, your comfort, your confidence, your time, your sanity. It takes your innocence. It takes away your trust and belief in everything. Things that don't happen do happen, nothing is unexpected. We live in a world where children really die. We live in a world where there is no clarity and everything is confusing and stressful. You wonder if anything will ever be normal again. You look at other people having fun and you remember when you were like them. You smile and you think back to when you were allowed a little naivety.
It's been 13 months since we lost our oldest girl and I had intended to stop my monthly updates and just post about the smiles, but this last month has been one which really does show how fragile we still are individually and as a family unit.
It became apparent to us a few weeks ago that one of our children was not coping as well as we'd thought, and in fact they were struggling. Realising unfortunately didn't make the situation any better, and in spite of a concerted effort from everyone it is continuing to get worse. It's put massive pressure on myself and my partner and is affecting the other children. It all adds to the feelings of failure. 'We should have realised earlier that they weren't coping, we should have spotted something'. You feel again you have again let the children down, put them in a position they should never have been in, subjected them to things they shouldn't ever have known, and now they all have more to cope with.
2 weeks ago I had been expected to say 'goodbye' to my lovely counsellor, but instead I was given fortnightly appointments, which I have to admit I do clearly need. 2 months ago I felt we were really getting there, we had a holiday booked and everyone seemed okay. It seemed like a new chapter. Now it seems like we opened a whole new book.
I miss 'me'. I miss being the person I used to be. Sometimes there are a few hours or minutes and I can leave all of my worries behind and just be, but for most of every day 'me' is buried under a pile of crap.
The darker nights are bringing back the worry about night time for our youngest (who has refused to be in any room, including the bathroom, on his own for the past 13 months) so the fairy lights are back along the top of the shelves in the lads bedroom - and very beautiful they are. They let me see their little cherub faces while they're sleeping too, one of any parent's most treasured sights.
We had exam results this month and I am so incredibly proud of all of our young people for how well they coped last year at school and college. In a year where I could barely focus on one thing for more than 10 minutes at a time, our 15 year old got excellent mock exam results with a bunch of A's, our 17 year old passed his year 1 Engineering exams and AS levels with A's and B's, and our 16 year old got an outstanding 5 A*'s and 6 A's in their GCSE's. We've always said we'll still love you whatever the outcome, but to see them get such a great result for all of their hard work and revision is a great thing,and it means that our 16 year old had free choice to do whatever they pleased at college. Well done guys.
Here are this month's smiles (and there are still plenty) courtesy of, among other things, the Just So Festival, snowman building to promote Disney On Ice and Star Wars LEGO....
In the end, everything will be okay.
If it's not okay, it's not yet the end. ~ Fernando Sabino