It's 19 months since we lost Elspeth, and this month we've had loads of smiles. We've been out and about and been pretty busy, and we've taken 3 vanloads of rubbish to the tip. I think that is enough proof in itself that we are getting somewhere, a normality is returning. We're doing regular stuff like regular people.
This month also saw my partner and I finish counselling, which is a
pretty scary step, but one we all felt we were ready for. We're stronger
now, we have learnt it's okay to be truly honest with each other, take time for our own mental health, and that time spent just 'being' is as important as time spent being busy.
When we lost Elspeth and everyone said "life will never be the same", I
thought I understood. I didn't. My old life, all of our old lives,
stopped right there. The way you think changes, they way you feel about
other people changes. The importance you place on every item in your
life is restructured, and what you say and do changes. Everything is
different. Grief is far more about acceptance and adjustment than you
can ever appreciate before you live with it. Losing someone to suicide
is far more about constantly managing your feelings of guilt and
impotence than you can ever appreciate.
It takes a lot of time to cover everything in your head until you feel
you have reached your conclusions, your closure. You will never achieve any win, only a
stalemate, when every possible move is played out.
Time, that greatest
of healers, has also been our biggest opponent since we lost Elspeth. Grieving takes up so much of
your day and night that it's easier to give in to it. At first my head was always full up with replays and unanswered questions, but as the days become weeks and months, more of each day is my
own. I have my time back. I won't claim I never stare at walls, but
these days I spend a lot more time looking at things that are here and
now. The mud is finally beginning to clear, and keeping going is an easier task.
I'm still scared about what is around the corner and I don't know if that will ever be able to go away, but I know that too will get better...with time...
We've had some amazing smiles this month and I am delighted to share them with you. We had a prom dress fitting where my daughter couldn't take anything seriously, a mock wedding to learn about religion at school and the best Mother's Day cake ever. Lots of smiles due to Gary The Cat, our new surprise houseguest, and a special mention for the poor person dressed as Wyldstyle at LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, who was pounced on far too early on a Saturday morning by an over-enthusistic Scotsman with crazy hair!!
Please share your smiles on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag
#tbcsmiles - we love to see them.
If you can't see your smiles then keep looking, they are always there...