Christmas a time for presents, decorations, food and getting together with the family but what happens when your family is ripped apart by a bereavement. All bereavements are difficult but how does it change a family when it is a child?
It doesn’t just change a family at Christmas but every single second of every day!
My son, or should I say our son died when he was fifteen. Until then we were your usual family, mum, dad, daughter, son and dog. Happily surviving work, school and exams. He hadn’t been ill, he had however been in hospital with a dislocated thumb, the second time he had dislocated a part of his body, he had dislocated his knee in the October and it was this that was decisive!
I was a stay at home mum until the children went to school and my husband, who works shifts, was also able to spend a lot of time with the children. He wasn’t a touchy, feely dad, or husband, but he spent time with them and I felt this was important.
After a couple of days in hospital my son came home, he was a little pale but despite having a very large bandage on his hand he manages to play on his playstation! I went to work on the Thursday leaving my husband to look after him which meant lots of food. When I got home I went up to his room to see him, he smiled at me, stood up to his full 6ft, I came up to his chest, and gave me a big hug, my little boy. After dinner our lives changed forever. He collapsed, with no warning, His dad, a trained first aider, gave mouth to mouth, I called an ambulance and waited and waited, forever! When in hospital they had worked on him for over an hour it was me who said stop, it was me that held up my husband, it was me who had to tell my daughter and the rest of our family and it was me who swore at the police when they wanted to take his clothes and check for anything suspicious! The pattern carried on when I rang for the post mortem results, arranged the funeral, spoke to his school and friends and decided what went on his grave stone. It was that day that changed our lives forever!
Relationships change over time, you get complacent, you get comfortable but when something like this happens relationships change forever. Our relationship is still going, just! My husband doesn’t mention our son’s name, he manages his grief by putting up photographs and reading spiritualist books. I can’t do that, he was our son, he was loved so much I need to talk about him. Not all the time because sometimes it’s too painful but sometimes I need to remember all the good times and all the fun and laughter he brought to our lives. We are probably still together because of complacency and comfort but we don’t have a lot to say to each other these days, well not at home, when we are out we are actors on a stage giving Oscar winning performances in front of friends and family. I feel here I need to mention our daughter, her life was ripped apart also and she has been in the middle of our changing relationship and sometimes it is her that is the cause of a rift and not her brother.
Just like a normal family!!
Reading this back, and I was also told this by Wikizine's Editor!, I have managed to very neatly package my life for the last five and a half years. If only it was that easy. The tears I have cried could fill an ocean, I have had to stop quite a few times writing this because I haven’t been able to see what I am writing through the tears. People look at me sometimes and I can see what they are thinking ‘come on it’s two; three, four years ago now, get over it!’ But it doesn’t work like that. Every second that passes is another second without him, another second of not seeing his smile...tears...no hugs, no cooking his tea! Believe it or not it is the small things that cause the most pain. Putting out just three plates for dinner, seeing his friends in their smart suits at their leaving proms, that nearly killed me but I had to be there for his friends.
Birthdays are hard, not just his, mine is hard to cope with, I know I have my daughter but there is always a card missing. He would be 21 next birthday, I survived his 18th with a get together of his friends and family in our local pub, a pint of bitter sat on the bar for the missing guest but all I could buy him was an arrangement for his grave and a balloon to tie around it. It will be the same this birthday and it hurts.
And the tears are flowing...