I need to make some changes in my life and I need time to understand what they need to be.
I have been waking up again at night, for the past week. Every SINGLE night!
It is the sort of full wakefulness that gets me up at 3 a.m. and keeps my head busy for hours.
It got me so desperate for head peace that I had to ask work for a redistribution of my working hours, so that I can have two days a week to rest and think and decide what the next stage of my life is supposed to be.
Decision is pending and my sanity does seem to be pending on the decision, to a degree.
It does feel like my grief has reached a new stage. Our wonderful social workers, from the Royal and the Hospice, both had warned me that grief changes and stages like this are completely natural. Ha, the natural of the completely unnatural process of grieving for your lost child…
Shortly after I lost Georgie, I felt this immense need to talk.
To talk about him. To talk to other bereaved parents. To talk against the taboo of grief and pain and apathy. To talk to other people about my woes and sorrows.
But in time, I have started to realise that:
- we are not the only ones who are going through the process of grieving, that there are thousands of parents out there who are going through the same.
- pain does not go away if I talk about it. In fact, it does make it worse and there are only a few people I can talk to about my deepest sorrows, as many simply do not understand and inviting them into my grief is equal to inviting a passer by to dress up a complex gangrenous wound. It is irresponsible and dangerous and very, very painful.
- that as much as I would have liked to believe it, Georgie is not unique in the fact that he died of cancer at such an early age. In the last year, I have heard of NUMEROUS cases of babies and very young children who have had to go through the same gruesome diagnosis and treatment process. Some of them were “lucky” and are still here. Some are now “heroes” and”angels” and gone.
- that people, as crazy as it does seems, would use your grief to their advantage. That there are unscrupulous people out there who in the name of religion or personal comfort or shared experiences would use your pain (and the subsequent desire to make a difference in this world) to take as much as they can out of you, either financially or emotionally.
- that, as much as I would love to use the painful experience of losing a child to help others who are walking the same very painful and lonesome path, at times, I can barely get my own self motivated to carry on with life, let alone carry others on my back.
- that God, as I knew of, does not exist anymore for me and I need to reconfigure my whole life philosophy that makes sense of a God who does not intervene to stop the pain of so many suffering babes.
- that I will never, on my own, change the world.
Yes, I would love to see the children I work with do well in life and I give 110% every time I am with them but the reality is…some of them won’t.
Yes, I would love to change the perception the church has of grief and make EVERY pastor in the land understand that follow-up after a loss is much more important to the bereaved than the funeral service. But the truth is…I can’t.
Yes, I would love to see the world change for the better. I would love to see all these beautiful Syrian families who have lost everything be treated humanely, allowed to make a new start somewhere and see them all integrated and happy and well. But the truth is…some are still dying as I type this, either at the hands of their own government or drowning at sea, in their desperate attempt to get to safety. And I can’t do one single damn thing about it.
So what are my options, with this new knowledge and wisdom gained at the price of sleepless nights and dead dreams?
I simply don’t know and I need time to find the way forward.
I need time to stop and ponder on this new stage of grief and learn new ways to cope with this new sort of pain.
The pain of realisation that pain and death are all a déjà vu to God and still not hate the guts of Him.
The pain of realisation that not even the death of my child will change people, mentalities or the world for the better as people will always choose their own comfort over the pain of change.
The pain of realisation that no matter how much I give, and I have come so many times close to spending myself completely, emotionally and mentally, for the sake of others, there will still be such a vast need for more, much more.
The pain of realisation that, at present, I am in desperate need to look after myself first, no matter how much I hate to admit it.
No words – just want to send you love. I think your amazing xx
Everything happen for a reason, but sometimes we are not ready to understand that reason. But what I can tell you is that you are a very brave woman, you helped Georgie to move on, to pay back some bad karma for a better next life. I don’t know if you believe theories like that but as I said sometimes our understanding of things is limited…. Of course that doesn’t mean that we don’t feel the pain of loss but it means that we did something good for this entity’s soul… I could write more but I don’t think is the right place to explain all that stuff…
Oh my dear Oana, you are always in my mind, I hope and wish you are ok and having fun with your family, you are a great person and you deserve to be happy!
Andy, I appreciate your comments so much, I know they come from a place of genuine care. As you say, I am not(will I ever be?) ready to accept that everything happens for a reason as an argument and leave it at that. I truly wish I could, my life would be soooo much easier! Filakia.
Such a powerful, moving blog post Oana. Yes, do look after yourself and try to get some peace if that is at all possible. And take the hugs and love out here for you.
Understand all you say but even when we cant make sense of what God allows in life & its not fair!! somewer deep in my heart I know hes real I still find his peace in my darkest thots when I lie awake in the middle of the nite
I will pray for God to gently hold your hand even when you cant feel it
I say this not in a light “there, there, please feel better” way, but to illuminate what I see. Though you may not change everything in the world all at once, your candor, compassion and eloquence have changed my world, and thus the worlds of those around me. You have opened both my mind and heart but writing as you do, making a place for you and Georgie in this little rental home in Los Angeles … and everywhere I go outside it. Your impact on our lives has been profound, and walls-between-hearts-crushing, and I want to say thank you for that.
But far more important than illuminating experiences otherwise completely (versus mostly) unknowable to strangers like me is your health. Finding what fuels you instead of sinking you. That may be different day by day. Whatever it is, however often it changes, I hope you find it … whether or not it leads you, ever or often, back here.
Sending love, and wishing I could send more.
I hope you find a plan for your current situation. I know the pain will never go away and so many questions will remain unanswered. Remember who you have left and what you must do for yourself and them.
Such a powerful thought provoking post Oona. I have never been religious, though I have times of envy for those that do as they seem to take solace from it when I struggle with life. I am not sure how you have coped as well as you have, but I am in awe x
I do not believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe life and nature is cruel and unyielding and it is sad, but that is how I feel. After my Dad died I felt that we hung on to religion as our reason for feeling superior over animals, when in truth we were just ants
I don’t know what to say except that you may not change the world but I’m sure you’ve provided comfort to so many and have changed their world.Sending lots of love your way.
I really don’t know what to say Oona, your pain is so raw and real, I just hope you find some comfort.
Sending hugs Oana, look after yourself and your gorgeous family. Georgie remains in all our hearts xx
I admire your grit to keep examining and relfecting and seeing what and how your life looks like next. I have no concept of your pain but it does seem extremely healthy to me that you are able to process your thoughts, admit your anger and then channel it and see how you can use it. Look after yourself and take that time to heal a little. Mich x
Thank you, Michelle, your comment gives me strength and validates my choice of pulling back for now and is very, very appreciated!xx
There are no words for the loss of a loved one and you will never get over it but you will learn to live with it. Huge hugs. When I lost my mum very suddenly my whole life changed forever and I had to learn to live as an incomplete person and do you know what makes me carry on? My children need me and your daughter needs you. You may feel like you aren’t coping well but you are doing amazingly by just getting up every morning x
Gemma, your words come from a heart that knows what grief is and feels and are very much appreciated! Thank you, yes, I do find Emma to be my main source of strength at the moment.xx
Sending you huge hugs – I cannot start to imagine what each day and night is like for you ❤
Lana i would love to give you the biggest hug in the world, you have walked everyday still thinking of others, their feelings, how you can help, how you can grieve … you need this time to think about just you.
You are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for … xxx