Grief never stops. It is an endless wave of emotions. I will blog about the various stages of grief as I have experienced them. Grief is a unique experience for everyone, but I truly hope that someone, someday will read my words and think yes, that’s how I feel, I’m not alone. Because believe me, grief leaves you feeling like you’re drifting alone on a tiny island in a vast ocean. Grief is lonely, terribly lonely and isolating.
The days after my little boy, Ned, died, became a living nightmare. People came and went all the time – I was oblivious to them. I cried endless tears. I couldn’t eat. I didn’t understand. Where was he? Where was my beautiful little boy? I wandered the house looking for him. I crawled along the floor barely able to breathe. I was lost, empty. I couldn’t comprehend. It was hell. Every day. I had a constant ache in my stomach for my little boy. I begged to have him back. I was having daily support from the Mental Health Crisis Team and was placed on a lot of medication – day and night.
Being told that he had to have a postmortem was a new horror. I didn’t want him to be hurt any more. I wanted them to leave him alone. He’d suffered enough. That was my reasoning, that’s what a mother does. She protects her children. She keeps them from harm. I felt so agonisingly guilty that I’d let him go on that day out that I had to do everything I could to protect him from further harm. Of course, the postmortem had to be done. It took a week and a half for them to return Ned to his resting place close to us.
Planning Ned’s funeral was almost a distraction. I felt numb. It was like I was planning something for him, after which he would come home. I wanted everything to be what Ned would have wanted. One of his school teachers played the piano (I couldn’t associate an organ to Ned). One of my best friend’s mum was the vicar – she knew Ned well. We sang two of his favourite hymns from his school assembly. His headteacher gave a beautiful speech about how gifted and talented my little boy was and how popular he was with everyone. My husband gave a brave and stunning speech, which is posted on this blog.
For the two days prior to his funeral, I had been able to visit my little boy. I had talked to him, sang to him, given him his favourite teddies. I had clung on to him. Yes, he was dead, but he was there, right in front of me, my little boy. Placing his coffin in the ground was unbearable. I would never again see my Ned. I can’t put into words how painful that was, how utterly gut-wrenching and sickening. Other than the moment of knowing my son was dead, that was the worst.
The day came to its close. Everyone left and we were there, once again, a family of four. It all felt horribly wrong and I couldn’t, just couldn’t, imagine having to live without Ned. And so following the funeral started a new, different, wave of grief.