Time heals, doesn’t it?

It’s been almost a year since I lost my little boy. So I must be getting better, right? I mean, I get told all the time, once the first year has passed you’ll feel much better. I stare blankly. Better from what? I’m not ill. Well ok, I had appendicitis at the start of the year and I have a lingering chest infection, but surely they’re not talking about that?

Grief isn’t an illness. You can’t ‘get better’. I can’t take a pill to make it better, or have surgery to have it removed. It is a part of me that will never go away. It’s in my heart, in my bones, in my soul. Time doesn’t heal. Whoever said that originally had clearly not experienced grief in any form.

Some who know me may read this and think, ‘Well, she was shopping in town this morning.’ ‘She looks a little pale, a bit bloated, but she’s out and about.’ I’m pale because I can’t sleep. I’m bloated because I take so much medication, even my GP wonders how I’m standing. I’m wandering around town because I can’t face going home and seeing Ned’s empty bedroom.

Then I get asked, ‘Isn’t the medication numbing you? It’s making you put on a lot of weight. Shouldn’t you just be without them so that you can grieve properly and let the healing begin. Start living again.’

I feel like I’m being judged. Yes, the medication is numbing me. It’s numbing me to the point that I’m almost a walking zombie. Am I grieving properly? Not a day passes without I cry and cry. Not a second passes without I think of Ned. Not a day passes without thinking that I don’t want to be anymore because I let my little boy go and he died.

But I have two other little boys. I would never want them to suffer the pain I feel day after day after day. They’ve lost a brother. They certainly couldn’t cope with losing their mam too. So for those pondering as to whether the pills are stopping me from grieving, no they’re not. They don’t touch the grief. They are repressing my pre-existing depression and anxiety a little. But most importantly, they’re making me get out of bed and battle through each day for my boys.

As to the starting to live again. I exist. I’m breathing. That’s all I ask for. I am being mam to my two boys, because the medication allows me to be. I know there’ll be someone reading this who will be against taking medication … believe me I’ve had offers of massage, Reiki, mindfulness … they’ve all been thrown at me, but not one of the people offering such ‘healing processes’ have lost a child. I don’t mock these processes or doubt that they are a godsend for some. They’re just not the right offerings for me. I cannot be healed. I will forever have a broken heart that cannot be mended.

I don’t seek pity. Believe me, seeing pity on someone’s face when they look at me hurts. My aim with my blog is to have people understand. Have people understand that everyone’s grief is an individual journey and I am sharing mine, because you can’t see the emptiness inside me and the gnawing guilt that I wasn’t with my little boy when he was so badly hurt; when he battled for over an hour to survive … I wasn’t there. And I should have been. I should have been holding his hand, telling him that mam was there and that I loved him to the moon and back a million times. I should have died, not my innocent five year old healthy little boy, who was so powerless to his fate as he sat in the back of that car. I shouldn’t have let him go.

That is what isn’t visible behind the glazed eyes and the sometimes slurred speech. This is what lies beneath the emotionless exterior. This is what hides behind the smiling face my two boys see. I have suffered the greatest loss. So please, don’t judge me for taking medication because today I have battled another day. I am surviving. And as to getting better? I will never be ‘better’. I will live with my grief for as long as I’m alive.

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5 thoughts on “Time heals, doesn’t it?

  1. Not judging you Sharon. Admiring you for your willingness to share what you’re going through, something that most of us can barely imagine in our worst nightmares, and help stretch my ability to empathise and support those in grief. Thank you. Best wishes.

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  2. Thank you. I have felt judged by some due to the physical effects of the medication, but I know with no uncertainty that without this medication, I would not be here. My two boys would be without their mam. The loss of your child is an unbearable pain to suffer and I hope that my blog posts help someone identify with my words. I am always honest as I believe it’s so important not to hide away from grief and mental illness. Thank you for your continuing support on here.

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  3. For what it’s worth, when I saw you last I genuinely thought you looked lovely – I know that’s in no way a reflection of how you are feeling. If anyone would have the gall to judge your physical appearance then their opinion is worth less than nothing anyway. Tomi is a credit to you and how you are doing your utmost to shield him from the depths of your grief. Time may not be a healer, but getting through each passing day is an accomplishment. I’m sure you’ve been told a thousand times that you have no blame in what happened to Ned, and I hope that’s something you’ll become able to accept. All you can do in the meantime is keep on doing what you need to do to function, take comfort from your family and friends, and hold on to those glimmer days and the happy memories tucked in your heart – they will always be with you xx

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    • Thank you for such kind words, they made me shed a tear – in a good way. I don’t feel physically or emotionally well and don’t therefore expect to look well either. Sadly for me, some have commented on such trivial things as weight gain from the medication and the fact that my eyes seem ’emotionless’. I don’t reply, I don’t have the energy. I simply wish that more people understood and accepted the individuality of grief and mental illness. This is why I write so honestly and openly about my own journey. Xx

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      • Sharon, I think that the way you’re coping is incredible. The grief that you’re suffering is unimaginable and the courage you show to get through each day is astounding. Sending you love xx

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