I’m not an extrovert and am certainly not an outspoken person. In fact, I am the complete opposite. But following an incident that happened yesterday which left me terrified and angry, I feel like I need to write it out of me, to help ease these feelings. This has been one of my coping mechanisms since losing my little boy, Ned, last year.
For many of you who know me personally, you were there yesterday, at Aberystwyth rugby club, for a special day in memory of Eifion Gwynne. For those who don’t know me personally, but who read my blog, I’ll briefly fill in some facts.
A charity rugby match was played between ex-Aberystwyth players (my husband being one of them) and ex-Wales players in memory of Eifion, who died tragically last year, leaving behind a young wife and family.
At half-time, the children’s local rugby team were to play a game of tag rugby. As parents of those children who were going to play, we handed them over to the care of the coaches before the game began. I have a very busy 2 year old child and was unable to keep an eye on my eldest son, Tomi, 9 years old, who I knew was safe with the coaches.
No one could foresee what was to happen, but a tackle resulted in two of these huge rugby playing men falling onto two of the children, because they were sitting on the touchline, not safely behind the barrier. I didn’t see it happening, but my friend told me that Tomi was one of the ones who had been hurt. I will say here, before going any further, that Tomi is thankfully ok.
Going back to that moment, my heart stopped. I went into a severe anxiety attack as I ran to where he was. My boy. My vision of him lying under the weight of two huge men.
Tomi was drained of colour from shock when I got to him. He had a stud mark on his shoulder, grazing down his neck and face and bruising already forming on his upper arms. But he was ok. Another young boy was taken to hospital by his mum, due to a cut on his head.
There were whisperings later when the incident was flippantly tossed aside by many that I had over-reacted. I was told that some had been saying they didn’t understand my reaction. This is why I’m writing this post. This is why I still have anger burning away inside me. I did not over-react. I have a mental illness and one of its symptoms is suffering with severe anxiety attacks.
I have lost my 5-year old son and I try so hard to keep my fear of any harm coming to my other sons hidden. But in that instance, in that second when I heard Tomi’s name, I couldn’t hide my fear.
I haven’t written this post as a judgement of those who were in charge of the children. No one could foresee that anything would happen – thankfully a lesson can be learned without there being a serious outcome. We all know now that the children should have been sitting behind the barrier.
Today, due to my existing PTSD, I am ‘re-living’ that moment over and over – but the outcome is different. I see my son lying motionless, chest crushed, his breathing laboured. This is what PTSD does to your brain.
This I know some of you will think as being overly-dramatic, and an over-reaction to the incident. For those who do think this and are reading this, please, just for a few seconds, imagine you were me. The pain and ever-lasting effect of losing a child is beyond words. So please don’t judge me for the need to write this post, or for the way I panicked yesterday. Like I stated, I am not judging anyone or pointing blame, as I know that a lesson has been learnt for any such event in the future.
A child’s body is fragile, their internal organs can be so easily crushed.
This I know.
A child’s life is so very precious.
This I know.