Death, divorce and loss
A few years ago, my younger brother went missing. Not knowing where he might be was tortuous and I used to think that just knowing (even if he was dead) would make his loss easier to manage. Then the police arrived at my father's door and told him that my brother had been found dead in a hostel for homeless people in the city.
Whilst dealing with the turmoil that followed, my marriage started to crumble. My husband I split up; gradually, over the next couple of years he fed my children toxic lies. First my eldest daughter broke off contact with me. Then her younger brother. My eldest son moved abroad and ignored my efforts to reach him. I lived with my youngest son and my second son.My second son had two hip replacements and eye surgery during all of this.
I was made part redundant.
A year ago, my mother got up, went into the garden and dropped down dead. My older brother refused to help me care for my father.My father lives hundreds of miles away so every trip involved a little more clearing out of my mother's personal belongings. As I sorted out her clothes I cried for both my mother and for myself, that my own daughter and my brother had no compassion to help me with this difficult task.
Then three months ago my step-dad began to slowly die of cancer.I helped my step-mum and him as best I could. We put my step-dad's bed downstairs and I slept on the floor at night beside him, so that my step-mum could have some rest. She's 83.He so wanted to die at home and we made that happen for him. I'm very proud that we were able to do that for him, for both of them. We held his hands as he died and told him how much he was loved. I lost one of the wisest people I knew when he died.
A week before my step-dad died, my husband persuaded my youngest son to move in with him. So, now my other son and I have to sell up and find somewhere to live. One of my rooms is full of my uncles clothes, my aunt asked me to take them away. He was such a kindly and loving soul, I can almost feel that he's here when I walk past his suit hanging on the back of the door. But he's not. And my step-mum lives near my dad, hundreds of miles away - so I teach, look after my son who is disabled and drive hundreds of miles every week or so to help out my step-mum at her place and my dad at his place. The pain of missing my youngest son is palpable.
My youngest son is not dead, but he may as well be because my husband has encouraged him to break off contact with me. And I have no time to grieve.I thought I was a good mother but four children I loved have no time for me. Three people I loved are dead.
Seven people in such a short time.
Getting up in the morning is hard. Sometimes I cry when I'm in the car and that's fine. Because the alternative, not crying, is a broken heart. And I need my heart to be in good shape for my second son. And myself. It's important to take care of ourselves and respect the time that we need to recover when we're busy looking after other people. some days I feel as if I've been SANDBLASTED but that's okay too. Because that makes the old rust drop off and one day, when I've gone through all of this I know I will be shiny again. The key word there is 'through". The days when I feel stuck are the worst.
Here's to keeping going through and learning how to be shiny again.