mrstotten: Outlander: walking in the woods. (Outlander)
mrstotten ([personal profile] mrstotten) wrote on November 19th, 2016 at 01:18 am
LJ Idol Season 10, Week 1 , I need the struggle to feel alive
The weeks preceding her passing were filled with jokes and laughter.  You would be surprised at how much joy can be in the home of someone who is dying.  When life has a limit, people try to fill each day with happiness as if to fend off the impending event.

When it happens, it isn’t with a whimper or a bang.  It’s not what you expected.  You expected her to struggle, you expected her to fight, you were braced for the pain, but it never comes.  There is a full house, words of love, then she closes her eyes, her breathing slows, then stops and she’s gone.  She is still warm, not regular warm, but burning hot.  It is her bodies last ditch attempt to fight off the cancer ravaging her from the inside out.  You’re curled up next to her, holding her hand and the tiny hopeful part of your brain keeps telling you that someone that warm, can’t be gone.  The rest of you is shutting down, little by little, step by step.  Your little cousin is curled up at your back.  You can feel her shaking, her tears seeping into your top.  The old you would have ignored everything else, turned round and given her a hug, offered comfort.  You want to but you’re frozen, the old you disappeared a few minutes ago, she left with the last breath your mother breathed out and you have been replaced with someone who sees the world differently.  The old you never knew the world could feel this cold.

The next few days are filled with activity, the house is full of people, full of food, people telling stories, people laughing, people crying.  There is no time to think, to stop, to feel.  You are in full flurry, the eldest child, you are the organiser, there are things to prepare, activities to attend to.  The day of the funeral is lost to you, even now.  You remember flashes, her favourite colour of red, streaked mascara, silent sobs and loud cries.  But the flashes are all that is left.  It is the last day that is all about her, her life, her story, the last day where she belongs still to this world, to you.

Then the sun sets and life goes on.

Except it doesn’t.  You wait for the numbness to thaw, sure that it will be coming.  The activity is gone, house packed up.  There are less people now, you weren’t the only one who lost someone.  Your gran lost a child (unthinkable), her siblings lost a sister (unbearable), she was something to a multitude of people, a friend, an aunt, an ally, a foe.  Others miss her but they do so alone.  They retreat to their own tiny bubble of grief, their own turning worlds.  You tell yourself off, a lot, you remind yourself how lucky you are.  You have a life to live.  A child who is your world, a husband you love, a job you enjoy.  Your life is filled with love and laughter, you have something, no you have everything to live for.

But it doesn’t stop the cold.

You had read about depression before, you understood it, felt sorry for people who were gripped by it, but it had never touched you, you had always been the eternal optimist.    Depression was something others struggled with, a bane for those unluckier than yourself.  It wasn’t meant to touch you.


Knowing what depression was, didn’t prepare you for how it would feel.  You never realised how silent and deadly it could be.  How well it can be hidden.  To the rest of the world you are fine, coping so well, jumping back in.  You smile, you hug, you laugh, you live.  It’s not dark or black like you expected, it’s just cold.  There are days that you wonder if you will ever feel warm again.  There are worse days when you don’t even want to.

Little things help, a family holiday, warm sand, children laughing, your husbands smile.  They provide temporary warmth, for a second, but they never grip.  It is during an argument that the first icicle breaks.  Heated anger and ugly words reminding you that you can feel.  It’s not happy, but it’s something.  The struggle to find the right school for your son, the ugly frustration making you feel helpless and silently furious.  It’s not happy but it’s something.

Once the thawing starts the ice starts to chip away and the thaw begins in earnest, puddles of tears at your feet.

You cry, a lot.

For the first time the magnitude of what has happened hits you.  You are too young,  too afraid, too small for the centre of your world to be gone.  The one constant that has been part of your life, all of your life is gone and you are left reeling, lost in the grief you feel.

This too passes, like waves crashing on the shore, coming less and less frequently as the tide ebbs.

It’s been two years now, the coldness has been gone for a long time, but the grief still hits at the strangest of times.  When you struggle, you still look for her, still yearn for that helping hand, but it doesn’t overtake you anymore, doesn’t make you break.

You have a child, a husband, family and friends, you have a life to live.  That’s how she wanted it.

So you struggle on, you smile, you laugh and you cry.  You remind yourself of the lessons she tought you.  The important things in life are never easy.  To struggle, is to live.

So for her, for them and for yourself that’s exactly what you do.


This has been my entry for Week 1 of therealljidol
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