The day.

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I’ve waited a long time for today.

I’ve waited 8 months and 19 days for the question.

I’ve been scared of it.  I’ve dreaded it.  I’ve rehearsed my answer many times.

She caught me off guard.

I hadn’t met her before and I am always keen to protect people on my blog so I’ll say no more about the circumstances

We chatted.  Past stories. Current stories. Work. Place you live. Divorced? Married? What you do? How tired you are? Christmas. New Year.

 

How many children have you got?

 

How many children have you got?

 

It kind of hung there for me, for a second or so.

I have a son I said, he’s almost 14, he’s lovely. And then the bit I had rehearsed was to come next but I had rehearsed it depending on the moment, depending on how much I thought it might upset the other person, depending on how brave I was feeling.  I hadn’t needed to rehearse as it turned out. 

I also had a daughter, I said.  But I lost her this year.  I mean, last year.  She died last year, she was 2 weeks off her 15th birthday.

She immediately cried a little,  the woman.  She said, looking at me, searching –  but how do you……. how do you…… cope?  Without letting me answer she carried on.  That is so sad, she said.  I showed her a picture of Tes.  She’s beautiful, she said. 

Yes, I said.  She is.

I said I was sorry I’d upset her but I explained it turned out I wouldn’t ever not be able to say I had two children.  Of course not, she agreed.  I went on to talk about my lovely son and my lovely daughter, proud, naturally.  Then we moved on.

So, another small hurdle.  A proud moment really for me, I didn’t stumble, I didn’t fall, I didn’t pretend to make it easier for the other person or myself.

 After she left, it rang in my head – how do you cope?

For all kinds of reasons, the obvious – my family, my friends, my job, for me.  But, how do you cope?  I read a story the other day.  Briefly it was about a man and a woman who had been married for 60yrs and he was dying, the wife said to him, how will I cope without you?  He said.  You know all that love you have for me?  Yes, she replied, smiling.  He  looks at her and he says – when I’m gone – spread it around.

Tes would have wanted me, us, you to carry on and the love for her lives for ever and we can also…… spread it around.

X

 

 

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4 thoughts on “The day.

  1. Amazing writing again Dwys. We had some American relatives stay earlier this week. The conversation came around as it often does to ‘how many children and grandchildren’. We have four, we say. The words hang in the air and we are still shocked. We explain and show photos. They say how lovely she is. We know we say. And so it goes. We wish it was different. But it isn’t. So grateful to have had Tes as a most wonderful granddaughter who will remain with us in our hearts forever.

  2. How wonderful that you were both able to hold space for your love and for your loss. So many people that we mourning mothers meet are unable to approach us because to do so means to allow themselves to enter the shadow cast by our pain. Keep spreading that love… it grows the more you spread it. Sending you back much love ❤

  3. I have only just discovered your blog and I’m so sorry to read about the loss of your daughter. I have four children, two girls and two boys, but my elder son died in 2009 and I do sometimes find myself in a quandary as to how to answer the question, ‘Do you have any children?’ I have sometimes felt that the person asking the question has felt awkward with my answer, not knowing how to deal with it, but for me, it’s important that Hugh is not forgotten and I feel I need to tell people about him in that sort of situation, even when they have never known him.

    1. I agree I find it sits easier with me to be honest than worry about their feelings. Generally people are lovely about it but I know some people find it very difficult to respond so I make it better for them! I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your son. It’s an experience of loss like no other I think x

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