Failure, failure, failure
I realise that what I write here may not be an easy read but for my own sanity, I have to have a time when I can be brutally honest. When writing press releases on behalf of the Charity or give presentations, I am very aware that a ‘positive spin’ and inspirational words of wisdom need to accompany any candid comments I make about Skye’s disease and the way we feel. Today I just can’t do it. I feel like a black cloud has enveloped me and is crushing me to nothing. Failure is all I feel.
Mother’s Day, since losing Skye is truly one of the hardest days of the year. All I can think about is how I failed him as a mother. We are supposed to protect and nurture our children, keep them safe while they are young and give them wisdom and wings to fly into adulthood. I couldn’t do that for him. FAILURE.
I know I have a responsibility to my other wonderful boys. I fight the defeatist thoughts in my head that wonder about the pointlessness of life and how I am just waiting for it all to be over on a daily basis. My boys give me the will to fight. They should have a happy mum who can offer them a way to appreciate the excitement and beauty of the world they live in. Contrary to the very cliche statement you hear after any bereavement, ‘time’ does not make anything easier, it is a conscious choice to carry on living as happy a life as you can and it is one of the hardest things a mother who has lost a child will ever ask of herself. When your child dies after a long, devastating illness, this is not the end of the tough times as many will think and hope for, but the beginning of some of the worse. I know I owe it to Skye not to waste my life because he would have done anything to live his to the full but it is easier said than done! I desperately hope those who know me, and see me with Jesse, Flynn and Beau on a regular basis will think I am living up to my pledges to them and do offer them happiness and love. Today however, I have FAILED.
Mother’s Day, like a birthday feels like some sort of sick joke. On a day that drives home like a dagger through the heart just how much you are missing your lost child, you are expected to accept ‘happy’ well wishes. I was so determined to wake up to my cup of tea and breakfast made by J&F with a smile on my face today. Promised myself that this year would be different. They had so clearly gone to a lot of love and care making beautiful blue butterfly and painted teapot cards. I kept it up for as long as I could but the dark cloud descended while I was in the shower and just would not shift. Why could I not hold it together for their sake? I AM A FAILURE.
The trouble is, on days when the world insists you should be feeling happy, it is almost impossible not to over react to that with a feeling of isolation and being misunderstood. All I have managed to achieve today has been a downward cycle of guilt. Guilt about not saving Skye’s life and more guilt about uncontrollably crying in the kid’s ear shot, instead of managing to stop being selfish and think of them. It made the darkness worse knowing I couldn’t protect them from my sadness and ‘snap out of it’. I AM A FAILURE.
Trying to redeem the remainder of the day, I switched my phone off and took Jesse to a bookshop to redeem his World Book Day voucher. Leaving the sanctuary of one’s home to simply buy a book is, in itself a huge ordeal on Mother’s Day because again, the reminders are everywhere and the tension builds again. In an attempt to make up for my behaviour, I treated him to a ‘personalise’ your own Monopoly set, a game he is completely obsessed with at the moment. We had a nice hour and I do hope he remembers that time, as I will try to. The slight problem however was that the game involved printing photos of family and special events. I pride myself in usually managing to look at photos of Skye without welling up and keep it a happy occasion, so that his siblings won’t associate memories of their brother with my sadness. Couldn’t do it today though– more tears from me. FAILURE.
I do not want to EVER celebrate the existence of my life, or for anyone else to while Skye cannot celebrate his. I so wish I could get that message across, am I? I appreciate to some this must sound so very self centred and I am so sorry. I have no idea why I am writing this down, I just know I need to be back to being a fully functioning mother again very soon and need to get these feelings out of my system in the hope that next year, I can be allowed to ignore these enforced ‘happy’ days and let them slip by quietly for my family’s sake.
I also very much hope that for anyone who knows someone who has recently lost a child or who are going through exceptionally tough battles with childhood cancer at the moment, that being shown true empathy is so much more appreciated than trying to enforce ‘happiness’ into their world. The phrase “you deserve some happiness” has the very opposite effect from the way it is intended. In my mind, no one ‘deserves’ any of what happens, good or bad, it is simply just down to the choices we make or elements of life that we have no control over.
I for one am glad today is almost over!! I am even more grateful that I received the most amazing cuddles from all three of my boys simultaneously and unprompted tonight when they found me (again) with a face full of tears. I love them all so deeply it hurts.
I AM SORRY I FAILED YOU TODAY BOYS.
Thank you for caring and sorry for the outpouring.