We were sitting on Jude’s bench yesterday after school, watching our kids play in the glorious sunshine when my friend turned to me and asked, “how do you go on?” At first I though it was a rhetorical question or an observation, but then she looked me straight in the eye and asked again, “how do you go on, how do you get up in the morning?”
I told her we have no choice and we have Isla to look after but I suppose there’s more to it than that. I think I also have hope too. Hope that it will get easier.
This blog was started to honour Jude but also to help me to track my progress since the beginning of this terrible journey. There has been progress since then and there continue to be little milestones each week where I can see things are getting better. I don’t expect to ever be the same as I was before I lost Jude but I can still be better than I was before I had him and that is good enough.
The first two days: I couldn’t go anywhere without David. I could still take care of Isla and make her meals but I couldn’t eat myself. I had to sit in front of the radiator to feel warm, I was cold to my core.
The first two weeks: I stopped crying all day and mainly felt bad in the morning. By afternoon I was too tired to cry.
Once Isla went back to school, we started walking 14 miles a day and became a little bit more practical about what had happened. We looked forward to collecting her from school, that was the first happy feeling we had. By the time the mid-term break came we had walked 500 miles and talked and talked over all the implications of what had happened. This was our therapy. It was free, healthier than wine and it helped my to regain an appetite and sleep well at night.
Now we are weeks down the line (I’m not keeping track of how many) and things are definitely better than they were in the beginning. Last night Isla slept in her own room for the first time since Jude died and she even had a longer lie in!! I typically have two really bad days when the tears are pretty close by but the rest of the week feels a bit easier. Someone told me that her first year after losing her precious daughter “passed gently” that is really what I am hoping for.
The friend who asked me how I cope has had a terrible year too. She’s had to face up to the possibility of leaving her young kids as she has battled cancer, but she’s winning and she’ll be fine. I think I will be too.