All this grieving takes it out of you. I’d expect the crying to tire you out but what I didn’t appreciate was the amount of energy it would take to get through the day and concentrate on the task of living. I go to work and put in a full day, go for walks in the evening, clean the house, take Isla to her various activities, do her homework, read to her, play with her and do all the things I did before, but now they are just so damn tiring. It takes a lot of concentration to focus on these things without thinking of his last words or seeing a picture in my mind of his wee teeth (he never did get his big boy teeth) and falling apart. I can do it, most days, but it takes a lot of energy and sometimes the fragile partition that separates my realities can fracture.
This week I was having coffee with some colleagues when I decided to check Facebook while I waited for them to join me. The first update told me that the seven year old girl from America who had been struggling with pulmonary hypertension had died just hours earlier. It threw me. I did manage to join the conversation and maintain my composure but it was there, lurking, waiting until I had two minutes alone to break down in selfish tears. David thinks that I should compartmentalise these things and that perhaps the Facebook group I joined for parents of children with PH isn’t actually helping. I think I might agree. There is no going back for us, nothing to be learned or gained and the inevitability of the children’s fate is painful.
A friends from work has told me that you’d never know that I was so devastated and I am coping so well with everything. I’m glad to hear that because I really don’t do well with people’s sympathy, but I hope they realise I’m not all better. I haven’t adopted a “these things happen” attitude and I will never be over the death of my boy. But what good will their sympathy do me? It’s much better if I can get through the days, paint on a smile and fake it ’till I make it.
It’s bloody tiring though.