Three years ago today, my sister and I were enveloped in a tireless struggle of life and death.
We woke ourselves up, put on our armour and dragged ourselves up for our line of duty. Our love remained resilient and continually gave me strength to live for our mum. I used to remember being told off for falling asleep in random places, and I’d wake up to tears and disappointment for the fact I had chosen sleep rather than helping. Of course, I could not remember finding myself in a bed, least of all falling asleep.
Our mental health armour, our health and wellbeing was being ruptured. I still manage some trauma from that period of my life, three years on. Other things have been are frozen like melted plastic. Frozen, rippled, but smooth.
In many ways, three years ago, we were a sinking ship, desperately trying to hold our mother up, whilst we gulped down bitter, holy water. These were the days that shaped us. We lost our being and soul in those days, believing that any effort we could provide to the cruel world, would anchor our sweet mum to it. To us.
In the run up to my sweet Mum’s anniversary, I tussle with a new grief. The grief I feel from these final days, is my loss of innocence. These days were the days I learned the world wasn’t a safe place. Magic wasn’t real. No one would save me. After these days, the fantasy books I loved so dearly would be locked away in a big black trunk, to be replaced with poems about grief, books about real things I could count on.
I was no stranger to it: fear, loneliness and loss. The grief I feel is for the loss of the hope I had that someone would, or could, sweep me up in love and make it all better. That was my mum for me, and I have locked off that hope in a cold wing of my heart. I dare not visit it, because it is a desolate way to live.
My grief is for the people we were when we knew Mum as a concrete figure in our life. These are the girls we carry in our hearts now, but who ran and hid for 3 years.
Life after death was disruptive, cold and frightening. I grieve for the fact that I berated myself for what I saw as weakness. I grieve for my inner child who was told to toughen up. I grieve for the girl who told herself she was alone now.
In my silent mourning for Katie and I, I yearn to go back to whisper promises of the future to them. I would dare them to dream, and and to have hope.
21 would look at 18 and tell her the depth of sadness, loss and anger she feels will be matched one day by joy, belief and hope. It would not heal me, and I probably would have just turned away from the noise. I just want anyone who is going through pain, suffering, loss to please hear me.
The point in trying is that one day, life will look completely different to anything you thought possible. We know with harsh certainty that everything changes in life. It can, and will, one day change for the better. You are doing more than enough. You don’t deserve this, no, but one day, you will stop asking what you did to deserve it. You will one day smile uninhibited. Hold on, my friend.