Young grief…

In February I wrote about a boy in my Pre-School class whose mother had passed away suddenly.

But he didn’t know. His heartbroken dad told him that she was sick in hospital.

For six months he didn’t know. I would ask about her and he would say she was still sick and not waking up.

I would often talk to him about her until one day he told me that he was angry at her for not waking up and told me not to talk about her anymore.

So I didn’t.

Then last Wednesday 10 minutes before class ended he started crying.

I asked him what was wrong and he looked at me with little tears running down his face and he said in a most quiet voice “my mums dead”.

And I hugged him. And I said “Yes. She died and it’s so sad”.

He cried and we hugged. And I told him that it’s okay to be sad. That it’s okay to miss her forever.

Then a lady from Childcare came and picked him up and told him to stop crying and that he’ll be fine.

And I wanted to slap her and tell her that I’d been waiting for this moment for 6 months and that it won’t be okay for him. He will never get him mum back. His memories of her will fade and his 2 year old sister will probably have no memories of her.

I spoke to his Dad the next day and told him what happened. He told me that they kept asking him when she was going to wake up so he finally told them that she wasn’t going to wake up because she has died.

He told me that they are too young to understand.

I don’t think he’s right.

Kids understand things in their own way.

Kids have these big hearts and love openly and honestly and it’s beautiful. They see things clearer than we do. They ask questions, a lot of questions. They want to understand everything.

So I think it’s my job for the last 4 months of the year to be the person that he can talk to about his mum. To provide a safe and honest place for discussions.

And to hug.

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Woah, woah, woah, woah…

Something disturbing has happened to me.

Something not normal.

And no, it’s not like when I wore my eye mask too tight a few weeks ago and had to ring in sick to work because I couldn’t see properly.

This is worse.

You see I’ve been dwelling on some song lyrics and they’ve really stuck with me and changed the way I’ve been thinking about some things.

Here is the line.

You ready?

“We’ve got to hold on to what we’ve got,
It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not”.

The second part has stuck with me. It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not.

What is “making it” anyway?

How do you know if you’ve made it?

This has planted this whole new thought in my head that you can try and try and then you can just keep trying.

I know it’s like that old saying that it’s not about the destination it’s about the journey.

But for me right now it means that it doesn’t matter if we make it or not that it’s okay if we just keep going.

Not permission to fail exactly because, well, we ARE half way there of course. Half way to the place where you’ve made it.

But I think I needed to be reminded that “it”, “us”, “we”, “me” or whatever other term you might choose to use is not something that needs to be perfect.

It’s just something that you need to hold on to and enjoy instead of comparing it to others and trying to fix it all the time.

And yes, once again I am pressing publish on a post of barely coherent thoughts and words.

But it’s what I do.

And we’ve got each other. And that’s a lot.

Let’s give it our best shot.

Bin day…

Well hello and good morning everyone.

Exciting news. I’ve just spilt some porridge on my pyjamas which means that today I had the luxury of eating my breakfast in bed.

Little things.

The weather is warming up here and I think today is going to be good.

The rubbish truck is emptying my bin now and any second the old man from number 4 will come running out and bring his bin in. It’s not a competition but he wins every time.

People are strange aren’t they?

(Actually that was a rhetorical question.)

It’s the little things we do that define us.

He is the self appointed Captain of the street. He knows when people are away. He knows where and he knows for how long. Actually he’s a bit weird I reckon but I tell the boys to wave at him when they see him because weird people can also be kind and helpful.

We are creatures of habit aren’t we?

We make routines and they become us.

We are safe in them because we are in control.

Then we change our routines and feel something different and that’s good too.

We keep going.

I’m not sure at what stage following a routine means that you’re stuck in a rut. Maybe it’s when you can live your life on auto pilot. Or when you can’t distinguish one day from the next.

I’m not there yet.

But maybe that’s what it’s like when you’re older and lonely.

Maybe bringing in the bin on a Thursday morning is the day that’s different in the week. But then all Thursdays are the same.

This is a fairly pointless post but maybe it’s a reminder to me to go out past my bedtime sometimes on a Saturday night and try new things.

Maybe I could get up early and watch the sunrise.

Maybe make pancakes for breakfast.

Hold the cuddles a little longer.

Wear the red earrings and some lipstick.

Keep it real.

Add some spontaneity to my day.

Wave to the old man and make time for a chat with him too as we bring the bins in.

Little things.

(And happy birthday again for yesterday M. xx)

Big L O V E …

Yesterday as I was buying a coffee scroll at the bakery an elderly gentleman walked past with a huge bunch of flowers.

The ladies called out “Are they for us” in the way that bakery ladies do.

He replied that it was his wife’s birthday.

The ladies in the bakery then told me that his wife has been in a nursing home for 2 years and he visits her every morning and every night.

*Sigh*

Am I doing it wrong?

How can you love that big?

How do you live your whole life for another person?

My husband and I will be married 10 years next year.

And I love him. But he’s not my whole world and I don’t define myself foremost as a wife.

Maybe it’s because we’re busy and tired from raising young boys.

Maybe it’s because he travels so much for work.

Maybe it’s a generation thing.

20 years after my Gran died my Grandpa was still putting fresh flowers from the garden next to photos of her on the kitchen table.

He nursed her through a range of illnesses until she just wanted to come home and die peacefully.

He saw her and loved her at her most vulnerable and stayed devoted to her for decades after she’d passed away.

She suffered from severe post natal depression nearly 60 years ago when it wasn’t accepted and recognised as the debilitating condition that we now know it is.

He loved her forever.

From what I remember she was completely lovable with a cackle that you just had to join in with.

*So now we get to that part when I ask questions out loud.*

Does love grow naturally or do you have to work at it?

Does it get easier or harder with time?

Is there a secret to it or is just luck?

Is it give and take? And what if it’s not equal?

*I’m pretty sure that there is no magic formula but that big love is magical for all those it touches. xx*

My version of normal…

Had quite a crap day today but I’m okay. I’m happy. I’m breathing in deep and exhaling all slow and with a weird reggae rhythmic motion.

I am channeling all the Marley’s and swinging my dread locks to the beat in my head.

I have been busy for 12 solid hours now. This is the first time I’ve stopped all day. I’m exhausted. But some people work much longer hours than me and probably feel this tiredness in their bones on a regular basis.

I like to have rests. And coffees without being interrupted and breakfast while it’s hot.

I would like to be able to go to the toilet at home and/or at work without a small child calling out my name in a shrill and whinging manner.

I’m hiding in the spare room. After carefully folding, sorting and putting away the washing so that I could move the clothes horse and sit down on the couch in comfort.

I’m hiding from my busy day. My brain is fried. I just realised I forgot to call someone back and I didn’t RSVP to the 5th birthday party this Sunday.

But I’m happy and good and grumpy and almost pimple free.

I’m sleeping on the couch again tonight because it’s better than lying (muttering bad thoughts under my breath) next to my husband with his horrid cough and chest infection.

I am not sick. I am not sad. I am not sure where I left my other pink jumper. I sometimes wear gumboots when it’s not raining and I sometimes have licorice for lunch.

There is no normal or usual. There is just today and the version that I lived. Tomorrow will be different. It may seem longer or shorter as different things will make me laugh.

But I laugh a lot. So that’s good.

Where’s your head at?

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*From Cathy Kelly’s book of short stories called Christmas Magic.*

Sometimes I don’t have anything to write about on this blog. Usually it’s the times when my head is at it’s most full and I’m so busy having conversations with myself that I don’t know how to write.

But then I read this start to a short story and exhaled hard.

Do you check inside your head when you wake up? Do you look to see what’s hiding in the corners?

There have been times that I have felt like this. But now I don’t and I’m so glad but I still have a feel around in my head each morning.

For the past week or so I’ve been having trouble getting to sleep. I’ve had so much running around in my head that all I can do is admit to myself that I can’t fix it, have a little cry and fall asleep exhausted.

But strangely enough *NOT* when I wake up the thoughts are still hounding me. What did I do wrong? What should I do better? Why do I care? Why don’t you?

And then after that comes these…

-Is it bin night?
-Is it library day?
-What are we having for dinner?
-Have I got enough coffee beans?
-Is it a hair washing day?
-How many hours sleep did I have?
-Can I press snooze again?
-How many hours until I can go to sleep again?

The list changes daily as do the answers but it’s kind of like starting up a computer that hasn’t been shut down properly the night before.

It takes time to check that things are okay. That I’m okay. Even when I’m not. But I am.

This is one very disjointed post and I apologise for that. I’m just going to go back to sleep now.