One small little word that has one huge impact on my life.
So how am I doing on this journey?
Most people would say I’m doing really great, I’m out socialising again, drinking and laughing. I celebrated what would have been Órla’s 11th birthday (oh my god for a moment there I forgot what birthday it was how could I forget?) with dancing and music and relatively few (seen) tears. I’m sharing pictures of me on Facebook doing lots of exciting things …. Going on my first cruise, going to Kerry with two friends, nights out in Belfast, countless meals out or charity nights. For someone who spent the last 3+ years caring for a terminally ill child I’m out more than I ever was. My nails have never looked so manicured, my skin has never had so much cream put on it, I’ve even started wearing make up again on my nights out. Yep to most people I’m doing pretty amazing.
To my friends I’m still struggling and fighting hard to keep on top of things. I’m desperate to keep Órla’s memory alive and raising as much cash as I can to help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. I mention Órla as much as I can but in casual conversations whilst still being interested in their children and their lives. I cry sometimes a few tears and sometimes they see my struggles but then I push back the memories and close the door on my emotions again. They pity me, they can’t imagine the pain but because they love me they will continue being there for me, continue inviting me out and being by my side. I love these people.
To my close family my mum and my daughter they know I am broken, they see me struggling with grief every day, they know and understand how much effort it is for me to get out of bed in the mornings, how showering & brushing my teeth are no longer important rituals to me. They support me & cry with me on a regular basis they honestly feel my pain as much as it possible to. Their constantly checking to see if I’ve taken my meds or eaten that day. They know what grief has done to me, but they still have hope that I’m coping that I’m moving forward.
Then there’s God (and Órla), now they really know how I am. They know my every thought, they know the long nights of uncontrollable sobbing of not being able to catch a breath, they know how dark my thoughts can be and how close to the edge I get. They know how shattered my heart is and how it will never ever heal again. They hear my pleas to help keep me strong and keep me fighting to get through this. Their with me when I go through the details of those last days. They know how my life has changed forever and will never smile and feel joy like I have in the past, or at least they know it’s how I feel these days.