I was dubious about writing this post…its personal and I am not sure what the point of this post is. To release? To share my experience with others? To find comfort? To help others? To gain support? I don’t honestly know. But I am finding my fingers are to the keyboard and the words are following.
I hate to say this. I hate that I have experienced this. In 2004, back when I was a young and carefree 18 year old, my beautiful perfect nephew died. I even hate the word. Died. Die. Death. It’s shit. Awful. It terrifies me. But I have experienced it so close to home. He was only four years old and wasn’t like a nephew. He was so much more. He was like a brother.
My heart is thumping in my chest as I am writing this and to be honest, with his anniversary looming, I have felt a little fragile. For some reason, this year I am reliving THAT day. That day our world came crashing down on my perfect family. My sister was still so young to experience such a loss. Married with another son who was only 10 months. Why did this happen? A question that goes unanswered as I shout to the skies many times, hoping to know why he was taken away from us so suddenly.
My nephew died of a sudden brain haemorrhage. One minute I am saying goodbye to him whilst he was on his way to see the new Harry Potter film at the cinema with my sister. The next, I was waking up to hear the news he is in hospital as he felt poorly. From that moment, my life changed forever. Completely. It has certainly shaped the person who I am today. Unfortunately I struggle. I am not the most carefree person I wished I could be. I worry massively. I am so fearful of life going in a bad direction. Of sudden horror. I know that sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes I feel like I am living on edge. Terrified of what today or tomorrow might bring.
The days after we lost him are a blur. A blur of hot warm weather, tears, family gatherings, sleep fuelled by sleeping tablets, family outings (people may look from afar and think thats bloody strange). Why are they off out? But actually being all together really helped them dark days. Keeping busy gave us all strength.
Unfortunately and also fairly, some people just don’t get it. Often, all of us at some point have had comments such as ‘I felt the same after my Nan died’ or ‘do you still feel sad?’ I have found myself in several scenarios like this and have almost lost it. How anyone can compare losing their 90 year old Nan to loosing a 4 year old child within the family I do not know. Part of me is sad and lonely that a person is comparing such an experience to this, then the other part is trying to understand that they are just doing that – trying to understand and trying to support. It can be really difficult.
The loss of a child, whether its your own child or a child within your family, is no experience anyone wishes to go through. It’s an experience that sticks with you forever. For me and for many members of my family, grief comes in waves. It can be small soft currents, manageable and underlying. Or it can be a tsunami.
My blog is about family. And family he surely still is. And i suppose this is the reason as to why I’ve chose to write about such an important person in my life and the experience of losing a child.
As a family, we manage to get though life by sticking together. Remaining a close family that’s full of support and one that always keeps J’s memory alive. We talk. We talk about him. About the good times. About the times he made us laugh. We recreate the memories and the laughter and we keep spirits high. We raise money. We gather family, extended family and friends and smile. He is forever in our hearts and made such a difference to our lives for them 4 years and 6 months. We treasure that time we got given with him.
My nephew was the perfect little boy. Honestly, he was so unbelievably happy, carefree, funny, social – he was a shining star. Being the first grandchild, everyone was besotted with him. He was a treasure.
I love and miss him so much.
xxxxxxx J xxxxxxxxx