For the last two days, I have been quite literally itching to write here…
There is a great deal going on in my life, in my head, in my heart. So much so that I simply don’t know where to start. Should I revel in the fact that Sweet Girl and I have attacked Eldest’s room in the anticipation of his homecoming, and won the war against the adolescent grime?
Or try to untangle the dreadful jumble of threads causing a tight knot of worry about Little Man’s health?
I could update Sweet Girl’s progress at school, in all its glorious ups and tearful downs.
My heart is lying calm with death this week… a subject that I have come to live with on a regular basis since Little Man’s cancer diagnosis. This week, a dearly loved family member died. Passed, left us, slipped away… the euphemisms are numerous and clatter in my brain which desperately yearns for truth and simplicity. She died. Her death was at once dreadful as I suspect they always are, for those in attendance especially, and also a blessed release from the slow agony of emphysema.
And so once more we are here, mourning the loss in our lives of someone we truly loved and admired, but with a grating sense of relief that her suffering (and ours, let’s face it: seeing someone we love suffer constantly is excruciating) is at last over…
I hesitate to write too much about this… I am extremely inexperienced in the immediacy of death and loss of that kind. I have not lost anyone closer than my grandparents, and once again, these were people who had lived long, fulfilled lives and in each case had been seriously ill at the end of their lives. It was their time, their lives were played out. So I have not experienced that screaming, raw agony of the death of someone so close to me that their disappearance is simply unacceptable.
Little Man diced with death as a baby. He made me face my fear of death, grasp it with both hands and finally, as much as I could, accept it. Death is so much a part of life. It defines us, how we lead our lives, what we prioritise, what we fear. And yet we don’t talk of it. We hide from it and blame God, fate, the universe for deaths “that should not have happened”.
One thing that I have felt profoundly since Tom’s illness:
Life, the value of a life is not defined by time. Nor is one life any more important or necessary or valuable than another. Should Little man have died before his first birthday, he would still have been an amazing, astounding person. Life, it turns out, is not about what you do, or how long you live it. Life, I think, is simply about living. It just is. And that’s quite, quite wonderful.
So as I sit with those who are suffering the loss of their daughter, sister, wife, mother, I (with the luxury of a little distance) can wonder in the life that was Lynn, how she lit up the world for all of the time she was alive. I can wonder in the beauty of humanity that will allow her to continue to affect us, our children and theirs. I can wonder in our ability to perpetuate and remember, and in the knowledge that one day, years and years from now, a little girl will be born and named Lynn for a great great great grandmother who was so loved that even though few details may be remembered, her name endures.
My blank page, it seems, allowed the words that wanted to pour out to do just that. Just write… I’m amazed at what happens when I just do. Try it, and let me know what came onto yours!