Sunday, 27 May 2012
June the 2nd
On June the 2nd, it will be exactly one year since Max's stroke. It was always going to be something I needed to write about, but it's been a bit harder than I thought. This is the fifth draft I've started. My original plan was to write about all the wonderful things we've achieved, the lessons I've learnt and people I've met. But somehow, that just seems too Pollyanna and perhaps not the entire truth.
The truth is, I don't know how I feel. I don't know how I've felt since June 2nd last year. I met a lot of people at RCH with stories so much worse than ours. Not a day goes by where I don't feel grateful for everything we have. I don't pity myself and I don't pity my son, because we're awesome. I stay strong, not because it's my only option but because I know how lucky we are.
Despite all of this, there's still something gnawing inside me as June 2nd approaches. It's a strange kind of grief & something I've mostly avoided acknowledging. How can you grieve for someone who's still alive? How can you admit to sadness when you have so much to be grateful for? Something was lost on June 2nd, I'm not exactly sure what it was but I know I'll never get it back.
I've stared at this page for hours, typed a few lines, deleted them and then stared again. Eventually, someone else found the words for me. The girls from the Childrens Hemiplegia and Stroke Association (CHASA) online group, have long been the best support I could've found. We share our highs, lows and everything in between. If I'm having a sad day, I can always post "It's not fair!!!! Why him???" and then be flooded with responses from people who 'get it'. The girls are mostly from the USA but I've also met some Aussie chicks and we're hoping to meet up later this year. It was Tiffany who left this comment as I struggled to find the right words......
"I get it. You lost something that day. It's a strange grief that only others who have stood there understand. For me it's July 1st, we had a baby and lost part of him. Although he is here, I grieve for that part of him that is gone.
Acknowledge that the grief and hurt is strong. It changed you, Max and your future. It's not a bad future, just a different one. It's a path with mountains, instead of hills, deep valleys instead of fields, dark caves and quicksand. No one would choose it but we end up on it. As we start to walk, we look up and see we are not alone, there are other people here. People who would have never chosen to be here either. They give us tools to survive the caves, hope to get out of the valleys and tips to defeat the trolls who try and stop us. They throw us a rope when we have a quicksand pity party.
You are not alone Faith and Max
M and I are here, along with many others"
Tiffani, you nailed it. Thank you.
June the 2nd is my September 11. It's a day where the fear was so intense, I stopped feeling all together. Something was lost that day, and despite the achievements that have since followed, I feel sad. I'll survive the day the same way I've survived the 365 days before it. I don't think I'll ever make peace with June 2nd, but that's ok.
Anyone wanting more information about CHASA can click on the link below