Sorrow shared...

Friday, September 12, 2014

This post is so far left of centre compared to my usual topics but sorrow shared is sorrow halved right? My heart has felt so very heavy these last few weeks. It seems that every second day has brought sad news as I have found myself sending messages of comfort and condolence more often than not. Almost every few days it seems. And then last Thursday, the weight of sorrow became a little too heavy for this usually hopeful, happy heart of mine... and for the first time in a long time, my spirit, and maybe my heart, feels broken.

If you take away the fact that we were holidaying and honeymooning in an incredible part of the world, last Thursday started like most days. I woke before my alarm (because let's face it, once you have kids you won't be needing one for a long while) and like most mornings, I am the filling in an Allegra and Anya sandwich. Knees in the back, legs streched out horizonatlly across my body. But despite all of the discomfort and despite the fear that us parents encounter at the thought of prematurely waking our little ones, there is no where else I would rather have been. I strategically reached for my phone (yep, I've lost all ability to sleep in these days, even if I am dog tired) and opened up the usuals to catch up on what I'd missed over night. I opened up Facebook and was delighted to see a notification from one of my best friends. She always has something funny to tell me, or some kind of lousy gossip that has us emailing back and forth giggling away like we are still the same naughty girls back in high school. But as my eyes skimmed over her words, my brain could not compute what I was reading. I read it again. And again. And again.

This is the same friend who's comforting voice was the first I heard on the other end of the phone fourteen years ago as I sat in the back seat of the car as my Mum drove us home from the hospital. And I remember it like it was yesterday. All of it. I remember the last few weeks. Because despite being given a 12-18 month diagnosis, that's all it was, a couple of weeks. And I remember those last 48 hours the most... because what I saw and what I felt, that is what nightmares are made of. Whilst I am absolutely grateful to have been there to say a proper goodbye, watching my Dad take his last breath is something that still makes me short of mine when I think about it. And I also remember choking on the words 'he's gone' when I answered my friends call that Thursday afternoon all those years ago. So now, fast forward fourteen years, to read the words that my dear old friend had just suddenly and unexpectedly lost her Mum, well, it flicked a switch. Sandwiched in bed, whilst my three loves slept, I wept. And so did mother nature. It had been a sunshine dream every day since arriving in Mexico but not that Thursday. It rained and it poured well into the night. And the wind and the waves... they were violent and angry and sad. Selfishly, I cried for a good hour before I made my great escape out of bed and called my friend. I needed to find some composure because I'm always the composed one... aren't I? The thing about our friendship is that no matter the distance or time or place, 'we' are always the same. Not many words were needed which I think was a relief, for both of us. After our call I did what makes sense to me. I went to burn off some of the pain and anguish. I adjusted the spin bike in the resort's gym and instead of playing my 'gym' mix I did what many of us crazy woman do in time of crisis, I played my 'depressing sure to make me cry even more' mix. And that's just what I did. I sat amongst a dozen strangers with my head dipped below my cap, my bike spun, and so did my head. And with every push of the pedal I felt my heartstrings pull. And I cried some more.

And tonight, just over a week later as I sit here and type this my friend is saying her final goodbyes to her Mum. I should be there and that breaks my heart a little more. I am so sorry that I am not.

I've felt very fragile this last week and some other news this morning (which hits too close to home to discuss right now) has only added to my fragility. I was just 16 years old when I lost my Dad and despite thinking I was so mature at the time, I was just a girl. Now I am grown, a woman, a wife, a mother, I think my heart is mourning the loss of my father all over again. It hurts just as much as an adult. Somehow, even more. And it is also mourning for those close to me who have lost and will lose. Because to know the pain that they will encounter is sometimes just a little too much.

Tonight whilst the girls were in the bath Allegra turned to me and asked 'You're never going to die, right Mum?!' I looked at her and said hopefully not until I'm really old and really wrinkly and she then replied 'well, it's ok Mum, because I will die too one day and then I will see you in heaven anyway, and Wolfgang too'. Wolfgang is my Dad's name. I'm not overly religious, but I hope she is right about the heaven part.

I'm not sure that this post really has an end point. I think I just needed to spill these words and a few more tears. For me, for my family, for my friend and for her Mum. Because sorrow shared is sorrow halved right? I've been counting my blessings a lot lately and I know I have so much to be grateful for. And it is the love of these blessings that will help heal the little cracks in my heart. So go and hug your loved ones. Tell them you love them. Every single day. Enjoy and live this precious life we have been given because it really is a gift. May your blessings keep your heart full... and in one piece xxx

18 comments:

  1. Son, I have never commented on your blog before but your post touched my soul. I know that your friend feels your love and warmth next to her while she is going through this difficult time. There is something beautiful about friendships like that. Sending lots of love your way. I am going to give my 6.5 month old and my family many kisses tonight as I feel so grateful for them. We often need these reminders as life moves in the fast lane. Mon xxx

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    1. Thanks so very much for your reassuring words Mon, I'm so happy and appreciative that you took the time to write. Please give your beautiful bubba an extra kiss from me xxx

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  2. Hi Son, I don't often comment on your blog(always on insta though!) but I couldn't read and not comment. Thinking of you. Expat life seems incredibly glam, until big events happen in the lives of your loved ones and you're not there... You're a gorgeous soul, hug those girls tight. Gab xx

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    1. Thank-you gorgeous one. There are definitely upsides to expat living but there are many downsides and compromises that often go unrecognised. The distance is and not being 'home' in times like this is certainly one of them. Thank-you for your kind words and for taking the time to comment, it means a lot. Kisses back to you and your special ones xxx

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  3. Thank you for sharing this. I've had some tragic things happen in my life lately too and it's hard to pick yourself up and dust yourself off when awful things keep happening. I've had a death, miscarriage and cancer diagnosis in my immediate family this month. I read your post and had a little cry. For you and for me.

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    1. Oh lovely, and thank-you for taking the time to comment, especially with such touching words. I am so sorry to hear that you too have had an awful month... sayings like 'it never rains it pours' and 'things happen in threes' must come from somewhere right? We are also dealing with much more in our family at the moment and sharing with others and staying in touch with my emotions is the only way I know how to get through it. I hope you feel as though you can do the same. Thinking of you and hoping you have some brighter days ahead xxx

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  4. Hello,
    I am a new follower from Philadelphia PA. Your broken heart just reached all the way here to touch mine :( I am so sorry for your losses, then and now. Rest in peace to your sweet loved ones. May you find a moment of comfort and peace today.
    XX
    Jamie

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    1. Hi lovely Jamie, thanks so much for taking the time to comment, your words are a great comfort. I am touched that you are touched. I hope, despite the doom and gloom of this post, you enjoy what I have to share xxx

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  5. I am so sorry for all of your bad news Honey. . . a heavy heart is so much heavier when you have your own children and realize the depth of your vulnerability and fragility of life on a whole new level. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family . . . hold your babies close and use your blog and IG community to help lift you up when you need it . . . we love you xoxo E

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    1. Hi beautiful, thank-you for your amazing words... they actually encapture exactly what I wanted to say but couldn't find the words. Do you know what, there have been times over the last few months where I have considered throwing in the whole social media thing but it is times like these that remind me why I do it. It IS a community and many of you (even though we haven't met) are my friends and support and do lift me up when I need it... so thank-you... I know it might sounds weird to some but I love you all too xxx

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  6. I am so sorry to hear about your loss and your friend's loss. I will keep you and your friend in my prayers during this hard time.

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    1. Thank-you my darling, your kind words mean a lot xxx

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  7. My heart really feels for you reading about all you've had to deal with lately emotionally. I can understand your saddness at not being able to comfort your friend in person and how what has happened has brought all those memories and the pain of your own loss understandably bubbling to the surface. I'm so sorry that you've had to deal with such heartbreak at such a young age.

    As you know, I've can personally understand the emotions you've described, having been through close loss personally myself twice, but even so, I can't imagine how going through all that at 16 must have been. I often think with this loss, along with several other hardships that I've had to deal with that 'surely there's been enough tough times' for me, as I'm sure you do too. I feel as though I've had my fair share. But the thing is, hardship and loss and heartbreak will be part of all of our lives always. It's how we deal with these and the subsequent emotions that is the test. You will be able to help your friend through her own loss now, despite being on the other side of the globe, in ways that those back home in Australia may not be able to. Your gift of understanding will be a real comfort and mean so much to her.

    Your Dad would be full of pride seeing the strong, capable woman and dedicated mama you are Sonja. Sending you much love xx

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    1. Thank-you beautiful for your truly touching words. I know you can absolute relate and you are right, with life comes death and hardships that will always test us. I have faith that I will always be able to rise above and think that I just needed to 'get it all out' last week to cleanse my little heart. Unfortunately we still have some tough times ahead but as a family I know we will get through it with each others support. And thank-you so much for the last sentence, I hope you are right! Much love back to you and your beauties xxx

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  8. This is the first time commenting on your blog. I am so sorry for your loss. You seem such a positive and lovely woman and it pains me to see others hurting. Time definitely doesn't heal all wounds, we just learn to live with them
    A little better. Thinking of you xo

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    1. Thank-you lovely, your words mean a lot. I am usually a positive person and I think that's what was adding to my mood last week... it is so awful when you can't seem to shift yourself out of that negative and sad headspace. I agree that time definitely does not heal all wounds... I have a special place in my heart for that pain but it's sometimes it's important to be reminded of the hurt to truly appreciate your blessings. Much love to you xxx

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  9. I am so sorry my sweet friend, and I know your exact pain. my best friend lost her dad in a tragic accident in April and I have tried my best to be there for her these past few months. The saddest part is she gets married in 3 weeks time and her Dad won't be there to walk down the aisle, shed tears when he sees her dress or be there to celebrate with her - it is going to be a very sad day for us all. Sending you the biggest hug and squeeze x

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    1. Thank-you so much gorgeous one. I am so sorry to hear about your friend and how sad that she won't be able to have him there to share in her special day (is that the hen you just celebrated?). I'm sure you will all feel his presence and that whilst it will be bittersweet, it will still be a truly magical day. Sending you and you beauties love and kisses... S xxx

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Hi there :)

Thanks so much for stopping by to leave a comment... I always love hearing from you!

Son xo

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