A blur of days

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This week just seems to have rushed by in a blur. And yet, we feel as if we are wading through treacle. It is so, so difficult to face each day.

Our lives are empty. I still keep seeing my son’s face as I turned him over, when I found him lifeless in our bed. I will never forget that image of him.

And yet our younger son and his girlfriend have been of great comfort and superb company; they have organised days out, fed us, and provided endless cups of tea. I don’t know what we would have done without them.

Monday 16 March

The back door bell rings early, and it is one of our neighbours. He wants to express his condolences for the loss of our son. Before he leaves, he asks our permission to say a little prayer. We have not been particularly religious people, but we find so much comfort in his words as we all hold hands

We then go to the funeral director’s with my younger son and his girlfriend, first thing in the morning.

It is really hard for us all.

Our next visit is to the local paper to ask advice about an obituary announcement.

We then go to younger son’s place to have a cup of tea.

And again his girlfriend cooks us lunch.

This time a potato frittata and salad.

We stay there for the rest of the afternoon.

Talking, reflecting, holding one another.

We then visit with my sister and her daughter.

More tea and tears.

Tuesday 17 March

Our son made us go out again today, and we had a good time altogether walking down to Loe Bar, then driving back to Porthleven for some lunch, a long walk around to the pier, then afternoon tea.

We got in just before six. He doesn’t want us in our house, alone. He says it is better to get out, and have some fresh air. He is right.

I don’t know, but first thing in the morning, sadness really sets in.

My husband answered the door this morning and it was a guy from Costa Coffee with our normal order of two cappuccinos, a biscotti each, and a card. Plus a beautiful bouquet from the Methodist Church. This was unbelievably thoughtful and kind. And so made us cry. Again.

A guy from the Checkemlads group is running the Southampton half marathon next month and wanted to know if he could put our son’s name on his t-shirt, on his roll of honour. Remembering those lost to this awful disease. So touching that people care so much.

When we arrive home, our neighbours bring round a huge bouquet of white star lilies. From my cousin in Canada.

Our lounge has so many flowers. The perfume is wonderful.

I tried to phone my mum today just after seven, but she had gone to her room, to bed. Apparently she is being comforted and supported by staff and residents. Which is great.

We will go tomorrow.

Wednesday 18 March

We walk down to the local paper’s offices, to make sure they have the obituary announcement, with a beautiful, happy photo of our son.

We next call in at the florist. It is so hard to talk about our wishes for our son’s coffin. But we just want the very best for him.

We drive out to Lamorna to see my mum, and understandably she is most upset and confused. We stay for an hour, talking and hugging. Becoming tired, she decides she needs to go to her room to rest. These events are really knocking her for six.

Leaving the care home, we drive to the Minack Theatre. We park and walk the coastal path to Porth Chapel, meeting up with son and girlfriend.

It is a glorious day, beautiful scenery, blue sky, watching the swell of the sea crashing on to the beach.

A seal swims and dives, probably scaring away the fish that our son wanted to catch.

Continuing round to Sennen we stop and have a bite to eat.

And then it hits us hard when we come home to an empty house.

Silence.

I begin to look through the thousands of photographs we have of our elder son. I need to gather a selection together for after the funeral.

I cry as I see his face in the many, many places we all visited around the world.

I also order a He Man sword for his coffin pillow.

He was our little He-Man. “I have the power!”

Thursday 19 March

At 8am the coroner’s office ring. Another bad, bad way to start the morning.

Tissue samples from our son’s brain and lungs will be sent away for analysis. Apparently they are small, only the size of a fingernail. It will take between five and seven days for the results to return.

We just seem to be in limbo.

The doorbell rings at 9:45am, I am still in bed. I wash, and get dressed super quick.

It is a friend of ours who has come round and just wants to pay her respects.

She also has a disabled son, and knows how difficult life can get, bringing up a child with such challenging behaviour.

She is unbelievably lovely and says some wonderful things to us.

We were her inspiration.

As a family we never gave up.

We gave our son so much love and care, and fought so hard for his education.

She looked up to us.

Later on we go to see our younger son for tea and sandwiches, and then we all walk out to Porthminster Beach and beyond. It is peaceful, we see many robins, sparrows and spring flowers.

The season is changing, bringing warmth and sunshine.

We retrace our steps, and stop for coffee in a hotel overlooking the ocean. Watching the waves breaking on the rocks below, and two fishing boats that are making their way into the harbour.

Life goes on for everyone and everything around us.

But inside we are torn apart. Tears come easily. Memories are triggered by the slightest thing.

We feel so raw.

Friday 20th March

Today is a partial solar eclipse, and we head down to our son’s for 8:20am to have coffee.

We wait outside for the event, and watch as the moon slowly passes in front of the sun. It didn’t go as dark as I was expecting, but was quite interesting to see.

We then have more coffee and hot cross buns.

We seem to spend endless amounts of time drinking tea and coffee.

On the way home we stop at the Parish church. It is where we were married, and where the boys were both christened.

We light a candle for our darling son.

As my husband lit his, the sleeve of his coat caught in the flame of another candle.

Our son would have thought that highly amusing.

We all go shopping, but not to our usual supermarket. I just can’t face going in there at the moment. Our son was so well known with everyone.

Then yet more tea back at younger son’s place, and finally home to a too quiet house.

The obituary is on the back page of the local paper, along with a beautiful photograph.

Missing him like crazy.

We all are.

Tears are shed again today.

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