As we sat around the table last night, dad turned to us and said, “Before long, I think I’m going to cry.” People have always told my parents and I that Christmas would be hard for us to deal with in relation to Mike’s death. But we could never relate to that at the time. Recently however, dad’s finding it hard to go about the traditional family activities without sadness in his heart. The thought that “Mike would enjoy that“; or “How come we still have 20 mince pies? Mike would have eaten them all within 24 hours!”
The conversation went on to us discussing how the world moves on from events but those who are far closer to the event still experience the daily effects it has. Mum and dad commented that very few people ask them how they are doing with it all. An example of how the world moves on. I told them that actually people ask me how they’re doing often. Sometimes people don’t know how to ask; or think “Hey it’s been three years…”; or don’t think it’s their place. Sometimes people find it easier to ask others how someone is doing rather than directly asking the person.
Mum turned to me and said “If people are asking how we are doing who is asking you? You lost your brother… How are you doing?”
Well, I’m OK. Or at least I’m OK some of the time and not other times. The biggest thing I’m facing is “I don’t understand my life.” For many many months dealing with Mike’s death was focused on the immediate. It was focused on him. It was “He’s dead“; to “It feels like he will just walk down the stairs“; to “I’m never gonna see him get old“… and every other imaginable thought. Now, the focus is on me. My thoughts are “I have little passion“; “I don’t know what to do with my life“; “I’m scared this is it and God’s finished with my life“… and again every possible thought you can think of.
Up until a few hours ago I was feeling like I’m stuck staring at this blank canvass. Now I feel like I’m staring at a blank canvass because God is painting the other side of it and one day He will turn the canvass around to reveal something to me. I can clearly see that my trail of thoughts, whilst I don’t understand them, are developing. Realising my perspective has been shifted from (rightly or wrongly) Mike to me is a relief. And yes it’s slow, long and incredibly lonely… But, it’s happening.
I used to tell Fitzy everything. Share my heart and all my thoughts. When we broke up I knew that would be lost and it has been lost. In truth, I’m realising more and more what a strong and mature person he was; what a gift he was to me from God. I look at others around me and 99% of them cannot cope with the depth and the enormity of dealing with another person at this level. What can you say to someone to make them feel better? What can you do? How can you give your time and energy to them AND deal with your own life? No wonder so many marriages end in divorce when someone dies. I can’t do it. I’ve no idea how Fitz did it. But I’m so eternally grateful to both him and God. The other side to this is I decided not to talk to anyone the way I used to with Fitzy. By sharing everything with him he KNEW my heart and exactly where I was with things. The concept of having to start again from scratch with anyone else was just too big for me to even contemplate.
But all in all, I’m OK. I still deal with Mike’s death every day and daily there is something specific to battle and/or question. Understanding who I am, where I’m going and what I’m doing is the key focal point right now.