Walking through grief.

Once or twice a week a couple of friends and I go for a walk.
It is quite a long trek of about 8km, off the beaten track.carrigaline walk

This walk has become a huge part of our friendship.

Prior to December 2012 we walked this walk with no real cares.
We chatted about family, relationships, and children.
We spoke of work, nights out, and school,
as well as putting the worlds wrongs to right.
Life for us was good.

Then my friends young boy aged 12 became unwell.
As we walked we discussed his tiredness.
We spoke of managing his time in his new school,
and cutting back on sport.

And then we heard he had leukemia.
For a while our walks stopped.

Christmas came and went as our young pal began chemotherapy.
He returned to Cork and we began to walk once more.
But now our chat had greatly changed.

As we walked we spoke of our hopes for his recovery,
and we were able to share our sorrow at how life had stopped for him.
Out in the air we could speak our fears,DSCF0020
and let our tears fall freely.

The world seemed unaware that for my friend life was on hold.
These walks allowed us reconnect her with other happenings,
outside of the oncology department and the new world she was living in.

Despite the sadness we had many happy walks.

Then the time came for our last walk before transplant.
It was not the easiest of days.
I couldn’t help but wonder what the future held.
We had so much hope that day.
But as we said our most difficult of Goodbyes,
I wondered when would we walk together again,
and what would we be speaking of?

For five months our walks stopped.

My friend sat far away from the beautiful views of Cork, by her sons bed,DSCF0024
as he fought so hard to live.
Sadly it was not to be.
Novemeber 29th we said Goodbye.

Now we are back walking again,
and once more the conversation flows.
It is as you can imagine a million miles away from our once carefree chats.

We speak at length about all that has happened,
and try to come to terms with every parents nightmare.
There is so much to say, and yet at times no words can we speak.

However from the beginning of the walk to it’s end there is healing.
As my friend tries to find her son, there is around us such peace.
No cars pass, no noise to be heard.
We are alone in the moment.photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathancohen/4084485753/">JonathanCohen</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">cc</a>
As tears fall and questions are asked, there is sharing.

As we walk along each day, step by step, it is my hope,
that some day, in the distance, many more steps along the road,
we will arrive at a place, where my friend can feel peace.
Where she can feel her sons breath on her shoulder,
and his hand in hers.
And know he never really left her after all.
He just moved away.

photo credit: JonathanCohen via photopin cc

50 thoughts on “Walking through grief.

  1. You always write so beautifully, about such beautiful things. In the midst of grief there is grieving. And grieving is such a primal NEED for people that for her and you all to have such a healing place for it to happen is wonderful.

  2. It sounds like you offer your friend the best kind of therapy, the ability to listen. Thanks for sharing, this is a really touching story.

    1. Yes we go back an awful long way. Before we had any children. It is still incredible to believe this has happened, but I love our walks and these pictures are actual pictures of our journey.

  3. I was glad to read you two have continued your walks. At some point, she will find the peace to live her life and find happiness in doing so. It would be too cruel, otherwise. You’re a good friend, Tric. I’d fancy a long walk with you I bet.

    1. Ah I’d say me and you might get a bit sidetracked. Walking is thirsty work! 🙂
      These pictures were taken on our walk, so….. Welcome to Cork/ Ireland Don!

  4. this gave me chills, tric. and know that with each step, and the support of those who care, she will find her way back to him and to a level of peace and acceptance. you are all so lucky to have each other. by just being there, and helping and supporting the others, you will each be helping yourselves as well. this is his gift to all of you.

    1. Thanks Beth. I think you could be right. I do know she will find him and her way some day.
      Did you like the pictures. They were taken on our walk.

    1. Thanks Coleen. I am lucky to have great friends. I do think these walks go a long way to helping her in some small measure.
      These pictures were taken on our walk, so you could say you just had a nice stroll in Cork. I know you have a thing for Ireland.

      1. I chuckle…I do indeed have a ‘thing’ for Ireland. I wondered if some of them were your pictures, it feels good to know they are. A walk in Ireland, with good and trusted friends. That, is a good life.

    1. It’s the irish in me. We are great to make a story out of tragedy! I am sorry I made you teary, but my friend is doing well, and she has many friends by her side as well as myself. Thanks Charlene.

  5. The photos are absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful country. You and your friends are so lucky to have each other to see you through this time in your lives. Bless you all!

    1. Thank you. Grief is bad enough it must be very hard without friends, or if you didn’t want friends around you. Where we walk is lovely.

  6. Hi Tric, I rarely comment on topics that are so close to the heart as I find they leave me feeling very vulnerable, even after all these years. However just to say that the time you give and your listening ear are the most valuable gifts you can give your friend now, especially as you knew her son so well. Keep up the good work. Glad you took those photos on a sunny day!!!!!

    1. Yes it was a nice day, mind you the muck at our feet was something else. Thank you May so much for the comment. We will continue to walk and day by day see where it brings us.

    1. We are lucky to have each other. I have quite a few friends and each one of them I feel lucky to know, especially when times are hard. Thank you.

    1. Thank you. It is a long road but yes I am sure peace will come. My friend is an amazing person young Daniels anniversary is almost here. One year already, and it is as if it were yesterday, as I’m sure you too know having read your blog. I wish you peace also.

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