Four minus one.

Grief is a strange emotion. For a time it is all consuming. Eating into my every moment. And then it begins to recede. Burrowing deep inside me, taking up residence next to my heart. It becomes a lurker, on occasions out of nowhere it rises to the surface.

At other times Grief hits me with a slap. A sudden sharp shock. It stops me in my tracks. Then I remember the loss, the sadness, no longer having hope. I remember with such pain the words, “He’s coming home”, and I remember “Goodbye” really means, “GONE FOREVER”. And I am right back at the beginning again, wondering had I ever moved on in my grief.

This week I have felt grief. Not the shocking grief, but the lurking one. It has followed me everywhere.

It is mid term. Two of my four children are away, one is out working all day, which leaves just one of my chicks at home. The house has been so quiet. I cannot help but on occasions miss the happy noisy days when the house was filled with small children and toys. When I experienced exhaustion and fun in equal measure. However it was not for those days I mourned this week. It was for my friend and what this week must feel for her.

Come the weekend my children will all be back under my roof. The house will be noisy once more. My family complete. As I smile and look forward to that my gaze falls on two photographs in my kitchen.photo credit: mikebaird via photopin cc

One is of a young boy in full flight off the pier into the water. The smile on his face, the height of the jump and the obvious delight he was experiencing are so evident. I know he was doing a “Danny”, which was running and jumping without even checking all was safe. It was taken months before we heard he had leukemia. The other photo is of the same boy, taken a couple of years earlier, in the water by the same pier. It is a shot of his head out of the water, the rest of his body submerged. And on his face the most magic smile. A little boy, with a cheeky face, enjoying life so much.

On occasions I look at these photos to remind myself of the wonderful life he lived up to a year ago. I can remember that he had 12 amazing years. Somedays I smile and walk away from those photos in a better place. But this week was different. This week I began to realise he was gone. Life for him was over. He had done all he could do and more but it was not to be. Seeing him so full of life only made me sad thinking of all the fun he has missed out on.

As I look around my quiet house, I cannot help but mourn for my friend, Dan’s mom. This weekend my house will fill up once more. All photo credit: mcdarius via photopin ccmy children will be back under my roof. However my friend will forever be missing one. In her house there will always be an empty bedroom. A spare place at the table. An empty seat in the car. A part of her heart forever broken.

I do not wish Dan to be back and sick, but I do hugely mourn the loss of such a young vibrant boy, and all he could have become. But mostly this week I mourned for my friends loss, one mother to another. And I wonder at the very difficult road she travels as she walks through life with her four minus one.

I cannot take away her grief or truly understand her pain. But I can look at what I have and regardless of lifes inconveniences and trials, I can appreciate fully that health is wealth. I am very rich indeed.

photo credit: mcdarius via photopin cc
photo credit: mikebaird via photopin cc

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60 thoughts on “Four minus one.

  1. Thinking of you Tric and your friend.They say time heals all wounds but I don’t think his is true in all cases,rather that the pain eases somewhat with time but it’s always there and sometimes it hits us right in the gut.

  2. Your post reminded me today that I must right now stop and contact my own nephews to let them know I love them and miss them greatly. I sometimes wait too many days, and this is a good reminder that life is short. Bless you, Tric.

  3. Tric, this was very heartwarming, filled with so much sincerity and compassion. I cannot imagine losing a child, but I do know how grief feels. Just last night I spent hours mourning and crying over the loss of my stepfather, as if he had just passed away. It was last March, but sometimes when it hits, it’s so fresh. I am so sorry for your loss, your friend’s loss and that this precious boy had his life shortened by such a terrible disease. But, I can tell by your writing that he lived a full and happy life. That he touched people with his life and because of all of that he lived, so much more than some ever do.

    1. It is amazing how grief can rise up so unexpectedly and overwhelm us even after a long time. I am sorry about your stepfather, but a good cry can be so healing in a way. I think a childs passing is so sad and senseless and it makes the grief very difficult. I’m not sure why but I was so sad all week, just trying to understand that he is really gone.

  4. We often get “sloppy on life” and forget how tremendously blessed we are until a terrible tragedy strikes. I don’t know why that is, but…..we seem to see more clearly through pain. I’m so very, very sorry for your friend. Losing a child is horrible. There simply isn’t any other word…………

  5. it is almost ten years now i lost my dad… but memories about how he bothering me a lot when i was a child still there. And gosh… i miss that moment.
    So sorry for your lost Tric. Time will heal eventually, but when it come for us to remember, it will come, and some how, it makes me stronger. hope you will feel the same also. Regards from Indonesia.

    1. Thanks Ryan. I’m sorry about your Dad. A father is a big loss. I am sure in time we will deal with this better, but my heart breaks for his mom. It is a lifetime of loss for her. Thanks for reading, all the way from Indonesia.

  6. Tric, this just “felt” so painful. And yet, so full of love. Just reading this made me ache. And I have never met you or your friends. Your love and affection and pain touched familiar feelings in me that I think are part of our common bonds as caring people. I’m so sorry for the loss, and thankful you share this love with us.

    1. It’s been a painful week. This boy was amazing and he touched my life hugely. It is so sad he didn’t make it when leukemia is such a curable childhood disease. It has to be so hard for his family. Thank you Coleen you have been through your own sadness last year too.

    1. Thank you Jackie. It was just the week that was and I had to write it. Life goes on and many hope that this grief is behind us, but in reality it is just hidden away. Thank you for reading, I know you don’t like reading sad posts, but I do hope it allows you appreciate all you have.

  7. I do not ever think the missing of Daniel will ever get easier. 
    Twelve weeks today he went away from us .. I do not think he knew he was going but he was happy at that moment .. 
    So where did he go ? 
     How will this pain get easier? 
    We all miss him  so much … Mom dad brother and sisters all missing his presence. 
    Their loss must be so hard… because I along with so many more miss dan so much… 
    I cry with a Brocken heart because this was not sopose to happen … 
    I miss him so what are they feeling ? 
    People ask me how are you? ….Oh I am fine ! ..  But oh no I am not … 
    I want to scream I miss him so much… But I hide these feelings from the world because my pain will never be what the family will carry with them for ever… 

    To me they are six minus one!

    1. Oh I agree with you so so much. I am so sad but how can I be like this when what they and you are feeling must be so so much more. Yes they are indeed six minus one I was only writing this from a mothers point of view but I do of course understand it is all of them. In fact the family being so close it is so many minus one. It was just a v v lonely week. I still can’t believe it. I hope your okay. I think about you often. xxxxxxxx

        1. I just looked at the book of photos from the school…. Waaaah, went up the hill in the car to “enjoy”it alone, am not the better of it. It really is still unbelievable. Thinking of you loads today, (and during last week). You were very much like a mother to him. And that must be nice to know. xx

  8. Grief is such a lonely box. Sometimes you can look over the edge and see peace and almost reach out and touch it and other times the lid is just closed. Last year was a tough year, loosing a family member for what ever reason is never easy. I lost a nephew and a dad and sometimes don’t think I have grieved enough. But we all grieve differently and sometimes after reading a post like this there are tears as I sit and remember them, and empathize with the loss. Then there are others when I smile and remember something beautiful. Thanks for writing from your heart, your words touch so many in ways you will never no.

    1. Thank you Charlene. There is no real pattern to grief, it is just something that will always be there, often only in the background, but sometimes it boils over.
      Yes I know you too had a very difficult year last year. Sometimes when we do cry and remember it is the only time we have to spend with those who are gone, so it’s not all bad. xx

    1. I don’t know how much help anyone can really be. At the end of the day his mom and dad can only get through this themselves and they are doing such a good job. Thank you Lucia Maya.

  9. We came up against these feelings recently – one of Little My’s pals at school lost his four-year-old brother to cancer. The children automatically rallied around their pal and are pushing him gently back on his feet and forward. The pain is there, and you can’t change the past, but you can make a huge difference in the present and the future for your friend, and I’m sure you will.

    1. Oh I’m sorry to hear of your Little Mys friends loss. Children are so resillliant as long as they have a good leader. I’m not sure how much help any of us can really be. At the end of the day his two parents are the ones whose grief will last a lifetime. We can be there though as much as is possible for the bad and the good days. Thanks MM

  10. Got the news this morning I’ve been dreading all week – ever since my friend, Carol, was admitted to a hospice last weekend – she passed away 2.30 am. this morning

    As one might expect, I’ve felt a bit weepy today, yet at the same time glad her suffering is finally over

    At her wake, family and friends will share memories of the many happy times we spent with her over the years

    It’s this difference, I think, that makes the death of a young child so tragic and the pain of loss so much harder to bear – they have spent so little time with us, we have so few memories to cling on to

    their lives cut short, they never had the opportunity to become the person they might have been

    their future was bright, with so many possibilities – but with their early death, ‘the game’s a bogey’, as we say in Scotland

    the death of children seems so unfair because they were never allowed to live a full life – unlike my friend, Carol, who died this morning

    I never met Dan, but through tric’s writing, I’ve come to know of him , and my thoughts go out to all his family and friends – the pain of losing a child must be unbearable !

    Carol, and my wife Anita, who also died of cancer, were lucky in that they had advanced warning of their demise, so had time to take farewell of friends and family and to mend bridges with those they had fallen out with over the years

    very few of us know the date and time of our deaths

    so live each day as if it might be your last – for one day it will !

    hold your children, and the ones you love, close to you

    give them a hug

    let them know you love them – though you may not always like them – for you never know which day will be your last

    me ?

    I’m running out of people to hug – the buggers keep dying on me 😥

    so I’m off to hug a bottle instead

    ‘Sláinte !

    1. Aw Duncan I am so sorry. Death is so final, that even if we are prepared I don’t think we can understand the forever of goodbye. I do agree, none of us ever know and I think each day should count.
      This week has been a long one. Remembering the hope we had last year and knowing it was all in vain, and that he is really gone is so v sad. As we watch other children enjoying mid term break we know he is missing. And all the time knowing the pain his Mom and Dad are living through. It is definitely hugely difficult coping with a child passing.
      However for yourself and my mom and others, losing a partner in life is also an enormous grief.
      I will have a drink tonight to your friend Carol and even though we share a lack of faith, just tonight let’s pretend herself and Anita are joining us. Sláinte Duncan, and again I’m sorry for your loss. xx

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