I am finding it impossible to write. My block is not because I’m too busy, nor because I have no ideas to put on paper. It is because my thoughts are elsewhere.
This weekend last year Daniel came home for the fist time since leaving four months earlier for a bone marrow transplant . There was much excitment around his return. And there was hope. If he was strong enough to travel home it must be a good sign. Maybe that infamous corner was about to be turned? Maybe it was the start of weekends at home? Maybe eventually there would come a time when he would travel to Dublin just for dialysis? Maybe the day was coming when Daniel would be cured?
The reality was very different. The young boy who came home was not the boy who had left. Seeing him in his home environment showed us, not how well he was getting, but how sick he was, and the long hard climb ahead of him.
Daniels anniversary is on the 29th of November. Six weeks away. It is so difficult not to spend each day remembering. Remembering, ‘this day last year’. I cannot imagine how it is for his parents, siblings and family.
For over the next few weeks Daniel suffered a lot of pain. During that time all efforts went into curing him, at a cost. During that time on two occasions Daniel was ventilated. There was a real chance he would die miles from home, in ICU and on a ventilator. There were occasions when we cried imagining his parents never again hearing him speak, imagining that last goodbye.
I cannot even begin to tell you of all those awful days, as they were too many to speak of. Watching from a distance I often felt sick with fear. I cried so many tears alone and in company. Even now a year later I cannot forget. I cannot forget those conversations I had with my friends, Daniels family, about things we should only be saying, if we were speaking about an elderly grandparent. Those next six weeks were a nightmare, a nightmare which keeps flashing back into my everyday life.
I know it will pass. I also know it is nothing compared to Dans families nightmare.
So over the next few weeks stick with me please. If I repost an old fun post maybe it’s because I’m just having a bad day. Maybe now I’ve spoken my mind I will be able to write again. However I’m not sure. Daniel is gone and yet I seem to find memories of him everywhere, from his smiling face in photos, to the nightmare flashbacks from last year. The memory of Daniels pain and suffering, and the knowledge that it was all for nothing is sometimes just too much. The only positive in the weeks ahead was Daniel being ‘well’ enough to travel home. Well enough to know he was home, and to have a full day there before he began to leave peacefully, with all who loved him beside him.
Yes my friends even after one year it is all as raw and as real as if it were yesterday. And I cannot forget.