Adam’s death is still raw for me. I guess it might put into perspective just how much death has effected me throughout my life if I tell you that my mother died when I was 21, and my dad died when I was 32. I guess you could say I’m used to it. But there is no feeling in this world like losing your child. I now wish I had have been kinder to my grandmother when my mother died – she had lost her daughter. I remember her hair going white as the clouds on a sunny day. Except there weren’t any sunny days for us. My poor Nanny died about 1 year after her daughter. She went up to Leeton after that to stay with some nephews of hers and other country family, she was from rice farming land on the Riverina all through the war years, the 50’s and 60’s. She only had the one daughter. All of her pictures show her with a smile, they were always swimming in the lake or one of the rivers up there. They seemed to have a pretty good life. They seemed happy.
I remember hearing once as a child, maybe 11 or so, that a relative of ours had shot himself in the head in a garage. It was all hush hush of course, you didn’t dare talk about those things back then. Especially in a Catholic family like mine was. Everything was hush hush in my family, I don’t think it was a case of ‘back then’ I think it was just my family. My family had perfected the notion of ‘children should be seen and not heard’. That was gospel. It was kind of rough growing up with those beliefs flying around. I didn’t agree with them. None of us kids did. That’s probably why my children got free reign in the house, they respected me, they didn’t swear and they didn’t tell fibs, (I think they told a few about who left the light on) but that’s about it. My kids were good kids.
Then Issy came along. I produced 2 more adorable kids but the dynamics changed, and not for the best. Lots of tension, walking on egg shells so as not to waken the beast inside. My kids suffered the most and I’ve carried that guilt all my adult life, still now.
Then finally we got divorced. Now, this was hard on the two littlies. The newer kids. He was busy off galavanting around with young ‘friends’ shall we say, while I was left with the little ones. My older ones by now were living by themselves, or coming back and forth, I can’t remember really. They adored their brother and sister though. Well, I won’t go into the rest of all the divorce messy life stages. You’ve probably heard it all before – or lived it. So you know what I mean. So I’ll jump to my sweet boy, Adam Daniel Friedman – but he wanted to be known under my surname so we’ll say – Adam Daniel Reid. He would like that.
It just passed the 15 month mark and time has not moved on much from the 23 – 25th August, 2017. In fact, we could be in the lead up to Christmas of 2017, not 2018. I don’t know if it will always be this way but I have heard that it might. I am in a FB group of mothers who have lost their babies either to SIDs, medical negligence during birth or their baby being still born. Years and years on, they are still in shock and trauma. Another lady is more similar to me, she lost her 19 year old son and is a member of the group, she lost him 20 years ago. For her also, time has stood still. I have learned a lot from them all. What kindness really is. What it is to be grateful. What it is to love unconditionally. And what it is to grieve the most heinous of occurrences. It really does test your faith, but without faith what are we? We must hold on to faith. It gets us through the darkest hours, when you are crying so, that you cannot breathe, when you cannot move, not even to drink water, when you cannot move, not even to answer the door – another door may lead to another life where your child is.
a note which became rather long, so I’ll leave it here. But remember that mourning the death of a child does not ‘get better’, does not ‘ease’ and does not ‘go away’ – it is here to stay, forever unchanged and unchangeable.