The Christmas/New Year period can be a really difficult time when you’ve experienced loss, all that joy and happiness going on around you can be very hard to cope with. The start of another year without your child being a part of it seems somehow unbearable. New Years Eve is a night I’ve always struggled with and this year with the loss of my Mum and Husband (albeit separated) in 2015 I wasn’t looking forward to it at all.
Rather than sit back and allow the day to overcome me I booked 2 tickets to watch Made in Dagenham in London with my good friend Tina. New Years Eve seems to be a time for family, but also a time when lots of single people find themselves alone, if that’s something you’re unhappy about it can polarise those feelings. For me I’m happy in my status but of course my thoughts turn to Luke, so I’ll do everything I can not to be alone all day!
Last year Tina and I went to see From Here To Eternity in the evening, then joined the hoards of people trying to spot the fireworks, not always the deepest of joys walking along in huge crowds. We met up with a fairly drunk Jake and his girlfriend and just made the last train home.
This year the show was a 3pm one, starring Gemma Arterton of Quantum of Solace fame amongst other films. I had a vague understanding of what the show was about, yet no real idea of how a group of women changed the world of work for others. The show was wonderful! It was funny, the acting and singing was superb and the portrayal of a momentous event in history was really well explained.
At the end of the show when the Arterton character had achieved what the ladies had gone on strike for – equal pay for equal work for women, I felt tears coming. There are times like that when I feel that if I let the tears start they might not stop for a while; it can be quite unexpected an sometimes I let them flow, but in a theatre that won’t the place, so a few deep breaths and tears wiped away and all was fine again.
We went in search of food and walked back through Covent Garden, I’m not sure if it’s my work or the fact I’ve lost a child but I’ll always keep an eye out for children, I seem to be able to spot things that don’t look right. There was a family on the corner of the road outside the station with a little big who looked quite distressed. We started to walk past, but I felt the need to go back. The little lad, Nils, had been separated from his Grandparents and the family wee trying to find a way to reunite them. An extra person encouraged Nils to produce a scrap of paper with a phone number on and his Grandma was quickly contacted. One very happy and relieved family.
After a meal in Wetherspoons of all places, we headed to Holborn station and again, I couldn’t walk past a little boy of no more than 4 who seemed to be alone. He was looking at a poster at the top of the escalators; now I have quite a fear of such things and was in all honesty petrified to see him there alone. I stopped and asked him who he was with, his Dad wasn’t far away but he had his back to him as he was sorting out a bag on the floor. That little boy could easily have been snatched away or have taken to the escalator and fallen. Both of these things highlight how easily young children in particular can slip through our hands.
I’ve ‘spoken’ to a lovely lady on Facebook over the last few days whose daughters went off to Daycare, something that happens all over the world every day of the working week. One of the things that the change in the working environment has brought is that more and more women continue with their hard eared careers once they’ve had children. Many will also be in a financial position where they have no choice.
For this poor young woman a call that every mother dreads came asking her to come and come quickly; her 19 month old daughter had fallen in the canal. Days after reading her account I’m still struggling to understand how that was possible, her precious girl didn’t survive. It’s been only 10 weeks since her funeral, I so wish I could help her in her unbearable grief, help her to know that things will be different – not better, not easier but different.
One thing I would ask any of you reading this is to never utter the words – ‘it will get better’ or ‘it will get easier’ when it’s a child you lose it can never be any of those things – I think it’s most probably the same when a child loses a parent. But with help, love and support people can, like me, find their New Normal.
I’ve gone off on a tangent as usual – my New Years Eve was spent alone for the most part as I got home early after the show; but do you know? It was ok – no tears – I have a wonderful 2015 planned and can honestly say I go into the New Year as a happy person, with a deep sadness inside. I hope others in my position find their way to that place, it is ok to be happy.