8 years! How can 8 years have gone by? On this day 8 years ago my firstborn son Luke lost his life. I started the day with some tears, I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it, it would be wrong not to shed some now and again, for the rest of my life I’ll cry for my boy, that’s only right.
What else have I done? Well, I’ve spent the day at Trent Bridge watching England play South Africa at cricket. This is my preferred way to spend a summer day, I genuinely love watching the game, something Luke would never have been able to understand, and most certainly not something he would’ve shared with me, he’d have been bored to tears!
I usually go on my own to test matches and almost without fail I meet lovely people. This test is different as I’ve joined a group, an established group I knew only one of them before a pre match meal. But, I will know them al by the end of my 3 days at the match.
I want to write in praise of social media, I woke to a couple of posts on the Facebook page set up to remember Luke. I posted some of my thoughts as well as re-posted a ‘letter’ I wrote to Luke on this day 6 years ago. I can’t emphasise enough how comforting it is to read the comments on these posts, both from people who knew Luke and others who didn’t have that experience.
To know that 8 years on his character and smile are still remembered is, making me shed a few more of those tears as I type if I’m honest, but wow I’ve smiled as I read. The whole social media thing has been wonderful for me today as it is most days.
Back to my day at Trent Bridge, I walked back into Nottingham with one of the people I hadn’t had the chance to talk to during the day, he was kind enough to realise I wasn’t keeping up with the others. the chat we had has prompted me to come back to this blog to write on my New Normal rather than films.
His business partner had lost his 16 year old daughter, she died in a riding accident on her birthday, we spoke about how his partner was coping. Not very well it seems, she’s become someone that isn’t mentioned, I imagine because the pain is just too much. They aren’t ready for their new normal yet. He said he was impressed that I was able to talk about Luke and losing him, but it’s never entered my mind not to.
I do believe that losing a child really has to be the worst thing a person has to bear and I understand that we all cope in our own ways, but to be in the position where their names can’t be mentioned isn’t coping, it’s denying. I explained that those of us who’ve lost a child have to cope with the “how many children do you have?” question – in my case my answer is always – “I had 3, I have 2” – that generally leads to a conversation to explain and sometimes the person asking the question doesn’t know what to say. I believe that we aren’t good at loss, if you find yourself on the end of the answer, be prepared to listen and maybe offer a sorry to hear. If like me you’ve lost a child try not to deny their existence, they’re a part of you and always will be. And remember, it is OK to cry, but it’s also OK to smile and to laugh! Life goes on, make yours as happy as you can.