Walking on ice

1 Feb

It is the middle of winter, a cold frosty morning. I am wrapped up really warm in the love of my family and friends. I like the cold, the frosty cobwebs that glint in the sun, the frozen flowers on Toby’s grave. I am walking across a frozen lake. It is beautiful but it is such a very long way to the other side and I know I have to get there, I can see the sunshine and feel the warmth on the farthest shore. I know I will feel better if I can get there. With each step the ice cracks, its a loud sharp crack, it is the sound of the pains shooting through my heart. No matter how carefully I tread, I can not stop the ice from cracking but I so want it to. Some days I just stop and stand really still and the ice goes quiet for a little while. I look up at the sky and will the ice to break, for everything to stop. I would like to fall like a bird soaring through the sky, and keep on falling, forget my world and loose the pain. Sometimes I look behind me but there is nothing but darkness now. When your child dies your life changes, there is no going back because that is gone. It is one of those experiences that honestly only those who have been through can fully understand and it is very difficult to explain. There are many things that I did before Toby died that I know I will never do again. There are certain restaurants that I will not go to as we never went without Toby so why would I want to go without Toby now? That does not make me sad or miss the restaurants, it is just a fact, there are plenty of others to choose from so why the need to go? Some things that I did before I will not do again, they just do not hold the same importance, my priorities have changed. It is not like other grief where returning to normal is a sign of healing, I have to find my new normal first.

People ask me if I am ok and I say yes because I really do not want to have to talk to people about not being ok, I see a counsellor for that. I am surprised that people are not able to see and hear the ice breaking, it sounds so loud to me. I struggle to know what people do actually expect or want me to say. The truth is that I will never be ok but I am learning to live with that feeling. How can it ever be ok to never see or touch your child again, to not share a joke or a meal, to watch them grow into adult hood and live the life they should have had. I understand that people around me want to make things better but know that they can not. They can not bring my boy back or ever make me feel ok about him being gone. Some people choose to walk on that ice with me and I would not be without them, it means the world to me that they are there. Some others are standing on the lakeside just watching, feeling powerless and doing nothing. Others have not even come to the shore. Some of them should have walked that ice with me but could not, that makes me very sad. It is a relationship lost and I do not know if it can be repaired.

When I stand still on that ice I listen very quietly, I can still hear it, still hear my boys heart beating, it makes me cry but makes me smile too. As long as I can hear it, Toby stays with me and that helps me to take that next step.

#organdonation #havethediscussion #tobysgift


3 Responses to “Walking on ice”

  1. Vic Gardener February 2, 2013 at 12:47 am #

    Beautiful and honest writing.

  2. ecseljules February 2, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    Well Toby has left the most remarkable gift, but you also have donated a comment that will live with me for a lifetime. As someone who is a healthcare worker I believed i could show compassion, empathy and hope, but thanks to you beutiful metaphor of ice, i believe you have given me a wonderful gift, for which i am truely greatful. I like so many others find supporting friends and family going through greif a very difficult process. Tbh we become slightly awkward in our approach. I have tend to shy away and be the observer from the shore, with lifeboy in hand ready to come to assistance, frightened to step onto the ice for fear of it cracking and seeing the other person fall into the depths of the void. How you have opened my eyes!… I see now that i must come and join you, accept that the cracks may get worse but at least know that i will be there taking each step together rather than leaving the other person alone on the ice, yes it make crack too much but at least we will share those horrors together and be a true friend in our friends most dire hour of need.
    I am truely thankful for you to share this analogy with us, as i now have renewed hope on how i can deal with this in the future.
    Its a shame that only in death can we really begin to share, and help each other to become better.

    • tobysgift February 2, 2013 at 10:01 am #

      those words have truly humbled me, thank you

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