Thursday, 6 March 2008

A depressing day

It’s been a bit of a depressing day. My health – never brilliant – has been particularly bad. Microsoft are telling me my copy of Office is pirated which it isn’t because it came ready installed by MESH when I bought the computer. I envisage another eighteen months of fighting bureaucracies...

And I’ve been scanning in a load of documents and copies of things I have written. My greatest period of writing was the couple of years after my son David died. I found writing extremely therapeutic. Only someone who has lost a child can have any idea what the experience is like and even then everyone’s experience is different because we are all different and so were our children. For the few years after David died I was also heavily involved in writing leaflets for the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths, the making of a BBC 40 Minutes programme, addressing national and local meetings of parents and medical professions and helping to establish the Alder Centre at Alder Hey hospital. All this created a lot of paperwork. Now, looking through those writings to decide what to throw away and what to scan in has been depressing.

It’s now twenty one years since David died but it is something you never ‘get over’. The worst of the pain diminishes after the first three years or so but for another ten years it is safe to say not a day goes by without thinking about our child. After that there may be the very occasional forty eight hours where he or she does not get a thought – much as, when older, a child who has grown up and flown the nest may be momentarily not thought about. But the basic pain (suitably moderated by the fact that we are glad to have had the child whatever might later have happened) never goes... Today, it hardly seems like yesterday that David died and I’m very emotional. This isn’t helped by having ‘lost’ (what euphemisms we do use!) a well-loved nephew much more recently.

Tomorrow I’ll be fine. David won’t be any more alive; but the memories will be of the good times we had with him and not his death. Unfortunately my health won’t miraculously improve and I have a strong suspicion Microsoft won’t change its mind and be nice to me!

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