Friday, 30 November 2012

Five years

Is a very very long time.

Five years ago, I stood outside on a cold and muddy day, and watched a coffin being lowered into a hole in the ground.

Five years ago, I stood back as others claimed the right to being mourners in chief; stood quietly as part of my heart landed six foot under ground, and as the tumult of my daughter's life continued even at her funeral.

Five years ago, I hung a photo collage which spoke the words I couldn't say, which demonstrated the second half of my daughter's life, as others focused on her earlier years.

Five years ago, I lit 97 tealights standing around the communion rail; five years on I'm still giving away the little glass holders.

Five years ago I busied myself and thought about the people who couldn't share this last goodbye, and failed to recognise a large number of those who did.

Five years ago I made mini pizzas and sausages and cheese bites and tried to feed a crowd with the kind of food my daughter used to love.

And now, finally, five years later, I think I'm angry about some of that. I am angry that there had to be so much compromise. I am thankful that the truly important aspects of the funeral were right - a Christian service, our church - but angry that so much else had to be negotiated or lost.

I am angry about the three months we had to wait before being allowed to bury her. Angry that we couldn't dress her beautifully one last time. Angry that her death was about as mechanical as you can get, that her last experiences of touch were through plastic gloves, her last hugs wrapped in plastic aprons, her last sounds forced past the tube of a ventilator.

I am angry that her belongings were torn up, binned, divided out between people who had never seen them before and never met her.

I am angry that confidential records, which were supposed to be dealt with by other parties, are still sitting under my youngest daughter's bed, five years later.

I am angry that the life story photos from the children's home where she stayed before coming to me were promised for years and never turned up either in life or in death.

Five years on, I am angry that carers who were her carers first and now care for my other girls seem to have forgotten, and no longer always use the bath thermometers.

I am angry that I still have a pair of legs (night splints) under the bed and nowhere to send them. And I am angry that my feet are too small, and my daughters' too puffy or too stiff to wear the pair of purple boots which still sit at the end of the bed.

I am angry that I never took her to some of the places we'd hoped to go. And glad for all the places we did get to, but angry for the missed opportunities, the wasted chances.

I am angry that I can't properly call her my daughter; I want to send her name in highlights in rockets to the moon, and I settle for a pseudonym.

I am angry that her fingers cannot dig into my arm and pull me towards her. That she can't shoplift any more packets of polos, that she will never again get to smear chocolate on commuters on the train.

I'm angry that she never got her bus pass, she didn't get to finish college, that tLP will never get to read her stories.

Or maybe I'm just sad.
How can it be five years?
Tia

9 comments:

Caz said...

Both the anger and the sadness come through from this, very powerfully and beautifully. Some things are just wrong, and will never feel right. I'm sorry.

Tina said...

I'm so sorry I chose today. I had not remembered this date.
But I'm glad you are able to acknowledge your anger, Anger and sadness.

Anonymous said...

Don't have the words to say--only that I'm sorry and ((((hugs))))
Hurt and pain===emotions that are hard to express but very real and need to be given time .

Debra

weavers&whatnot said...

I hear you and I'm sorry.

Alesha said...

No words...sending virtual hugs and prayers

Alesha

Fiona said...

I don't know how you even begin to process such a loss.

Just to say I'm thinking of you and of your beloved daughter.

Sleepwalker said...

We were just talking about her tonight xxx

Anonymous said...

Oh Tia. I wish I could burden some of your pain. I can't belive it's been 5 years.

Your Lord will help you I hope. And hope that you know that in her life you were her mother, in the purest sense of the word.

You loved her, and still do. You cared for her, and still do. Yoo were her mother. And you still are.

I wish you some peace tonight

PMDPeter said...

Nothing else to say except it shows how much you loved her then and that the same still applies today.

Goldie, Once seen never forgotten!!

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