It would be fair to say that the last three months have been something of a roller coaster of emotions. I just 12 weeks I have moved house, left full time work forever and dealt with two incredibly sad and unexpected deaths in our family.
When the police rang to say they needed to come and see my daughter, it never occurred to me for one second that they were bringing her the worse news of all. The death of a parent rocks you. This I know, because sadly I also experienced this at a young age. Although sad, my losses were not unexpected, each following a long illness, and accompanied with a hope that at last loved ones are no longer suffering. When it is sudden and unexplained it takes time to realise just what we are being told, and what has happened.
The days following pass in a whirl of emotion. If I live to be a hundred I will never forget the image of my baby girl, proud and strong, walking in to say a final goodbye to her Dad, being supported physically and emotionally by her three brothers, each standing within a hairs breath of her and walking in step with her. Tears for loss fell swiftly, the invisible connection of love between the four of them threatened to block the whole of the world out. Later in the car on the way to the pub there would be smiles and remembering, lots of remembering. Guinness was drunk, toasts were made and stories told. Grandma and Aunties left for home and still in the pub, surrounded by the best friends and family my little girl was wrapped up. I was overcome by the power of my children, their love for each other and the understanding between them. Can this be the same siblings who would argue about anything and everything? Of course it is. I understand how important my daughter is to our family. Born later, with a different Dad from her brothers, she unites us all.
In the moment I realise how amazing it has been to raise these adults, for a while the hard times are vanishing and I know I was right to have four children.
So now we get on with living. Everyone but me is back at work, the sun is shining and things are gradually returning to normal. She has college to finish, catching up on days lost in grief, and then plans for the summer, for the rest of her life. People ask, kindly, how is my daughter doing? I answer she is doing as well as she can. Things will never be the same, but she will learn to live with it, become used to having only one parent, and being her, she will get on with her life.