There is a six month period which runs from the beginning of December to Fathers Day in which there are peaks and troughs of significant dates, including Christmas and Luke’s birthday that will forever accentuate and intensify the gaping hole that used to be his presence.
I have said before that I think of Luke as many times each day as I think of my living children and that still applies. (If you haven’t experienced child loss, please don’t be thinking that I should move on and get a life because YOU will never “get it” unless God forbid, it happens to you.) Oh but the markers of those last six months can make our hearts heavy.
Ths year I couldn’t quite shake the feeling that somehow Luke has been left behind when in fact I know for sure that he left us behind when he decided to go on ahead.
Examining why I feel as though Luke had been left behind, it’s because I can’t bear the thought of the world forgetting him. After much thought and discussion I am content to accept that he is not forgotten; he lives on in people’s memories; it’s just that I am not aware of their memories or how many times he is thought about. My friend Tony drown 38 years ago when he was 28 years old and I still think of him and his parents will never have been aware of that.
I have a natural proclivity to squeeze every ounce of joy out of life I can achieve but unbidden memories of the last few months of Luke’s life can make my brain wrestle with itself……it is exhausting. Each year has been different and each individual significant date can be different to each other, year on year. Particularly June 15th through to 17th then on to Fathers Day. What do you actually do for these specific significant dates not to turn into days of dour, maudlin? There’s no running away from them, they don’t disappear and they certainly don’t allow themselves to be ignored.
Well this year, for a start, I didn’t post on mine or Luke’s Facebook pages. Not because it is painful to do so or that I want to forget, I love that people post on his wall and remember him but not at my prompt. The visits, messages, phone calls and Masses said for Luke around this last week touched my heart so much as our family was gathered up and loved.
We made a memorable day at the seaside on 17th to blow our sadness away with the tide, eating fish and chips followed by ice-cream.
Walks, football, Leggo, I Spy and then take away with lots of fun and laughter for the dads, children and grandchildren made Fathers Day into a better day for my husband to remember instead of being overshadowed with intrusive thoughts of missing the child who ran ahead.
To those of you who thankfully don’t get it, this will sound odd but those of you who do will recognise the pattern…we now breathe out as we have six months of a semblance of normal life until the beginning of December comes around.
I reckon we did a great job of commemorating Luke’s anniversary this year. Thank you Wolf Pack, I am proud of us all as we carry on, on our journey. You are extraordinary people who have developed tremendous reliance.
To you my lovely missing boy, how I wish you weren’t 💔