I’ve been in a very reflective and somber mood this week. I go through these periods often. I have days when I feel on top of the world, smashing my to-do-list, getting shit done and feeling great; to days when I can’t be arsed, feel sad, and question why to everything, have a cranky voice in my head and generally feel blah. That was this week.
On Wednesday my friend lost her son; he was just 19 and he had cancer. He fought a gallant battle, in immense pain; suffered like no human should. It’s unimaginable. It’s heart wrenching; it’s not how life should be. We shouldn’t have to say goodbye to our children, no matter what age they are. His story had only just begun, and it won’t ever be finished. His chapters were full and lively; but the book shall remain open forever with so many blank pages that should have been filled. His mum is a beautiful brave woman. So courageous in everything she has had to endure. Always being hopeful, always getting up and planting her feet on the ground every day and taking the next step. Facing the battlefield everyday, being in combat for not just her son, but her other children, husband and her business. She is the true hero. I have so much admiration for her. She is left with a gaping hole in her heart that no one else will fit into.
Although I live some 6.5 hours away from my friend and I are unable to give her the gentlest of hugs or wipe her tears away; I feel deep gratitude to the small farming community in which she lives, that will rally around her and the family to do this and much, much more. That’s what happens in rural towns. Although sometimes it’s frustrating that everyone knows all your business; when a family is doing it tough, everyone stands up and makes a small difference. This is the heart of what living in a rural town is all about.
I also know that my friend is being deeply comforted by a large amount of online friends; whom also can’t be there physically with her; but have been there with her from the beginning and will be there for eternity. Many of these friends have never met in person, but hold a special place in each others hearts; and are also grieving deeply.
My thoughts this week haven’t ventured far from my friend and have triggered the feelings and memories of the last few weeks I had with mum. I have relived those moments over and over again this week. Watching the unbearable pain, fighting for dignity, watching her slowly slip away. The numbing period between death and funeral and the empty feeling when everyone goes back to their own lives; and we are left with a shattered heart and a life that has changed forever that we have to start navigating through.
Only my friend will know the true pain of losing her son. It is unique. My pain and grief are different. I didn’t loose a child. I know that with each breath she takes, she will feel pain. I know that this pain won’t ever go away. I know that she will feel emptiness and over time learn to live with it. I do know that she is loved deeply by many, loved by her community, loved by those she has yet to meet.