Navigating the landscape of loss after the death of a teenage daughter
Sunday, 17 March 2013
Chloe with her wig from the Little Princesses' charity - a wonderful organisation
Two and a half weeks since my precious daughter died. And this is what is happening - the shock is fading and the pain is coming though. My whole body aches; like my heart and soul have been ripped from my body and set on fire. It is truly horrible. But I promised myself I wouldn't get lost in the darkness; I promised myself I would try and find some light. I promised myself that I'd try and use all this pain to help somebody else - to be an inspiration as that's what Chloe was to me and to so many people. To show somebody else that you can get through even the worst of all losses and that somehow life will be worth living again. That's my mission and I promise I will keep trying -
Forgive me if I fall off my journey sometimes - she was pretty special. I feel I've lost half my hopes and dreams and my very best friend.
When Chloe died I read all the official literature and it just made me more depressed. It warned of all the difficult times ahead, how nobody ever gets over this pain, how life changes forever. I'm screaming so loudly: I need some hope!!! Please give me some hope! People can't live without hope.
I couldn't live without hope when she had cancer; and I can't live without hope now she has died.
And then I found it. A quote from Mathew Engle, a journalist who lost his beloved son Laurie to cancer, and wrote a beautiful article about his loss entitled when the sky fell in http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2009/dec/05/laurie-engel-fund-teenage-cancer-trust. The line that really struck me was that there are worse emotions than sadness and that sometimes sadness can inspire and change. That's what I want to use my sadness for. It's no good otherwise - I have to work to transform this sadness, this bitter grief , into something useful.