Ok so last week I promised a warts and all journal of what it is like living with intense grief. Isn’t it strange that we encounter so many people every day but we have no idea what they have experienced in their life which makes them the person they are today.

Wouldn’t it help if we all walked around with labels that people could read saying ‘Alcoholic Mother’, ‘Beaten by her husband’, ‘Lost the love of his life to cancer last year’. I have recently realised that I am not the only person in the Universe that has experienced tragedy and appears completely ‘normal’ whatever that is, to the outside world.

Sundays are hard. Toby died on a Sunday. It was the day of the British GP and Marley and Me was on the TV. I looked at the TV listings today and ‘Marley and Me’ is on. I can’t even look at the words without reliving that day. The day he died I was at Trevaskis Farm and on the way home I stopped at ‘Hardy Exotic plants’ and bought plants.

Every day I drive past the sign for ‘Hardy Exotics’ and I think of that day. How long will that last? Every time I hear an ad on Pirate radio for ‘Trevaskis Farm’ I think of that day.

There are lots of things about that day that I can’t tell anyone, but I have reason to know for certain that he died shortly after midnight on Saturday 9th July. He was found at about 3.30 p.m. the next day, and I think I was sitting on a hay bale at Trevaskis Farm watching a demo by the Juicemaster while my son was laying in a field and I was blissfully unaware.

Last week I went out in the garden and looked at the plants and there was a plant flourishing with the ‘Hardy Exotics’ label still on it. A reminder that life goes on and things keep growing.

Grief is painful and it is a physical pain, it is an illness and a disability but like illness or disability there are people that fight back and triumph. My mind still can’t fully comprehend what happened to Toby, but I know I value life and experiences far more than I ever did. Every day is  a struggle and a challenge, but simple things like seeing a full moon over the sea, or seeing a family together, or cuddling my dog take on such value now, and I don’t worry about anything very much.

I have encountered fellow human beings with such courage, love and strength of spirit that I never would have met if Toby was still walking this earth. The human spirit is amazing and as long as I can experience life and love, I think I’ll keep going.

I always remember the picture on the Golden Syrup tin when I was a child. ‘Out of the Strong came forth sweetness’ it was a dead lion being eaten by bees, which then made honey (or syrup)

Another day, another 1000 memories of my beautiful boy and the hope that I will do something amazing that I wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t experienced such loss in my life.

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