Regular readers of my blog will know that the theme is ‘healing and recovery’, I started writing about how I was coping with my intense grief following the tragic death of my son, less than a year after he died. It became my journal, charting my progress. I write about how I’m feeling, how I’m coping, things that remind me of Toby, events that moved me and sometimes write letters to Toby. I share things I have found helpful in the hope it might help others.
I know from comments and emails I receive that this has helped others who are walking in my shoes and following my footsteps. When a tragic event happens, one of the most beneficial things you can do is to find someone else who has experienced the same tragedy, who can hold your hand and just tell you they understand how you feel, and you know that they really do. Parents who have lost a child to suicide can feel so isolated and it doesn’t help when a well-meaning person tells you they know how you feel because their Mum or Dad died. You really just want to scream at them that they have no idea how you feel.
I am aware that I don’t always share my dark times. Of course I do have dark times and sometimes even on a happy, normal day I can be floored, as happened the other day. I was driving home from my morning dog walk (I live up a very steep hill so am ashamed to admit I drive to the bottom to take Elfie for her morning walk). A song came on the radio that brought back a memory that was so powerful and vivid I just started sobbing, huge, breath taking, gut wrenching sobs. The song was ‘Bring it all back (Don’t stop, never give up)’ by S club 7
I was immediately transported back to Nazeing Primary School July 1999, to the final year 11 assembly. My little boy was leaving his safe little Junior school and going to big scary senior school and the whole class had been coached to lip sync and dance to this song as part of their leaving ceremony. Toby was quite introverted so I was amazed to see how he embraced the task and had been practising at home for a while so the song was planted in my brain.
The lyrics are so moving and inspiring and as the tears streamed and my chest heaved I could remember it so clearly, a memory that had been buried until it was triggered that day. That group of 11 year olds going out into the world so full of life. Unfortunately I was not a parent who videoed, but it didn’t matter I had the precious memory and almost felt Toby was telling me to ‘Don’t Stop, never give up’.
Don’t stop, never give up
Hold your head high and reach the top
Let the world see what you have got
Bring it all back to you
Hold on to what you try to be
When the world is on your shoulders
Just smile and let it go
If people try to put you down
Just walk on by don’t turn around
You only have to answer to yourself