I’ve been thinking about why I haven’t been writing about Barry’s life. Yes, I do write a random memory every now and again, but I think it’s obvious that that side of the website is lacking. Why?
I’m not entirely sure, but it may have something to do with my grief. Barry was only 18 years old, which really isn’t a long life. This means it is not a huge task to be confronted with – writing about his life. Yet when I think about it my mind goes into a whirl. Nothing is clear.
As I said, I think this is due to grief. It’s a coping mechanism. The more I think about Barry’s life, the more upset I become, so my mind blocks the details out…until it is safe to remember. In other words, I don’t think it’s safe to remember yet.
I know the memories will come back. My body is trying to take care of me, and it will allow them to return when I am more relaxed and easy within myself. I feel that this can start to happen now. The turmoil of the last five months is finally easing off into a steady stream. What with the passing of Barry, the initial shock, the funeral and disbelief, the attempts to return to work, the constant fear for Daniel, the fear becoming a reality when I could have lost him too, further upsets as our support system was tried and tested to the limits…we finally come to a quiet, calm place. I just hope, with all my being, that it is not the eye of the storm.
Daniel confided to me a few days ago that he doesn’t see “that image” in his mind every minute of every day now. In fact, he said he felt guilty because he hadn’t thought of Barry in a few days. I told Daniel that it was alright. He would continue to have good days, but he’ll also have bad days return at unexpected times. All this is normal. Daniel went on to tell me about his plans for the future. He’d like to visit New Zealand and Scotland, he tells me. It made my heart ease its throbbing to hear these words. All of them. He is starting to enjoy life again and that might be enough to wash away my fears.
Without doubt, those fears will hover in the background for some time yet, maybe years. I will not pretend otherwise, but I hope they won’t be with me every moment of every day like that image Daniel use to have. I am trying, very hard, to push those dark thoughts aside and to let Daniel live his life without interrogation from me about his every movement. The only time I feel totally calm, where Daniel is concerned, is when he’s in the same room as me. I have to learn to let go of him again, and trust that he’ll want to live more than he wants to die. His words and his actions tell me that he does, but my heart will not heed these things. My heart remembers trusting another son completely, thinking that son was fine, and then finding out he wasn’t when it was too late. My heart no longer trusts my gut feelings. They were wrong in a huge way once, who can say that they won’t be wrong again.
Life is full of lessons. We think we’ve learned them all, but we never have.