Monday, 11 April 2016

Where is my mentor in this world of grief?

Where is my mentor in this world of grief? Where is the person who has gone before, who has seen what I have seen, lived through the things I've lived through and survived to tell the tale? It feels like it's getting ridiculous now.

I'm 45 and have peers who seem to have their whole families in tact, people who haven't lost more than a tenner at the races. And I feel like I have lost so much.

I lost my innocence in a difficult childhood and the stability of a family when my parents divorced. I lost my first love when I divorced in my twenties. I was divorced before other people had even started to get married. Lost other loves along the way. I had no map for how to make things work. No solid foundations on which to build.

I lost my father when I was thirty, watched him lose his faculties and his grip on life for years. Watched him lose the love he thought he had when his wife betrayed him, lost my inheritance in a courtroom battle with the woman who stole everything he owned. I lost my chance to say goodbye at the funeral she orchestrated and my chance to hold onto his memory when she took all his possessions, buried his ashes behind locked gates, went off down south with the family photos.

I lost my second baby in the womb. Watched it fall away in blood and pain, staining the sheets. 

I lost my little one's babyhood. Watched him turn limp and grey in my arms. Nearly lost him for good but he was saved to scream through the next year or two of hospital stays and diagnoses of rare diseases. 

I lost his father in those years. He couldn't hack it. Why would he? Who would want to have to deal with all those sleepless nights, all those worries, with a partner who was shaken to the very core. 

And then I met a man. A man I loved. And he left too. He took a piece of my heart with him when he left. I felt broken. 

And then, who would believe it? There was some justice. He came into my life like some kind of knight to rescue me. He showed  me how to live and how to love again. He brought sunshine and laughter into my rain-filled existence, made me believe that somewhere, there was hope, that maybe, just maybe I was allowed some joy. He told me I was perfect, that I was everything, that he wanted a future with me, that it would all be ok. 

And then she died. My mum. The person who had always been there. Who gave birth to me and gave me roots. Suddenly she could hold on no longer. She filled up with liquid and cancer crept up through her body, strangling her until she could no longer speak or look me in the eye. She turned away and left the room, left me an orphan with just him to hold onto, my anchor in this alien world. Just him and me and the children and a hope for a future. It kept me going.

And then he went quiet, didn't reply to my messages. I thought he was letting me down, like men do. And then I found him, inflated like a black balloon on his bed, with blood seeping out of his body and everything was torn apart.

Who has been here before me? Who else has witnessed so many shades of death so young? Who has lost parents and lovers in such succession? Had the carpet pulled from under their feet every time they find the strength to stand? Where is the person who can give me a map for how to carry on in the face of such ridiculousness? How can there be anything left to hope for? Any way to salvage something good from this utter devastation?