Grief – the pain that goes on hurting

Grief – the pain that goes on hurting

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Growing up I had two ambitions – to marry and have kids and to become a nurse and work with children.

I always adored kids and had babysitting jobs from my early teens. My nursing training took me in the direction of working with adults and it wasn’t until 2004 that I “remembered” that I really wanted to work with children so I went to work in a pre-school for children with Special Needs which I really enjoyed.

By then I was married with four children and my family were my life.
My goal in life was to put God first, my children and husband second, then everything else after that.

By 2012 I had got the job that I really wanted – working as a part-time Family Support Worker on the Health Visiting Team. I love babies and small children, I love supporting parents and I loved being back in the Health Service.

I used to wonder if it was ‘normal’ to enjoy one’s job so much. Life was good.

When Leah began having investigations and regular appointments at the start of January 2013, the flexibility of my working hours meant that I could tweak my work commitments, so as to always be there for Leah without ever needing to take time off my work.

My work was my “holy grail” and surely if I could keep that normal then everything else could be normal too.

The next working day after receiving the news of Leah’s awful diagnosis I worked a full morning of Home Visits before informing my manager of what we had been told regarding our daughter. She naturally questioned whether I should be at my work, but I insisted on continuing to come to work – my job was my means of staying sane – or so I thought.

Sadly, 10 days later, it was obvious to both me and to everyone else that I couldn’t combine the demands of caring for Leah and coming to my work.

I found it very distressing for a while to not have the ‘escape’ of going into work. I found it emotionally difficult to always be on the receiving end of the Health Service instead of the giving end – I felt at times terribly vulnerable.

Now it’s been over a year since I last went to work. My employers have been kind to me. My manager and my work colleagues have been incredibly supportive.

A goal has been set for my return to part-time work for the 1st September 2014. I know that the ‘me’ that will return that day will not be the ‘me’ that left in May 2013. I feel like a bird with a broken wing and wonder how it’s possible that I can ever fly again.

I have to continue day by day trusting that God will give me the strength that I need. This morning I was listening to ‘Sovereign‘ by Chris Tomlin and I noticed these words:

Sovereign in my greatest joy
Sovereign in my deepest cry
With me in the dark
With me at the dawn

In your everlasting arms
All the pieces of my life
From beginning to the end
I can trust you

In your never failing love
You work everything for good
God whatever comes my way
I will trust you”

Every day is a challenge – the pain of my loss is like nothing I’ve ever before experienced.

Grief is a pain that just goes on hurting.

Throughout Leah’s illness and death I’ve never felt a need to ask ‘Why?’ 

When Leah was diagnosed one of the Bible verses that immediately came to my mind was

Job 2:10 (MSG)
‘He told her, “You’re talking like an empty-headed fool. We take the good days from God—why not also the bad days?”
Not once through all this did Job sin. He said nothing against God.’

Since Leah’s death my only question has been “How?” – “How is it possible to ever go on living without one of my children?”

More lyrics from ‘Sovereign’ –

All my hopes
All I need
Held in your hands

All my life
All of me
Held in your hands

All my fears
All my dreams
Held in your hands

All my hopes
All I need
Held in your hands

All my life
All of me
Held in your hands

All my fears
All my dreams
Held in your hands

In your everlasting arms
All the pieces of my life
From beginning to the end
I can trust you’

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3 thoughts on “Grief – the pain that goes on hurting

  1. Vicky you are right the pain of grief goes on and so it will for ever but it changes as time goes by. You will find yourself laughing at something one day that will make you think of Leah and you will be aware that suddenly what would have made you cry doesn’t any more. A time when you find yourself realising that you are no longer ‘sad’ and the pain is bearable. You will never forget, nor should you or would you want to but the sadness is gone and a dull ache remains. It is 29 years now since I lost Don so tragically and every time I go in the hall I see his photo and my stomach tightens but almost simultaneously a happy memory comes to mind. It’s amazing how many memories there are in the 6 short years that he lived so you will have a mountain full of Leah. I know it’s difficult but when a sad thought comes to mind accept it for what it is but then think of a happy thought or memory of Leah. It’s like saying ok you can throw all the sad thoughts you like at me but I have far more happy ones to relish and I will.

    Hope this makes sense

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  2. Thank you for sharing so beautifully & so personally Mary – I used to love minding your gorgeous three children – they were so adorable. I have memories of studying for my Leaving Cert with Sonya beside me in her little Moses Basket 🙂

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