Some weeks I feel strong, brave, as If I am healing and It really is possible to live again after burying one’s child.
Other weeks, the scab on the wound of my grief gets knocked off and there I am, once again bleeding and grief-stricken.
So what happened this week to knock the scab off?
It wasn’t the dreaded school uniform shopping – having the help of my eldest daughter took the sting out of that task.
No, it was the AS Level exam results on Thursday that has left the wound of my grief once again raw and bleeding.
As my friends and work colleagues celebrated the success of their sons and daughters’ exam results, our family were once again reminded of our loss.
Usually, if I have a good cry before leaving for work in the morning, or even while driving to work, I can hold it together all day, but not on Thursday. I alternated between congratulating friends on their sons and daughters exam results and seeking refuge in the toilets at work, when it all became just too much.
I find that it takes time for the wound to scab over again. I remain fragile and tearful, unnerved by how quickly I can unravel.
Then today I discovered this photo of Leah taken in our Living Room in December 2013, just a few short weeks before she died. She was absolutely fascinated with this small tortoiseshell butterfly that was somehow surviving the winter. These butterflies normally hibernate from late September until the following Spring.
This butterfly was a lot like Leah in her illness – beautiful, gentle, but oh so fragile and struggling to survive. The butterfly lived for a couple more weeks, but sadly, like Leah, it eventually died.
It reminds me of the song lyrics that Leah quoted on her Facebook page in December 2012, a few weeks before that fateful blood test that changed all of our lives forever.