When Lauren was at Alderhey, hooked up to numerous beeping machines, we all experienced a strange situation. We knew it was Lauren lying there, but it was almost impossible to reconcile the bouncy, dancing young lady with the child lay immobile in a hospital bed. Even now when I think about it I feel sick, sick that it was actually my daughter.
There was one moment that sticks in my head. Two of the nurses were doing obs and I was sat, holding Lauren's hand, half listening to them half chatting to Lauren. One of them said "Lauren Menzies" and I physically turned round looking for her, my reaction being that she had walked into the room. That clearly made more sense to my subconscious mind than the reality I was in. I knew that it was Lauren led on the bed, but I could not comprehend that it was true.
I found a journal of mine the other day. I started it in 2009, shortly after my mother in law died. Her death had brought back long buried memories of my own mother who died when I was a young child, and who I remember very little about. I guess I thought a journal would give my kids some insight into my thoughts and feelings for them when I died. I think life obviously got in the way as I hadn't written in it since 2014. I decided to update it. Writing that Lauren died was heart-breaking all over again. It made me feel it, relive it.
I read that to grieve in a healthy way you need to split your time between getting on with life and sitting in the sadness. I don't like sitting in the sadness, it feels shit. Also, how do you sit in the sadness when you have a young family that still needs you, not a version of you that rocks in the corner with a bottle of gin, forever scarring their childhood.
Was I in denial? I do sometimes like to pretend that Lauren is sat in her room. Happy daydreams that make it all abit easier, or does that make me abit crazy?
My counsellor reminded me of a couple of things, firstly that I was sitting in the sadness when I spoke with her and also that what was important was doing what felt right for me. I knew this of course, repeat what feels good and drop what doesn't. It's been my mantra through these 16 crazy months. But sometimes I need reminding.