It seems self absorbed to be writing about me, with all that is going on in the world. In a few hours the schools will shut, no-one knows for how long. We are all entering the unknown. But I write for my mental health, and more than ever I think I'll need that help. I also write to remember Lauren.
It's hard to dissect how I'm feeling at the minute. Lauren died from a virus, one that usually only kills the old or those with underlying medical conditions (sound familiar?) I'm not saying that politicians would deliberately lie, although we all know they do, but no-one really knows how all this will pan out. Worry is at such a level that whole countries are shut down. Obviously, like a lot of you, my anxiety levels are high. Added to this that holidays are put on hold and memory making reduced to a minimum, there really doesn't feel like there's much to look forward to. But there is another side, an unexpected side. When Lauren died it didn't feel right for everything to continue the same. Clearly I wasn't wishing for a global pandemic, and I don't know why it should be but it is almost comforting to not be alone in my melancholy and disquiet. I'm hoping there's a psychological reason for feeling like that, not just that I've grown bitter and twisted!
One thing seems certain, some people are going to die sooner due to this virus. There will be grief, and that is something I do know about.
Grief, for me, is not constant. There are times when I am okay. happy even. The times when I'm sat chatting to the Husband or out for Lunch with friends, some of those times can be fun. At that point I can be tricked into thinking that I'm okay, that it's getting easier.
But it's not those times that are hard, it's the other 15 hours of the day.
It's when I'm not doing anything, when my mind wanders and her image comes into the fore front of my mind, always laughing. When Facebook reminds me that I have memories and I have to take a deep breath, and hold it, before I can open the pictures, hoping they are just of the other two kids, but then wondering what Lauren was doing that day if she wasn't in the photos. It's when I go into her room because Leah is sleeping there whilst her room is decorated, and Lauren's school bag and PE kit are still on the floor where she left them that Thursday after school, I can't even bring myself to put them in the cupboard. It's her brother insisting that Lauren's bedroom door stays shut as its full of the special air of her. It's seeing her muddy trainers under the stairs. It's a feeling, like the constant nausea of morning sickness that sits at the back of your throat whilst you do the household chores. It's not being able to cancel the Direct Debit to her savings account as it seems too final. It's google remembering my search criteria and always looking for holidays for 3 kids. It's having far too many hairbrushes now they are not all lost under her bed.
It's when i realise I'll never talk to her, joke with her, laugh with her ever, ever, ever again. It feels pretty constant in those moments.
That's when I have to remind myself that it's not constant. It's okay to feel sad over these things, in that moment, but the moment isn't forever. The next moment will come and there will be joy and happiness, although you do have to choose to accept it.
One way of another we will get through this. If grief has taught me anything it is to try and not look too far into the future. Don't worry about the next few months, just the next couple of weeks. It's hopeless to get worried over the things we cannot control. Just try and look out for one another, stop buying 72 rolls of toilet rolls that you don't need......... and wash your hands xx