Yesterday I re-wrote an article that I started back in November that I plan to send to The Compassionate Friends magazine here in the UK. Reading the original version, I'm so glad I didn't submit it before Christmas. I was in the middle of a very bleak few weeks and sound wretched, bitter and hopeless. Actually I'm amazed looking at the words that I was in any state to sit at my keyboard, let alone try and compose anything! I meant to talk about just how miserable it's possible to be at times, years after losing a child - (I certainly did that, with bells on) but it's not all I feel, all the time.
The annoying thing about depression I've found is that it causes a lack of perspective. Thinking about it, this is probably the seat of its power over the mind. There are moments in my private pit when I'm tortured by the sense that it will never get better. But it does, doesn't it? Our situation however throws up its own special problems. People we know who experience a "normal" bereavement (i.e. a parent, grandparent or other person older than ourselves) I think find it difficult to fathom the depth and breadth of our grief as parents. That's made me, at least, feel guilty and apologetic when I have a bad day/week, eight years on. In the article I try and show through my own experience that actually, having a child die is pretty crap, and that if we're still sad thinking about our children years on we should really not feel guilty for being that way.
Any old how, I'm happy with the article as it is and hope that others reading it will read something positive (rather than hideous, self-indulgent despair) in my words. Deadline is the end of January for the Spring edition - I hope they decide to print it!