Tearing at the Fabric

Of the space-time continuum



This title is perhaps not so PC. Today is my youngest child’s last ever day of school. Nineteen continuous years of primary and secondary schooling have drawn to a close for me, thirteen for her. That rhythm. That routine. And that is okay, I was looking forward to it. But sadly, yesterday a young man, two years her junior, was killed in a freak car accident involving four young men who were working together to raise money for a school rugby trip to Argentina next year. The driver failed to safely take a corner on a no exit, rural road, during the middle of the day. I get to say, “last day of school” for my baby, and that young man’s parents will never get that privilege.


It is always sobering when you contemplate a death. A young person’s one always has you reviewing your own, and holding your own children that little bit closer, at least for a while.

We had another shock death earlier in the week, the mother of one of my son’s childhood friends died 48 hours after being admitted to hospital with end stage breast cancer that she had not told anyone, including her children, (maybe her husband knew, it sounded like that may have been likely in the wording of her obituary) had returned. She can’t have been even 50 years old?  I can’t quite work that out, did she want to spare herself the pity of others? Her children the worry of losing her? Or what else was the motivation to not let her family say goodbye properly? The younger of her two young adult children is my son’s friend. She is not doing well, she has just turned 20 years old, and the closest woman in her short life has disappeared.  I try not to judge other people’s choices, when it comes to their own bodies, etc, but I am a bit sad that this lovely young woman is left wondering what the fuck just happened, and why her mother did not trust her enough. So yeah, I must admit, I don’t agree with her decision here, just quietly. I think it was such a wasted opportunity to impart some final worldly love, compassion and support to those she had to leave here.

So, while I looked forward to celebrating the last day of school, ever, we are all doing so at the school very sombrely. The kids feel there have been too many young losses in the past two years. My son’s small year lost three in twelve months, the last not long before they finished school, also in a car crash. It is not a large community, nor school.

So, what has that got to do with my usual blog material? Nothing. Not really. Except that I so often feel that life has taken a dark turn. I can’t decide whether I just notice more of the darkness, or whether it really has. Loss and grief seem to follow me, and I can’t quite work out how to shake it off. I did laugh, as I had a hair appointment this morning, and my hairdresser shared how her mother, whom she loves very much, can be draining. She has let life’s sadnesses get her down. I have a father who does the same, and have always been so conscious that I have 50% of his DNA, and worked hard to emulate my much sunnier mother’s attitude. She had more to be sad about than many, but rarely let life get her down. I know I naturally tend more to the dark, but felt I had a good balance, was very self aware, and could steer the ship back to calmer waters when required. I managed the shittier parts of life pretty well. Until the bloody affair! And on the surface, by life’s measuring wall, it is in no way the worst thing that has happened to me. Do the setbacks stockpile? Is there really a camel with an aching back, ready to crack? For all of us?

Or is it just me? Did my supply of resilience run short? I need more directions to the store so I can restock today.


13 thoughts on “Endings

  1. This is such a difficult post. I know you are hurting and doubting and I can feel your depression. It is such a battle…one I fight daily too. The bottom line is that life sucks. It is NOT a bowl of cherries and anyone telling us that is lying. But, here is what I know: Every single time something terrible happens to shake my little world up, I learn something valuable about myself. I learn how to handle a different situation, a different emotion, a different pain. I become stronger. As a woman, as a mom, as a human being. I don’t have any answers for you dear friend. All I can say is that for every “terrible” that happens in life, a dozen “wonderfuls” are waiting to ease the pain. Our challenge is to let our hearts and minds be as open to the good as they are to the bad. ❤️❤️❤️

    • I guess that is my point, exactly, leigh. I used to have an optimistic – or at least realistic – viewpoint, and recovering my life from this ‘personal tragedy’ has caused a shift in how I view life. I fought this. I remember actually saying these words to Roger on D-day night, while still in a great deal of utter shock – “this will not make me bitter. I will not allow you two selfish arseholes to do that to me.” I think I hit on something about myself in those words. I knew I could be embittered. And to be honest, there is a form of bitterness. I don’t feel all chewed up and sour, but I am aware that I have had my previously mostly sunny outlook crushed and squeezed out of me. I know there are good things. But I don’t FEEL them anymore the way I used to. Rog is right, my sparkle is gone. There has been not ONE moment of pure joy in the past seven-and-nearly-a-half years. I used to feel joy regularly. Very regularly. Now I might raise a wry smile at best. I feel I have worked hard to try to see the positives and ‘fake it ’til I make it’. It never stuck, and now the darkness has become darker than ever. I am not shattered by these deaths, but I do notice the ripples for far longer, and far deeper than I did previously, and I was not a total Pollyanna then either. I still haven’t felt a single “wonderful’ since D-day.

      • I get that Paula…I do. And I am hurting for you. Betrayal takes so much from us and the most difficult thing is trying to hold on to the light that it constantly threatens to snuff out. It is a tough and ugly battle but please don’t give up the fight. The “sparkle” is still there. Your enormous challenge is to find it and nurture it and, if need be, FORCE it back to the surface. Sometimes you have to fake it til you make it. You are a powerful being with immense strength. You can become whatever you wish. I know that you will not allow this betrayal to win out over the real you. Huge hugs to you my friend! ❤️

      • Thank you Leigh, yes, that has been the battle I have been fighting for years. I refuse to let them crush my spirit, but it is fucking exhausting, TBH. So, what I did a while back is change tack a bit. I was tired. Tired of forcing it constantly. So I decided to sit with it more. Stop fighting it, accept that this is really what has happened, and I can’t change the way I feel about it. There is no peace in that, either. But the reality is, I will never have what I did once have, and that just has to be okay. I do look for new ways of making my life meaningful. I think I am partially successful in doing so. I guess, through recreating myself, I had some idea that happiness would somehow seep into the corners of my life. That is kind of how the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy works, that you can decorate the turd so thoroughly, that the turd smells less unpleasant! That is my visualisation of it anyway, lol.

  2. Life being cut so short, is devastating. Hug your babies tight. I know it seems selfish to cherish what others can no longer, but being able to embrace that goodness… hopefully will provide some healing to you, and your children. For all we have lost, we truly do have so much to be grateful for. Thinking of you and your family during this difficult time, and congratulations to D on the next big step. xoxo

    • Thanks Kat. Yes, it happens, always has, always will. I am not completely devastated, I don’t feel those extremes really anymore, just obviously, and understandably, and humanly sad for those families, two of the boys are brothers, one is physically disabled, and he was the driver. I have known his mother and her sister since middle school. He is in an induced coma and he was not doing well mentally, but all three of the other boys will be okay.

  3. In many ways I feel the same as you. I try so hard not to let the darkness overtake me, but sometimes I really struggle with this. We both know there will always be bad stuff, but I think the secret is changing the way we filter that bad stuff into our consciousness. I’m trying to retrain my brain. Some days are more successful than others.
    Paula I totally can not accept that your sparkle is gone (per previous comment) … you are the most amazing woman, you are funny and smart and kind and strong. I think sometimes we forget who we are along the journey. All this bad shit wears a person down. I think the sparkle is still in there… but how do we get it out? That’s what I wonder. Never give up, that’s when he bad stuff wins.

    • 😙😙😙 and this, my friend, is why I have stayed with this blogging community. I deleted a few recently. And I am slowly becoming less reliant on the online presence. But I hope I will always have a connection with some of the absolutely delicious, kindred souls I have met here. Thank you, caroline. You’re a total doll xxx

  4. It is hard missing what you once had, since you know how it felt to have it, but have no clue how to get it back. I hope you will get back the feelings you have been missing out on. And I think you are an inspiration to many, and very caring of others, hopefully you do that for yourself too. And from what I’ve read you really did everything you could (and more) in your situation, you really did your best. And I hope there is ease just around the corner for you, starting from within you.

  5. someone i know fell 50 m iceclimbing and hit his head and they cant get the swelling to go down. Today. I dont even know him well but its like everything that makes you check your reality, question and understand your guardrails and your expiration date matter because so much else in your life could be literally garbage. I also disagree with her choice. Im sorry your roster of folks have faced so much lately. *hugs*

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