Christopher Dixon

You are not the same, after losing a significant person in your life, especially if it is your child. In that moment when you hear of it, or are with them when they leave, the person that you were dies with them. You no longer act, react or interact the way you did before.

You look the same, even sound the same but it is just an illusion. The people around you, those that stay, your loved ones, family, friends. They see it and accept it, initially. It is understandable, how can anyone be the same after that. They stay with you and you draw your strength from them.

For a few years always they are there, but then their lives move on, work, home, the children growing up, grandchildren, marriage. Where once they walked beside you, they are now further along the path, ahead of you, they moved on. It’s good that they have, why would you want them to remain with you inside that sorrow that never goes away. The darkness that you have to carry. Oh they don’t forget you, you know that they love you; you are included in all the milestones that happen in their lives, the 18th and 21st birthdays, engagements, births, marriages,. It’s the in between parts, the ordinary days and nights, they haven’t heard from you and you haven’t contacted them, what they don’t realise is that daily life is difficult. That it takes all your energy to just go to work, make an average attempt at life, that come the end of the day to just shut the door and hibernate from the world is about all you can do. Then there are the times when they turn to you and you have no capacity or strength to be the person you once were for them. You see, in their journey ahead of you, they have returned to the memory of who you were before. They go back to the expectations of the before.

To be honest, you have to take some of the blame. Social occasions are hard and to get through them you don the mantle of who you used to be. That heavy façade, to make it through the party without breaking down into tiny pieces because that person who was apart of your soul, who you made and raised, is so obviously not there. He becomes the elephant in the room. You don’t want to not be invited, you genuinely share in their joy but it can only be carried for a short while, after all who wants a guest who is so desperately unhappy. The elephant in the room at some point has to go home. But it means they see the person you used to be, although only from the outside.

Sometimes though, it is just too hard, no matter how much you try to put on the brave face, pretend for a few hours that you are fine, it just cannot be done. So you let them down and you have to carry that with you too. You see, so much time has passed, they have moved on. It is right that they should, but they forget that you haven’t.

Its different with new people who come into your life, they only know the you they see. The you they have come to know. They are part of your life after. He is not expected to be at their occasions, in their homes. He never was. They know about him but he is not lost from their life.

So, little by little, the before people move further and further away from you. All of a sudden you don’t fit anywhere, and you begin to be excluded from their everyday life because what you became after doesn’t work for them and when they need you, they need and want who you were before ………………but that person died.

Karen Peat