Unfortunately, I had to unpalatable joy of staring into the abyss of Hell!!! And; have only just started to make my way back from there.
As you know I have a daughter who we call Kitten here. We are very close, but like a lot of Mother/Daughter relationships it was rocky for a while during the teen age years. However Kitten as grown into a wonderful young woman and I am immensely proud of her. She is my sun, my moon, my north, my south.
OK Kitten hasn't changed the World or solved world poverty, but while her accomplishments in life have not been world changing, she has never-the-less grown into the kind of woman that I always wanted her to be. She's kind, feisty, funny, loyal and a wonderful to spend time with or have on your side. She's just lovely.
Just when I thought I could take my eye off the ball, her world came tumbling around her. Crashing down and levelling her.
You see Kitten had been seeing a young man called Graham. They'd been together for 4yrs and while I admit that they had, had their ups and downs they were making good head way. I adored him and being me told him how it was when he needed it. We were good friends. I found him inspiring, courageous, hard working, well just great really.
Last year Graham started planning a trip to Indian. The kids had split up for a while and Graham felt that he had lost his way a bit. So to try and sort himself out he had decided to travel. The kids got back together and decided that he would go along with his plans to travel.
February rolled round. Passport done. Ticket booked. Visa's obtained. Injections had. The time ticked by, the kids fought, they were on, they were off, back on again. It became impossible to keep track of them.
We saw little of Graham. Kitten doesn't live at home, so most of their shenanigans were kept away from us and at their own flat. I spoke to Graham from time to time and kept in contact with him via Facebook and phone.
Then the day he was to leave arrived. He came to see us all at the new family house and we were delighted to see him. So full of energy and vitality. Graham hugged you like your life depended on it and it was so very good to see him. He was so excited and chatted on and on non stop. He filled the house with life as only he could and in his own way. Graham had lived with us all in the past, at our old house. Before he and Kitten moved to their own place. You always knew when he was in the house. There was a vibration of energy all the way through it.
He and I had a private chat and he said he would be coming home to my Kitten and that he wanted to settle down and stop "dicking around" as he put it; get married and have babies. I'd always known there was a deep love between them. They had been through a lot together and grown with each other. The last split had shown them that and I really believed they were meant for each other and would make it. They were back together and planning for the future. It was obvious to all that they were serious now and that a shift had occurred between them.
Graham went away a few days later and all went well. He and his friend Luke got to Mumbai safely. Made a few friends and had a great time. They decided to go to Goa for a few days.
On March 3rd, I got a call from Kitten, she was screaming and screaming and screaming!!! I couldn't calm her down, couldn't get her to hear me. I couldn't get her to stop screaming. Then she went silent. It was the most eerie of silences.
"Kitten, it's mum. Talk to me baby!" Silence..... "Please talk to me baby?" Silence..... "Tell mummy what's wrong baby girl, I'm here".....
Silence total and utter silence. I have never felt more hopeless, helpless and useless in my whole life. Then I heard gentle sobs. I waited.....
"Mum, he's dead.....he's dead Mum" "Whose dead baby?"
Silence.........then a small tiny whisper of a voice, barely recognisable as my daughter's.
"Graham mum, Graham's dead!!!!"
Every thing after that was a blur, a dizzying, terrifying blur. I remembering phoning Edward, Graham's brother as I knew him and had his number. Oh God! No! it was true, He filled me in on the details. We chatted a bit about what was going to happen next and I said how sorry I was, that I would get there as soon as and that I had to get to Kitten. I phoned Francis (still with an i). They were friends and it shocked him to his core. He said he was on his way home, would meet me at Kitten's. I phoned Frankie, my long term foster daughter and Kitten's best friend, she was in shock, would leave now and meet me at Kitten's. Next came the boy's. How would they take it. Callum just couldn't take it in, it was impossible, I was lying to him. Ashley, poor Ashley, he'd not had a good relationship with Graham. They'd had a bad row about Kitten. Guilt hit him bad. I don't remember getting dressed. I don't remember the drive to Kitten's. I do however remember the frail. tiny, pale, trembling little girl who open the door of my daughter's flat. Was this really my little hell-cat who stood there before me.
Time stood still for so very long...... Days I have forgotten and time I have lost, but worse than Graham's death at 23yrs is the loss of my daughter. For she is lost.
We all lost Graham that day and a light went out forever that will never be replaced. He was a unique and wonderful human being. You don't meet many like him in your life time. I am proud to say, that for awhile he shone brightly in our lives and we are all the better for knowing him.
When the day of his funeral came around it fell on 25th March. It was a glorious day. Bright, beautiful warm sun greeted us all that morning. Very unseasonal weather for England. It felt as if the sun had come out to welcome Graham home. He adored the sunshine.
No one, especially a Mother should ever have to dress her daughter for a funeral. Kitten was just numb, now deeply lost and distressed. But so very, very silent. Even when she did talk she was so quiet, it was barely a whisper.
The funeral was beautiful, if you can say that about a 23yr old man's funeral. So many people turned out for him. It was so heartening to see. Afterwards we went to a hotel where his family had invited everyone and we all cried, talked about Graham and laugh at some of his mad antics.
As you know it doesn't end with the funeral and the days that followed were some of the worst of my life. I honestly don't know what kept my girl upright and what got her through those early days.
Everybody lost Graham that day, but I lost him and my Kitten. Kitten's not the same any more and although it is 6months since he passed there has been a marked change in her. The devastation of his loss has been all the more harder for her because she feels they wasted so much time. Dicking around as Graham would say. I can't lie to her and tell her that time is a healer and that things will get better. Instead I told her the truth, (as I see it)....time doesn't heal you, it just teaches you how to live with the pain and loss. That eventually she will feel able to cope with her life again and to take her time.
It is devastating to watch some one you love so very much, struggling to come to terms with some thing you have no power to change and can barely understand yourself, it's so wrong to have to young people die. It's like a crime against nature and time. There is a long way to go yet and no end in sight. There are now however small glimmers of hope.
Kitten knows I'll be there. I already have been. And; I'm going nowhere fast.
It's changed me, made me think deeper. My own Mother use to say "Life isn't a dress rehearsal." I have never been afraid of dying, only of leaving those behind I love the most. Just when they need you the most, you can't be there. Now I am terrified of death and my own demise....I have seen the pain and destruction it leaves those you love the most in. However, I have realised that the time you have now is it, so you better dang well make the most of it, work out your priorities and make sure those you love...KNOW YOU LOVED THEM.
Much Love Lia xXx
(sorry if this is a bit sad and gloomy. But that's the way things have been. There have been a few other things that happened, happy things, but that's for another day)