Resilience and roller-skating go hand in hand. You slip up and fall on your butt, with your hands slapping the concrete besides you. You look up, praying no one saw, and a little voice says in the back of your head “This is the important bit, go on, get back up.”
In case you missed anything from May…
What they didn’t know was that I was slowly losing it. My grades were the only thing I could even begin to control. I believed the only thing I could truly count on was that in March 2019 I would be at university. The hardest thing I had to do was leave my mum curled up on the sofa to revise for my exams. Repeatedly I beat myself up for being so selfish, but I promised myself that I would have all of summer to be with my Mum.
I felt closer to him reading these than I have since he was killed—as he wrote in one of them, “Some words are worth a thousand pictures.”
What alarmed me most was the vacantness in her eyes as if being present was too much to bear.
I thought I knew grief but this was different.
I’ve not really been one to ever let myself be overly emotional about relationships, so it wouldn’t make sense for me to barrel full-force into oversized valentines day cards, stuffed bears carrying hearts and triumphantly pull out and a box of chocolates and say THIS IS IT. THIS IS THE ONE.
We need to see our whole complete teen, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty something selves and we need to love each and every version of us.