Life and Loss

A young Eric. Sideburns were all the rage.

On Tuesday we had a lovely family day out at the zoo. We bumped into a friend from school so all of us toured the zoo together and all the children had a brilliant time.

We arrived home and within a few minutes the phone rang. It was my Mum, and she’d been trying to contact me all day.

My uncle – her brother – died somewhere between Monday night and Tuesday morning. He was found dead in his bed, although the police said there was some blood on the floor and they think he’d had some kind of a fall. The body will undergo an autopsy to determine cause of death.

He celebrated his 70th in May. That makes him sound old, but he was physically well and active, running car boot sales most weekends. Also, in my mind, he was always Uncle Eric, aged about 40. Pitch black hair and a big crazy laugh.

Mum saw him on Monday and he was fine. On Tuesday he was gone. She is devastated. They lived in the same town and did everything together.

Last night baby F woke and screamed like mad at 10:30, 12:30, 3:30 and 4:30. She’s been back in with me since the peak of her croup/fever/infection last week, the cot taking up all the floor space in our small room. Each time I was jolted out of sleep and then (of course), remembered that Eric had died, all over again.

Usually you only get that effect in the morning. Like a broken heart or other tragic news or circumstance you re-live all the grief and pain in a tough moment of remembering each day, until it becomes integrated into who you are and you no longer go through that moment of “everything is ok” followed by “oh my god everything is not okay”.

I feel totally shattered this morning, both physically and emotionally. We also managed to leave C’s bedtime bear at the zoo yesterday, so we need to ring them and hope someone has handed him in. C cried for ages last night before he finally fell asleep exhausted.

I am so fed up of trying to deal with life through a constant treacle-fog of exhaustion. Life is too fucking hard to feel like you are dragging a boulder around behind you all the time, but that’s how life has been for so long. Everything I do, my running, looking after the home, the children, my business, it’s all twice the effort because really, all I want to do most days, is go to bed and do nothing.

How long can a person keep fighting the current before they give up? You need to be fit and strong to thrive in this world. Bad news and obstacles will forever be out there, waiting to show themselves at the craziest of moments.

None of us can afford to neglect our mental or physical health, because if we’re running around with a badly maintained engine, any bump in the road could veer us off course and into a ditch of depression, self-pity, despair or worse. And then we have all the effort of getting back out and moving forward again. And often we have to do that ourselves – there isn’t always a recovery truck on hand, someone who cares enough to stop and help.

I’m kind of rambling with this post, but I’m sat here in bed this morning and I feel so very tired. I’m helping Mum collect up Eric’s things today. We need to rescue bedtime bear from the zoo (if he has even been found). Tomorrow is C’s 6th birthday. I have lots to do to get the boys ready for their return to school in 12 days. The house needs cleaning from top to bottom. I have piles of paperwork to deal with. There will be a funeral to organise. I have to break the news to my little brother today and he will be so upset. There are lost relatives to track down (Eric was estranged from his own son and his brother).

I need to get out of bed and get on with it.

Keep pushing through that treacle.

6 thoughts on “Life and Loss”

  1. I’m really sorry, mama. For everything. For the loss of your uncle, for the utter exhaustion, for the struggle. Some days I feel the same way. I wonder what’s the point of it all? Yoga offers temporary relief (as I’m sure running does for you), but I think I need to continue my practice off the mat in order to really live a happier life. In yoga, it’s a search for a higher power. I think that might help me with the whole purpose thing. My issue is that I get distracted with all the mundane things of life and don’t make room for the foundation of life. Oh I don’t know. Lots of times I feel like I’m just spinning my wheels, never getting any closer to understanding or growing. But yoga has taught me that all is just practice. So if I falter, I just set my foundation and try again. Now I’m the one who is rambling. All this to say, you are not alone. You are not the only one to feel that way. I’m so sorry you lost your uncle. I pray you find comfort and peace in these coming days. Hugs, mama.

    • Thank you so much. I love that you have yoga as a constant in your life – I think the deeper meaning and overflow into everyday life will come eventually. I know yoga is forever a journey. It’s something I’d like to fit into my days. The days are long but the years are short, they say. I have to keep reminding myself of this.

  2. Sending you so much love right now. If it’s any consolation, I get it. I get the treacle-exhaustion that seems to envelope life. I have it myself these days. I have actually just had two weeks of being sick and I’m still not recovered. Have only run once because of it, no PT etc and my will to parent and cook meals and constantly clean up the house is fast receding. So I am here with you in the treacle trenches my friend. Oh what I wouldn’t give for some energy.

    Look after yourself while navigating this completely emotional time. I am so sad for you all. Such a shock. xx

    • Thank you for your kind words and I am so sorry you’ve been ill. There is nothing tougher than trying to parent and run a home through a fog of illness. It utterly sucks – all you want is rest and it’s the last thing you can get!! Big hugs. One day we will look back on all this and miss the crazy, exhausting chaos. Well, maybe not miss it, but at least it will make us smile ? xxx

    • Oops – I think I might have just tried to log into your blog! I was trying to like a page, but it said login and then it asked if I wanted to connect your blog to my wordpress account, so I cancelled that. I’m on my phone and the wordpress app is a bit fiddly – will have a proper look on the desktop instead!! Sorry if I’ve tripped all your security alerts!!!

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