I lost 2 out of 3 of my kids. (My babies, as Tracy repeated over and over, on 26 February 2016).
My one remaining daughter is now an only child, for the first time in 24 years.
One friend has lost their closest friend.
Another, the one they wanted to be their closest friend.
Another, who won’t talk about it, but carries on regardless.
And someone who knew them vaguely, at the back of the class.
And another, who met them, travelled with them, shared their lives for a handful of weeks. Who loved them and then waved goodbye, expecting them to keep in touch.
And the family member, who looked on from a distance, not realising their presence wouldn’t last a familia lifetime.
And me. Just me.
Their taken for granted, asked for cash, adoring at a safe distance, dad.
This is now, all I know.
That I know now, how I feel.
That, in the time since they left me (2 years and still counting), I feel no difference from Day 1. Maybe, just, that the lightness between the darkness has stretched out, making the anticipation of darkness darker. Blacker. More dense.
I hope, and I’m sure, that loss will dissipate and fade and go tranquil for all their many, many, many friends.
Like my loss for my dearest friend Gill (who knew me far, far too well. Who I met when 18 and argued and fell out and loved til she was 42 and died horribly and slowly of cancer). She too, died too young. And I miss her to this day too.
But nothing, nothing, nothing, prepared me, steadied me, readied me, for losing 2 out of 3. No shock to the soul, to the core of my apathetic, mundane being will ever match the 26th February 2016.
On that day, my core left me.
And 2 years and counting, it isn’t getting any easier. The waves still come. Harder, colder, more violent, more crushing. Partly because the waves now breach some supposed semblance of ‘normality’.
And as Molly, my 1 out of 3 said to me, in a King’s Cross wine bar ‘I can’t ever imagine being happy again. Just sad. Or not sad’. And I quoted her in my ‘victim impact statement’ because she’d summed it up, in so few words.
Just sad, or not sad.
‘Take me back to Happiness’. Thank you Paz for this song. It makes me happy and makes me cry at the same time.