I returned home on Saturday after going away to spend a couple of days with my Dad. October 19th was the second anniversary of Billie-Jane’s passing and we wanted to go and put flowers at the headstone and just be there as a family with Paul and my niece Stephanie.
I was a bit nervous travelling as normally Steve would drive me the 100 miles to my Dad’s place but this time I had to take the train on my own! It turned out to be a really nice journey, my trains were all on time and the station staff were all really nice and polite. I tried to get a couple of pictures while I was on the train and most of them were blurry but here are a couple that came out ok. Note to self: Trying to take photographs on a moving train is just silly 🙂
The next day when Paul arrived we went to the cemetery to put some flowers down at Billie-Jane’s head stone. I also put my medal from Billie’s 5k there too. Since Billie-Jane passed away I have had days where I thought that I would never ever smile again, the pain of losing a child is extraordinary, believe me I know. I knelt down in the mud to comfort my brother and realised that the paralysing pain I feel must be nothing compared to the pain that he feels.
I have a folder on my computer that contains hundreds of photographs of Billie at various ages, in lots of different places. I have not been anywhere near that folder since she died. I did try, a few months after she passed but the pain was so intense I could barely breathe so since then I just kept well away from it. I have two pictures of her in my living room, but those of you that know me will know that my desk is in the kitchen and I don’t use the living room often so I don’t have to worry about seeing them.
After Paul left that day, my Dad gave me a disc. It contained 156 photographs of Billie-Jane, all taken either at school or Hope House and every single one I never seen before. I sat there looking through them on my laptop, laughing and smiling for over an hour and then I realised… I realised what I had just done. I had managed to look through these pictures and laugh. I never ever thought that I would be able to do that again, don’t get me wrong, plenty of people told me that I would be able to again one day but in the midst of that overwhelming pain I never believed a single one of them. They were right. I am healing.
For two years I feel as though I have been stuck in some kind of weird parallel universe but this journey has woken me up to reality. I am healing.