Five & Three Quarters

Tonight I heard my 5-year-old son crying in his bed. Actually, if you ask him he’s 5 and 3/4’s, which is nowhere near 5 at all I’ll have you know! It was passed his bedtime and I had assumed he was crying because a) he was overtired or b) he was in denial about even being tired. It was neither.

I asked my crying child, sternly, what was wrong… You know stern, right? Hands on hips, firm, deep (cranky) voice…. Yes stern and I did this stern-thing twice! I know, I know ‘parent of the year’ and my only defence is that I had already been in 5 times to his procrastinating two-year-old brother who had wanted a rug, he’d wanted a drink, he wanted another drink and another and then finished off wanting to tell me he loved me – in his not-so-verbal-way … Of course, this part only ever comes after I’ve gotten really cranky – always gets the mummy-guilt really activated! Well played son, well played! After the second stern-hand-on-hip-accusation to my upset child, I noticed he was sobbing more so than crying so I sat on his bed and asked more gently, like the good nurturing TV (and Facebook status) mummies do, what was wrong. He sat up and looked intently at me and I knew right then and there it was going to be deep. Deep for a 5 & 3/4-year-old and deeper for a 30-something-year-old who’d just trialled a new tequila drink in preparation for New Years Eve… It was sickly sweet by the way and tequila, no matter how you mask it, still tastes like the tequila slammers you had in your 20’s with lemon and salt at 4 o’clock in the morning. I drank it though, waste not want not – as my good mother educates me!

His crying wasn’t about missing his Daddy who was at work or about not getting a second turn on the Wii. It was about death. He didn’t want to die. He said to me in between his hyperventilating sobs that he had only just realised that when you die and you go to the hospital they can’t make you alive again. Argh… Insert heartbreaking sad emojis here!!! Seriously, my heart split into tiny pieces and I had to control myself so that I didn’t curl up in the foetal position and hyperventilate too. This is one thing I’m not good at… Oh and cooking. I also kinda suck at parenting too, along with sticking to diets, keeping my own secrets secret and keeping on top of my huge washing piles – I super exceed the suckiness at that!

But I managed to restrain my own tears and fears of death and I sat with him for a good 10 minutes to try to calm him down – with the help of his 2-year-old brother who had come to console him with hugs and kisses too (all together now… Ohh hh hh). Initially, I tried to console him with the idea of Heaven, something I have had to believe in regardless of my religion because that was the only way I could deal with the thought of death as a child. I used to cry myself to sleep at night grieving my parents or my brothers or anyone I cared about who were all very much alive simply so I could prepare myself if it ever did happen… My theory? Well, then it wouldn’t hurt as much… Strange huh?! Anyway, I told him that when we die we go ‘up there’ to hang out with all the people we love and miss now and we all have fun together while we wait for the rest of our loved ones to join us. But my description was vague and he, being the bright 5 & 3/4-year-old, wanted more info…

“What happens to our bones, do they come with us? I thought we died and got buried and we never moved our bodies again?” 

“No, it’s like magic Chevy. When you die your Earth body stays here but you are still you in Heaven.”

“Even my eyes?”

“Yes, even your eyes will go to Heaven.”

“What about my bones?”

“Yes even your bones, you lips, your tongue. All of you that makes you Chevy will go to Heaven.” Then he wanted to know if someone chopped his head off would his head still go too?

“Yes. No matter what happens to you or your body here on Earth you will still be Chevy in Heaven.”

At this point, he had stopped crying. *Winning* We had a huge hug and I finished with a prize winning speech about being grateful for being alive now, how we have to live life to the full and try our best to be good people. I should have recorded it coz I’m pretty sure it would have ended up on a Pinterest board somewhere but as with all good children and good advice it went straight in one ear and out the other before he had to clarify for a final time – chopping off the head would not mean no head in Heaven. Time to turn off all the dreadful news stories I think!

Poor bugger. I hope I helped the situation… A little! I tried my best to be inspiring and comforting. I think it worked seeing as he’s asleep now, with no more tears so I must have done ok!

It reminded me, even though I had complained all night about how loud they were, that I need to hugs those little ratbags tight more often. You too! Not my kids your own of course! Tell them you love them too and please, please don’t take any of my other heavenly advice on board! But feel free to share your own stories in the comments below!

One love,

DRK xxx

child at the beach

 

Seven Days

We’ve discussed this before. We’ve had this conversation. But nothing is more real about this chat then it is right now. Because over the last three weeks while we have worried about our weight, yelled impatiently at our children, huffed and puffed out at the series of frustrating road users a man I know has been counting down his days. Not his days til Christmas or days til his next holiday but the days of his life.

Three weeks ago he was told he had a month to live and while we all can’t wait to get into bed at night only to wake up the next day bleary eyed can we even come close to imagining how those nights and those mornings clicked by way too quickly for him.

Yesterday marked one week to go. 7 days or there abouts. How fucken unfair. How frustrating. How absolutely devastating. I cannot even fathom how this feels for him, for anyone dealing with this same mortality. I cannot put into words what each day drawing to an end would feel like to this man. And I can’t tell you how sad I selfishly feel.

How do you grieve the life you had, that life you have to let go? How do you do that? How the fuck do you do that! How do you sum up your life and ‘tie up loose ends’ when the biggest loose end is that you don’t want to fucken die! You want to live! You want to fall in love again and again. You want to explore the world. You want to hug every member of your family. Thank every one of your friends for every moment you’ve ever shared. Say sorry. Take your kids on a spectacular holiday. Boldly quit your job and train for your dream job.

death-acceptance

One week.

Seven days.

IMG_3317

What is really important in that moment of severely shortened time? What becomes the main focus in your life? Who would you spend your time with? How would you feel?

I don’t write this to bring on guilt for those who have just cried about a frustrating yet precious child. Not written to bring shame for the materialistic lives we lead. Not to instil fear in our own mortality. Just words written for a man I know with seven days left on his life calendar. His LIFE calendar. Just words from my heart because I feel so sad. For him. For his family. For the “what ifs”. For the challenges and unfairness of it all. For the fact he has just written his own eulogy which is not done for premeditated fun but out of a requirement to him and his final words of life. LIFE.

So I ask of you be grateful today, if even only for a moment. Be gracious over the next seven days in a compassionate way to all those on this similar and terminal journey. What we take for granted is a blessing to others. Less whinging, more hugging.

One Love,
DRK xxx

let-go-of-balloons