Day 674

Coming up to Saagar’s second anniversary in a couple of months, this piece of writing by another mother really touched my heart…

The Forest

When I first embarked on my grief path after my child took her life, I thought that it would be linear and each step would become easier until maybe one day I would walk out into the sunshine again. And in the first few months, I looked at others I met who were two or three years down the line and wondered why some of them seemed to be still stuck in what I thought were the early stages of their grief. How naïve of me!

I have come to realise that this grief journey is incredibly complicated and is more like being lost and stranded in a forest. To begin with everything was dark and foreboding; it felt like the forest would completely engulf me and at every twist and turn there would be branches catching at me and roots making me stumble and fall, and muddy, murky swamps wanting to drown me. I felt I was living in a horror movie at worst or a frightening children’s story book at best. After a while I was so determined not to let the forest take me over that I created a glade where I thought I would be safe from the shadows. I tried really hard to be positive and see some sense in my loss.

Now, coming up to three years on, at times the path can be straight and I think I know where it is going and there are more and more times when it passes through one of those sunlit glades and I can bask in the warmth and feel nothing can touch me. But I never know when the trees will close in and what monsters might be hiding behind them; and sometimes the path feels like it’s doubling back on itself and I have no idea where I’m going. But I have come to trust that I will always find a way through the tangled undergrowth eventually and walk with my eyes looking forward and upwards towards the light rather than into the darkness and despondency.

Along this path I have been so privileged to have met others who are walking the walk in their own way. Some sadly are completely engulfed by and lost in their forest and can barely put one foot in front of the other; and others seem like they know where they are going and walk strongly and steadfastly, sometimes wearing the cloak of invincibility to the outside world as a means of protection, but they too can stumble and fall and need a helping hand or a kind word.

But it is a difficult, painful and exhausting path however we travel it. And there is no right or wrong way to walk it and each person must find their own way through their forest. If you are one of the people I have met on this trail, I want you to know how much I respect your fortitude, courage and strength.

If you were there before I entered the forest and are still walking alongside me through the darkness and the light, I give you my love, my thanks and my heartfelt gratitude, particularly as I know many of you are finding your own way through your own heartache and grief.

And if you are reading this and know anyone who is stumbling through their own dark, tangled place then please reach out a hand to them and maybe catch them before they fall.

And to my beautiful child I want to say thank you for often showing me the way.

Love and light

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