My Journey

And Christmas is over…

Christmas day went better than expected. The run up to it was a lot worse than the day itself. Lots of worrying, anxiety, stress and fear was difficult to manage. But Christmas happened for all the children, which is the important thing. Knowing Lyanda would want us to be happy on the day and that she would want the children to enjoy it helped.

It was tough, being the first Christmas without her. The children were missing her too, but we all pulled together and helped each other through. I had help from a few wonderful people throughout all of it. Without them I don’t know how i would have done it or got through it. Gifts were given to the children by people I don’t know, and a full Christmas meal was delivered to us to ease the hassle for myself. It turned out to be an OK day, instead of the nightmare I was expecting.

A couple of days after we went to my parents house. My brother and sister were there with their children too. A lot of anxiety going there, as that’s the village me and Lyanda first met and initially lived together. But the day went OK. Gifts were exchanged and everyone was helpful. All the kids were playing together and everyone helped to make sure it went as smooth as possible.

On new years eve we went to Lyanda’s parents. It was arranged for us to go there to have a second Christmas with them on new years day. Lyanda’s grandparents also joined us. We all got together to exchange presents, have Christmas Dinner together and enjoy each others company. It was really nice.

We hadn’t seen them since the funeral, so I was a bit hesitant at first not knowing what it would be like. As it happened, I needn’t have worried. It was a lovely visit, albeit weird without Lyanda. Lots of tears and memories. It is nice to realise I am still part of their family, not just the children.

Judging others

Seen this quote and it is unfortunately very true.

I see people staring and turning away. I see people talking and pointing, probably judging me or us in their own way. It almost becomes unbearable. It makes me not want to be out and about, amongst others who are simply getting on with their lives.

At the same time, we are all trying to carry on with our lives. Not in the way we imagined, or ever thought about. And not in a way we wanted. Sometimes I don’t want to carry on at all. But i know Lyanda would want the kids to become adults, as do I. And they need someone to help them along the way. Yes, mistakes will be made. Yes, arguments will be had. And yes, there will be bad times.

There will also be good times. And fun. And happiness. I have learnt that this is ok, and is also part of grieving. There are good times and there are bad times, there is no telling when these will be. Anything can trigger an emotion, good or bad. It is not something I can control, or describe.

It is a shame that some people for whatever reason will not approach me and talk. I am happy to talk, about anything. So are the kids. Please don’t pity us or look down to us. Sympathy is ok, so is affection. We are grieving. We are suffering a loss. We are trying our best. But we are human too.

Thankyou

There are some amazing, wonderful and selfless people out there. In normal circumstances I like to think of myself as selfless and would do anything to help anyone. But the daily struggle continues unfortunately. I have so much to do and time is running away from me. I just don’t know how to do anything anymore or even what I am meant to do. But I have somehow managed to get through the past few months, one hurdle after another.

Just wanted to say a massive thankyou to everyone that has supported and helped me, without all of you I don’t know where I would be right now. I also want to thank those that have given items, small and large, to us as a family. I genuinely appreciate everything you have done.

People tell me to ask if I need anything, but i never do. For those that know me, they will understand why I feel guilty accepting help and why I don’t ask for anything. It’s not that I’m ungrateful, it’s just the way I am.

That being said, I don’t think people realise how much all of this means to me, or to us as a family. It’s the little things that make a difference. I find it difficult to talk sometimes, which is unusual for me. I just wanted to say thankyou to everyone for all you have done.

Dreading Christmas

December is nearly here,which means only one thing. The kids are one minute getting excited and the next very sad. Hard to know what to do for the best. I know it’s going to happen and I will do my best to enjoy the time with them, but it won’t be the same.

This time of year was Lyanda’s favourite. The countdown, the building excitement and time to spend with each other. Now I have to do it all myself. Without Lyanda. I don’t know how i am going to get through this. I just want it over and done with.

The only thing I want I know cannot happen. That alone is tearing me apart.

Amazing gesture

We have a car! After the mobility car was returned at the end of July, we were left without transport. Not that we necessarily needed any, but it makes things easier when there are 4 children here. It also makes it easier to arrange counselling sessions and other appointments, not having to worry about getting there and what time the buses are.

The car is a 2000 W plate Toyota Yaris. Amazingly, we all just about fit into it. The car was given to us by a very nice and generous couple from Edinburgh. One of them is a member of the mountain bike Forum. Getting the car to Carmarthen was the only obstacle. As I found out, this wasn’t an obstacle for long. I had already declined the generous offer, but the forum had other plans.

I was told this was happening and that the only involvement needed from me was when I collect the car at the end of the journey. So I watched as everything happened out of my control to get the car to me. A relay was set up, one forum member to the next, to get the car from Scotland to Wales. The car had some issues that needed sorting, but a mechanic in Chepstow said he would sort them out if the car could get to him.

The journey began. Edinburgh to Halifax, Halifax to Bristol, Bristol to Chepstow and then Chepstow to Cardiff. I was then given a lift from here to Cardiff by a friend to collect it. While in Chepstow, the mechanic ordered the parts to sort the car out. He decided to give it a fresh mot so I wouldn’t need to worry about it for a year.

A fundraiser was also set up to cover all the costs of the journey and parts etc. Enough was raised to cover all the outgoing costs of everyone, and enough left over to insure and tax the car for a year. Absolutely gobsmacked. Mixed emotions from me. Pleased that we had a car again, but sad and emotional why this had happened.

I have cried a lot throughout all this. Amazing gestures from amazing people yet again. An epic trip for a little car. The kids smiles at having a car said it all. Now I just have to bring myself to get out of the house and use it.

Mental challenges

Times continue to be tough. With 4 kids it’s not going to be easy, but the emotional and mental side are tearing me apart. I have to keep trying my best to fight my own mind. I don’t want to do anything, don’t want to go anywhere, don’t want to talk to anybody.

But, I want things to do, I don’t want to be at home and I also want to see people. I know it makes no sense, but it does to me. There is no happy medium, no in between.

I have to battle myself to get through each day. Simple things like getting out of bed, getting the kids ready for school, feeding them, washing the dishes, washing their clothes and even bedtimes. It is an achievement just to get through each day. It shouldn’t be like that, but it is. Then the cycle begins all over again.

As the time has gone, I thought it would be easier to manage each day. It isn’t. Physically it’s nothing different to what I have done for the past few years. Mentally, it is 100 times worse. And it’s this that makes the physical side of things harder to do. I hope it won’t be like this forever. At this moment in time, it seems like it will be.

Memories

I am in the middle of going through and sorting the thousands of photos we have taken over the past 12 years or so. As nice as it is looking back and remembering, it still hurts so much to do so. Each photo is filled with happy times and wonderful memories, really struggling to live with the fact I won’t have any more memories or photos with Lyanda.

One very early morning while looking at the photos, as usual I had music on in the background. A song came on which I can only describe as beautiful. It sums up everything I think and feel everyday. I miss Lyanda so much. As do the kids.

https://youtu.be/6WZS3Lt9FTA

A very tough month

I haven’t posted anything for a while, it has been a really tough month. The first of the firsts have started. Our little ones first day at nursery in the mornings, the first birthday, oldest started his gcse years, and a few other things too.

Every morning has been taken up with counselling for the kids, doctors appointments, opticians appointments etc. While it’s been good to keep busy and have things to do, it hasn’t helped my mental state at all. No time to reflect, no time to think, no time to grieve. This past week was the last of the run of appointments, so hopefully will get the odd day to do what I need to do, in between their now sporadic appointments.

I know i need some time for me. I have to stay strong and keep us all safe and well. I still fear crumbling under the stress and pressure of it all. If I can get through each day then that is an achievement in itself. Most days I just want to hide in a corner somewhere out of the way of the world. Everything seems OK on the outside, that’s what I have to do for the kids sakes and pretty much everyone I see. Inside is completely different.

I hate being like this, even though I am told it is ‘normal’ to feel this way. Each night I look up to the stars, if I can see them or not, and wish things were as they were. Unfortunately I know this cannot happen. And that is one of the hardest things to deal with. Knowing our lives will never be the same again. There will always be a void in our lives. And in my heart.

How can I keep doing this?

Struggling to handle everyday life. Things we would normally do together I now have to do by myself. It is hard. Everything seems to be falling apart. But that might be just me. I keep losing it and it’s not fair on the kids. Hugs one minute, tears the next. The kids are suffering and I can’t stop, I have tried. They shouldn’t have to put up with me being like this all the time.

Unfortunately distractions are just that, distractions. They paper over the cracks temporarily, but once they finish everything is straight back to how it is. I have no way of letting off steam, i can’t do anything, I am always needed by somebody. I know that is my role, but I need to be able to function as Dad too.

I don’t resent the kids at all, and I wouldn’t change them for the world. I love them all to bits. But I need some time to process all this myself before I implode and become even more of a nightmare than I am now.

1 week until school starts. 1 week. That’s all I need to do, get through one more week. Then normality will return, for them at least. I might have some time then. Time to remember. Time to reflect. Time to try and answer the questions going round in circles in this mushed up brain of mine.

I am stuck on an emotional roller-coaster. A roller-coaster I can’t stop. One I can’t get off. I hope one day I can apply the brakes and slow it down. Just a bit. Just enough.

https://youtu.be/60ItHLz5WEA

I have made a connection with this song since Lyanda’s sad passing. I listen to it daily, several times usually. This seems to have a calming effect as well as an emotional connection.