That time of year is looming again and it seems I am filled with a nagging feeling of anticipation that goes hand in hand with a nausea that hangs around and a mood that is heavy and unforgiving.
I attended the annual Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance at Great Ormond Street Hospital yesterday. I always come away from it with the carefully chosen words of the chaplain stored in my head. This year he talked about the elephant in the room: you know, the one that is sometimes so big, it is hard to move around it, yet we do. The one who all we want is for someone to mention its name. The one who, if we actually mentioned the word death, then we could, maybe, talk about life. A life that had the power to shape mine. He also read some words given to him by another bereaved parent. The metaphor used this time was shoes and the fact that we are wearing them on a daily basis regardless of how much they hurt. It's not as if we could take them off and have a break from them or let someone else wear them for us, just for a while. They stay on our feet and we hope that one day, the hurt will become less and less noticeable. I wear them and have become adept at hiding the pain of them.
It's only taken four short years for me to attend on my own. That sounds really mean as I know there are two very good friends who would have come if they could. No2 declined and so it was just me. It was hard to sit there, on the end of a row (carefully chosen, so as I didn't have to sit between 2 people) watching families united in their grief. I lit a candle for Tom and tried to sing the hymn that we sang at his funeral, with silent tears rolling down my face.
I stepped out of the chapel into the sunshine and walked back to St Pancras to catch my train home. I didn't feel like talking to other people there this year. The one person who I was hoping to meet up with wasn't there - maybe she was stranded abroad somewhere still...
I am going to go to the zoo again on Thursday. It's good to have made a decision about what to do on Tom's anniversary as it takes the heartache of trying to think of something away. I'm hoping No2 will want to come with me. I'm not his favourite person at the moment - his Facebook status is ' I f***ing hate my mum' and it had 45 comments at the last count and not one of them in my defence. I don't really know what exactly I've done to deserve it, but there you have it. One not here and one who hates me enough to broadcast it.
I think I'll stop now. My coffee is finished and I ought to get up. I have a quilt to finish, plants to put in and seeds to sow. Time to just hit the publish post button and roll with it.