Waiting for my brain to catch up


I sit, book in hand, looking out to sea, on the point of dozing off. What am I doing, I ask myself. What am I doing, lying here under this blanket sleeping the afternoon away, missing life? Waiting, comes the answer. Waiting for my brain to catch up, waiting to understand.

It’s January, a new year stretches ahead with none of its usual promise. And the timing feels all wrong. Now we have a new rhythm to our years, in a life that pivots around the last day of May: the last day of Abi, Ella and Sally’s short lives. In January we’re just over half way through our year. Are those days that everyone (kindly) messages you on – Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, my birthday this week – any different to every other day of this new life? No. Every day is now a day we didn’t choose. There was before – lightness and life – and there is after. Now, all we are doing is waiting to get used to this new life, our new “new normal”.

I tell myself not to question why, not to waste time and emotion wondering how or why our girls were caught in that moment - that particular place in that particular second - when so many other places and seconds make up a life. I am reasonably successful at this game. Don’t question why, just know that it is, and we must learn to accept it as our new fate. Acceptance is key and at times I believe I’m getting there. They’ve gone I tell myself - that was it, it was perfect, and now they’re gone. You can’t afford to ravage and rail against reality. Doing so will only cost you more.

Except all I feel is numb. I watch myself go through the motions: only truly happy when I’m with Trevor, Ed or Paddy. At a time when the boys need me less, the irony of my amplified need of them doesn’t escape me. I let them go. Another, at least inevitable, loss. Another step in this new world, further forward into unfamiliar terrain we must go.