Here I am just reached that certain age, things should be bright and rosy in my little patch of Lewisham but I’m lonely. Not lonely for friends that is not a problem (don’t think me big headed) but lonely for a companion.
I lost a child 16 years ago and from that day I have not had a partner.
I started thinking about all the other parents who have lost children and the effect on their marriages and relationships, I’m sorry to say it doesn’t look great. Steven Lawrence’s parents parted, ditto Jamie Bulgers parents I’m not going to name any more but what I can say is, it’s quite a usual occurrence. I looked up some websites on parent grief but I’ll tell you how I felt and what it did to my relationship with Richie’s father.
First I want to emphasise I was not in a relationship with him when Richie died, there was a connection but the bomb of our sons death caused a massive chasm from which there was no going back.
It was as if we could not touch the depth of each others grief, I could not comprehend that he felt as devastated as I felt. when I think of some of his behaviour after Richie died I realise it was his way of saying “Look at me I’m hurting too”, but all I saw was a man who wasn’t the most fantastic father.
My anger at the way he had let his son down over the years intensified, it did not lessen and to this day I feel anger at him. Stupid and childish I know but who knows how the death of a beloved child will make you behave. They say it takes at least 20 years to finally come out into the light, and I can testify that this is true, I mean I didn’t sit around for all those years crying and wearing black but just under the surface was a horror and a sadness that would sometimes suffocate me, even now writing about my son brings tears to my eyes, remembering him making sausages for breakfast, making me laugh.
Shortly after our son’s funeral his father and I were in a pub, I don’t know why maybe we arranged to meet and talk, it was quiet and Celine Dion’s song came on, ‘My Heart Will Go On’, and to my utter amazement he started crying. I got a small glimpse of his pain and sorrow.
I don’t know what I have done or why I can’t get a decent partner. Is it my destiny to be single? Am I emitting an aura that screams GO AWAY? I hope not because I don’t feel like that at all, but maybe I can answer my own question.
I can’t and won’t explain to a man that I will love my son and will not lay aside my grief on certain days. No I don’t walk around beating myself up and being a moaning Minny, friends will tell you that but losing him is so much a part of what I am only an exceptional man could take me on and I don’t think I deserve that.
A punishment perhaps.