Pat and I went to Francis House a couple of weeks ago now. I like to visit from time to time for support from the berevament team and to remember the time we spent there for respite and care with Sadie.  It makes it all seem very real. I mean, yes, everyday we wake up and our daughter is dead and that knowledge is there constantly but its something you can't repeatedly and contantly examine every waking moment as life needs to go on.  But when I visit FH, I remember how truly awful it is that our daughter died and how devastating that is to carry with us.  I also remember how brave Sadie was and how much spending some days there at Francis House for suport and respite was like a life-line to us.  To be amongst people who truly understand both then and now that she is gone, is like finding yourself in an oasis - albeit painful.  I can let my guard down and be truly relaxed, knowing I can talk about her in any way and I can let my feelings come to the surface if they need to. I can talk about the grief and be fully understood - its a totally relaxing and safe environment.

Sadly, Pat wouldn't settle that day.  perhaps he sensed my feelings or maybe his teeth were bugging him, but we just couldn't get him to settle. This brought clear memories to the forefront of Sadie being in terriblepain and discomfort and desperately trying to help her.  Rationally,I knew that Pat was just grizzling, but it brought the reality flooding back and the terror of being unable to help Sadie. I won't dwell on this point as I know I have discussed this many times before.

Anyway, although I want Pat to spend time at FH to understand what its about and about the difficulties his big sister faced as well as those the children there are challenged with, I felt it best to leave that to another time and I headed back last week for one to one bereavement support.  This is so helpful and I can really off-load all the grief that wells up over time. Its helpful to learn more about the grief because you have to learn to manage it and there are so many layes to it.  There are also so many things that are harder to handle which you'd never have imagined.  All sorts of things that you have to handle against the backdrop of your grief. Society has a very limited understanding of how to tackle grief and particularly that of a grieving parent. Its almost as if its too hard for many people to discuss.

Well Pat is waking from his nap so I have to leave this mid-point, but I'll come back to it later hopefully.  I'm keen not to appear to be complaining as our community is amazing with us! Must dash for now though!