Juliette would be fifteen tomorrow; that’s such a milestone for a girl. Her birthday’s been at the back of my mind but tonight, running Celeste’s bath, thoughts crept in about how it would feel if she were still alive – what she would be doing, whether she’d be excited, what we would have bought her, whether there would be a party – all the normal things. And it feels total rubbish that we’re arguing about what cake to make, and who will buy the flowers for her grave and balloons that we’ll release with our messages instead. Tonight it feels poor to have these rather than some full-on teenage celebration. I’m feeling sorry for myself, sorry for us and sorry for her that she had no time at all to live. I’m sorry for everything we’ve all missed.

I know this will pass, perspective will be restored and I’ll be back to ‘looking on the bright side’ soon. This is self-indulgent I know, and that’s the reason I’m here rather than on my other blog. I always feel like this at some point around these times, but this year is ten years. Ten bloody years, when she was only here for five. She’s been gone almost twice as long as we had her, and I hate that. Are these days ever not going to be hard?

Meanwhile in the spirit of I forget what, I’m visiting a different prison tomorrow to talk about more teaching. They suggested the date, and at the time I thought it would be a good thing to do on Juliette’s birthday; a positive distraction. I didn’t think I’d come unstuck. I just hope I can hold it together when I’m there.

9 thoughts on “Revisiting

  1. Hugs Geves. I can only imagine at your loss (and it's pretty horrific just doing that) I never know what to say, but never want to say nothing either. Thoughts are with you xx

  2. You're not self indulgent Geves. There's nothing wrong with some self-sympathy and you need to grieve. So much would have happened in those ten years and some years and times will sting more. Thinking of you xx

  3. Madge – Thank you for that. Anonymous – As time's gone on I feel more and more guilty for allowing myself to be floored with the awfulness of losing Juliette, but that's pretty silly I suppose. I manage plenty of the other days in the year just fine. Thank you for your words.GK – Much appreciated, thank you. xx

  4. I have just come across your blog via compassion friends, I lost my doughtier in Nov 2008. Livvy would have been 13 next week and to be honest it is all I can think of at the moment. A teenager, what would she have been like? How big would have her party been? I'm told its normal but to perfectly honest Im not sure what classes as normal anymore. Life is so different, going through the motions has become the normal.Though I do believe if we don't allow ourselves these special moments to grieve the vastness of our pain would overwhelm.

  5. I'm so sorry for the loss of your Livvy, Sara. I just looked at your website. She has the most beautiful smile.Birthdays and anniversaries are always tough but especially the milestone ones, like when they become teenagers. You're right, there's no normal any more. We all find our own way to manage our grief, but I will always want to mark the important days for Juliette.

  6. " I'm feeling sorry for myself, sorry for us and sorry for her that she had no time at all to live. I'm sorry for everything we've all missed." You have every right to feel sorry for yourself and sorry for your beautiful daughter. She lived and was loved and will always be missed. She should have had all the opportunities to partake in a long life, it's tragic that she did not.

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