Depression is like a plague. It comes unannounced, opens the door without knocking and plants itself firmly and squarely on your red sofa. I am someone who is prone to depression. I tend to get depressed around this time of year. It is almost predictable. An old friend has reappeared in my life. This friend is called Depression. This friend has been there for as long as I can remember. Only he’s more pronounced in recent years, since the death of my precious son.
Today I cried. I cried at work today. The tears just welled up in my eyes. That is probably one of the first times since the death of my son, that the tears welled up in my eyes at work. I took a five minute break and disappeared into the bathroom. To let the little tear drops fall. I allowed the flood gates to open once home. Tears of heartbreak. Tears of pain. Tears of sadness. I miss my son.
Maybe it’s hearing his song recorded that drove the nail home, reminding me of what I have lost. Pierced my heart once more. My boy Sebby in heaven. Not here on Planet Earth. I am normally OK and get on with my life. But sometimes the missing is more intense. The emptiness is more intense. The loneliness is more intense. The realisation that motherhood was stolen from me is more intense. Am I still a mum even if my children are no longer here?
The song ‘Sebby’s Song’ (on Jules Riding’s new album ‘Rivers’) exceeded my expectations. I didn’t think it would sound like that. But it is better than I ever could imagine, really. It transposes grief and joy. They are linked forever. Grief and joy. Joy and grief. Life has never really been the same again since the death of Sebastian. When Sebby died I hit rock bottom. It was worse than when my daughters’ died. Perhaps because I had Sebby far longer than the other two? I was intertwined in him, and he in me. I prayed daily for Sebby’s safe arrival. I prayed daily for him to have the perfect Daddy. I prayed for him daily. I prayed that I would be the best mummy I could be to my child. But his life got cut short. Sebby’s message in the song is everything is OK. Everything will be OK. Yet will it be OK? Will things be OK? Does life have meaning after death? Or is this just a meaningless existence?
You go on the roundabout. Its another 24 hours. You go through the motions. What is achieved? Are you making a difference in someone’s life? Or have you come to stalemate? What is it that keeps you going? That prevents you falling into the screaming hands of despair? Have you ever experienced the loss of a child? How does it make you feel? Or have you never experienced the intense grief that comes with missing your children? All has gone. All hopes and dreams extinguished just like that with the click of your fingers. Hopeless. Hope dead. Hope gone. This is how it feels when you sink into the mire of grief and depression. A familiar presence. A familiar feeling. What great thing do you have to achieve to prove to God you are worthy? What great thing do you have to achieve to show you would have been a capable mum all those years ago?
How is it that certain people who don’t want children get to keep their babies? How is it even possible that some parents who don’t want children dump them in the rubbish bins, discarded like some unwanted object. Without a care in the world and yet still they get to have a baby. But the ones that lose their babies what becomes of them? What test do they have to pass to prove their worth to God? What becomes their purpose in life? Is it to write books? And what of the books? Do people even want to read them. And what about the song? Songs written. An outlet for grief to go in a positive direction. Tunneling all that negative energy into something that just might help someone on this same wretched road I am walking on.
Who am I now, now that my children have gone so that they can sit at the feet of our heavenly Father? Who am I? Am I just a mere morsel of a being? Where do I place my worth? Where do I place my significance? What is the purpose of my life if I am not to be a mum? What am I to do? Break down haltingly and weep for what I have lost and buried? Rejoice? Rejoice because at least my precious children are safe. They did not have to experience pain like I know. Grief is a series of setbacks and then a few steps forward and then you hit ground zero again and have to pick up the brokenness and start from scratch again.
Does someone understand my pain? Or am I on this grief journey by myself? Oh God, where are you? What is it you want from me? What is it you want me to achieve from my life in what seems to be a rather mundane routine. Going through the same routine day after day not making a difference to anyone. Not impacting anyone.
Who am I now since the passing of my son? Who am I dear Lord? Who am I? Who am I?