Waiting…

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Just a routine test… Then a call back
Reassuring statistics…please don’t panic.

Rows of waiting room chairs,
People with distant stares.

Waiting to hear her name,
Her turn in the revolving game.

Pushed here, prodded there
Forced to over share.

Please take a seat
Wait…..repeat.

A needle jab,
Sample grabbed.

Tears cried,
Then eyes dried.

Wait a week,
Then we’ll speak….

Please, take a seat….
Wait…. Repeat.

And now we wait for the results….

A Metre or a Mile

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The quiet swish of metal and glass
Waiting patiently for me to pass,
Into a place well known,
Almost a second home.

A threshold crossed so many times
Sometimes with a smile
Sometimes with a frown
Often empty, but sometimes a line,
Coming or going in single file
Or people just hanging around.

An entry whose dimensions change
Depending on that frown or smile
When the distance can range,
Sometimes it’s a metre, sometimes it’s a mile.

Small reminders that hurt

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There are so many small reminders that Samuel is gone. They sneak up on you and surprise you with how powerfully they strike.

A mundane thing like receiving our new Medicare cards. Normally you would just open the envelope, have a brief look, take the old one out of your wallet and put in the new one… but not today…..

Today that quick look meant to be confronted with the fact that Samuel’s name will no longer appear on our Medicare cards listed under ours, like it has for so long….. another reminder.

Tanja’s name disappeared, but in the way we expected, the same way Taylor’s name will eventually disappear from our cards, she grew up and became responsible for her own, a chance Samuel will never have.

There are so many rituals and processes to work our way through that will be reminders that our little boy is not here. Always reminders that We are missing our little man.

Missing my little man

 

IMG_6972-1.JPGMissing my little man.

Just a clock and the ticking of my brain,
slowly passing time, thoughts falling like cascading rain.
My cheeks covered with salty stains,
of tears, that wash away the pain
of your absence, yet still you remain.

In my dreams and in my thoughts,
I vividly recall all the things you fought,
The joy, the happiness that you brought,
The lessons that your struggles taught.

I relive the moments between your breaths,
They were a fathers’ hardest test,
Even though I knew you could not stay,
That it was to be your final day.

One final rise of your small chest,
And it was all over, you and your heart at rest,
as I held your hand and stroked your hair,
accepting you were no longer there.

The days, one by one they pass,
The months, they seem so fast.
But not a moment can go past
Without you carried forever in my heart

Day or night, no matter where I am,
one thing is certain, I’m missing my little man.

Truth behind the mask

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You see me with a smile and a joke, you see me making the most of tough circumstances, and you see me propping up others. In fact you often compliment me on how I have handled the circumstances that got me here and the saddest duty in life. You congratulate me on the work that I do professionally and as a volunteer and the influence it has. You tell me what a difference that makes, you tell me of the lives it has probably saved. You tell me you admire me. You see a dogged and determined person, you see me as a success.

Sometimes you see me wearing a mask.

Picking a mask

You don’t see me picking my mask…. slipping it on to present to the world. Picking a mask to protect, to hide, to conceal.

You don’t see the feeling of abject failure, you don’t see the pain that racks every joint of my body. You don’t see the weight sitting in my shoulders. You don’t see the fear that rests in my gut. You don’t see me struggling to enjoy little things in life. You don’t see my frustration and the effort it takes to do almost anything.

You don’t see the tears the well in private, the tears that wet my pillow as I drift off to sleep, or the hours of tear filled eyes watching the ceiling in the middle of the night. You don’t see the tears that accompany my solo drives.

Behind the Mask

All those things are currently lurking behind that mask that I choose to show you and the world.

The truth is that lurking behind the mask you see is the deep and dark shadow of depression. A shadow that is currently cast over everything.

It doesn’t matter how successful you may appear to be, depression does not discriminate.

Knowing it…..

I’m fortunate, my training and my history means I recognise depression for what it is…. I’m fortunate to have a wife and children that love me unconditionally. I’m fortunate that I know where to go for help. I’m fortunate that to some extent I know how to sit with my sadness.

I’m fortunate that I know that seeking help is important (as hard as it is to acknowledge that depression has a grip on you and to take that step).. I’m fortunate for a wife that guides in that direction. I’m fortunate that medication has a good effect on my depression. I’m fortunate for a lot of things.

Don’t assume

You just never know what the person in front of you is dealing with behind the mask that they have chosen to wear for you that day. You don’t know what battle they might be facing in private. Be kind, be aware.

Know where to send people…..

LifelineBeyond BlueBlack Dog Institute, SANE

Image Credit for this post Richard Jonkman