Yesterday for a few seconds, I thought that Jack was still alive and singing the exact same that he was in this photo. But …. then I woke up.
I had been dreaming that Jack was alive again, him dying had all been a nightmare and he was walking towards me singing. I was so overjoyed to see Jack and to hear his voice again, the happiness I could feel was indescribable. As Jack got closer to me, I put my arms out to cuddle him and then I realised that he wasn’t there, he really had died. I could feel the sadness overwhelm me as I was inconsolable. As I woke myself up crying, I felt like I had just lost Jack all over again. For a few seconds, I had that hope that I would see him, talk to him and cuddle him again then it was stolen from me all over again. My crying woke my husband up and I was lucky that I had him there to hold me while the tears flowed. For most of the day yesterday, I felt really sad and teary and we spoke about how long it had been since I had a dream like that.
In the first 12-18 months, I had dreams like that regularly, I would wake up shaking, sweating, crying or shouting no, stop, don’t go because I was dreaming Jack was dying. Other times, I would wake up thinking that I could hear Jack walking into my room or shouting mummy from his room. For a few seconds, I would believe that Jack was in the house and then BANG I would realise that he had died all over again. It’s like emotional and mental torture having dreams like that and those are the parts of grieving that people don’t know about.
I met my husband about 10 months after losing Jack and I remember the first time I had one of the dreams with him there. I remember the relief I felt from waking up and not being alone and having someone there to hold me as I cried. But I also remember thinking how difficult it must have been for him to witness that. Those are the parts of being in a relationship with someone who is grieving that people don’t see.
It has probably been about 9-12 months since I had a dream as traumatic as that. Thankfully those dreams are not nightly like they used to be so there is hope to for people who suffer from those dreams frequently.
Tonight, I thinking about all those who are grieving alone. I am very lucky that I have a great mum, dad and friends around me and I am now lucky that I also have Paul as my husband but I know that some people are not so lucky. Some people are on their own, grieving alone with very little support. I have great support and to the outside world, I look “fine” “better” “strong” “moved on” but nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors and that is why I am sharing this. There will be people out there suffering alone, putting that “mask” on every day and feeling so alone on their grief.
Maybe you know someone, who is grieving, send them a text, tag them in this post, give them a call, do something to let them know that you are thinking about them. Maybe to others they look “fine” “better” “strong” “moved on” but maybe they feel alone and need some support or someone to talk to. You could be that one person.
Brightest Star is here to support families who lose their son or daughter, at any age from any cause of death. We offer support meetings, one to one/couples counselling to parents/grandparents and therapeutic support to siblings at our Hulks Haven base in Glasgow. Maybe you would like some support or know someone who might, please get in touch.
We really need all of your help through raising awareness and raising funds to support families that lose their son, daughter, sibling or grandchild.
Arlene, Jack’s Mummy xx
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