The challengers within nature

Strange today, emotions at both ends of the spectrum. Hard to say how the day is going to end and how that will impact tomorrows waking up emotions. I shouldn’t do that though – set things up in my mind – let my thoughts go off and plan ahead how I will think.

I met up with a friend today and went for a mountain bike ride. It was brilliant. We went through a trail in a forest. He said it would be a bit challenging and technical. I’m used to bike riding – but the standard road bike, totally different to mountain bike trails. It’s only my second one and the first ride I loved, such a sense of freedom, beautiful views and a few hours escaping from how I felt. So I had high hopes for today and the ride didn’t let me down.

He was right – it was a challenge, hills, steep slopes and hairpin bends – and this wasn’t the toughest of the trails we could have done he said! Then again he is a bit of an extreme sports guy. But he was great, coached me on how to handle the bike, to use my back and not my front brakes going downhill – or there would be a chance of flying over the handle bars. What made it a different sort of challenge was the snow. We hadn’t factored that in when we set off as there was no snow where we lived. But through the forest it was either snow or very slushy and slippery mud. I did fall off a few times and had a few near misses. But I loved the challenge, the freedom and the beautiful surroundings of the trees and the mist that surrounded us at times.

It was certainly a work out and I was a bit impressed with myself for giving it a go, despite some moments of intense fear at going downhill on a mudbath with a drop down into the trees below if I misjudged the stones and rocks in our path. He said that we had probably chosen one of the toughest days for the ride given the weather. But i like a challenge. I’m looking forward to the next one.

So after I got back I was buzzing, took the dog for a walk, did domestic stuff but then I looked up at the clock. I was thinking about tea planning prep and needed to judge what needed doing and when. But I saw the time and my heart just felt like it stopped in it tracks for a few moments. It was 2.30pm. That was the last time I had seen my son alive. I had put him down for an afternoon sleep and checked in on him at 2.30pm – on a Sunday. I didn’t know what to do. I tried to hold onto the good feelings from the morning and still tell myself it was ok to feel how I did right then and there. Like Bob says, don’t try and push it away as it will only make it stronger. But I could feel the sense of intense loss and despair creeping over me. But I kept Bob’s words in my head and just tried to let the emotions be there.

But it is like your heart breaks all over again. The day it happened played out in my mind all over again, what I did, when, what I wished I had done – even though I might know there was nothing I missed and nothing I could have done to make any difference, in my mind I want to change the pattern of events and just be with him. For him not to have been on his own. I’ve had these moments before. Sundays can be a difficult day. Before Elliot died, Sunday was about doing something together then slowly as the day wore on, making sure school uniforms were ready, homework was done and bathtime routines were underway in plenty of time of chill out and then story time. Everything organised and ready for the week ahead. Sundays will never be the same – before they were a symbol of normal family life, now they are a reminder that I live in a ‘new normal’ and I long for what I had.

I took the dog out again this evening. It’s a full moon outside, so clear and bright. The clouds are moving quickly across the sky and you can see more and more stars appearing. I just looked up and hoped that somewhere out in this vast universe, my little boy knows how much I miss him, how I would do anything to have him here again and I hope he knows how desperately sorry I am that I wasn’t with him when he went away. I know that he wouldn’t want me to be sad. I know he would want us all to be happy and live our lives as he lived his, lots of fun, joy with a fair bit of chaos thrown in.

So for you my little man – I will.

I love you Elliot

Amazing bike ride in the snow

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