We almost didn’t go to the Forever Day but decided pretty late in the week that we should be brave and make the effort.
I’m really glad we did. It made us realise that we had not had our own time as a couple to grieve away from home, away from distractions. The first workshop hit it home – “Looking After Yourself”. It was plainly obvious but hidden in plain sight all this time. We thought that we did everything that we needed to do to haul ourselves through the first 2 months. Actually we had looked after everyone else but us. Parents, brothers, Jasper and our community all served and embraced and loved at the Celebration Day, but we forgot to look for ourselves in amongst our sharing.
Jasper made friends with everyone. We found strength from our peers today, such expressions of hope from the lovely trustees and parents with similar sentiments as us. We sensed the oneness from all who were there. As Lisa said it was borne out of tragedy that we are met but it has made us so much kinder to one another.
I’m reading William Wordsworth’s We Are Seven. (Ta Vanessa).
We shall visit the memorial garden in the future. Hugo will be honoured with a plaque to join the others who lost their lives to Meningitis. It took us 2 hours 45 mins to drive back to Stoneleigh, the M25 was harbouring delays due to happy campers getting back at the end of the half term break. Something has been fixed though, Eva smiled for me and Jasper. Bubbles Hugo.
It’s a tragedy beyond anything that I might have ever imagined that could happen to my family.
It just doesn’t happen Dan, just does not happen.
But then it did and that is the one conflicting thing that escapes my reasoning. Hence I cannot come to terms with it but people and books and articles tell me that I will eventually accept that he is gone because this is natural effect of the passage of time. This strikes me as a contradiction on a personal level because I will never accept the loss of a child, how can I?
However they say that we all deal with the grief in our own way, uniquely and I agree. Since one can explain grief but one cannot ever truly feel the same as I do because it’s my soul that has been hit by a truck. It’s my soul and it hurts like nothing else can. It creeps, it explodes and it has no tempo.
Your sharing of my pain is selfishly of comfort to me. I feel wrong to feel like this, to almost want you and anyone else to have sensed something of pain for Hugo’s passing. But to me it seems right and why not? You are a father and you empathise and above all it shows me that you care, for if you didn’t then you would not feel at all. My limited perception of tranches of Chinese family culture in older generations, that prevail even through to my generation, is that grief is to be eschewed, put out of mind and to be traversed hastily. Constant words of don’t be so sad about it, don’t ponder on his passing. Death becomes a fact to be ignored, reminders of a loved one to be tip-toed around in case emotion is betrayed again and again and again. Death becomes the conduit for Chinese superstition and respects are not paid, people avoid you when you might appreciate seeing them and you are advised that your presence is best not required to sully life celebrations and formal events. All nonsense.
Your words meant so much to me. Thank you for telling me how you really felt, that is true kindness in my book.
Hugo was more baby than Jasper was. Jasper has always been more mature than his years and very gentle physically and in demeanour. Hugo was not that. He had a very good nature but he wanted his way when it suited him because he didn’t see what possible reason why it shouldn’t. He was a boisterous little boy who loved us with all his heart. Hugo had an enormous sense of humour and he connected with Jasper and Eva and I on so many tricks that he played on us and us on him. He understood how to create fun and play and was beginning to say words with meaning behind them. He loved music. He was really really sweet. His physicality made him all the more cute and cuddlier.
It is a rare thing I think that you consciously experience the total joy of life as you live it or know true perfection when it is in front of you. I think that you usually realise this when it has passed or you lose it. But it was special when Hugo arrived and I felt like our living breathing family was the perfect unit for us. No more children came to be because Jasper and Hugo were it and firmly engraved in our book for life. The jigsaw was complete.
Now the unbalance is overwhelming at times.
It’s all in his eyes.
I’ve just realised, that when I look at the countless photos that I captured of my boy I scan them intently for his eyes because they tell me how he was feeling at that time. What was he thinking about when he was looking at daddy, what innocent and simple ideas were floating through him in that moment? I love his eyes. I can drown in them all day, beautiful, endearing, longing. One day looking at him will make me less sad.
This one I picked out because it is so Perfect. The image makes him alive to me, just for a little while. He tells me that he is perfect and ready for the next thing coming. It is a look that shows Hugo’s readiness to live, a moment when he is free from any emotion. It’s not showing baby happiness or excitedness or wanting.
It is just Hugo.
It’s you baby, my son and I see you again.
– daddy –