Irene's Insight

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Connnection ©

Another day of wondering and worrying and laughter and tears but now night comes and I sleep until dreaming takes over. The dream is so vivid that when I wake up I feel uplifted, but then reality sets in.

I dream that I am in the kitchen and Arthur comes in all excited to see me and wants my attention. He nudges at me and runs around my legs with his big silly look and tongue sticking out, he's just so happy.

I follow him to the living room half walking half running and there's John laying out in his usual way watching television, with the remote control in his hand and one leg hanging over the back of the couch. He tilts his head and smiles at me with the look I've seen so many times and that says so much without words. He lifts his hand in a wave and brushes against mine saying "hi". I ruffle his hair, smile and start to speak. I cry with happiness that he's there only then to wake up to another day of every possible emotion; and I wait.

I try and try to analysis this dream and I think that I've come to my own conclusions about it. In some way I was privileged to have this last happy moment with my son. Its only now I can speak about it without getting too emotional, but only sometimes. For days I could not get the words out even to those closest to me. I tried to write it down but hesitated for fear of upsetting them and the further hurt it would give me to see their pain. Eventually I had to write

I had a dream early Thursday
was it a goodbye or a hello
I could not decide
or maybe did not want to
seeing you laying there smiling
and the wave of your hand
made me falter, confusing me,
making me feel guilty to think that this may be goodbye
desperately wanting it to be otherwise.
Was this your way of consoling me or preparing me - to say that
things would be fine - that you Arthur were gone for good,
but not to worry as everything eventually would be right.
I lie awake now and replay this over and over in my mind
glad that I did have this dream , this special connection to you.
But the sadness is overwhelming and I fight not to give in to it.
I close my eyes once more wanting to block it all out but also
wanting to dream again to see you, however painful it might be.

October 2002


constant space


4 now 3 ©


There used to be the four of us
plus Arthur our dog,
but now there's only three.
Things changed forever in an instant that rainy day
We'll never begin to understand why both of you were taken
all we know is that time stood still
but now we're slowly trying to move on,
Though it hard to bear, bear it we must
and find our way once more to a brighter future

December 2002



Precious ©

To have a child is wondrous gift
To have two is god's blessing
To be there when they need you, to watch them grow,
having fun and learning is the biggest thrill you can know.

To be part of their lives is a joy, a learning curve,
and as you do your own final growing up with them,
finding the simple joys that life can bring,
the fun and the excitement of everything.

To be able to help them
through all the awarkward things they must do,
to share in the success of their achievements as they grow,
makes you burst with pride and joy.

To watch them mature, become independent happy adults
makes your love more precious as you realise
that you only have a wee loan of them
and for some this is too short.

Nov 2002





Tears ©

I never knew the meaning of real tears
until now.
Occasionally I've cried,
but the tears I shed now are like giant marbles
So I let them flow and be proud of them.
For these tears are for my son.
And a release valve to my emotions.

November 2002


Closeness ©

We have a bond you and I,
the kind that can't be broken,
the playfulness of a silent smile told me of your love,
sometimes a smile meant more than words
a playful nudge as you sneaked up behind
ruffling and messing up my hair
your playful hugs when we would carry on,
like playing basket ball, or other things,
our little bits of banter.
Usually we'd be home around the same time each night and
cooking in the kitchen, (well me cooking and you watching)
you'd tell me about your day.
Then there were the real loving hugs
on birthdays or any kind of special day,
sometimes just for nothing.
I know we were mother and son, but as you got older there was friendship too,
We enjoyed each other's company.
We would walk Arthur most days at some point
and usually that's when you'd tell me about anything that was bugging you
or we'd talk about your hopes and dreams,
the latest chapter in your quest for some girl,
and, My! You were really choosy.
These are the things I miss most; the smiles, laughs, hugs,
And the way you'd just walk up and put your arms on my shoulders,
just to say "hello Mum. How was your day?"
these are my smiling memories.

December 2002


Time ©

Time is of the essence
not to be squandered or wasted.
Time is for living life,
gaining sweet memories to retain.
Time is precious, so be loved and love.
Time is all you have on this earth,
so fill it with as much happiness as you can
and smile at your memories.

November 2002


Heartfelt ©

The heart in love, knows no time
just a lifetime of love
and when there is pain the heart will heal
but it does not forget what caused it
the heart is strong
and love will make it go on

December 2002




My Feelings ©


The feelings you have when a son dies are not easy to explain, but maybe down on paper I can begin to see what I can't voice without faltering with tears. I feel all sorts of emotions at the one time. I can't be down all of the time and most times I get up and get on with things. The usual day-to-day chores take up time, so I fill it with work, household tasks, paying bills and grocery shopping, spending time with family and friends. But even doing these I find that John comes into my thoughts regularly as does Colin and my son Paul. They always have, but there is now a kind of void.

Most thoughts are pleasant but sometimes they are so negative, and they can be strange and hard to cope with. Sometimes I have to let them take over just for 5-minutes; to let them envelope me and indulge myself in them or I feel that I could explode. I tell myself this has happened to millions of people and that I am no different to them. Deep down I think each and everyone grief is theirs' and it makes no difference to me what they feel. This pain is mine and my family's and I have to learn to live with it.

It's odd, you know, the reality of what happened. Occasionally just exactly what that means rushes over me. It's early days I know, but sometimes I need reassurance that I'm not going crazy. Its just part of the grief I have to go through. I find that sometimes I have no patience with people, and that work's a bummer. I don't give a shit what people think or if I even have a job to go to, but I know that is not the way to be and I try to control those feelings. I suppose it's lack of direction and a bit of fear of what the future holds. Now and then I get angry inside but I'm aware that this is normal. I just want to be normal, but wonder if that feeling will ever come back again.

Anyway, what is normal?

January 2003



Us ©

We love each other
We bore children
We had laughter
We lost one son
We cried together
We now go on, only different than before
We remember our happy times
We will have them again

January 2003



If - But - Why ©

Why do we always look for "if's, but's and why's?"
You know;"if only", "but, what if?" It's quite amazing how often we use these expressions.
We are such a peculiar, inquisitive bunch. Always looking for answers, always delving into matters, always assuming that "if" matters are concluded differently, then the outcome will be better. Who can say what's better, or what's just different.

Why can't we accept, embrace and enjoy what we have, holding all that is dear to us.
We seem to spend so much time consumed with what the future holds that we tend to forget about today. If we can get through each day making a difference in some way, then we are looking to and taking care of our future.

February 2003



Part of me ©

In my mind you are a thought away,
In my heart you are only a heartbeat away,
In my living on, you are only a breath away.

You gave me your lifetime of memories
my little treasure trove to keep or to share with others
my precious time of love, laughter and happiness
for the life that we shared,
for the boy you were
and for the man you had just become.

My heart is full of love for you,
for all the joy you bring to mind
My heart has so much hurt and pain,
for all those things that might have been
This feeling never disappears;
it just subsides for a time.

I feel your presence
And the comfort that it brings,
to believe that you are a thought,
a heartbeat, a single breath away.

Feb 2003


Waiting ©


Waiting seem to be a game in life that all us humans take part in. It keeps us on our toes, wary of what might await us.
We wait and wait for news to come, for a telephone call, a letter, a bill, or a special occasion. We anticipate and wait. We wait in queues and we smile to other who wait, willing some to shout, "I've had enough". We hope that, like a herd, some will follow and move off, the rest of us waiting a little less.

I think it's a human condition, "waiting" to anticipate what might be waiting to frustrate us when it all goes wrong. Some say, "Wait"! Be patient, and everything will come together in the end". Aye, but how long do you wait? A minute? An hour? A day? I'm sure if we add up the time waiting it would total years.

Now is that not an interesting question. Even when we reach the end, is it still a waiting game? The difference is it doesn't matter, cause you're dead and you're not the one waiting. Someone asks, "When can the funeral service be held?" Oh! We have to check to see what day and time is available, and so it goes on. "Waiting".

Do you think that if you get to the pearly gates, heaven forbid that there's a sign saying wait here! And do you think that there might be a queue? And whom should you meet along the way but long lost friend and family "waiting" and wondering what kept you so long, cause they have been waiting ages.

March 2003


Family ©

We find strength in each other, and though we have lost John,
we will find the courage to continue our lives' paths.
to"make each day matter" is our tribute
to continue to love and cherish and not be afraid to do so.
To care, to be good to each other no matter how hard it gets,
this is what will get us through, and although these are only words on paper
They are what family is about.

April 2003



To John ©

I suppose there are different types of lonliness but what I feel now is emptiness. Something's missing. Something just isn't right. It's not continous but most days it feels hard. I know it's because of change but that makes it no easier to bear.
These are my thoughts today.

I miss you not being in when I get home, and exchanging details of our day. It doesn't seem natural to have to unlock the door myself.
I miss sitting in the garden with you, John, and you too, Arthur, and doing nothing in particular but enjoying your company.
I miss your jokes, and your wee nudges, and the way you'd sometimes lean on my shoulder. I think it was your way of giving me a hug.
I miss just hearing you about the house. The way you bounded your way up the stairs half running, half jumping or just generally being noisy as you played with Arthur.
The bed game was a favourit nightly ritual. You'd move your hands under the duvet and Arthur tried to anticipate the movements and attack them.
I miss the music coming from your room, and the cursing at the pc games and the thud of the mouse or keyboard as the computer cheated again.
I miss hearing you chat on the telephone to your friends.
I miss our daily walks with Arthur running oblivious to the world and crazy at the hint of a squirrel. You tended to open up on our walks. I'd get to hear all the things that were happening in your life and share your hopes and dreams.
I miss planning out trip to Egypt
I miss going to the cinema with you. We normally went with Paul, but recently it had just been the two of us.
I miss not meeting you through the day and our occassional shopping trips when you were on lunch break from college.
I miss the Sunday mayhem as football took over the day and the evening breakdown and analysis of your latest 5 a side game.
I miss all your funny little habits, like turning the gnomes' heads away when you were using the toilet, and the empty picture frames of pan bread because you didn't like the crusts.
I miss the way you'd get annoyed at us and at all the injustices in the world.
I miss the phone calls reminding me to bring barbeque pringles and wine gums when I'm at the supermarket.
I miss going to sleep at night when you'd sit on the edge of the bed or the settee and always have something to chat about before saying goodninght and going back to whatever you'd been doing.
I miss wakening you in the mornings, and the jokes you made because it was usually to say cheerio.
I miss shouting your name when dinner's ready and you're not upstairs reading or watching tv. As hard as this is to write, every memory I have of You is special.
The bottom line, son?

I miss you. Love mum.

7th april 2003



Another Birthday Year ©


Another birthday
You're 20 today John.
A day that we'll cherish and celebrate
in our own way.
I wonder what it would be like for us all now,
things have changed so much,
status quo "stolen".
You're so vivid in my mind
its like you've just stepped out for a while,
I suppose it will always be that way.
you feel no less close
"So here's to a happy birthday and here's to memories"
Love always

September 2003




Candle of Hope ©


It's morning now.
As daylight approaches we stir, not from sleep, but from what has become almost a type of mechanical close down. Awareness dawns as our surroundings take shape. We hope with all our hearts that this has been a nightmare. Then we realise it's not. We see and hear all our hopes coming through the cemetery gates in the form of a band of men who will become our heroes. They arrive bringing hope, determination and an abundance of bravery, and this lifts our spirits.

We sit and stare at what is going around us, feeling numb and useless, afraid to look into peoples' eyes and expose anyones vulnerability. There is nothing we can do except continue hoping with the miners that events will have a positive outcome. We pray that they will find John alive! It's at this stage the candle assumes new symbolic importance. We light it. It will burn until we know the truth.

With each passing day the candle shrinks but we try not to let our hopes diminish. It burns bright for five days and nights, until by its light we see our new friend and confidante as he approaches. His eyes cannot hide his news, but the words must be spoken. His is to say what no one wants to hear

We three now left together fall huddled to our knees. In our grief we take comfort in each other. The sheer weight of our loss envelops us. We will never be the same.

We blow out our candle of hope, and face reality.

February 2004



Many Moons©

There have been many full moons come and gone
and in their fullness I somehow feels closer to you.
Majestic and proud it sits illuminating the skies,
its beauty so simple, so clear, so bright
it almost seems touchable.
I gaze at it for hours and just remember you.

February 2004


Constant Space ©


There's a part of me that's missing
I'm like an amputee
The constant emptiness reminds me of what was.
I can function in my daily life,
In the normal trials of the living
but there is an essence to my life which is no longer there
a loss of completeness within my family unit.

I suppose any parents who loses a child feels this
and it seems to become bearable given time,
but the emptiness is still there.
And not a day goes by that my child is not in my thoughts,

To lose a child is so unbearable to contemplate,
that we don't even have a word for it

September 2004




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