In The Past 24 Hours….

By Emma Pearson

July 16, 2024

7 September 2019

A day in the life of a serial griever…

In the past 24 hours…

…I collected my youngest daughter’s “personal effects” from the clinic she’d been attending

…I was told that her death by suicide most probably wasn’t pre-meditated, but an “on the spur of the moment” action

…I learned that my baby girl had been terrified at the possibility of being a carrier for Lynch syndrome – she still needed to wait three more years before she was eligible for testing

…I heard that she had included me, her mum, in the short list of “reasons she wouldn’t take her life”

It makes me heave. I feel sick. I just want to vomit it all up.

In the past 24 hours…

…I have sat in my bed and looked through the pictures and artwork that Julia had on her bedroom walls at the clinic

…I have sat on her bed and read through a calendar where she recorded her mood, what she ate, what she was thinking…it’s full of pain

…I have knelt on her floor and opened and closed and opened and closed again the cartons I collected with Pascaline from the centre

…I have put the ceremony card from her service on my office shelves

It turns my legs to jelly. My throat constricts. My tummy clenches more.

In the past 24 hours…

…My son Ben spent some moments sitting across my lap for a hug as he used to each morning before getting the school bus

…I sent Megan’s climbing shoes to her in the UK

…I browsed possibilities of an open water swimming holiday

…I made a minor dent in the pile of death admin in my office

It reminds me that there is some normal in the abnormal. I am still confused, which is okay.

In the past 24 hours…

…I went to my first yoga class in what feels like forever

…I had a 90 minute massage

…I went to a beautiful string chamber music concert

…I played piano

It opens up my chest and my heart. I cry yet more, but I am also soothed.

Just 24 hours.

And that’s not the half of it.

I also cooked and cleaned and walked the dog and arranged for outings over the weekend and set up a saxophone lesson.

Someone even bloody flirted with me and invited me to Morocco.

Massive moments, hard, very hard, impossible, sickening, soothing, calming.

Many massive moments in every massive day.

If this isn’t being present with what is, in the moment, I don’t know what is.

About Emma Pearson

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