Learning to live again

What makes me get out of bed in the morning?

I am the mother of 4 children – Josh 21, Zoe 19, Lucy 17 and Charlie who died when he was 4 in 2010 from cancer.

Sleep for anyone who is grieving is an impossible dream! It is hard to maintain and for me the habit of getting up to Charlie at around 3 am hasn’t left me, I usually wake for a couple of hours every night around this time and think about him until I go back to sleep. I read a lot about many mothers woes of lack of sleep, of the trials of teething and colds, of teeth being lost and first days at school and my heart aches.

I struggle to find any articles of the daily grind of maintaining life and relationships after losing your child to cancer. For us as a family we are all grieving, in different ways, but we are doing it together. We talk about Charlie, about things we have seen during the day that he would have liked, we cook and clean and garden and feel sad, always it is with us. I have thought about the impact Charlie’s death must have had on my teenagers and how sad it must be for them to be faced with it so early in their lives, I wish that it didn’t happen, that he was at home pottering around with his toys, watching cartoons and wanting dinner.

I am proud of how well Josh, Zoe and Lucy have handled this awful time. Don’t get me wrong, there are still loud arguments and fighting, but I think these are more of an outpouring of grief, pent up more than anything. Sadness has had a huge effect on me. I long to be left alone, I like to just sit in a chair, not talking to anyone, I mainly hate the random calling in from friends and having to be bright and cheerful. 14 months after losing Charlie, life is still sad and hard.

Now it’s a time to change my goals and look for new challenges, to perhaps capture some creativeness, whatever that may be, and to love and live everyday.

Amanda Maher is working hard at redefining herself after living through one of the greatest tragedies of anyone’s life, losing her youngest child to cancer.

Have you ever had to change your goals? Start again? How did you cope?