Today is the 5th anniversary of my daughter Jordan passing away; I often hear others comment:
“Are you not over that yet?”
“I thought you would be okay by now”
“Isn’t it time you moved on from this?”
All of which can be quite hurtful and non-empathic. I do accept that these people have their own phenomenological view of the world and based on this, have perceptions of how others should feel or cope with situations and circumstances in their lives. However, this is bias and is a result of the experience not being their own and them not being empathic towards others.
I have learnt to use coping strategies with these comments, grateful that the other person has no perception of what I am feeling and hopefully never will. I am happy for them that they have not experienced the loss of a child but also a little sad that they are unable to find it in themselves to accept and show kindness. I myself had a major reality check when my daughter was first diagnosed; I was shown a world that I did not know existed, after all cancer is a thing for smokers and old people right?
How wrong was I. Now I was seeing something for the first time that has existed for all time but has not been in my field of vision, obscured by my view of the world, hidden behind a vale, a vale that keeps us feeling safe, that lets us sleep at night. SLAP! Once seen you can never un-see it, your phenomenological view of the world changes forever, everything you once believed changes in a heartbeat and continues to change with everything you see or experience from that point on. Everything you thought was important, your priorities, your hopes, dreams and aspirations cease to be and are replaced with new ones, alien ones, simpler ones, ones that cherish life itself.
So why is it any different on this day to any other? It would be fair to say that there are very few days when I don’t think about Jordan, these thoughts are often fraught with emotions, some may make me smile or even laugh out loud; some may make me sad whilst the rest may reduce me to tears filled with pain. Anniversaries, birthdays and special occasions tend to hit harder, just as happy memories invoke feelings of happiness and joy but I have learnt to be self-aware of how these days hit and allow myself time to work through my process, to give myself time to explore my feelings and re-set myself. I believe that I have two choices; keep moving forward or lie down and play dead and for me the latter is not an option. Not an option because I witnessed my daughters love of life, I witnessed her fight for it, not an option because her memory drives me to be all I can be, to cherish life and its experiences. Not an option because there are others out there who need support, not an option because to know someone understands and ‘gets it’ can ease the burden, not an option because as Jordan said, and quite rightly so;
“If you don’t do something with this it was all for nothing.”
So today, 9th April I will remember Jordan and everything that she was and always will be in my heart, I may shed a few tears, I may smile and quietly reflect, I may just ramble on about her to anyone that will listen, whatever will be will be. As for the memories of that day, they hurt, they hurt more than words could ever say and I pray that before too much longer something comes along that would spare any other parent from having similar images imprinted in their minds and voids left in their hearts.
Live, love, believe, dream, inspire and above all else cherish life.