Sometimes life deals you a tragic blow and you are catapulted into a nightmarish existence.
A week ago our youngest grandson, Daniel, who was four, was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary, from our local hospital. At 11.30 the previous evening his parents, our daughter and her partner, had been informed that he had Leukaemia. He had been admitted to the hospital for complications with chickenpox.
Basically, what followed over the next two and half days was like being in a twilight zone. He eventually had a machine working away for just about every major organ in his body. Daniel fought a brave battle for his life. But, on Sunday morning his parents were told that he was dying and they took the tremendously brave decision to let him slip away peacefully in their arms, rather than risk him having a heart attack and a violent passing.
This afternoon, with a hell of a lot of trepidation and shaking legs, I went to the Chapel of Rest to see Daniel. I needed to replace the image of him lying in the Intensive Care Unit after he had passed, with something more peaceful. I am glad to say I found my peace. I spent some time holding his hand, stroking his lovely brown hair and chatting to him. He may well have been listening in from somewhere thinking please shut up grandma! I talked about the many happy things we did together and fun times we had – such as counting our stairs to make sure that one hadn’t gone missing, making dens under tables, generally turning our lounge into a tip, walking the Daisy Dog and running around the house like lunatics!
I left the Chapel of Rest a changed person… no longer deranged with grief.
This isn’t to say that the grief won’t return. As anyone who has experienced a bereavement (and I’m guessing that is a lot of us) knows, it hits you in waves doesn’t it? You think you have it all under control and then that one little thing can reduce you to tears… yes?
As for Daniel’s parents… they are being so brave and strong. They have a rather dark and scary road to travel down. But we, the family will be with them all the way. And we are gathering some HUGE torches to light our way.
So Daniel my little sweetheart, next week your funeral will be a celebration of your life… with colours, balloons and some pop star called Megan Trainer ( yeah, grandma has that wrong again) who you rather liked. You had a few cool moves when you danced to her tracks. Not for you a dark and dreary event.
My daughter and her partner have surprised and filled me with hope with their take on the cruel event that wrenched their beautiful son away from them. His dad told me :
” We were all on a journey together. Now Daniel has had to go on a journey of his own and we must find ourselves another journey. But, he will always be with us. We carry him in our hearts and we wouldn’t have missed our journey with him for anything.”
Are not our children brilliant? Do they not make us proud? Do they not inspire us?
Rest in peace Daniel Christopher. You were a one-off. And your mummy and daddy although broken-hearted will be just fine given the passage of time, because they made a promise to you as you passed. They understood that your journey together was over, but they promised you that they would somehow find a new way – in time. The better for having had you in their lives, albeit it for four short years. Mummies and daddies don’t break promises.
We all benefited from knowing you… our special, gorgeous little man.
Enjoy your journey sweetheart and don’t forget to come back and haunt us all on a regular basis. Particularly at the dead of night when we all can’t sleep.
And this grandma of yours will continue to talk to you… you don’t get away with it that easily!
This post is not written to depress or disturb you, nor to draw sympathy. On Write Dorne I write about all aspects of my life.
Death is a part of life and we can not escape it. But, I think as we face up to it, it becomes less scary – well that’s the plan anyway.
I plan to write about Daniel a bit more. In fact a lot more… he was a large part of my life.
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