I have made a big decision. I think that it is time that I stopped mourning for my Mum and Dad and moved on with my life. That isn't to say that I will ever stop loving them, missing them or wishing that we could have had lots more years together. That isn’t it at all. It is just that it will soon be three years since they were killed and I think that is long enough for my full-on sadness to last.
I had been thinking about this for a little while and last night I had a long dream about them that helped me to make up my mind. I have had this dream a couple of times. In it Mum and Dad are sitting with me in an enormous sunny park full of benches. It was such a calm, loving and peaceful place – no feeling of sadness at all. On every bench there are just three people and somehow I just knew that this was the special place that God had created where all the teenagers who had been left behind come to see their dead parents.
In the dream I would talk to them both and they would promise me that we could meet in the park again and again until I was ready to let go. Well last night in my dream I told them that I thought that I was ready.
They seemed really pleased and reminded me that they would always be inside my head if I needed them. I know that I will have a few wobbles along the way - times like my graduation or my wedding day but I think I will be able to cope.
The most important influence of all was that my Mum and Dad loved me far too much to want me to keep on being sad. I absolutely know that they would want me to have a long, happy and fulfilled life making the best of every opportunity that comes along. They would be so cross if the accident that killed them both also ruined my life.
So how do I feel about how the last 8 months has gone?
Overwhelmingly I am glad that I made the conscious decision to change. When a bad day comes, as they still do sometimes, I reach out for emotional or practical help from people around me or I go for a long run. What I don’t do is to sit at home crying or feeling sad wishing that I could change the unchangeable. I still visit their grave but I know that isn’t where they are. They are inside me and I carry them around every minute of every day.
By doing this I think I’ve honoured my Mum and Dad’s memory far more effectively than perhaps I would have done otherwise. I would not want to have been thought of as “that girl who never really got over the death of her parents.”