Tears keep falling…..

IMG_0987Weddings and funerals are emotional times. I seem to be having my fair share lately and my emotions are all over the place.

Losing both my parents so close together over the Christmas period was rather traumatic, I think I just went into automatic for a while.

My two brothers and I needed a bit of time to decide what we wanted to do with their ashes but it was decided their wedding anniversary would be the perfect date.

Unfortunately that wasn’t until September so there has been a good while in between.

Agreeing the date was easy enough but the location has been more difficult. I came up with a suggestion and put it forward. Neither brother seemed that interested and time went on. As the date came closer I asked them for suggestions. One brother was not happy with my idea as it was nearer to my home than his, but still could not suggest an alternative.

The date was fast approaching and arrangements needed to be made and family informed so I pre booked where I thought was a lovely peaceful place, told both brothers that it was booked but not set in stone, it could be changed but a decision needed making.

One brother said he was quite happy, in his eyes their ashes did not mean a lot to him and as long as they were together he did not mind where their last resting place was.

The other brother said I could do what I wanted, but he was finally in a good place and did not want to deal with all the upset again.

I should I guess mention that there is no great bond between any of us, the brother that did not want to attend had caused upset before both their funerals, the two brothers do not speak, I have been the person in-between. Neither did a great deal for my parents when they were alive. I was not surprised when he decided he would not be attending.

It did shock and upset me when he approached the undertaker to ask for some ashes as the whole point I thought had been reuniting them. But it was agreed he could have some.

So arrangements were made for Tuesday last week. But the weekend before I received a shocking rude message from the brother who was attending, partner. I can honestly say it really was unexpected, and totally shook me. She accused me of being manipulative and not listening to what my brother wanted and a lot of other things which totally floored me. I had constantly asked for both their ideas and thoughts.

You me might be wondering why I am writing about this on my blog about my life with an alcoholic son. One of the reasons I stated for wanting to lay my parents to rest where I suggested was I believe I will be at some point also laying Faith to rest and I would want him to be with his grandparents.

This was also brought up in the message, I was accused of using that to get my own way. Apparently my brother also wanted some ashes to do what he wanted with. He never ever mentioned that he had other ideas. I was so so upset. I cried all weekend. This was the brother I thought was happy with the arrangements. I might as well add Faith is drinking again and I think it just all became too much, I was sick of being the strong one, the one that got on and made the necessary arrangements, had to put a brave face on. I think it was the first time I had really cried, I cried because I wanted to talk to my mum, I wanted someone to tell me it would be OK. I replied to her message politely as I always do, asking her to get my brother to call as arrangements would need to be made quickly. (He wouldn’t answer my calls)

I eventually spoke to him Monday morning, I think he wanted to talk to me away from his partner. He played everything down, he was happy with the arrangements. I asked him if he wanted some ashes, he stated no, they should be together but I asked again, if he wanted some he had to say now. He eventually agreed he would like some, I personally think it was his partners wishes. So I called the undertaker again and asked for more ashes to be put aside.

At this point I was hoping there is not an after life, I would hate to think my parents were watching this.

I had to leave work early, I kept crying. Then that evening, the night before the internment I had the call saying Faith was missing, he was drinking, he had taken a Stanley knife, he was threatening to take his own life. He wouldn’t answer his phone.

This is when I handed him over to my higher power. I could deal with nothing more. My instincts told me he wasn’t ready to leave this world yet, I just had to pray and believe he would be OK.

I heard nothing, he was still missing the next day. I just had to put that aside and deal    with the day. Which I did. I very nearly lost it when my brother turned up late and said his partner was not coming because her dog was sick. OK I think you might just get what was going through my head, how the hell I did not scream out loud that my son was missing but I was there I honestly don’t know. Well actually I do, it was respect for my parents and my two aunts that where there.

It wasn’t until later, after everything was done that I heard Faith was OK, the police had put him in a cell for his own safety. The reason all that happened is another ongoing story. Which I will share soon.

I started writing this because I have just returned from my best friends sons wedding. What a fantastic happy celebration. He has such a lovely family and a fantastic group of friends as has his beautiful wife. But I cried, I cried when I first saw him, I cried when I saw her, I cried when they said their vows, made their speeches, danced their first dance, and when I said goodbye to them. I think I bawled my way through their entire wedding, happy tears though.

This is bit of a shock to me, I don’t cry, or rarely, maybe it’s what I need to do. I know part of the reason I cried is knowing I will never have this celebration with my son.

I hope I haven’t rambled on too much, as I have said before, my blog is my outlet, maybe writing all this down will let me move on and stop these tears from falling.

I will update you on Faith soon.

 

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I’m grieving

IMG_6070I really am struggling at the moment. I don’t know if I am preparing myself for Faiths death or just grieving for the family life the alcoholism has stolen from me.

And no one knows how much, other than you my friends.

I know I am still grieving for my recently lost parents, I think about my mums last moments surrounded by family, and I think about my dad, how I found him, lying cold and actually broken-hearted on the floor less than six weeks later.

But that is a grief I expected to come at some point. Yes it’s still upsetting and painful, but it is nothing compared to the grief I know I will feel when the life leaves my son.

And now I have this sadness, it just fills me, of the life I dreamt of, for my eldest son.

It used to be that he would take over his dads business, and then later when he decided engineering like his grandad  was what he wanted to do, I saw in my head, his apprenticeship finishing and him going out in the world, making a living, marrying some lovely girl, and then of course the grandchildren. As I got older they would come and visit, not as often as I would like, but they would be there for birthdays and christmases.

But that was not to be, this wicked wicked alcoholism has stolen all that from me.

Maybe that was all a dream anyway, but I was hopeful I would have a garden full of children again. When the children were growing up my house was very much an open house, I welcomed a broken family in, 4 children, they might actually be my saving grace when I am old, as they are still in touch and very much a family unit. In the summers, my garden and house were always full of children and friends and mums and dads. What happened?

And my daughter? She will bring my grandchildren up on the other side of the world. That’s hoping she eventually has some.

I’m wallowing in self pity, but I am so so very frightened for the life of Faith at the moment. Alcoholics die, that is a fact, and I am so worried he is on a path that he cannot escape from.

And no one, no one other than you my friends know how I am feeling.

Friends are concerned for me, work colleagues know I have a “problem son”, my partner? He has three normal adult kids, with partners and a sprinkling of grandchildren, just how I expected my life to be. He just doesn’t understand and doesn’t know what to do.  They are all lovely to me, but, just but.

In fact they are descending on us this weekend and I welcome them, I love their normality. But in between building sand castles and making sandwiches, my heart will still be breaking, for my son, for what should have been.

Hopefully my next post will be more positive. I don’t like this  person I am at the moment.

Catch up

Where do I start, so much has happened since my last real post.

The biggest being the loss of both my parents within 5 1/2 weeks.

They were both elderly but reasonably healthy. My dad cared for my mum, more than we ever knew, especially in her last few weeks, I felt such a debt of gratitude and pride when I realised just how much he was doing.

I went away at the end of October for a holiday, I work full time, I needed the break. I worried my brothers wouldn’t check in on my parents, I don’t think they did.

The week before I went I organised a joint celebration for my mums 85th and my dads 90th birthdays. I am so glad I did, My mum didn’t want a fuss, she found reasons not to, they wanted to pay as they didn’t want to invite people and then ask them to pay, but they couldn’t afford much, their savings were needed to pay for their funerals, little did I know. But it was organised, my younger brother didn’t attend, he was just being awkward, my daughter was in Australia so couldn’t be there, my younger son didn’t wake up in time, I make no excuses other than he works nights and his built in clock told him it was sleep time. And Faith? No, he wasn’t in a fit state to come.

So to celebrate their 85th and 90th years , two out of three children and one Step granddaughter out of 7 grandchildren were there, and two great grandchildren. I felt so upset for them, but the wider family rallied and they did enjoy their day even talking to my daughter in Australia by video call.

That was October. When I arrived back from a weekend away in November I called them on the Monday after work to see how they were. I was greeted by my dad saying, oh yes, we are fine, but your mums legs aren’t working I’m a bit worried. After asking to speak to her and getting a totally unrecognisable conversation I told him to call 999 I would be straight over.

Whithout going into too much detail she was admitted to hospital. Her core temperature was very low and heartbeat very slow. After 6 days of positivity from the staff phnemonia diagnosed but was being treated, a week after she had been admitted we were called to be told they thought it best all support be taken away from her. She was made comfortable the family called and within an hour she was gone. We were all so unprepared. My dad , his partner of 63 years gone, was broken.

We got through the funeral (Faith actually got sober and stayed sober for a month, more on this later) and then Christmas, dad seemed to rally, doing excercises and looking after himself, he had the energy to make sure he was clean again.

New year And we were invited away, my best friend felt I needed the break.

When I returned I called my dad , he was Ok, I had arranged with work that I would do 4 days a week, at least for a while so I could help dad adjust and be free to take him for any appointments he needed.

I never got to do that, on Sunday I had arranged to take him food shopping, I was concerned when he didn’t answer his phone, by the time I arrived and saw the blinds still shut I knew, I just knew.

I found him on the floor in the kitchen, freezer door open,  oven on, fish a chips ready to go in the oven that was on.

He really had died of a broken heart, I was devestated but happy he was reunited, only having spent a short time apart from his beloved wife.

Life was taken over again by funeral arrangement, Having to wait weeks for a post Mortem didn’t help.  I carried on working, not wanting to be alone and think. I was too familiar with the funeral company, I worried I would have a third funeral to arrange “Faiths” it is a real possibility.

Faith has actually dealt with it better than I thought he would, fear of death has always been a worry for him. The fact he made a month sober, yes even over xmas, on his own without support, his determination to be sober for his nans funeral seemed to mark a change in him. I really believe he might have got to that point, the one you read about, where something switches in their head, I pray it has. But life is not that straight forward, he lives with another alcoholic, one who is in denial and expects to hold down a job whilst swigging vodka from her plastic squash bottle in her handbag.

So that’s it in a few paragraphs, my parents lives gone. I have so many more words in my head waiting to get out and onto this blog. I want to try and explain how it feels to be the mother of an alcoholic.

Hopefully I will have a bit more free time now to do that.

See you soon x