When Your Child Dies, the World is Upside Down

The morning of October 8th, 2014 was the day I went to wake my darling daughter, Rebecca, and found her dead. Cold. Lifeless. Gone forever.

The previous day had been a normal happy day at school. We were all tired following my son’s 11th birthday celebrations two days previously, all was well and all was blissfully normal. The previous night, I had told her a story, and tucked her into bed with her favourite toy, Rosie the Prairie Dog.

What do you do when you find the body of your child?

The following seconds, minutes and hours were a nightmare beyond imagining. In that moment of horror, every idea, every plan, every dream, every projection for the future that I’d held for myself and the family I love was smashed into a million pieces. My wonderful husband was in Tokyo. I was the one who found her. I had to deal with my son, the paramedics, the hospital, the police. I had to make that terrible phone call to Japan to tell my husband what had happened. Me.

“How can this be?”

How can a happy, delightful little girl who two days ago was running around in the back garden with her best friend playing fairies suddenly be dead.

To say the following months were hell doesn’t even come close. The fears, the trauma, the horror……nothing can prepare you for this. The memories of how she looked and felt. They haunt me still.
People gave me the old ‘Take it a day at a time,’ but this was a joke. I had to force myself to take the next breath even. I stopped eating pretty much altogether and lost over a stone in two months. Panic attacks, insomnia, anxiety attacks, terrible despair. I even said to myself that if life was going to be this painful I didn’t want to go on living. I’d never ever believed that it were possible for me to be in such a place.

It has now been two and a half years since that terrible day. Somehow I did come back up. Somehow life has started again. It is possible to rebuild happiness and love, even when it feels as if your world has been shattered forever.

I’ve decided that the time has come for me to start to share the journey I went on to come out from that terrible pit of despair.  How many times did I start this post and leave it unpublished?  I’ve lost count.

Life gives us some painful and hugely challenging cards sometimes. We have a choice how we deal with them. We can either allow them to destroy us, or we can use them to make something worthwhile and positive. This is one of the positive things I’m creating and I hope that my words can maybe help you, or someone you know.  I hope that my creation ‘How to Phoenix’ will give others some strength in their darkest hours of despair.

Each step forward is a step back towards the light, and back towards life.  Each step matters.

Please share my post if you feel it would help others.

How to Phoenix

1 Comment

  1. Great Post thank-you and so sad for your loss.
    I almost lost my eldest son last year in an RTA and he his siblings lost their mum in 2008 suddenly. This was a huge turning point for the whole family and my own life.
    My own life was changed beyond measure when I suddenly became a single parent to a 6,7 and 12 year old as was theirs.
    We have all I think bounced back which is good though a day does not pass without one of us having some recollection of Sarah who suddenly and tragically passed off the mortal coil.

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