When trumpets fade.

It’s approaching an anniversary for me. Which one doesn’t really matter. It’s just another milestone. When trumpets fade, was the title of an old war film I watched a long time ago, it basically translates to, when all the fanfare has died down, you expect life to return to normal. Or to how it was before. Except for us it doesn’t. You spend the rest of your days with a gaping void in your life. Often wondering about all the what if,s. A void you can never fill. Your mind often trying to gauge what your son or daughter would be doing now. Wanting desperately to listen to all their tales of what they’ve been up to and where they’ve been. How they are getting on at work or their relationships. You realize you are missing out on a life you thought was promised to you.
None of this is made any easier by the fact that all around you just goes on as normal, everyone else enjoying their childrens lives regardless of age. As a parent you don’t understand what a massive part you play in your child’s life until that is taken away from you. My boy was 24 when it happened. He,d long since got past the days of me teaching him. Protecting him. Buying him all he needed. Steering him, getting him ready for the day he was old enough to make his own way in life. He left home when he was 17/18. And was doing a grand job of making his way in the world. Great job. In a relationship. He was really coming on into his own. But the treasured phone calls I used to get asking for advice or opinions meant the absolute world. I didn’t know how much they meant until they stopped. Not at first, but after the initial wave of grief has passed. I suddenly felt redundant as a parent. But letting go of that feeling doesn’t really leave you. Even years later you somehow convince yourself that you are still needed as the sane voice that they will turn to when they need some help. I don’t know wether we hang on to that thought for our own sanity. Or wether we convince ourselves that they haven’t really “gone”. We just haven’t heard from them in ages. It’s daft, I know. But the mind doesn’t always listen to reason.
I think the worst part for me is knowing as I get older the gap between when they were here gets longer and longer. Everyone that knows me and knows what happened have long since forgotten. They look at you and don’t see the void you carry round with you. The big empty space that your child used to fill. They don’t know that you have a constant feeling of something missing in your life. But then why should they. It doesn’t affect them. We have to have our quiet moments, the days when we reflect. The days that we miss what everyone else just seems to take for granted.
Life goes on. Even for us. It’s all about adapting. Trying to find a new path to carve out an existence. You do get by one way or another. Those around us understand a little less as the weeks and months go by. They don’t see what you are trying your best to hide under the surface. They don’t know why you lay awake at night thinking about your child. They don’t know that you have triggers that upset your equilibrium. They don’t know that you always feel a little left out when they start discussing their own children. But then I suppose that’s a sign that you are doing well. Because you are managing to lead your life without all around you seeing that you are actually broken inside. It used to really bother me that no one ever mentioned my son. But they aren’t going to. No.1. They don’t want to upset you and no,2. The actually don’t care. Once you understand that. Then it becomes a little easier because you aren’t wasting energy wondering what others think. The loss of your child will always be yours to carry. Learning to live with it is the key. It not easy. It’s far from easy. But you eventually do it. I often have my moments. But they are mine to live with. I don’t really ever expect anyone to understand unless you travel the same road as me. So my impending anniversary will come and go the same as all the others before. And my boy will always be with me even if it’s just in my head. But he,s there.
Ok thanks for listening.
Take care


Hi @Jim10,

I’m so sorry to hear about your son. Thank you so much for bravely sharing how you’re feeling in the lead-up to another anniversary, it can always be a difficult time.

I’m sure someone will be along to offer their support, but I wanted to share these links with you to help you with your grief.

You might already be familiar with our other Online Bereavement Support services, but if not, you can find out more about our Online Counselling service, our Grief Coach text support service, and our Grief Guide self-help tools by visiting the link.

We also have an article on coping with anniversaries, which you can find here.

Please do take care of yourself,
Online Community Team

I have not lost a child, but a beautiful sentiment for this loss.

A heartbreaking title, indeed.

I am so sorry. After loss, I experience the cruelty of the world. Many people have suffered from this cold nature of society which is odd because so many people also suffer from this cold, cruel world, that hurries on past us.

We lump along best we can. It is so very hard. :heart:

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Hello Jim

I felt i had to reach out to you. I have not lost a child but my parents lost my sister at the age of 29. Reading your words about the feelings of loss and trying to navigate your way through life after such a devasting loss is so difficult. My Dad would write daily in a book all his feelings , the sadness the happiness feelings of overwhelming anger as to why did this happen. Anyway sorry I am rambling a wee bit but wanted to say I hope your doing ok

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That was a beautiful piece… Thank you. Its only been seven weeks since my son Robbie took his life. I miss him.

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Your post resonates entirely with me . 8 months today since my son was cruelly taken from this world and I silently cry every day . I’m currently holidaying in USA with my grandchildren and I smile and I try to make memories with them , but whilst they queue for the rides , I put on my sunglasses . Face away and the tears just flow . I can’t let anyone see them as you say this is my pain to bear and letting others see it only spoils their time and won’t bring my son back . I miss him so much and the thought of never seeing him again is so so painful . I dont think I’ll ever feel any different . I feel lonely even in the crowds . Im no sure friends must think everything is back to normal but I don’t even know what normal is anymore .