That other thing I let go #1000speak

A few months ago, I wrote a post on The things we keep, the things we sent, the things I let go. I deleted a whole section at the end that I wasn’t ready to share.

Forgiveness is the theme for this month’s 1000 Voices for compassion project, so I’ve decided to post it.

Before Zoe’s cancer relapsed I was still carrying the hurt, resentment and anger of a failed marriage with me, though I tried not to let Zoe see it. It had been further complicated by some things that happened after we split up.

Zoe’s Dad was living in a different city when she relapsed and she had recently had her first flight by herself down to see him. When I messaged him that she had been admitted to hospital and what her haemoglobin count was, he booked the next flight north. I didn’t really want him to, simply because it meant I had to face what I didn’t want to know, how serious this was, not just a routine virus as previously diagnosed.

When we learned Zoe’s cancer had returned and was terminal, he took leave from his job and moved into my house so that we could both spend all of our time with Zoe for the short time she had left. Our divorce had come through officially only days previously.

To get through it, I had to let all of my hurt, anger and resentment go. It wasn’t even a conscious decision, it just fell away as we shared the part of a parenting journey no-one wants to take. With all of the grief, I just didn’t have room in my heart any more for anything other than our shared love for Zoe.

I wish I had been capable of this earlier, but I’ve learned to accept we can’t change the past and that like grieving a child, grieving the shattered dreams of a broken relationship takes time too. I forgive myself for that, but today, as I sit here needing to forgive a couple of people and need a little forgiveness from them myself,  I try to remember the lesson of how forgiveness made room in my heart for more love, for more compassion.

[Edit: after Zoe’s dad visited the other day, I took the perfect photo for this post]

14 thoughts on “That other thing I let go #1000speak

    • Hi Mark, thanks for reading. I liked your thoughts about asking people if they want to hear how it was for you before telling them. I try to be careful around this, but often find other bereaved parents do want to know about the experience of others. I’m in a couple of online support groups for childhood cancer and bereaved parents, but will be following your blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. As a mother, it’s so hard for me to imagine continuing to move on after losing a child, but, is is inspiring, that you allowed yourself to let go of your anger towards your ex so that you could both focus on your daughter. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish I had no understanding, insights or experience of your journey. I live with a variation of Muscular Dystrophy and have friends who have lost or are slowly losing their children and it still doesn’t make sense. My health goes up and down. I have treatment and am in remission but have had some close shaves, including chemo 2 years ago where I faced losing my children in a different way. That anguish penetrated very cell of my being but I am still here. I look healthy. It is hard carrying around this hidden scars. People not knowing your story.
    I have a friend who lost a baby at birth and I’m sure people think he’s a career woman. Chose not to have kids when indeed she is grief stricken. She keeps the white teddy bear the hospital gave her on their bed and she celebrates birthdays with that bear with her husband. They couldn’t have further children.
    Thank you so much for sharing your devastating loss and I’ll be back.
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you very much Kiri and I say the same to you. It’s zone you never want to go near let alone enter. I am thankful for each year we have and things are looking good at the moment but you know how fragile things like remission can be but I am feeling quietly confident. I looked up the meaning of Kia kaha and thank you so much for that blessing and return the sentiments to you. Take care!
        Love & blessings,
        Rowena

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t imagine, the pain of losing a child is something one can never imagine until faced with it. Hope writing this helped you sort through things. I think that’ is why we write, or most of us anyway. Take care.

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  4. Such an emotive post, Kiri. I don’t know how anyone moves on after losing a child. I’m not sure I could. I’m so, so sorry for your loss. A most unbearable loss.
    I’m glad you and your ex were able to come together for your daughter. Thank you for sharing this, it can’t have been an easy share.

    Best wishes. Kimmie x

    Liked by 1 person

    • You would probably surprise yourself with what you can survive when you have to. It wasn’t easy to share, but it wrote itself at the end of the other post I mentioned. One reason I didn’t share til now is that it’s not my story alone (erote about that in my post on Secrets & Truths), but I have tried to be careful to express it from my perspective only.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m far from perfect, and by reading your blog it sound like you’ve been through a lot yourself and survived it – and by your blog title are still surprising yourself.

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