Now Several chapters into my book, and already feeling like it is my companion coming back to life after many years of all those original diary entries being written 14 years ago. What kept me sane then, writing, analysing and feeling is being revisited by me as I look back, construct, cry sometimes, and connect it into my impassioned work today as founder of C&C Empathy Training
I have decided that I am going to write blogs with extracts from this book of mine, and here is the first one. As the title of this blog suggests, it is about how we sometimes have to face pain in order to have any peace further down the line. This extract is discussing this very subject that I battled with after losing a child in hospital and suddenly being in the extraordinary position of feeling full responsibility for a full account being heard by the coroner and the emotions I went through as it took its toll.
Book extract #1:
“So much of me wanted to be someone who could just let all this go and make it easier on myself, after all I didn’t even know if the coroner would even be interested in what I was compiling for him? But the truth was, I couldn’t just let it go. I had no real choice. I knew choosing not to do it would make it easier short term and my logic sometimes told me to do just that. Make it easier on yourself Carolyn. But that same logic as well as strong emotional fear, would say and where exactly do you think you will be at the end of it?
So, here was one of my dilemmas, would that ‘easier’ road lead me to a place of peace? Or, would it in fact take me to a place that would be the hardest destination of all, a soul in torment, defined for all time, for letting the truth die with my child. Conversely, as well as revealing a different version of events, would taking this harder, more soul-destroying road, ultimately lead me to a place that was gentler on my future existence?
By this, I was not thinking about heaven or hell after I died and my eternal soul. I was, at that time, almost past caring about that. What I was concerned with, was my life whilst I was still physically alive in this world. You see, since being 18, I had always been urged forward by my connection to this child and my need to be there for her as much as I was able. That feeling did not disappear when she died. It was just as strong and, whilst writing my version of her illness, as I have described, was soul destroying, caring for her was like oxygen to that very soul that had been so damaged. A life force that I needed. My soul, or my conscience as some may call it, or even just my ability to look at myself in the mirror and like who I saw staring back at me tormented me: Not wanting to look at my other children’s innocent faces that held such love for her and feel crippled with knowing that I didn’t stand up for their ‘big sis’, haunted me. It was that inner self who I feared for regardless of any afterlife. In truth, I wasn’t even sure I was going to survive this life at the time, let alone worry about the next one!
Following this difficult path and not avoiding it, was in fact, the only way I felt I might stand a chance of living the rest of my life and my children’s life, without going into total self-destruct mode. And so that was what I did. The decision made and almost out of my hands. All these years later, for all the doubts that I have had in my life, the one doubt that does not exist, is knowing that this course of action and travelling this painful road, led me to a destination that gave me peace. And once peace came, so did laughter, so did joy, and crucially so did hope. And hope is one of the best feelings in the world.”
‘If you keep hope alive, hope will keep you alive’