My beautiful son Josh was killed 8 years ago today in the early hours of the morning. As I write this post I am feeling every emotion that I felt back then. Shock, denial, fear, anger, sadness and the desperate desire to hold him in my arms as he lay alone.
No one should ever have to feel the pain I feel and live with every day. I smile, speak, work and socialise with a heavy heart because nothing that I do feels the way it should. I try to move forward and appear to be strong but the mask I wear is thick and behind it hides a very different story.
The silent scream, the numbness, the hollow space within my heart and the weight that never leaves my chest are encompassed by the longing to hold Josh in my arms and kiss him gently on the cheek. I can only breathe in his scent when I close my eyes or call on my memories as the jumper and tee-shirts that I used to inhale have long lost his scent. I can hear his voice when I play some of the few videos and voice notes I am lucky enough to have but I will never again experience him asking me if I am ok. I can get lost in his infectious laugh when I share stories of him and for a moment trick myself into believing that he is at work or home but I will never again share his day with him. I can relive our mother and son moments that only he and I shared while I hug his pillow close to me but I will never get to tell him how proud I am of him and how beautiful he is while hugging him close to me.
Nothing and I mean nothing, can ever take away the trapped pain and screams held in my throat or the emptiness of life without him. My reality is compounded further by the senseless murders that happen every day, and the injustice of them, too many these past 8 years to comprehend. So many victims and survivors are left behind to pick up the pieces and often give up their lives to help others. All the while finding themselves on the outside of life looking in because there is a lack of victim and survivor services for bereaved by murder and manslaughter families.
For the past couple of years, I have struggled to come to terms with the reality of my life. While watching and observing life from behind the scenes I have been working hard to understand my complex trauma. It is not easy moving forward and asking myself how can Josh be with me on this journey while I work towards being the best version of myself, but I will do all that I can to with him by my side.