Many thanks for your reply. Even after 18 years the pain has not and will not ever go away, you just become better able to cope and it’s easier to put on your “public face” we become excellent actors for the benefit of those who just don’t/want to understand because they have never “worn our shoes”. Even my dear Mother (now deceased) mentioned that I wasn’t the same person, that I had changed, of course ‘d changed, I had no choice, my whole world tilted sideways, and nothing would ever be the same.
My daughter is now married with a 9 year-old daughter (Niamh Keara), and she has made certain that though Niamh never saw her Uncle Justin she knows everything about him, she even has a photograph of him on her bedside table, she says he watches over her and keeps her safe, and she’s so very like him, not in looks, but her outlook on life.
I still light a candle for Justin every night, it’ my way of keeping reasonably normal, others would probably think I’m insane, but I just don’t care.
The bereaved Mother you mention is so very right, and the hardest times are Birthdays and Anniversaries, you seem to spiral into a very dark place, my daughter calls these “Bad Justin day”.
Hugs back to you and your lovely Joel.