For the first time in three days I’m sitting calmly. The sea is a deep green outside my window and the wisteria has bloomed into sprays of white and lavender. The sun is behind a cloud, but it’s there.
I can feel it.
And my heart has quietened now from a roaring pulse to a gentle thud. My mind has stopped racing and I’ve slept.
It’s Friday and the week has passed in a blur of doctors, clinicians tears and grief. Afterwards came the flowers, the chocolate, the wine.
My friends know me well!
The hugs and the food shopping – nothing says practical support more than groceries. Kiwis are so practical like that. I love it and I’m really grateful.
And the messages! Oh the messages of love and support for me, for my Englishman and our family. We’ve had messages of love from England, Scotland, South Africa, Jerusalem, Australia and Peru. Our friends are far and wide, but near.
God bless the Internet.
So how are we?
I’m not sure. I’m hoping to visit today. I know at least that he is safe and in good hands, and on the road to recovery. I know he’s angry with me for being so open and honest about our problems. He’s angry with me for writing this, for telling that, for being truthful. But I believe that he deserves a better life, not one of shame and fear.
I’m not ashamed of him, my strong loving man. He’s fought so much in private, it’s time now that someone else help him with the fight. If he had a broken aorta or a broken leg no one would blink an eye. But my Jack fell down and broke his crown. And this Jill will come tumbling after him.
Even if he’s mightily pissed off to see me.
We’re OK at home. We can even find the moments of mirth in the chaos of the past three days. I came home from the hospital distressed and panicked and had to go out and do the mundane task of helping Miss Fliss with her paper round. When we got home I realised that I’d locked us out.
My girls and I got our Super Woman Undies out and broke in. (Note to any would-be burglars out there, we fixed the issue and are secure once more!) Go girls!
I realised after a dinner of garlic that my Englishman had the toothpaste with him so I spent the night fending off Warlocks with poisoned breath.
Despite crisis the dog still needs cajoling to take her pill, the cats need attention and to bicker and play, and we still need to prepare meals, wash and sleep.
Lots of people have asked what they can do to help. There’s two things really. The first is practical support. The second is a little more esoteric. The second thing is this – please remember compassion.
My Jack fell down and broke his crown, it’s not his fault! He’s unwell, he’s seeking treatment, he will recover. Stop it with the embarrassment and shame. Let’s start talking about mental health and keeping it real, and showing love and compassion for those who suffer and their families. It’s not just Stephen Fry and John Kirwan who suffer and deserve respect, everyday people suffer every day.
I’m almost certain that you will know someone in your family or in your circle of friends who have had struggles with their ‘broken crowns’ too. Question is, can you be their Jill?