September sees the start of Childhood Cancer Month – this wasn’t even something I was aware of until a couple of years ago. September also sees the start of the new school term and the end of the school holidays, and this summer has been no different to us as a family – we have gone to be with relatives as we usually do and the kids have loved playing with their cousins.
For Ian, Lucas, Sebastian and I, Oscar is missing every day in everything we do. But Oscar was never physically present with our wider family every day as we live so far apart; so although he was a large presence in all of our lives, I feel (and hope) like there is a little respite for them because life is able to go on a little bit more easily. The holidays make that difficult for our wider family as there will always be one missing.
I guess I am trying to understand the wider impact Oscar’s death has had. It is not only us still grieving but our families, and much more so when we “hit them” with his absence. Grandparents, uncles, aunties, cousins, great grandparents…
I spoke with my 92 year old grandmother a number of times over the holidays – she is getting old and her memory is fading, so she asks the same things over and over again. She asks about my three children, their ages, their likes etc. Again I explain that Oscar is dead. She then asks me how it happened and again I explain about his brain tumour, treatment and relapse. Her response is always the same; how can you go through this Marie, how could this happen, how are the boys dealing with it?
After one of these conversations, the only thing I could think about was that I might have another 50 years to ask myself those same questions again and again and again.
The impact of childhood cancer is devastating on every level. Please join us in going Gold for Childhood Cancer in September. Raising awareness of the symptoms of this disease and funding more research is crucial.