I cried the other day for a solid 20 minutes. That hasn’t happened in a long time. And it was with full on sound and facial dramatics. And it was in my car at broad daylight. There is a good reason for this; I had to go to a meeting at the hospice we took Oscar to after he died. We were “lucky” that we were able to give Oscar a peaceful death at home. But afterwards we couldn’t face having him at home until the funeral. This for a multitude of reasons, one of them being that we would have to install coolers in his room (yep, death is not as romantic as you see on film), another being that the kids and us simply needed a “time-out” from the world. So, Ian and I decided we would drive him to the hospice ourselves. Ian drove, and I lay in the back of the car with our dead son holding him and making sure he was safe through the journey. We didn’t really say much on this journey, all I remember is holding Oscar and looking out the window as everything outside passed us by, feeling thankful that no one could see in and wondering what they would think they were seeing if they could. I imagine you would see a mum holding a sick child with dad driving as we had done so many other times to and from hospital – because it really is unimaginable that there we were with the unresponsive body of our 9-year-old child.

I wonder what people today saw when they saw me; a woman crying her eyes out over a heartbreak perhaps? Well, that would be true. But not your usual romantic heartbreak story because that never has and never will apply to me. Not once have I cried over a man – felt anger sometimes, betrayal, sadness but my heart breaking? No. I know that now.

The first time my heart broke was when Oscar was going through his tumour resection. I lay in a hospital bed next to Ian as the Operation took 11hrs and for the first time in my life I admitted that my heart had broken, not only had my heart broken, my whole soul and being broke with it. And after that day it just kept breaking a little bit more. It broke a little every time I saw Oscar in pain, with every new horrible experience he had to deal with, every bit of joy he missed out on and with every physical or emotional pain he had to go through; I just kept breaking. It is a pain that I cannot run from or fix and so I must walk with it. And I do. I keep myself busy working, sorting the house, the kids and seeing friends. But put me in that same car on the last journey I took my son on and I admit complete defeat and I let the pain be unbearable…for a time.

I had 8 normal fantastic years with Oscar full of joy. These years, along with the years with his brothers, were the years my heart flourished untainted by pain, my soul came to rest in the values of family and pain was something connected mostly to a physical aspect. That my child at 8-9 years old should feel a year of such pain, losing the innocence that is such a beautiful privilege of being a kid and never had the chance to recover from it all and find that the world could be ok again with our love – that is a heartbreak you never recover from.