The Trouble Is, You Think You Have Time …

… and the truth is, we don’t.

I used to wonder when the last time would be that I’d push my son’s pram, or bathe him, or was allowed into his bedroom without a polite knock first.

The thing, is we don’t know until we look back and realise it was the last time. We just assume everything carries on as before, until it doesn’t.

Which is normal when you’re bringing up a child. We may look back and feel a bit teary, but we look forward to the next stage, the next achievement. There will always be something new to celebrate.

It’s the same with our wider family network: me and my three siblings have all been getting on with our lives, coming together, celebrating milestones and knowing that whatever happened, we were all parents, bringing up our children.

I caught up with my brother in July when he was on a flying visit before heading back home. A glorious, joyous conversation filled with so many plans for the future – my University studies, his desire to start a blog and network to share everything he had learned over the years; his spiritualism, meditation and mindfulness. The classes he taught and had brought kindness and understanding to so many people. We drank a lot of coffee, laughed until I cried and I was secure in the knowledge that he was happy and fulfilled.

He was beaming from ear to ear and I can confidently say I have never seen him so happy. We had a long hug before he left and had made plans to meet again very soon.

He died a month later.

Despite his incredible travels, learning and teachings, he finally found peace at home, alone.

So far, I have avoided the pain of his passing. Every time he comes in to my mind, which is almost every minute of every day, I push it away. It is far too raw and painful. However, these last few days have been harsh. I can no longer avoid his passing. I wake up numerous times each night and his absence hits me again and again and again, like a hammer smashing my heart.

He will never visit me again. He will never again do his crazy dance. He will never fill my house with his presence. I will never hear his gentle voice drawing me into conversation.

The last time I saw him, after our hug, he hoisted his ubiquitous backpack onto his shoulder, smiled broadly and headed off down my path.

If. If.If.

If I had only known.

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12 thoughts on “The Trouble Is, You Think You Have Time …

  1. Sue Wright says:

    I’m so very sorry. I can feel your pain so much in your words. It is a devastating and terrible shock. I wish there was something I could say to comfort and to help you but I know there isn’t anything. There just are no words. I am thinking of you and sending a massive hug.


    • stumbling in flats says:

      Hi Sue, thank you so much for your kind words, they mean an awful lot to me through this terrible time.

      • Sue Wright says:

        Lots of love xxxx

        • stumbling in flats says:

          Thank you so much. Since my blog started back in 2012, you have all seen me through so much. I think this is the biggest. XX

          • Sue Wright says:

            Yes I think it is too. I am glad (probably completely the wrong word to use) that you are able to tell us about your grief. It is just so very painful a pain you can’t even describe it just hurts so much.


          • stumbling in flats says:

            I really did hesitate to begin with, but I think I owe it to Matt to talk about him, rejoice the time I had with him and mourn him.
            This blog has been a lifeline and I always committed to writing about life in all it’s variations. This is the latest and it’s brutal. But knowing I have you all behind me is wonderful as grief is so very, very lonely. Bxx

  2. John Wildy says:

    I never know what to say when somebody loses somebody close to them, most of us have lost somebody close Your grief is so deep and personal. So I dont know what you are feeling, but I do feel so sad for you, I just hope your pain will ease on time and you can smile for the life your brother had. X

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I’m the same – it’s so hard to say the right thing at the right time, and I really do thank you for your comment.
      It is all so unexpected it just feels surreal, that someone so utterly vibrant is no longer with us, inspiring people. He is so mourned, by so many people. XX

  3. There are no words. Simply sending hugs.

  4. Jenny Caddiick says:

    Sending you a huge hug . So sorry for your pain and your loss but know that through being brave and sharing it, you have done your brother’s life and memory proud . Xxx

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