A Little Lament

You’d think that these long lockdowns would be conducive to lots of blog writing, but unfortunately that’s not been the case. And in all honesty I’ve not really felt like it. Let’s face it, it’s been a case of surviving one day to the next and just getting through.

Over these last couple of weeks though, I’ve started to have a few more Carrie Bradshaw moments, which hopefully means that my creative brain’s starting to wake up a bit.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of lamenting, as I’ve recently been listening to Annie Lennox’s new recording of Dido’s Lament, by Henry Purcell.  I know it might not be everyone’s bag, but I think it’s absolutely stunning, actually I’ll go a step further and say it’s perfect. What could be better than Annie and Purcell? I know my taste is a tad niche, but I really do challenge anyone not to be moved in some way by this piece of music.

Last week I found myself listening to aforesaid  piece in the car, whilst driving ALONE to the supermarket (yes I think it was for wine and chocolate). As I drove through our lovely high street that is usually buzzing with its pubs and restaurants, the dark and quietness struck me. It was like something out of a film, with Dido’s  Lament being the perfect soundtrack. For the past year, we’ve all known we’ve been living through a nightmare, a pandemic that our children’s children will learn about in their History lessons, but we’ve just got on with it. We’ve all had our part to play, we’ve had to make sacrifices, work harder, some more than others, but everyone has had their world torn apart, to some extent.

We’ve had to do the whole ‘getting on with it/it is what it is (hate that)/#positive vibes/we can do this’ thing. Because that’s how you get through hard times. Or is it? I’ve been thinking that a good lament is in fact a healthy thing to do. To actually feel sad and acknowledge that this really is tough going. It was on that drive, with the darkness and the music that it struck me. This is not ‘the new normal’, this is horrific, so many people have died, so many people are lonely and terrified and are emotionally damaged beyond repair by this virus.  And that is so tragic. And it’s ok to feel sad and angry about it.

It made me think of my experience as a Special Needs Mum. I generally go about my life in warrior mode, fighting for my son’s rights, trying to make life easier for him, campaigning for the cause as much as I can. Putting up the impression that I’m strong and can cope with anything thrown in my way. But that’s not healthy, or normal, or sustainable.  I’ve grown to acknowledge what I call my ‘slap in the face moments’.

These happen when I’m going about my daily business and something happens, out of the blue to remind me of the tragedy of my son’s condition. And it feels as physical as a (hard) slap in the face. Like the other week when a local FE College sent him a prospectus through the post for their A Level/BTEC Courses (sort your data out please). Or his mainstream peers applying for their Provisional Driving Licenses. Or the horrendous news articles about people with Learning Disabilities being given DNR orders whilst in hospital with Covid. Or the little daily reminders of just how vulnerable and precious our boy is.

Most of the time when I’ve had a SITF moment, I tend to suck it up and get on with my day, but I now acknowledge that this actually quite damaging. I used to think that if I was sad about his condition it meant that I wasn’t being loyal to him, or not accepting him in some way, but that’s obviously not true. It is OK to feel sad sometimes, to have a good old lament.

As we fight our way towards the end of these awful times, with their tragedy, sadness and restrictions, I do think it’s good to say that we’re struggling, it’s been tough and I feel insert expletive angry about it. I think once we’ve let all this out, we’re ready and waiting to let the positivity in ❤

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