So I'm training to be a homestart volunteer. Inspired by monkey, I want to be able to make a difference to someone who might be in a similar situation to us a few years ago. Homestart are a charity who match families with volunteers who help them in their home once a week. The training is good; thought provoking. At the first session we were asked to introduce oursleves to our neighbour. I did and I told her about Monkey, Pickle & Wotsit. When it was her turn to introduce me to the group, she didn't mention Monkey. I completely understand why she may not have felt comfortable doing so but I now feel a little odd. A bit like I'm denying he was ever here.
So this should be resolved next week. The organiser has asked me to read a passage about how it feels to have a child with special needs. There's a reading about planning to go to Venice but ending up in Holland. I read it a few years ago when we had Monkey. I thought it was good - it describes the sense of loss you might feel but also helps you to realise that Holland's not a bad place; just a different place.
I think I cried when I read it for the first time but after a while I thought yes, I like Holland, but I'd like to go to Venice too. And that's when Pickle came along.
Anyway the point is, I've not read it for a while. I think since before Alex died. So I read it again. Except I wasn't quite prepared for my reaction. You see, I feel a bit like I've been banished from Holland, a place I once loved to be but now I don't belong there. I can't go there. Not in the same way.
Cue quite a lot of tears. Good ones though, necessary ones. Keeps me sane and helps me remember.
The good news? From next week (whilst I may have cried in front of 14 women I barely know) I will at least no longer feel like I am denying Monkey.
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