Monday, 4 August 2014

How I Came to Have this Condition.

It is simple really. Lots of terrible things happened one after another over a period of time.
I did my best to deal with the problems and continue on. I guess at some point it can become just too much to bear. I realize that many others have had terrible things happen to them. I only hope that they find there way to be whole again.

So here is my situation. And again let me assure you I am not the only one. Also my wife and daughter have suffered right along with me. But I put aside my own healing in order to make sure they could get the help they needed before me. That was heroic but not the best decision as I see it now.

 Here we go.

 My son Eric was involved in an accident at a level railway crossing. He was struck by a Via passenger train. He was just about 8 years old at the time. I ran to his side after the accident to help but obviously there was nothing that could be done to save him. What I was seeing was so wrong. That is not right. Then suddenly my mind snapped shut to protect me from going insane. I felt badly that there was nothing to do. I was numb and strangely calm as reality set in.

Then eleven years almost to the day the police came to our door at 11 pm to inform us that our twenty year old daughter Robyn had died in a car accident. Not only her but two of her very close friends had perished as well. This is not supposed to happen. I saw them only two hours ago. I wish I had taken the time to say goodbye. I felt cold comfort that now Robyn would be with Eric whom she loved so dearly and missed so terribly. What a disaster.

  I was loosing track of time now but about five years after Robyn's death Shannon was diagnosed with cancer. A very rare one in her thigh that normally called for the full resection of the limb in question. During one of her radiation treatments the technician brought me to the screen so I could see the tumor. It was ugly. Similar to a sickly bunch of grapes barely hanging onto a twisted and gnarled vine. How do you get all that out. Tendrils and shoots running off in every direction. Oh shit. I can't help get rid of this. All I can do is be with her. I felt useless.

I believe this is the point at which I snapped. I swear I could smell smoke when that last string of sanity let go and my brain lost it's mooring in my skull.

  But with luck the surgeons removed the tumor and she still has a leg to stand on. It was a terrible time. The trips for treatments. Looking around at the other patients. Is this the rest of our lives together? Happily it was not. The cancer is gone. The leg still works, but not like it used to. When we were told the cancer was gone I was happy but could only wonder what was next. Well I got my answer, two rounds of infections that took three weeks to clear up. I was terrified. She was terrified. Hasn't she gone through enough over the years. This is bullshit. I thought of what life would be like without Shannon. I would not be able to go on alone. Thankfully she came through it all.

  Depression was really setting in. I felt numb all the time. I didn't care about anything but Shannon and our only daughter Alex. The world can go to hell and everything with it. I only wish to be with them before my time here ends. Nothing else matters. Right now I hate my life, I hate myself.
I need help but I can't abandon everyone right now. I still feel to duty bound to family, work and friends. Trouble is I was doing a terrible job at it.

That's about it.
Just like that. No one said life is fair. But no one told me it would be so fucking hard.

 I remember that a very long time ago my father said to me, you know just kind of out of the blue, or maybe it was something that happened that I didn't know about and had compelled him to say this.
  "Ken", he said. " What ever happens, it's just not worth killing yourself over it."
  I said, "OK".

  What the fuck brought that up I wondered? Well even if those were the only words he ever spoke to me they would have been enough. My father passed away five years before Eric died. And I never forgot him telling me that while we drove along in the car. I am glad because I never would let you down Dad.

Thanks for reading


  1. Oh Kenny, my heart breaks for you reading this today and remembering all the tragedies you've had to endure...and all the time you were dealing with each, I thought strong are they both, you and Shannon. But strength is something you obviously projected outwards and not necessarily what you guys were feeling. I'm sorry if I took some small comfort in seeing your strength...thinking you guys were fine. How ridiculous a could you be. I'm glad you are writing. Maybe it will help to bring you through to a place where you don't have to shut down and close off anymore. Your Mom and Dad, Robyn and Eric would so want you to be happy. Maybe the way to best honor each of them is to get back to the Ken that is as close to whole as you can be. And always remember to listen to your Dad.
    (((hugs))) Marina

    1. Thanks Marina. Don't be sorry, people want us to be fine. That is why they see us that way. We project strength because we don't want pity or need it. Just understanding, understanding the fact that tragedy hurts. It takes time for one to heal. Some never let themselves heal at all and hang on to all the pain. Only people that have experienced such tragedy can really understand. The world goes on while we struggle for a couple of years to get back in the game. Every time you loose someone a part of you goes with them. You have to reinvent who you are. They are gone, nothing can ever be the same. After a while things don't get better, just different. Then you accept it as the new normal. You never want to let go but you must. Forward is the only direction to go. This is where the strength comes in. Many things must change, even some you don't want too. Change is part of living. You must embrace the change or you will be stuck in the past forever. Afraid and eventually miserable and alone. All of your own doing. I see it happening to other people so I write. Not only to make me understand myself better but also I hope to shake others back into the living.
      I blame myself for loosing Eric. Blame is a very toxic emotion. I am changing what I can in my daily life. It makes me feel great when I can drop what I am doing to help someone out right away instead of waiting until after work. Back when work never had a definite end time. Then blame returns because I couldn't help which leads to can never help ......... cukoo cukoo. That is the root of all my problems. Now I have to take actions to banish blame. I know it sounds crazy but it is. Just have to find ways to work through it. That is why recovering takes such a long time and I am willing to take the time. I must.

    2. Knowledge is key and you know yourself very well Ken. You should be proud of yourself for fighting through...I know you are going to make it through the other side. Changed...but fine.

  2. Beautiful writing Ken. Life is certainly unfair but I know that you and your family have been an inspiration and there for many in our time of need. They say everything happens for a reason....hard to believe at times but I know, and am so thankful, for having met you.

    1. Everything happens for a reason. That is only a truth when you move forward and make something happen like you have. Life is to be lived. If we all knew our future we would never go on. So ignorance is indeed bliss. I am so thankful for having met you and having known your father. You and your sister are my connection back to him and all the fun he and I had together. And your son Ben is beautiful. Congratulations to you and Trevor. You all look so happy. And you should be. You are a great person Sam, never forget that. It makes me smile every time I think of you.
      All the best