So obviously this has been one of the hardest weeks of my life. Hardest and most horrible.
On top of the pain and trauma of losing my Mum and having to make decisions that directly impacts my history and future … I’ve been fucked over by those bastards at HSBC [again] as well as needed an emergency root canal.
But through all the pain and horror I’ve gone through in the last few days, there has been some light.
Of course having my wife, son and closest friends near me has helped enormously.
Part of me wanted to just run away, roll into a little ball and cry and cry and cry … and while they have all encouraged me to grieve openly and proudly, their love, laughter, smiles and – in the case of my son – innocence has helped me see some glimmers of light amongst all the darkness.
Then there’s work.
They’ve been amazing. Everything you want to be true about Wieden+Kennedy is. They are people who care, genuinely care, and their compassion and understanding for what I am going through has been both comforting and breathtaking.
But I want to talk about something else.
A few days ago I wrote about how technology is making death harder for me to compute.
How the constant reminders of my Mum’s presence in my life was both a blessing and a curse.
And I still feel that, I truly do.
But it cannot be denied that technology has offered me something else in some of my darkest days.
Not just in terms of being an outlet for me to express all I am feeling but that it offered me a chance to see how many people cared about me and cared about my Mum.
In all honesty, I’m overwhelmed by the outpouring of support I’ve received over the last 5+ days.
People I know. People I know but have never met. People I don’t know and have never met. It’s been both amazing and unbelievably comforting.
I appreciate death is an awkward subject to discuss because no one can say anything that makes it better and most people are scared of saying something that makes it worse – and that is why I’m so touched by how many people have thrown aside concern and reached out to me in messages, comments and texts.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I have honestly appreciated every single word. Every one of them. Of course I wish you didn’t need to write them but I am overwhelmed with what I have received.
I am aware that as a 44 year old man – and a father to boot – I should be strong to tragedy at this point in my life … able to face adversity with strength and stoicness but I’m not. I’m a weakling.
I have cried rivers of tears and howled in emotional pain over and over again. I have done this both in private and, embarrassingly, in public as well.
I feel totally destroyed and shocked. I still can’t believe this has happened and feel that I’m living in either a dream or some weird parallel universe where on the other side, the other version of me is visiting my mum in hospital who is recuperating well from a successful operation.
It is all too complex and confusing for me to grasp and when you take into account that I need to decide what I’m going to do with my family home – a place where my dads ashes are scattered – the weight of expectation and pressure feels almost overwhelming.
And yet I am – in my own way – getting through things and a big part of that is because of all the love, support and compassion that has been thrown at me.
Frankly I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve it. I know what my Mum did to deserve it, but not me. And yet people’s generosity of support has been amazing and I’m genuinely humbled and feel cared for by it all.
Media likes to present the World as a cold and miserable place. Where selfishness is the norm. They are wrong. The World is full of kind and caring people and I have been fortunate to experience this first hand at a time where I felt my whole World was collapsing around me.
So thank you to you and the people who made the technology that allowed you to reach out me.
Of course it doesn’t take all the pain away, but it stops everything looking so bleak and I can assure you that would be exactly what my Mum would want for me.
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