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GUEST BLOG by Stanley: My world has Shifted

My World Has Shifted



My world has shifted, that’s how it is, and I have less understanding of it than ever. When you lose a child a light goes off and a very different one comes forth - an en-light-enment! I gaze now upon the world for all that it isn’t. I am inside myself staring out at things that once had beauty or meaning. I look in a mirror and see soulless eyes staring back right through me.




My son, my Louis, he is in every thought, in every moment, in every object, in every view, in every sound and in every you.



What happened, how it happened, it haunts me. It plays over and over like a tormenting loop tape. Everything, his final words to me, his fading breaths, how he sat slumped upon his bed as paramedics tried helplessly… how he then just fell over onto his pillow. My panic as I paced around the landing on the phone to his mum as it all unfolded to her over our mobiles. The loud thump that startled me so I ran back to his room to see paramedics pumping hard at his chest. How does a parent live with that? Tell me. I need to know. I told him I would keep us all safe. Here, at home, at least we are all safe here, I’ll make sure of it, is what I promised. But I failed. Our dear Louis. A fit and healthy young man, his life destroyed by a preventable blood clot.


I cannot accept or believe, but it happened. Not with a silent shuffle but with an explosive eruption that, in a fragment of time, shattered reality, tore open all that I believed and perceived and took the life from a young man who was only just beginning to find his way. My son, our dear Louis, deserved to live. He deserved a future, he deserved to fall in love, he deserved to maybe become a father, he deserved to follow his chosen career and interests, he deserved to grow and experience, he deserved to be our son, he deserved to see his little sister grow up and he deserved to be a big brother.


My son, my Louis, he is in every thought, in every moment, in every object, in every view, in every sound and in every you.


It happened and it hacked at my soul with blunt torturous instruments until it was ripped from my flesh. Emptiness fills the void within me and solidifies. There is nothing and the nothing is an incredible weight and all consuming.


How precious his things have become, I wear his hoodie, zipped up tight, his odour, his cologne, it’s fading, but I press my face firm to my arm and take a long slow inhalation through my nose in an attempt to immortalise him. I'm clutching on to his scent.


My son, my Louis, he is in every thought, in every moment, in every object, in every view, in every sound and in every you.


There is rage, but it doesn’t surface, instead, it claws its way deep inside and joins the other guests at the self hate party, all gnawing at what’s left of my decaying mass.


I weep uncontrollably, there is never a convenient time or a convenient place! Loved ones, those remaining within life’s illusion, are of comfort - and not. They are close yet so incredibly distant. I need their company but can despise their presence. I discover, with friends and family, there are some who understand, there are some who provide compassion, there are some who embrace me, there are some that avoid me and there are some that turn their back on me and there are some that now fear me.


I am not the same man, I am not the same father, husband or friend and you are not the same you.


My son, my Louis, he is in every thought, in every moment, in every object, in every view, in every sound and in every you.


Ironic to think I have all this open countryside around me to enjoy yet feel so trapped in the confines of my body wherever I go… dragging it around as it gets heavier and heavier each day. Surviving each torturous day in order to be tortured by the proceeding.


I attempt normal things, but there is no normal, I have no idea what that is. I have no idea what I am. I thought I was an artist but struggle to lay a mark upon the white surface. My love of cross country running has become a chore, forcing my weary body across the landscape. I shed tears to uninterested nature around me.


My son, my Louis, he is in every thought, in every moment, in every object, in every view, in every sound and in every you.


It’s natural, apparently, to blame yourself. It’s ‘normal’, they say. There’s that ‘normal’ again, I hear it a lot. But it isn’t normal, it is my grief and mine alone. It is unique, to me. But yes, I do blame myself. I recall every moment from his childhood searching for that one wrong decision that changed his path.


As I replay what happened over and over I believe in some way, now I know what it was, I can go back in time and save him. I convince my self I can do it, prevent the tragedy. Then reality hits and it hits hard. I want to join him, of course I do. I resent being left behind. No parent has the right to outlive their children.


My young daughter, Louis’ little sister, keeps me going. I am still here because of her but at times I resent her for it. She reminds me constantly of Louis’ youth. It’s painful reliving times in his absence. We should still be making memories.


My son, my Louis, he is in every thought, in every moment, in every object, in every view, in every sound and in every you.


Be patient, Louis, I will come for you.


What happened to Louis was extremely tragic, it was also preventable. Please visit standupforlouis.org and help prevent a further tragedy.


Author: Stanley Greening (Dad) #standupforlouis


When Louis passed, his little sister, Zoe, from my 2nd marriage, was 3 years old, his sister, Robin, from his mum’s 2nd marriage, was 17.


With many thanks to Stanley for sharing his powerful story with us. The Loss Project will continue to support the campaign #standupforlouis


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