I don’t know how you do it!

Keeping going when there's no other option.

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1 week into a sleeping by my husbands bedside in hospital.

I have been where those that speak to me right now, are. I have been the person listening to a tale of woe, a sad story, a family tragedy or a bereavement.

Listening to something that is way beyond what I can comprehend and feeling heart broken for the person and yet secretly relieved that it wasn’t me.

Perhaps I’ve taken a moment to walk in their shoes and imagined how I would cope if it was me and then watched myself crumble under the pressure.

You see right now my life is that ‘sad story’, it is the tale that people around me regale  their friends with and talk of their sympathy.

My husband has a grade 4 PNET tumour and a month ago was told there was no other options for treatment. 

Suddenly I have been slung into a world of palliative care nurses, carers, district nurses, talks of hospice stays and having to care for my husband throughout the day.

In the last month I have had to break my daughters hearts by telling them that eventually Daddy will die, whilst holding their sobbing bodies in my arms, as they shook and wailed.

I have suddenly become that headline in a magazine that you turn away from, because it’s so unfair and just so sad.

People have no idea what to say and some avoid talking at all, but the most common thing I hear is; “I don’t know how you do it, Id have given up, I couldn’t cope.”

The answer to that? I don’t have a choice In the situation me and my beautiful family find ourselves in and no we didn’t ask for it and yes if we could have it gone we would, but it’s here and we have no real choice other than to keep going.

Now I guess my resilience is stronger than some, I have a relentless optimism for life and it’s something I teach my daughters too.

 We know this is tough, no point fighting the pain or the injustice, it’s awful but resisting would cause us more pain.

Instead we tackle it head on, we look the tragedy squarely in its ugly face and we say; ” we see you, we acknowledge you, but we will not be defined by you” and we continue to live our lives.

Is it hard? Yes!

Do we cry? Tons!

Are there days when we feel consumed by it all? Hell yeah!

But then we look at all we have, the love, the support, all that we are learning from this horrible experience and we enjoy life too.

The next time you meet some one going through some of life’s ‘tough stuff’ don’t tell them “you don’t know how they are coping!” because to be honest, neither do they. Just be there for them, be loving and direct and sometimes say nothing at all, just smile.

We will ALL go through tough times, some big, some small and we can all in some small part help others through theirs.

Thank you to everyone who is supporting me through mine.

Holly x

@hollymatthews 

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