Facing the challenge of not taking vandalism of your loved one's commemoration personally.
Hi, I am Janet Jones, founder of Happiness Millionaire. I have recently started talking to a rock! This helps navigate the next chapter of my life, the chapter without my 22-year-old son, Murray. Join me with my musings about life, grief and loss with my rock, Sylvia-Rose. To learn why she is called Sylvia-Rose and how and why we met, I invite you to read my first blog - 'If Rocks Could Talk, meet Sylvia-Rose'. You could also register to have these bogs delivered to your email inbox. Check the tab in my bio.
My broken heart needed to talk with Sylvia-Rose on the 8th December 2021
SR - My, you have lost the spring in your step.
Jan - Morning, Sylvia-Rose. Yes. Life just threw another curveball. This is why I tried to get to you yesterday during storm Barra.
SR - Take a seat. Let’s talk. The tide is a long way from coming in so we have time. What happened?
Jan - The last time we spoke I was excited about going to Edinburgh and taking Murray his new plaque.
SR - Yes. How did that go?
- It was a long drive but the sun shone on us and it was lovely to get the biggest hug from my son, Lewis. The gardeners had already made the protective barrier and they attached Murray’s plaque. I bought a yellow-flowered pot in the hope it would make it past Christmas and put blue tinsel around it to represent Dundee Football Club. It is a family thing. I also placed stars and hearts on the tree. It was looking beautiful when I left on Friday afternoon. I wanted to visit him again before I came back to Stranraer and sit with him for a while. I popped over on Sunday afternoon to find everything completely destroyed
SR - Oh, Jan. I am so very sorry. I would give you a hug if I could.
Jan - I don’t know what to do with this. I am struggling to speak with family and friends. I know people want to say the right thing but there is no right thing and no one can understand how this feels.
Jan - It isn’t heartbreak. I know that one. It feels like I have been punched and the wind has been taken out of me. It was his Christmas present. Even that hurts because that isn’t what I want to be buying him. It was my chance to be his mum again. To be needed by him again. My chance to show up for him.
SR - You are right. There is no right thing to say.
- I guess it wasn’t about him needing me but me needing him.
I hated leaving his tree. It felt like I was abandoning him to the bullies. I would have never done that when he was alive. Like all my children, I protected them fiercely. I don’t know what to do with this. I have to remember it is just a tree. Murray isn’t there.
SR - I think first of all you need to take care of yourself. Don’t rush this or push this aside.
Jan - I had just started to look forward to Christmas. He was the first Christmas thing I did.
SR - Give yourself a couple of days. You are right. It is a tree. A tree you have attached meaning to.
Jan - I guess attachment is what is causing the problem?
Jan - What do I do? I can’t help but take this personally. The plaque barely lasted 24 hours. I am guessing it happened on Saturday night. I had pinned too much joy on that action. An action that probably doesn’t mean anything to Murray. It was my expression of love to him. I am starting to doubt. Doubt he is with me. Doubt if I can ever find happiness and joy that will last even a short while. People say ‘be happy’, that is what Murray would want. They have no idea how challenging that is.
SR - You were doing so well with that before this happened.
Jan - Yeah, so much for me not breaking when I got hit by a wave!
SR - Good point. Remember that. Try to reconnect to that feeling you spoke about the other day when you felt brave. The feeling of being brave is still inside you. Find that and stand up to this. When you stand up so do your friends and family.
Jan - That feels like a lot on my shoulders.
SR - I believe in you, Jan. This is a setback. Let’s not allow this to steal the spring in your step. The vandals get more than Murray’s plaque if you lose that.
SR - Stand up now. Imagine the sea is wild like yesterday. Close your eyes and feel a great big wave crash over you but you stand tall as strong. You don’t even bend.
SR - Stand taller. Can you see the wave crashing down on you?
SR - Don’t bend. Don’t let it weaken you. You are stronger than you think and braver than you know. Now breathe it in with strength.
Jan - Thanks Sylvia-Rose. That felt powerful.
SR - Do it again before you leave and anytime you need strength. You’ve got this. I know you do.
Jan - I wish I were as confident.
SR - You will be. You will be, I promise. Now, go and get on with your day. You must be freezing.
Jan - It is a little chilly.
SR - I will see you next time. Just when you feel it is right to come.
- You are my daily exercise
Weather permitting it will probably be tomorrow. I needed this chat. I still find the images so very sad.
SR - Sad they can be. They are sad. It is sad that someone feels such pain and anger in order to do this. Don’t take it personally though. People are dealing with all kinds of things and that makes them do crazy things.
Jan - You are right. I don’t feel my spring back immediately but I will work on it.
- Just take good care of yourself. Remember to place your hand on your heart and feel the healing light and love from Murray and your loved ones. Everyone wants you to find happiness and feel joy again. We are all rooting for you.
- Thank you. That means a lot. I better go. See you soon.