Doesn’t the title tell it all though?
Life can be tough, not many people are ever prepared for the worst things that can happen. These are often the times when we will question everything in and about humanity
I suppose the purpose of my post today is to delve into a little of how perhaps we can find our way through some of the harder times.
We could take the position of how the leaking faucet can wear away a rock or a stone and believe it to be how life may continuously grind away at ourselves too, constantly.
I much prefer to see things from the opposite angle of view about the same way in which water can wear away a stone and bore holes in rock. The position or viewooint being that, when we continue to dig deep and hold ourselves together, we can get through the toughest of times.
Ah yes, to all of you who have had some struggles in your lifetime, yes, you know it is much easier to say it now, after the fact. This is true.
I guess to be honest about my own tough times as I experienced them, I never thought the harsh pain inside of myself would ever go away. I could not take any person’s advice or listen to encouragement as I was emotionally destroyed.
Harsh words even to write now today, thinking back on how hard it has been.
Though my experiences have been quite real and very much educational to myself on many levels, I am now writing an article to encourage all who may be going through some difficult times. Imagine me who would have never taken advice or could not escape my pains to afford any time to listen to encouragement, I write today for those who may find themselves “struggling” to cope with the roughness and harshness that life can bring our way from time to time.
Now that I have covered the “WHY” I am writing this piece today, perhaps I can tell you some of the “HOW”.
In 2011, imagine! Ten fricking years ago this December. My first born son Darra died of a mystery. The official term given has been a possible anomaly of the heart resulting in what is called “Sudden death” or Sudeen Adult death syndrome (SADS) or Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndrome. Either way or what one wishes to call it, the result was at 3 weeks into his 15th year of life, he never woke up from sleep one Monday morning. He passed away suddenly at some point during the night in his sleep.
Quite the shocker.
Darra was a very fit young man and there had never been any reason to consider any health issues with him as he could easily have been referred to as “healthy as a horse”.
At the time I was an absent father. I lived in another country and for some years had done all I could to return to Ireland and spend some time with my son as often as possible. Our relationship was mostly through technology. When we spent time together it was always good fun and our chats on the phone were becoming more adult like and not the “speaking to a child” anymore.
My dreams were filled with ideas of how his life would be much more easier and fun filled when he grows up. These dreams were born in 1996 when he was.
I was waiting for him to be old enough to spend time with me in foreign lands and enjoy some of the great highs that life has to offer us.
Many years of hard work and many years of dreams all came crashing down that day in December 2011 when my brother broke the news of his death to me over a phone call.
I never thought a phone call could change my life so much.
I then in an emotional turmoil set off to find a plane journey that could get me to his side as quick as possible. It is like some panic instinctive thing to want to be there immediately. I arrived to the wake, my beautiful baby boy (who was now much larger than a baby anymore) lay in a coffin in the front room of his home where he lived with his mom, stepfather and brother and sister.
That right their folks is something else.
Can any piece of that situation be considered good?
Was the phone call to learn of Darra’s death any worse than walking in to his home to his wake?
Did 17 hours of planes and airports make it any harder or easier?
I honestly say to you “who fucking knows!”
I write as much for those of you who understand what these pains may be like as I do for myself. The hurt and devastation is not something that goes away the next day and here I am almost 10 full years later with some very strong feelings of grief and loss and lost sometimes.
This situation has been rough in my life, this situation has been quite tough in my life.
I write it out to give you some insight that I am not a pop up over night guy with some words of wisdom for you.
I also write it out to remind myself of my own motivations.
December 2011 changed my life. The experience of having my son in a coffin that day changed how my emotional pain threshold operated and a deeper part of me was activated or opened up to me.
To say, that as I held the straps and lowered Darra inside his coffin into his grave was the toughest thing I had ever had to do is an understatement.
A little harsh reality of life. Sometimes the people we love die. Many of us have buried our mothers or fathers, yes I do understand.
For those of us who have buried our child, we cannot compare and many times find it very hard to explain.
A little earlier in my own life I had overcome the grips of drug addiction through some very hard work on myself and by being surrounded by some very wonderful people. I thought that to give up alcohol and never take any drugs again at the age of 18 was the hardest thing to do. I was a little different to my peers for these reasons and while most were beginning to experiment with alcohol, never mind drugs. I was living a sober drug free life.
Now admittedly, I am aware that the grip of drug addiction and getting clean is one hell of a struggle and it takes massive amounts out of oneself. The day I got that phone call, that made all those former inner battles and the changes in my life, all were very much dwarfed in their level of difficult and the extent of emotional pain.
I had to pick up the pieces somehow and find a way to live again in the world. I had to overcome the trauma of Darra’s death. It was upon me to get on with life.
It was very difficult that year 2012. Nothing made sense anymore.
On a brighter note in 2013 I got to welcome my second son into the world and though a mixed bag of emotions, one side felt guilty that I could not share this new love with Darra and the other was over joyous to hold Patrick’s little hand and whisper to him that he has a big brother who is gonna watch out for him.
I was nervous, so nervous that some nights I would wake up and check on Patrick to make sure he was still breathing while he slept in his cot. PTSD is a bit of bitch of a thing to shake loose from, I can testify to that for sure.
Just like back in treatment in my teenage years I had been handed a new opportunity, a new light in life to focus upon and aim higher. Although yes, I carried a heavy heart by that time which also brought into my life a deeper kind of love for Patrick. That day back in 2011 as we buried Darra the expanse of emotional pains had been stretched so deep or so wide that the opposite end had a new found set of happy emotions too. The love for Patrick was different along with a ton of nervousness.
In 2014 during a mini vacation weekend, Patrick awoke very early and somehow made his way to the swimming pool area and fell in. I awoke on the morning of July 6th 2014 to the belows of his mom and came running to help drag him from the pool and perform mouth to mouth resuscitation on him.
A hurried ambulance ride to the emergency room and an all around panic situation was happening.
Patrick died that day.
When the emergency room had cleared of doctors and nurses and some time had passed with me and Patrick’s mom sobbing by his side, a nurse came and explained it was time to bring Patrick to the hospital morgue.
Wrapped in a light blanket I picked him up and I walked behind the nurse through the corridors. Patrick in my arms and his mom by my side. His face so beautiful, his hair and his skin so beautiful. One would never know that by his look that my second son Patrick had just died from drowning.
That walk from ER to the morgue that morning was the toughest thing I have ever had to do to date. No over dramatisation, no extra spin. That is a simple as it was. Me, Patrick and his mom all walking behind a nurse through walkways and corridors of a hospital to lay him on a steel trolley.
That is part of where I am coming from today, this is part of my story.
So, get to the point already! Right?
I then have had to reinvent myself and my life a number of times through many hardships. I have learned many things through these traumas.
The one I wish to share with you today is quite simple.
It is not strength to live through these traumas that have entered my life. It is the persistence just like the water.
We do not give up. We continue on and we drive through our obstacles. The obstacles that may present themselves by no making of our own. We dig inside of ourselves and we acknowledge the terrible trauma and feelings and we get right back up and keep on going.
How or why you may ask.
I am here today knowing that my two children have given me reason to share with you my experiences, share with you the information to give you cause to keep on going.
I have very deep motivation to bring to you and have many experiences to draw upon to let you know that when I tell you that we can overcome and we can live to enjoy the beauty life has to offer.
Once upon a time I thought life was over. Today I write this blog post as a reminder to me and as reassurance to you that there are great things to be enjoyed in this life of ours. I am not going to continue writing as to try and bullshit you in any way. Life is totally worth living.
Yes it has it’s moments and can be the toughest hardest thing you can ever imagine to have to do.
Here I am, a writer now who has released books and writes blogs and posts them all over the internet for you to read. The guy who wanted to curl up and die on more than one occasion.
I write today to tell you that no matter what, no matter how hard those rocks are, the water can still wear them away. The toughness of life and all that life throws at you can be worn down too.
Aidan Mc Nally has seen the proof of being persistent in life, I know what real pain is and I am here telling that you will be okay. I am writing to encourage you to keep on fighting, keep on changing.
I can boast today to you that I have won an international award for one of my books, yes I was the winner.
I can boast to you that my first memoir has sold in over 20 countries around the world.
I also wish to share with you that I have the most amazing beautiful 5 year old daughter Alana.
Take heed of the words I speak.
You will be okay.
Life is beautiful.
Love and joy and beauty will come back around.
The harshness and toughness are only temporary.
Be like the water, do not look for strength, be persistent.
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(if any piece or today’s blog has touched you or adversely affected you please do reach out)
I appreciate all you can do to further my own writing career. Your share of my post or “tell a friend” does so much more for me than you can imagine.
Thank you and have a great week, knowing that you are going to be okay.