On the way home from work there was drivel on every radio station so whilst surfing the stations I happened across a discussion on Radio 4 about the so called ‘Happiness Machine’. I joined the discussion halfway through so missed why they were talking about this subject but as I tuned in somebody asked the question, do you need to have experienced a sadness to appreciate happiness?
This got me to thinking about my life, I have experienced the ultimate sadness in the loss of a child, am I now happy as a result of this awful experience? Well, I think the answer may well be yes! Don’t get me wrong, before Ellis died I was a happy person, I had a great life, lovely job and wonderful friends but since his death I have many more friends, a more hectic life, I am fitter and to be honest I have a more fulfilled life. It may be that I would have these things if Ellis had lived, who knows but it certainly is an interesting thought!
I miss Ellis every day, I will never ever forget him, his death changed me forever. I live more for today; I make sure that as a family we never go to sleep on an argument. You learn this the hard way when your child dies during the night. I am scared that if I have a disagreement with Alex before bed that when I go in to wake him and make up with him in the morning that he would be dead. I know this is an irrational fear but it is a real fear to me nonetheless.
Fundraising and running has opened new doors for experiences and new people that I may never have had. Standing on the 4th Plinth in Trafalgar Square telling my story is something I would have been unlikely to have done before. Sad as it seems, I do think you need to have experienced sadness before you can truly be grateful for what you have and be happy.