Glastonbury Festival is a place like no other, sunny or muddy! I heard people talk of ‘the magic of Glastonbury’ but only understood this when I got there. I first took Ellen to Glastonbury Festival on 23 June 2010. It was her 16th birthday, the last day of her GCSE’S. We had the best time! A magical week, a game changer. She was excited beyond belief!
I remember wanting to go there when I was pregnant with Ellen. The Levellers played that year who were to become one of Ellen’s favourite bands. I lived in Saltaire and was good friends with my lovely neighbour Kirsten one door down. She went and when she returned home my beautiful summer solstice baby had been born. I always called her that because of the date she was due. In fact she was two days late. My amazing girl. I remember the full moon shining as I drove myself to hospital in labour (yes I actually did and laughed to myself about the scenario of getting stopped by the police for speeding……).
In 2011 we dragged Roger there with great excitement. The fear on his face was intense! A festival? Are you crazy? Apparently not because he got the bug, who can resist a magical few days in some fields. Anything goes. It is amazing! There is something for everyone and I would be super surprised at anyone going there who came back hating it. We took a Barbie doll armed with a chainsaw in protest of Mattel destroying the rainforests for their packaging. We put it on a giant chair and watched the reactions from people. It made them think and it was fun! Eventually a little girl could cope no more about leaving it there and she walked away with the doll. This made us all smile, she could have been Ellen a few years back from then. For Ellen’s 17‘th birthday she couldn’t believe that we brought wrapped up presents, fresh food and even a birthday cake to a festival in a field. She was in her hippy heaven.
in 2013 we went again. Ellen was 30 weeks pregnant. She coped with sleeping in a tent and all that came with a festival. The Rolling Stones played and I got her safely back to our tents before the huge surge of the crowd. She insisted that her lovely baby bump was painted with face paints and she sang and danced her way around the festival as if she had come home. She bought her baby boy gifts for her favourite place and she was happy. She even came back to camp with us and gave the ‘Shangrila’ a miss. Her friend on the other hand partied through the night and we laughed about how our ‘Wild Child’ was now going full circle on the child / parent thing and calling us party animals.
Glastonbury festival would be starting this Thursday the 25th June. This is three years since we lost Ellen. Strangely when we think about the Glastonbury moments we shared with her it does not provoke sadness. We will never go to Glastonbury with Ellen again but I will always remember our times there with so much happiness. The connection is strong because we had those amazing times there.
Three long years. Every day is a new day and I fill it with the hope that it will be ok. Sometimes the days are hard. So difficult. Losing your child to suicide is suffocating, crushing, devastating. So much pain.
People try to help by saying something kind and that is always appreciated but …. ‘Time. Does. Not. Heal!’ The pain stays the same. I am trapped on a treadmill of the same feelings every day despite the face that I put on a smile most days and summon all my strength to ‘get on with things’.
‘Please do not be surprised that I have not taken my own life too!’. The people I have around me have been the best. Many of them are Ellen’s friends and I owe so much to them for the way they looked after Ellen and supported her through her darkest times. They have been there for me too and I am so grateful. They have also come together and helped each other. Such beautiful caring lovely humans.
‘Don’t call me strong!’. I had no choice. I was dealt a blow that I never wanted. I want her back every moment of every day. As time goes on it feels as though there is an expectation to ‘get on with things’. To ‘move forward’. Ellen wrote a blog and I truly now understand what she wrote when she said “The most difficult thing about the situation is the pressure to now be well. It could be perceived as a positive thing but also terrifying negative”. I want to be well but the pressure can be huge because people hope that you will feel better. You can function, you can even laugh and smile but the pain refuses to leave.
Glastonbury Festival isn’t happening this year because of Covid-19. There will be so much about it on the tv and radio over the weekend so we will watch Or listen to that instead and be grateful that we can celebrate Ellen at the same time. We will remember with love the magical moments we spent there with our girl and stay up late drinking wine, being wild and dancing. She would expect us to!
Ellen’s 26th Birthday is tomorrow and we will celebrate it for her. My amazing sparkly beautiful girl. I still love her with all my heart. I am excited for the future of her beautiful child who I also adore. We are with him every step of the way and will make sure he knows everything about his amazing mummy. Maybe one day we will share with him the magic of Glastonbury Festival………
Ellen’s Mum. XXX