return

I have taken a bit of a break from writing over the past few weeks. It was needed. I found myself in a negative spiral of self-pity and I didn’t want to use this platform to put those feelings in print. I needed some time to grieve privately whilst still relying on the support of close friends and family.

That’s not to say everything is ok now. This journey of grief is long, unpredictable, and quite frankly, exhausting. We have some testing months ahead of us with Christmas, Eddie’s birthday and his anniversary all fast approaching. We are terrified of facing these firsts without him.

Tragically, we have no choice.

Despite this, there is no doubt we are learning more coping mechanisms, to make our lives more manageable. We can wear our masks of normalcy with much more ease these days. Only those closest to us know that on the inside, we are desperately sad and our hearts are still broken.

The coping mechanisms we have learnt are like shields for our armoury. They protect us. But sometimes grief is powerful and knocks us down most unexpectedly. And when we fall down, our hope comes tumbling down with us. So we pick ourselves up. Because if we don’t have hope, what do we have?

In stark contrast to our grief, last week was quite a big achievement for our charity, Teddy’s Wish. We launched the website with the help and support of some truly amazing people. We also announced 3 fundraising projects we have been able to fund, which would not have been possible if it weren’t for the incredible generosity of others.

We hope these funds will go some way to help try and answer those recurring questions of how and why tragedies like ours can occur. We have to find answers so in time, there will be no more grieving parents.The charity has been set up because of Eddie but it is also for Eddie. We want to keep his memory alive. And more than that, we hope we will always make him proud of his mummy and daddy.

(our website can be seen here: http://www.teddyswish.org)


pause

There is so much to write but I don’t have the heart at the moment to express myself in print. I have therefore decided to temporarily remove myself from writing for a little while. Every time we hope for something good to happen, life seems to throw another obstacle our way. It’s testing, it’s trying and it’s becoming too hard for our broken hearts to handle.

I also worry if I continue to complain about the challenges we face, then our life will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So for now, I am going to put my blog on pause for a few weeks and hope when I return, I write with better (and more hopeful) news.


back to work

I am back at work. Back in an environment where I can temporarily remove myself from my grief and switch in to work mode. Like an actor, I know my script well and I can perform. My mask is firmly on and has little space for manoeuvre. 

I am working part-time for my sister’s company and I feel fortunate to be in an emotionally comfortable environment. But the biggest upside is being surrounded by adults. No kids. No babies. No danger of me bumping into buggies. It’s actually quite refreshing.

The rest of my time will be dedicated to our charity, Teddy’s Wish. The charity is where Chris and I feel most in balance as it allows us to move forward and grieve at the same time.

But there is still a long journey ahead of us, as we tentatively take each day at a time. Slowly we put one foot in front of the other. And at the forefront of our mind, is our darling baby boy. With us every step of the way.


reminiscing

Something I have noticed recently:  I am most comfortable when talking with friends about the past and our shared experiences. In fact, I seem to spend most of my time talking about the past as an attempt to re-live good times. As the future is full of so much uncertainty and the present is so painful, reminiscing about the past is where I feel most at ease.

Of course, Chris and I remain hopeful. But the past is certain. It happened. And sadly, I was a happier person way back when…


a light extinguished

In an earlier blog post of mine, I wrote about connecting with other bereaved parents. All bereaved parents speak of an elite club we are now part of. Not through choice.

I met another bereaved mother a few weeks ago. I immediately connected with her without consciously knowing that she, too, had lost her son to SIDS. We discovered our shared loss later on, via email. It’s uncanny how grief unwittingly draws you to people.

In her email, she said “one can always spot a parent that has gone through the death of their child a mile off…  there always seems to be a light out in our eyes”

So sad. So true. But maybe one day, that light will be re-ignited.


here, not there

We haven’t visited Eddie’s grave since his funeral. Visiting a cemetery implies that our darling baby boy is there, away from his mummy and daddy. It’s too hard to fathom. His shell may be there but I believe his soul and spirit is here. With me. With Chris.

Over the past 6 months I have dipped in and out of bereavement books, read and re-read beautiful poetry and prose. They have become a companion on my journey of grief.

And so today, as I think about the reasons why I choose not to visit Eddie’s grave, I refer to a poem written by Mary Frye.

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die!

Mary Frye (1932)


dates

My therapist told me that significant events and dates are especially tough and painful for the bereaved. A birthday or an anniversary intensifies the pain and reinforces your loss.

My first experience of a significant date was yesterday. My birthday. It wasn’t an event associated directly with Eddie but it painfully reminded me that he should have been here with me. It also reminded me that this time last year, I was happily celebrating my birthday with friends and my big bump. Blissfully unaware of what was yet to come.

Birthdays are meant to be happy celebrations. This one was not.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 102 other followers

%d bloggers like this: