Shine brightly our little bubba.
Mummy and daddy love you very much x
A friend said to me the other day “you must be really looking forward to 2014 coming to an end”.
Yes and no. 2014 gave us Eddie. He was, and will remain, the most precious gift we have ever received. Then 2014 cruelly stole him from us. It has undoubtedly been the best and worst year of our lives.
Today, as I was about to start writing, a post came up in my news feed by another bereaved mother. What follows, pretty much sums up how Chris and I are feeling about entering a new year and leaving 2014 behind:
“If you are moving into a new year without your darling baby in your arms, be gentle with yourself. It is yet another milestone on a long list of milestones. I was surprised that my first New Year without Xavier brought with it the same depth of emotion and confusion as Christmas. I had not expected it to affect me so deeply. That first Christmas felt empty without him. The first New Years felt like moving on without him.
If you are supporting a friend who has lost a loved one in 2014, please don’t assume that they are happy to move into a New Year with all its promise of new life and healing. When you have lost someone dear, you hold to all that reminds you of them. You hold to things that surprise you. And no matter how devastating the events of the year may appear to you, it will also hold precious, precious memories that will be desperately clung to forever.
Time is a great healer, but it is also a thief – it dulls the pains and the memories in equal measure. There is grief in that too”
The full post can be read here : http://chasinghissunshine.com/2014/12/31/what-new-year-means-when-your-child-has-died/
Goodbye 2014. You have left an indelible mark in our lives.
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)
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.
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.
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…
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.