For some reason I can’t get the song, ‘friends will be friends’ by Queen out of my head today. Totally random, I’m not even a Queen fan. But Chris is, and according to him, it was one of their worst songs.
But I think there is something quite apt about it as my mind wanders to friends who are travelling on this journey with us. Not on the same train as us, but on parallel tracks.
Grieving is a solitary process and as much as they try, our friends and family are unable to take away our excruciating pain. But the friends who are able to provide some sense of normalcy in our upside down world; the ones who are able to provide some light in our darkness and have the ability to make us laugh, even for just a moment, I thank you. The friends who just listen, or who text and call without expecting a response, who don’t give up on us, thank you all for just being there. Wholeheaterdly.
“When you’re through with life and all hope is lost,
Hold out your hand cos friends will be friends right till the end’
I am reading so many books at the moment on grief, I could open a grief library. Literally. My book shelves are full of them. Amongst the plethora of pages and quotes, some quotes stick and resonate more than others. The quote below by Elizabeth Jennings is spot on. I know the pain of losing Eddie will never go away. Time may pass but like a half-stitched scar, I will never truly heal.
Time does not heal
It makes a half-stitched scar
That can be broken and you feel
Grief as total as in its first hour
It’s 10 weeks today since we lost Eddie. We’re soon going to be grieving longer than when Eddie was alive and that’s a scary thought. I hate the fact that time moves forward even though it has stood still for us. And I hate the fact that every day and week that goes past, takes me further away from my baby boy. I have said this before, I still want to do things for Eddie, to feel like I can still be a mummy to him.
So I finally got round to writing to Glenda Jackson, MP for Camden today to complain about the way Eddie’s case was handled by the coroners office. Through Eddie’s loss, I hope we can help to make some positive change so other parents won’t have to go through the same ordeal that we have.
In better news, we have planted a tree for Eddie. It’s a Royal Star Magnolia kindly bought for us from my wonderful mother-in-law and it’s perfect. It will bloom around late March- April with showy, star shaped, fragrant white flowers symbolising Eddie’s purity. It will flourish and grow stronger each year and whilst Eddie is physically no longer with us, the life of the tree will keep his memory alive…
It will be his everlasting legacy.
I have always quite fancied the idea of sitting in cafes all day long, laptop in tow, sipping on mocha crappacinos and writing a bestseller novel. I also like the idea of taking a break every once in a while to people watch and watch the world go by.
Whilst waiting for my sister, I pretend to be that person but my novel is a tragedy. A tragedy about my life. And I wonder what other people are thinking I am writing about as I tap away at my keyboard. They have absolutely no idea.
One of the things I have in abundance at the moment is time. I have never had this much free time in my life. Ever. It’s something that I always complained about not having enough of. I never thought I had enough time before we had Eddie and I certainly never had any time after we had Eddie. Never enough ‘me’ time. But now I’ve got it, I don’t want it. And what I want the most, I can’t have.
So I find myself in a state of limbo. Unable to be a mum and not mentally ready to go back to work. I have so much free time on my hands I simply don’t know what to do. It’s free time for the wrong reasons. Right now, I’m meant to be a busy mum, living my life around Eddie’s life. I should be thinking about his next feed, his next sleep, baby classes, walking and talking with other mummy friends. I should be laughing with my NCT friends about why our babies are not sleeping through the night, when are they moving on to solids and should we or shouldn’t we be following Gina Nazi Ford.
But instead I sit here, on my own, watching the world go by. And dream of what I had and what could have been.
This is the year of firsts. The first time we have to do something is inevitably the most difficult and each situation we find ourselves in brings its own unique triggers. The first time I go somewhere or do something that I used to do with Eddie hits me hard. Going to the park, a local cafe, or a friends house reminds me that Eddie’s not here and I’m not meant to be there without him.
Going out for dinner for the first time with friends throws up different emotions. Trying to have somewhat normal conversations and not allowing my mind to drift to Eddie is a toilsome chore. Sitting at a dinner table, speaking about things that I have absolutely no interest in, putting on a brave face and forcing a smile. Having to suffer my grief in silence. Bumping into people we know, meeting people we don’t know. Dealing with the awkward silences when I tell someone what has happened; I know it’s just as difficult for them as it is for me. And I have to brace myself that however strong I want to be, sometimes the tears just flow when you don’t want them to. Or when its least expected.
Silly as it sounds, the first time doing anything that resembles something normal, just serves to remind me that I am trying so hard to adapt to this new life we have been catapulted into. The day to day events we took for granted, that required no effort, have become a daily struggle. And it’s exhausting.
I hate days that exist because of commercial opportunism. Days that dictate how you should behave and feel because someone, somewhere, told you so. I have always hated valentines day for that reason. I hated it when I was single as it highlighted that I didn’t have a boyfriend and I hated it when I had a boyfriend as it felt fake and contrived. Why did we have to celebrate love on that particular day? It was an irritating excuse for restaurants and florists to unnecessarily hike up their prices. Bah humbug.
And now I hate mothers day and fathers day for those reasons. Why should one day honour parents? Every day was mothers day and fathers day for us. Every day was a celebration that we were parents to our darling boy, not one isolated day in the calendar year.
Just because it’s fathers day today doesn’t make our grief any worse, it’s just another reminder that Eddie should be here. Another reminder that Chris was the best daddy in the world. Ever.