There is a problem with having spare time for yourself during the week. The only other people who seem to be around are those with children. Wherever I turn, wherever I go, I am accosted by mummies and buggies. Which is no surprise as we chose to move to an area that was family friendly. We wanted to be somewhere close to a park, close to local shops and cafes, and somewhere close to mummy and baby classes where I could take Eddie.
Now when I want to go for a walk and clear my head, I am faced with an obstacle of mothers with children and I desperately try to dodge them.
I learnt an important lesson this week whilst trying to avoid the aforementioned. I must not, under any circumstances, go to brent cross mid week or mid school holidays for that matter – it was an exercise in masochism.
Looking at the alternatives, apart from selling up and buying a flat in the city, my impending return to work has become a more attractive option…
In the early days after Eddie died, I remember feeling strangely in tune with the weather. It oddly made me feel better when it was grey and miserable outside. We then entered one of the hottest summers on record and I felt annoyed. And aggrieved. How dare the sun shine bright when my life was so sad and gloomy!
Over the past couple of weeks, the weather has shifted and taken on an autumnal feel. It’s still August but winter is looming. In my melancholy state, I should be looking forward to the colder months ahead. But I sit here, dreading the change of season. The heavy rain over the weekend, the anticipation of shorter days and longer nights, simply serves to intensify my grief and my sorrow.
Now I long for Summer and some brightness in my life.
In the aftermath of losing Eddie, I have reached out to the community of other bereaved mothers from far and wide. What amazes me the most from reading their blogs, is the sheer emotional rawness we all share in our writing. There are striking similarities in the vocabulary we use, the experiences we have all been through, the daily battle, the never ending questions and those moments of light overshadowed by our tragedy. I feel a virtual bond, despite not knowing who those mothers are.
And there is a sad reassurance when reading those blogs. Their words validate my feelings. They remind me that despite my loneliness, I am not alone.
I feel like I am rowing against the tides in an upstream battle. Once upon a time my life went with the flow. Now it has become a daily row against the current. Sometimes, I have the strength to push on through, but at other times, the tides aggressively push me back to where I started.
It’s a daily struggle and I’m shattered.
Chris feels like he has had an almighty hangover since the bike ride. Before the ride, he felt a sense of purpose and we both got caught up in the emotional dizziness of it all.
We know there is more work to do with the charity but despite this, our lives continue to feel empty and void of purpose. It remains impossibly hard to think of a future when our future is without our darling boy.
The past weekend was particularly difficult. We felt at a loss and not quite sure what to do with ourselves. So we decided to go back to a place that we swore we would never go back to again after an almighty row, 4.5 years ago.
We returned to IKEA.
The process of grief is one that is complex and multifaceted. Like a light switch, I flick from one emotion to the next.
I wrote this post and read it back to myself before hitting the publish button. It was filled with anger and bitterness and I didn’t like it one bit. I then became angry at the person who wrote this and upset at the person I have become. It reminded me that I all I want is my old life back and the old me…
So I deleted it.
When Eddie was here, it was my responsibility to look after him, to mother him. I am still a mother and will always be Eddie’s mother.
But as I look at where I am today, just over 4 months since my beautiful baby boy was tragically taken from me, I wonder if it’s Eddie that now looks after me. I question how I am here, how I got here, and how I am managing to get through the days. Yet somehow, I am still standing.
I know, in part, it is owed to the unwavering support of family and friends. And of course my rock, Chris. But, maybe somewhere, Eddie is watching over me and is giving me the strength and courage to soldier on. And so it reminds me of a quote that I chose for Eddie’s funeral service – something that no parent should ever have to do. It’s by AA Milne and taken from Winnie the Pooh:
“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together…
There is something you must always remember.
You are braver than you believe,
stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart…
I’ll always be with you.”
~ A.A. Milne