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.
Yesterday was Chris’s first day back at work. Up until now, we have been coming to terms with Eddie’s loss, together. Although men and women grieve differently, there was comfort in the knowledge that Chris was with me every day. Now we tread the path of grief separately. I know he found it difficult going back to work and I miss him terribly but it’s the first step back into the real world. And that world is now seen through a different lens.
On Tuesday, we were kindly offered tickets to Wimbledon from a close friend of ours. It was a day out which we would normally get really excited about but it was tinged with sadness. Whilst it was nice to watch the tennis, Chris said Wimbledon will miss out on the greatest player that never was. As will the England cricket team and England rugby team…
I feel like I have been catapulted into a new life and I am still trying to make sense of it all. Filling up the days are harder than it used to be but I am trying to keep myself busy. Coffee meet ups and lunches with other new mums have been replaced with coffee meet ups and lunches with bereaved mums who are bound by the same loss as me. It’s strange, I feel like I belong to an exclusive new club. It’s by invitation only; you wouldn’t want to join unless you were asked to. But I find great comfort in meeting women who I otherwise wouldn’t have met and there is an instant connection. Tragic, but instant.
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.
It’s been 5 weeks since Eddie was stolen from me. 5 weeks since he was taken and not returned. I use the word stolen as he was taken without permission. Nobody checked with me first. A baby needs his mummy. Eddie needed me and actually, I needed Eddie.
If time is meant to be a healer, then why do I feel worse today? Every day that goes by I feel further away from Eddie and all I am longing for is to be with him. To hold him in my arms. To smell him, to kiss him, to tell him how much I love him.
Grief is not a linear process. Every small step you take forward, an unexpected force pushes you back. You feel as if you are tentatively walking towards the sea, you see the waves ahead of you but for a moment you feel the calm. You are close enough to the shoreline, in the water, but still standing. Then a huge wave crashes over you, immersing you in the cold salty water, its force pushing you back to shore. Back to where you started. You clamber up through the sand. Breathless, exhausted, drenched with tears.