Tag Archives: life

grief in time

A dear friend of mine shared an article with me recently about the concept of time when faced with the inevitability of death. Tragically the author had been diagnosed with cancer and died just a few weeks after the article was printed. 

Beautifully written and poignant, it struck a chord on how Chris and I view time since we lost Eddie.

Time is the strangest concept in grief. Time used to mean so many things: planning our future or reminicising about our past, time away to have a break, time to ourselves, time for other people, time for a change, give it time, haven’t got the time. And so on…

Time, in its essence, indefinitely moves us forward. As we approach Eddie’s first anniversary, society and some religions dictate that the year of grieving is over. It’s time to get on with our lives. 

We feel far away from these societal expectations and still find ourselves navigating through the murky waters of grief. We have lost our first and only child. Not only are we grieving Eddie, we are also grieving our lost identities. We were once parents. We are parents. And we try to channel our need to continue to parent Eddie into everything we do and keep his spirit burning brightly.

Life ebbs and flows with time, punctuated by the very highs and the very lows. We have been shown how, without warning, life can take the cruellest of turns. Such is the severity of the loss of a child that it is almost impossible to believe that life will indeed take a turn for the better.  We cling to hope but this lifts and falters from one day to the next. 

Time, for us, is a dichotomy. It moves us forward but we are stuck in transition. In no man’s land. As time moves on, it has become our friend and also our enemy. Yes, we have more coping mechanisms but it has not lessened our pain or our longing for our darling boy. And what we want most from time is an impossibility. You can’t fast forward, or press pause, and you can’t rewind. 




 

Advertisements

Leaving 2014

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.


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.


work

I made a big decision this week. I handed in my notice to work. They have been incredibly supportive to me since Eddie died but after deliberating for months on whether I should go back or not, I finally made a decision. I couldn’t go back.

When I walked, or waddled to be precise, out of the doors before starting my maternity leave, my life was full of so much hope. Everyone wished me luck with the birth and I promised to bring Eddie into the office after he was born. I was so excited to introduce my beautiful baby boy to my work colleagues but sadly they never got to meet him.

When something as life changing as this happens to you, some people need certainty and stability. I would normally have fallen into that camp, being so fearful of change. Now, I feel the need to change everything in my life.

Going back to work would have felt like nothing has changed at all. But everything has. Especially me.


yo-yo

My grief is like a yo-yo. Up and down, down and up, not knowing how I am going to be feeling from one day to the next.

The other night I was accidentally copied in to a group email by my one of my (former) NCT friends. I didn’t spend too long looking at the contents but receiving it felt like a sucker punch to my stomach. It was a genuine mistake, and I have since received an apology, yet a horrible reminder of what my life should have been.

But like a yo-yo, I was pulled up a day later when support came in from the most unexpected of places. I received a lovely email from someone I had never met before. She wrote the kindest words of support and offered to give me the lamp she successfully bid on from the the silent auction we held a few weeks ago. It happened to be the lamp designed by Tony Chambers who I paid homage to in an earlier post. And it happened to be my favourite lamp of the collection.

It made me a very happy (and humbled) girl indeed.


missing me

I miss and pine for my darling baby boy every single day. But this is also intertwined with missing me.

I miss our old house in Hammersmith despite spending all of my time there wanting to move back back to NW London

I miss listening to my music. I deleted all my playlists after Eddie died – I just don’t take any enjoyment in listening to music anymore

I miss laughing without it swiftly being followed by my painful reality

I miss filling up my diary with social arrangements and Chris getting annoyed with me for cramming too much in

I miss being a good friend to my friends, a sister to my sister, a daughter to my parents, a wife to my husband

I miss the ability to celebrate in other people’s good news and happiness

I miss my enthusiastic and glass half-full approach to life

I miss the missed opportunities of watching 2 of my friends get married and not meeting 3 of my friend’s newborns

I miss 2013 despite my adversion for the number 13

I miss my sense of humour (though Chris would argue I find myself funnier than he does)

I miss my innocence

I miss my old life and the old me.


metaphors

When you lose a child, a part of the self is cut off. In his book, The Spiritual Lives of Bereaved Parents, Dennis Klass talks about the metaphors that parents use to describe how they are feeling. This extract really struck a chord with me:

Many parents find the metaphor of amputation useful. In a meeting, a father said, “It is like I lost my right arm, but I’m learning to live as a one-armed man”. Like amputation, parental bereavement is a permanent condition. The hopes, dreams, and expectations incarnate in the child are now gone…For the amputee, the raw bleeding stump heals and the physical pain does go away. But he lives with the pain in his heart knowing his limb will not grown back. He has to learn to live without it. He rebuilds his life around his loss…

We bereaved parents must do the same


%d bloggers like this: