Triple glazing (noun, British): Triple glazing is effectively three panes of glass. This means it has an extra layer of glass to insulate your home over double glazing
I’ve spoken previously about feeling like I’m stood outside a window, peering in. Glimpsing happy families around the fireplace, that sort of thing. It got me thinking just how fitting the analogy is. There are so many windows I’m mindful of right now.
… To acceptable grief.
Originally when I was beating myself up about my not being able to move forward, people said “it’s still so early Anj”, but I’m starting to see that sentiment wane. Will people still afford me the same kindness another 5 months from now? Or is it old news already? People feel for you and they cut you some slack, but only for a short window.
Loss mums tell me however that feeling like this doesn’t go away, but the sympathy does. And that scares me. I desperately want to wake up one day and think “ok I’ve grieved enough, I’m ok now”. I really do still hold some hope for that. I’ve no reason to think I’ll be any different to all the mums who’ve been through this before, especially since so far I’ve ticked every cliché in the book (they’re clichés for a reason!), but yeah, I am holding out on that miracle. And I hope I get there, before others give up on me.
… To putting myself first.
A big part of who I am, is showing up for others. I’ve previously worked off the premise that you can’t avoid difficult situations, you have to confront them – but that hasn’t done me any good. So I’m trying new things now: having boundaries around families/children and saying “no”.
James has agreed and supports this plan until the end of the year*. And then we essentially need to reassess whether I’ve just turned into a wholly selfish person, because that’s something we’re both genuinely worried about. We like who I was and I dislike that I’ve been forced into change.
Is this grief thing making me selfish? That does seem like the natural progression of a net receiver: the constant taker becoming the selfish. But I worry that by not putting myself first, I will fully lose a part of me to the anger. This morning I re-framed that: If attending some of these events is slowly killing me; by not showing up, I’m not losing me, I’m preserving me. The hope is that this need for self-preservation will be temporary and that this too shall pass.
* As an aside, that grieving line – “the end of the year” – is so arbitrary, it’s too neat for something so messy. If Summer had passed away sooner, I’d have bought myself another month of grief. Surely the fact that she passed away later, should give me extra time?
… To trying again.
James and I have always said that we wanted to have all our babies before 37 (because that’s apparently when the medical risk factors kick in). So we started trying for a family when I was 31, I’m now 34. Seeing that I’m 35 in December, I’m not going to have a baby this year (2020’s a write-off, with ongoing medical investigations) or one at 34 then. Having a larger family by 37 is a pipe-dream.
Though I know we should be going full-throttle, we’re taking it one day at a time. I don’t want a different baby. I want the ones we had. I know that there’s a closing window of opportunity, that we need to get a move on, but I can’t. I’m still stuck in the now.
… To writing.
I assume that this blog resonates with readers, as baby loss is something that I’m living through, right this second, every second. It’s still so raw. At some point though, I expect both the blogs and its readers to tail off, for the writing to get tiresome or for me to get writer’s block. For the hope is that in time, I will somehow heal and be able to pass on this baton of burden, as sadly, there will always be someone new going through this.
So here’s a secret: I want to not write. I want to be ok. But while I am here writing (feeling things so acutely, but without the writing, making sense of so little), I’m embracing the window you’ve so graciously granted.
… To my soul.
Do you feel like you know me? I wonder what you make of me. For this blog has given you many a glimpse. A window to my darkened and embittered mind, adjectives which I hope, stop short of my soul.
The five windows are open, but they are closing. They all remind me of an earlier blog. A blog where the window was only just ajar. And yet something special occurred, so perhaps there is hope. But let’s not forget that windows are fragile. Easily shattered. Thought: does something more than triple glazing even exist? Because I need a new layer; my three layers have been stripped away by our three losses. So never mind the window closing, there’s a gaping hole!
In my mind’s eye, I’m stood in front of a window, but I’m unsure of its position. Climbing through a ground floor window offers an escape route. Falling from a first floor window will bring further pain, a second or third storey window; certain death. So which is it? Would it be bravery or foolishness to find out?
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