Living With Grief


Backwards (adverb): Of an object’s motion, back towards the starting point

Usually when I blog, I have a rough idea of what I want to write about. Today I’m just writing through tears, trying to figure out what’s wrong. Why so many tears today?

Today has been the hardest grief day I’ve had in a while.

There’s no specific reason for why it started. I had a good and busy weekend. I woke up, having slept plenty, I went for a run to enjoy the early morning sunshine. There were no discernible triggers, I’ve just been at home. It was yet another Monday morning, working from home. And yet, I couldn’t stop crying – through any of it. From waking up, to running and getting back home.

Usually when I wash my face after I’ve been crying, that stops the tears from restarting. When I say ‘usually’, I mean pre-grief, when it was just usual-person sadness. This is something else. These can’t be stopped. I found myself in the shower, sobbing, but acutely aware that there were builders just on the other side of the wall, so I had to keep the noise down, so that they didn’t hear me and think they’re being employed by a wailing lunatic. I’m not a lunatic, I’m just so – to the core of me – sad, broken, hurt today.

I wonder, am I exploring this grief too much? Should I put a lid on it, to contain or avoid days like these? Maybe they wouldn’t creep up on me so much, if I was more distracted from it. Maybe I shouldn’t be on Instagram so often, but the baby loss community makes me feel better. It’s the only thing I actually care about at the moment. It’s the only bit that’s the ‘new’ me, where I can live ‘side by side’ with my grief. Everything else is just returning to the old me. I don’t know how to be that childless person anymore. I don’t want to be either. Everything else feels so pointless. Doing things that used to make me happy, have half the appeal now. It’s like there’s a grey film over everything and even when faced with pleasant things I think: “I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care!”

This month is just so hard for me. All these words and I really can’t convey that. Maybe when this month is over, it will be ok?

Why is it still so hard though? On the one hand, I’m proud. I’m proud of all this love I have for her. But on the other, I feel utterly ridiculous. I didn’t even know my child, she wasn’t here for very long. That’s entirely the point though, isn’t it? That’s what makes this so sad.

Given that Mumoirs is an honest blog (otherwise, that’s the point?) I’ll tell you that I’ve never been short of confidence in my personality. I’ve always been my own biggest fan (as well as critic). I think I’m a pretty decent person, I try my best. I often get it wrong, but I often get it right too. I’m a firm believer in the ‘you need to love yourself, before you look for someone else to love you’ cliché (My mum always thought I had unrealistic expectations about boys. When she met James, she sort of apologised and said “I didn’t think that what you were looking for existed, but then you introduced me to James”. See: own biggest fan. I had higher hopes for myself than my own mum, ha!). So do you know why this is honestly hurting me so much? It’s because I just KNOW I would have been a good mum to Summer.

Sure, at the beginning, I’d have been awful. Tired, grumpy, hungry, irritable, snappy. Repeat. But I just know that with time, I’d have found my groove. Especially when she started talking. Wow, I love talking. And documenting milestones. And celebrating her important dates – and making up new dates too, in order to celebrate. And travelling and the tooth fairy. And when we started reading together! Or when we would have (for now I should really flip to the past tense) taught her our most important tenets: kindness, hard work, gratitude. It was always just about bringing a good person into the world. And now the world is missing that person, and it’s taken me with it too. It’s hard to be your own biggest fan, when you’re consumed with anger, hate and a bitter, shrivelling (and this is new: God-disliking) heart – I’m sorry C, I wanted to take this bit out, but I can’t. I’ll go back and delete it, if ever I feel it less.

This has been the hardest blog to write, on the most random yet hardest day. But I’m reminded by a note in a card that my friend C wisely wrote that: “however painful, a step in this process will not have to be repeated again… sometimes you will feel like you are going backwards, but each step is done.”

Thank you also to V and F for picking up your phones today and stopping my tears for a short while. I will take another step again tomorrow and see which direction I end up in.


(3) Comments

  1. Kim says:

    This blog is so honest, so true, so heart felt. You’re entitled to days where you cry all day. It doesn’t mean you’re not coping or failing in anyway. Sometimes the tears just need to flow. You’re helping so many people by writing the way you do. The fact that through tears you go for a run and have the builders in etc is quite the miracle in itself. I lie in bed and eat Ben and jerries in my expensive gym leggings.

    You are so inspiring. Yes you would have been the most amazing mum to summer. But you’re still her mum and you’re still an amazing one at that. She’s was a miracle baby. The sun shone today for a reason xxxxx

  2. Karen Palmer says:

    I’m so glad you have got some of what you’re feeling down on ‘paper’ so to speak and please be assured that your pain isn’t in some way invalidated if you somehow can’t express it perfectly!
    I’ve wondered about the whole instagram thing too. I don’t want to just be floating by – I want to listen properly and interact, but it’s hard not to find yourself committed and feeling you need to spend more and more time there, and that’s OK for someone like me to handle as our wee Jennifer would be 27 this year, but you’re right at the very beginning, in the days when your own grief will often be overwhelming. So maybe yes – some days give yourself permission to stay away from the sadness that’s always going to be there in Instagram, as maybe it is pulling you down.
    And it’s OK to be angry with God. He can take it. And your anger is better out than in xxx

  3. Claire says:

    I’m re-reading this and I’m staring at it, and honestly, I don’t really know what to write. I could take each sentence and write an essay (which as you know takes some doing for me).
    Was today awful because there was no trigger? Was that the reason? There was nothing your rational mind could blame for the tears. That might have made the grief all the more difficult today. This month is rubbish. That is a trigger even if there was nothing specific about this particular day.
    Well done for writing this. Insight is an incredible thing but putting a lid on emotions is surely never a healthy thing to do. However, that doesn’t mean that exploring things feels any less painful.

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