It wouldn't feel right to start this without saying that I feel like I lost my voice a little, over the last few years. My last blog post was in 2018 and at that time, taking a pause was the right thing to do. However I have come to realise the fluidity to life and what choices I make available to myself.
A post I shared on my facebook last year came up on my timehop today. It was written by Elisha Palmer on her blog below:
Elisha's post has stayed with me all this time as she writes about the impact of grief 2.5 years after the death of her son and what she calls her 'season' of grief. Re-reading Elisha's words has struck a chord as I suddenly recognise my own season of grief. Where I am today is almost identical to where I was this time last year.
It goes something like this; a few posts may come up in July which rewind me to 2016 when I was happily pregnant with Holly. I experience such a longing to be that person again, someone not tainted by loss and with a belief that bad things won't happen to me.
Following this, I am then just waiting for August 5th to come which is the date that we found out Holly was poorly. During this wait, anxiety and paranoia kicks in and I topple between being okay and heart break. I become distant as I stick to where I feel safe and I remove myself from potential triggers in a bid to put myself first. Anxiety rockets as I wonder how I come across to others during this time, hoping that I am tolerable and I second guess almost every single decision that I make.
Following the 5th comes a blur of dates involving scans in London and remembering how little time I spent with Eleni, who was only 17 months old at the time. A saving grace is that we have Kobe's birthday in August which helps to add some light to it all. My own birthday has its own difficulties as I remember going for a walk around Virginia Water with my sister and her family when Holly was still alive. I don't remember my actual birthday but I do remember the Virginia Water occassion which was a light relief at the time, although I now struggle with knowing that Holly was to die only a week later.
In the mix of balancing all these memories, is then the workings that goes into how to celebrate Holly on her birthday. The last three years had felt like an immense pressure to actively 'do' something in her name. I have laid this pressure down now although Covid-19 has brought its own challenges with us not being able to visit the hospital, as we usually would do.
I want to highlight with this post that it has taken me 4 years to recognise this season (as obvious as it may seem) but also the less obvious side effetcs of being in this current space. Even with therapy and the best support network in the world, I can still end up floored by anxiety and simply by the reality of the situation. I want to also highlight that this is okay. I have to actively remind myself to be gentle to myself during the season because it is okay that this is hard.
I have many grief dips throughout the year (albeit less challenging than in the early days) but recognising my season is fundamental in supporting myself throughout this time. If you are reading this then please don't carry guilt for your feelings and actions during your season. Sometimes putting one foot in front of the other is all that you can do and given the circumstances, I think that is pretty bloody incredible.
On the 7th September 2016 at 25 weeks gestation, Holly was born, still after a battle with complete heart block.