50 Shades of Grief ….
Excuse the title but humour is a huge part of how I get through my life on a day to day basis. Although the title may be a little humorous; beneath the humour there is a serious point I want to make about grief…
Am I jealous? Because I feel resentful of someone’s joy!
Am I bitter? Because I hold negative emotion, resulting from severe grief, anguish, and disappointment
I am neither of the above, I am a grieving mother.
Elliot was the perfect addition to our family, he was the icing on the cake, he was wanted and needed so so much, not just by me but by his brother and sisters, his daddy and aunties and uncles.
I would not wish the losses I have endured upon my worst enemy and I am not wishful of pain, loss and grief upon other people but I fail to relish in their up and coming happiness.
Smiling so soon after burying a child is like being unfaithful to their memory the guilt is another shade of pain that lies heavy on your heart, so to joke and share laughter with friends and family seems like ‘moving on’. I’m in a monochrome world of grief where right now for the first time in my life everything is ‘black and white’
After the loss of Louis back on 5th September 2005 I felt bitterly sad, my first born son, as soon as he was given life something far stronger than me took that gift away, I was bereft, lonely, abandoned by my child. Rob and I are very intune with each other but equally on this day I remember feeling so alone.
I felt after his passing a sudden strength to battle on for my little Corey, so much smaller but such a fighter, I desperately needed him to survive for my survival, metaphorically speaking of course. This term of ‘survival’ I use because at the beginning of my journey to motherhood my heart was full to the brim with love, and with life, my heart skipped a beat when I was elated, and I lived my life with the ruling of my heart. Louis died, and he took some of my heart with him, he took some of the existence of my being.
I continue to live or exist in spite of this ordeal but with a little less ‘heart’, so survival of the rest of what made me, ‘me’ was imperative. Corey died on the 7th September 2005 and my heart did break in two, I’m not taking Louis loss lightly but the prognosis was never a positive one where my first born was concerned, so ‘dare I say it’ I was slightly prepared to an extent when Louis passed.
When Corey died, initially I felt anger more than sadness I felt a strong hatred to the world we live in, HOW? WHY? IF THERE IS A GOD, WHY? A thousand questions and no answers infuriated me; I remember stomping out the hospital minutes after Corey’s passing and there I sat, tears rolling down my cheeks but with no sound, my body wanted to cry but I was so angry I would not allow the convulsions of sadness out, I wasn’t ready to address that. I sat out side the Hospitals maternity unit emotionless tears streaming, alone in the brisk cold early hours of the morning. The hot air from my breath leaving a cloudy trail in the dim early morning light and there next to me was a girl, a stranger, she was young, late teens I guess? But I instantly noticed she was heavily pregnant and holding on to a drip feeding her some obvious required medicine intravenously and there it was, her baby bump blooming. Whilst she caresses her tummy with one hand she smokes a cigarette with the other, and the cloudy trail leaving her mouth was one that made me wince, I was thinking of what I had lost in the last couple of days and looking at her growing what I need and what I would care for with every part of my being. I was angered and felt immediately sorry for the baby within her body breathing in the contamination.
I know smoking is an addiction like any other drug, I appreciate its very hard to give up and I say this knowingly, for I am an ex-smoker, but at that moment, at that moment after my little boys had died I wasn’t rationalising and I wasn’t seeing reason, I was seeing hate, and I could of quite easily took that cigarette and stubbed it out on her immature head.
The weeks passed by and being surrounded by babies was a comfort to me, I longed to feel the happiness what being ‘real’ mother meant. I was not afraid to approach a random stranger and look and touch there newborn. I would ask questions and show interest in their bundle as if I were their friend or a family member.
What I didn’t find comforting was the sight of twins. For some reason there did seem to be everywhere it was an unwelcomed memory which evoked thoughts of a path that was not meant to be and this deeply saddened me. Grocery shopping one day at my local store and I walked straight into a trolley with twin baby boys strapped into the reclined baby carriers in matching baby blue fluffy winter suits, hoods with ears, and they looked every bit how I imagined my little boys to look and I found myself running in the opposite direction, convulsing sobs that failed to surface on THAT DREADED DAY!
With time and with the addition of my other children things got easier, Instead of these emotions being in the forefront of my thinking and encasing my every thought. The overwhelming need to be near a newborn and the fear of twins only surfaced from time to time but I had a certain amount of control over my emotions, and began to reason things out in a rational manner, or so I thought; until the death of Elliot in December 2012.
After many years of attempting to repair my broken heart I realise now it was never repaired, I just masked this gaping hole with the new love I have for my other children, this hole has been re-opened and the hole is deeper and darker than before. Elliot took not only a part of my heart but a part of me, I fear that I will never be the same person again because of loosing Elliot but I live in hope that having lost Elliot it will make me a stronger and wiser person because I have loved. I have loved my babies all so much, and equally and obviously the opposite side of this is when you allow this love into your hearts, you have to prepare yourself for some pain when what you have loved is stolen from your grasp.
Elliot’s passing, was followed by new additions to our family on every side. I felt like I was being tortured and began to question my beliefs all over again. Whilst I was expecting, so were members of my family, a brother and a sister in a law and my own sister too, we had giggled, laughed and chuckled about pregnancy and the ailments it brings from constipation and sickness, to varicose veins and a bladder the size of a pea but none of that deterred from the fact we were all happy to be experiencing this together. My story didn’t have a happily ever after and I had to prepare myself for the pending arrivals of these three bundles of joy.
Two out of three babies that were due, are now here. Healthy and most importantly alive and kicking.
So my message to my family if they happen to be reading my blogs in between nappy changes and sleepless nights, I want to take this moment to let you know that from the bottom of my heart I am elated that my brother in law has another daughter he has longed for ever since my first rainbow daughter was born 6 years ago, and I am so pleased that my sister in law has a son, a brother for her daughter/my niece. I am only sorry that Elliot will not be a cousin to them here on earth and I am sorry that I have yet not found the strength within me to send a card or meet my niece and nephew. I am not bitter nor jealous but quite simply I’m a grieving mother. I don’t want what you have, I want Elliot back!
And to my sister whose bump is still growing, I know you know how I feel, no words required. I have distanced myself so as not to fill you with guilt. I don’t want you to feel guilty for being pregnant but I am not as strong as I wish I was, and watching you with your bump again just reminds me of what I have lost. I am just as exited for you to be given the gift of motherhood for the second time and I wish you get everything you should out of being a mother, empower this, only women can give birth and its amazing, hold your children close and love every second because life is short and all too soon we are faced with questions about our own mortality and this can be terrifying. So relish every cry and nurture every tear for these will create memories which you will hold dear.
So this brings me to the end of this blog about some of the 50 shades of grief I have felt.
So in my opinion there is no right or wrong way to feel after loss and every time you experience grief it will manifest itself in a different way, rearing its ugly head when you least expect it. You will feel, angry, sad, bitter, resentful, hate, love, laughter and pain but guess what THATS ALL OK!!