How is it not 2015?! So much has happened, its all been cr***y and I’ve seriously had enough of this year!
This morning we were woken to the news that hubby’s Gran had passed away in her sleep, thats the 3rd family member this year, hubby’s Uncle passed away just before we said goodbye to Milo and now hubby’s Gran, not to mention my Mum’s cat who she had for 18.5 years and really was a part of the family!!
How much more can one family take?
Gran was a lovely lady, she made me laugh and smile whenever i saw her. We have this fantastic picture of her from the wedding, and ill always remember her like that. She was 85 and had a lovely life, she kept her independence up to about 2 years ago when she was diagnosed with cancer and decided to move into a BUPA home. Up until then she was very active, doing Master degrees, book club, history club, she was more active than we are and certainly more social!
Despite how very sad this news is, at least she had a good innings and went peacefully, she wasn’t in any pain as far as we know. What strikes me most though, is this loss at least was expected and without sounding too cold here, it was her time.
Saying goodbye to Milo was my first real experience of grief. I lost my great grandmother in 1997 but being young Mum decided it was best we didn’t attend the funeral, so i didn’t really grieve for her. The next loss i experienced was a school friend, 3 weeks before my wedding. She died in a car accident. I remember another friend ringing me to tell me she had been in a crash and i assumed she had broken her leg, only for my friend to tell me she was no longer with us. I was at work in the store cupboard and just sank to the floor. Her whole family was coming to the wedding, we used to go on holiday together, my Mum had seen just a few weeks before and they discussed what she would wear to my wedding as she wanted to do me proud.
I left work and called her Mum to offer my condolences. I gave a speech at the wedding breakfast and made sure to do a toast to her, we were on honeymoon for her funeral, but my Mum went for me.
I never really accepted her death, still haven’t, i bumped into her Mum, who had asked me to visit many times since her passing, but i always declined, i wasn’t strong enough to sit with her devastated family and relive happy memories. So when i bumped into her, i was tongue tied, didn’t know what to say, she asked about my life and i mentioned we were trying for a baby and she just cried. I felt terrible, reminding her of a life experience her daughter would never have.
I look back now and realise how much her Mum needed me to relive those memories with her, how much comfort it would have given her to sit and talk and look at pictures, i know because i like to talk about Milo.
Which brings me back to April, which is where we left the story last. So we slowly started to resume normal activities, visiting family, shopping, that sort of thing. Hubby decided to go back to work at the beginning of May…he needed the distraction, not that it helped in all honesty. I went back a week later, 9 weeks after giving birth, by this time i was missing conversation, and the general hubbub of people around me, sharing gossip and stories. Id done a drop in one afternoon before returning as i wanted to get certain things out of the way….the looks being one of them. Thats one thing i was worried about from day 1, the way people would look at me/us now. I thought id have so many pitying looks and forever been known as ‘that girl that lost her baby’. There was some of that, and a lot of people saying sorry, it was easier to have it all at once and then go home and deal with it without having to go back the next day. I started slow, just doing half days, but only for a week, then i went back to my full hours.
It was nice to be back. I work with some amazing people, from all walks of life, many of whom tell me stories about children they have lost, or experiences of IVF. Its amazing how many people suffer in silence, and how nice it is to talk to to people who understand. Even those that haven’t experienced loss of a child or infertility are genuinely interested and try to learn all my acronyms and what the differences between different treatments is, they let me go on and on and never tell me I’m dull, which at times i must be. Since returning to work, all I’ve been able to talk about is having another baby, and its sooo good to talk it out with people.
Even on my down days, I’ve had a few since my return to work, my lovely work friends have listened to me, comforted me, bought me little presents they know will make me smile, they truly have been amazing. They asked me questions about Milo, which is so important.
Despite us being in a modern world, certain things are still taboo. TFMR, miscarriages and still borns being one of those taboo subjects, as is IVF/infertility.
My Mum has been great, talking to me for hours about Milo, the birth, IVF, she never shuts me down or seems bored of it, and i cannot thank her enough for that because I’ve also experienced the other side.
Some people find talking about this type of thing really really hard, if a loss is mentioned, they will change the subject or if i make no mention, they just never ask the question. I found it really hard when people close to me refused to mention his name or ask how i was feeling, i found out later it was because they were scared of upsetting us/me and given my experience following my friends death, i guess i can understand it. The hurt it causes is immeasurable though, its like it never happened.
Ive found this to be common, I’ve talked to other women who have experienced the same thing, their loss being swept under the carpet and it causes such agony that it can ruin relationships.
Ive lost a few friends during the last 6 months. As mentioned above, some people just don’t know how to respond when they hear my story and so have drifted away. Others I’ve made the choice to back away from, mostly due to them being insensitive to my needs at the time. However, I’ve also strengthened relationships, my marriage is stronger than ever, the people i work with are incredibly important to me, and people i thought would back off have really come through.
Its difficult to broach, if you’re not the one who has experienced the loss, but my advice would be – just ask them if they want to talk, and be empathetic, try not offer a platitude or a reason for whats happened, read the person, if they’re happy, be happy, if they’re angry, be angry with/for them, it’ll help them more than you can know. I know it would have, and has, helped me.
If only i could wake up tomorrow and it be 2015, this year just done. Id even cancel my birthday, which i love, I’m still such a child on birthdays, i love presents and cards and seeing friends all together.
Tomorrow will be a better day