Friday, 30 October 2015

Capture Your Grief Day 30. Reflection

I wasn't sure I wanted to do today's prompt because I'm not in a good place this evening but I realised that's exactly why I should do it. I knew it was going to be long one too so I wanted to post it here. 

Since losing Aneurin (actually since we got his diagnosis of Downs Syndrome) people have praised my strength and grace which I feel strange about. I suppose I am a strong person but I don't feel as though it comes from me but rather than from Aneurin and my love for him. He is propelling me through my grief. My desire to honour his memory and make him proud is what keeps me going. I feel like it's my duty to be brave and talk about him openly. That isn't right for everyone and I appreciate that completely but for me, it feels right. I'm an articulate person; I'm good at analysing things and I understand my emotions more than I'd like to sometimes. In theory I know all the things I should do and I understand where I am in terms of my grief but those things don't always translate into practice. Sometimes I'm not brave and I can't tell myself to make him proud because it's simply too painful but I try my best.

This project has been incredible for me. It's given me space to process my grief by separating different aspects and allowing me to work through them. Each day has given me something new to think about and encouraged me to think about things I didn't realise were integral to healing. It's given me the opportunity to connect with other bereaved parents which I think is a really important part of child loss. People can empathise and try to understand but there's an unspoken bond between bereaved parents that can't be replicated. I've both loved and struggled to read other people's stories. Some days it was just too difficult to be presented with the reality of child loss but for every ounce of sadness there's a tonne of love and joy. It is an incredible honour to know so many names of both parents and babies. Overall, Capture Your Grief has been invaluable.

However, the reason I knew I needed to complete today's prompt is because despite all that, I am sad. I am angry. I miss my son more than I can say. I am still only 3 months into our loss and although it does get a tiny bit easier to live with every day, my heart is still so heavy and there are moments when I just cannot comprehend how I will ever be able to live a normal life again. I still struggle to catch my breath and sometimes there isn't even a noticeable trigger that clubs me over the head, it just happens out of nowhere. I might be able to articulate my emotions and understand why I feel them but it doesn't make them any easier to sit with.

I was so worried when I started this project that people would recoil from me and that I was sharing too much. That people didn't want to hear about my grief because it wasn't something I should be talking about. However, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Every message I've received from women in a similar position has spurred me to carry on and I know that sharing mine, my husband's and Aneurin's story is important. Sure, I've had people unfollow me and some of them have been upsetting but if that's what they needed to do, that's fine. This is what I need to do. The amount of messages I've had from women telling me they don't feel like they can talk about their children any more because other people have stopped and expect them to have moved on or that nobody has spoken their child's name in years is heartbreaking. Our deceased children are just as important as living ones. Yes, our lives continue and I'm sure that one day we become in control of our grief rather than the other way around but that love for our children will never go away. I don't expect to still feel the need to talk about Aneurin in 10 years time in the same way than I do today but right now I need to talk about my son and I need to let other people know it's okay to talk about their children too. They are important and their names deserve to be heard.

This project has shown me that it's okay to speak out and that by doing so it might help others to do the same and as such I will continue to do so. 

Love,
Mrs D x 
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Sunday, 25 October 2015

Sunday Stitches

I want to start focusing on things that heal and help me through my grief rather than just unloading my brain here. Grief is still very much in charge but I'm trying my hardest to look after myself and indulge in things I know are healing.

Making things has always been good for my soul. Sometimes it's crochet, sometimes baking, sometimes colouring in, anything to focus my mind on and keep my hands busy. The beautiful end result is just a bonus. 

My goal is to share something I've made every Sunday. Don't expect them to be works of art just little bits and bobs I've enjoyed crafting. At the moment I'm really enjoying cross stitch, in particular stitching little bits for Christmas. 


Love,
Mrs D x
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A Tentative Return

This post is a scary one. My first post in what has become the 'after' portion of my life. For those of you who don't know my lovely little boy, Aneurin, was born asleep on 31st July. For the last 12 weeks life has not been about pretty dresses as it was before or a wriggly, squishy baby as I was expecting it to be, it has been about getting through each day as best we can. 

I don't want to go too in depth about our loss and grief here because I have a whole other blog for that. What started as me documenting being plus size and pregnant and all in entailed has taken a few unexpected turns. If you're interested in that (and I totally forgive you if you aren't) hop on over to www.frivolousmama.com. However, it would be silly of me to ignore it completely because it's something that has impacted on every aspect of our lives.

I wasn't prepared for the impact losing Aneurin would have on my self esteem, particularly in regards to my body. In the first couple of months of being pregnancy I struggled to adjust to my changing body simply because it altered so much so rapidly. Every week something changed and for a while my body felt alien to me but the first day I felt my big footed boy flutter inside, I embraced the changes and fell completely in love with this new version of my body. My bump was my pride and joy.

When I knew Aneurin had passed away I felt as though my body had failed. Aneurin was poorly; he had Down's Syndrome and a hole in his heart which couldn't sustain him but I still somehow feel as though my body is partly to blame. This combined with my body quite literally changing overnight has left me feeling somewhat out of sorts with myself. I went into hospital as a pregnant woman with a big, beautiful belly and left empty armed with a saggy, stretch mark covered pouch where my baby used to be. That's not something I took lightly. I try to look at my changed body with love and gratitude for growing my beautiful boy for 8 wonderful months rather than disgust for all it's flaws and hatred for not being able to do more but it's really difficult. Most new mums struggle to come to terms with their post baby body but it's different when you don't have your baby with you. There's no first smile or playful giggles to remind you why you look different, there's just a whole lot of emptiness.

So why am I sharing this incredibly personal and frankly depressing stuff with you? Well, once upon a time this blog was an outlet for exploring my new found love of fashion whilst helping me to build my confidence. It mostly certainly did that at the time and I'm hoping it can do it again. There's a part of me that is worried people will think my return to fashion blogging somehow means I'm 'over' losing my son or that I don't care about him because I can smile for a photo but all this means is that I'm in a place where I want to try and find myself again. I need to learn how to love my body all over again and this is the only way I know to do it.

To kick things off in a gentle way, here are a few things I've worn lately that have made me feel a bit more me. 









Lindy Bop 'Suzie' Dress - I wore this for our wedding anniversary which we weren't sure we wanted to celebrate but am very glad we did. I felt lovely in this dress. 

Deep breaths...

Love,
Mrs D x

ps. I want to say an enormous, heartfelt thank you to everyone who has sent their love and well wishes over the last 12 weeks. I have read and cherished every single word even if I haven't been able to reply. I feel incredibly lucky to have such a warm and supportive group of friends and followers. Thank you. 


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Thursday, 15 October 2015

Wave Of Light

Today is International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and as part of that at 7pm I'll be taking part of the Wave of Light. The idea is that everyone lights a candle at 7pm in each time zone and leaves it burning for one hour creating a wave of light around the world.

Join me, not just in honour of Aneurin but for all the babies who couldn't stay. It's a small gesture but I know how comforted I felt by everyone lighting a candle for Aneurin on what should have been his birthday and I hope other bereaved parents find some comfort in this. 


You can see my contribution at 7pm on instagram @elenalucie and have a look at #WaveOfLight to see others. 

Love,
Mrs D x
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