When your child dies it is obviously going to cause you to grieve. If you didn’t, I would be concerned. When Dexy died the grief was probably the only part of his death that made me feel like a mum. Missing what would be his firsts and all the important dates would self confirm with me that I am in fact a mum, I just don’t have my baby with me and I never will. I think that is the hard part. Missing them and knowing that nothing will ever stop that because you will never see them again. Fuck, life sucks.
I was always told that the first year after someone dies is the hardest. When I was living in the first year I would have completely agreed. Experiencing all them firsts, the first birthdays without him, Christmas, special events and just day-to-day life was incredibly hard. But now being out of that first year it is harder. I think it feels harder because you know now you are further away from the last time you saw them and this is how it is. You haven’t experienced anything without him now, you are stuck in this loop of every year getting shitter and shitter because you know what to expect. I miss the feeling of not knowing how hard birthdays would be without him because now I do. Let me tell you, they never get easier.
Second year unexpected grief. I didn’t grieve the same over not having Dexy here for Phil’s birthday, it was nothing like last year. I grieved that feeling of it being fresh and new. I didn’t want this to now be how it is. I grieved that fact that yet again I know now that we are further away from seeing him last. It is like bad deja vu. I don’t want to relive it every year but I have too.
Missing the firsts with Dexy isn’t what upsets me anymore, it’s the milestones that I never knew existed. I thought babies one day just laughed out loud and that was it, their first laugh. It isn’t. They learn. It starts with a smile, then over time they make a small chuckle that isn’t quite formed and it’s hilarious. I missed that. I’m so sad I missed that with him. I had to buy River a summer hat because it is starting to warm up. He has a pea head like Phil and a 3-6month hat just swamped him, I never got to see this with Dexy and that is what I’m realising I’m going to miss the most. I missed all the funny stuff in between the milestones and the little stuff that makes you laugh throughout the day.
The second year is harder because your life really is moving on and you’re not. My life has changed so much since Dexy was born that I barely remember a time before children and having perk boobs. It’s so crazy our lives have to carry on but we are also still in the past. I keep forgetting more and more small details about Dexy’s death and birth. What the flowers were like at his funeral, what his hand felt like when he was first born, how heavy he was, I want to remember every second I had with him but I can’t. The more time goes on the more details I’m going to forget. My head is being filled with new memories and I’m scared that I will forget the memories I want to keep.
I still struggle to be around pregnant women and new babies. Any baby that is younger than Dexy is a massive trigger for me. River growing up makes me happy and sad. It’s so conflicting. I sometimes feel at battle with my own thoughts because I realise every day how much I have missed but then at the same time I love watching River grow because I have missed so much of Dexy growing up. Sometimes I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I mainly just do both. Cry, then laugh over me crying and then cry over me laughing. I still feel incredibly jealous whenever I hear about people getting excited over their babies and pregnancy. I’ve lost all that. The more time that goes on the more consuming it is.
Grieving doesn’t get easier, it changes with time. Just like us. As we age, our grief ages too.