Am I Too Far From The Start Of Grief To Be Relatable?

I often wonder if maybe it has been too long since Dexy’s death to write, to share my experience. That I am no longer in the first week, month, year of grief. Maybe parents, families and people finding this blog can no longer relate as I’m too far away from what they are feeling or going through. Maybe my lack of presence on social media or my blog puts the question of “Has she moved on” in their heads or them wondering if life has taken hold of me. I wonder if people deep in grief, when they’re searching for answers for their pain, look at me and find my life painful? I have a living child. Before River, the jealousy of that would have consumed me. I wanted raw, brutal heartache I could see myself in. I needed to find the childless mothers who only had children who had died. I wanted to be the heartache they needed to hear. I wanted to be the light that told them they are not and will never be alone.

My heart still hurts, I don’t think it will ever stop. My living child does not replace my son who died. My family is always short or missing one. Even if no one else can see that, I still crave my son. In fact, I think the missing has got deeper and more painful over the years. Now, it is milestones that the world should be celebrating with him and not just us as a family. There is a school with a child missing that they never had the chance to meet. Now I have to face parents at the school gates who are trying to chase down two children and not one. Parents who have newborns in prams and slings with a child waving and smiling as they greet them after 6 hours apart from each other. A feeling even now with River or if we have another child I will never truly get to feel that. I wonder what it is like to live naively in a world where once you do a school pick up that’s it, all your children together again.

Wondering is something painful I tend to find myself doing recently. Wondering how much more washing needed cleaning, how much childcare would be costing with two children and not just one. Wondering about taking them both into the nursery and knowing neither would ever be alone, even if they didn’t play together but just knew that they were there.

River started nursery on January 10th. The same nursery that Dexy would be at. On January 10th they should have gone in together, arguing or holding hands. I would have been happy and probably used to either way. River would be confident in knowing the way as he would have been used to doing pick up and drop-offs with me. Again another wondering moment and thoughts become painful. I never expected the comments and questions to cut so deeply into my broken heart like all air just sucked out of me unexpectedly and left me behind breathless and thinking of a quick answer or comment back. “If he had an older sibling he would be used to it, he’d probably go in just fine.” one parent said to me. Little did they know I had been clinging onto River for the last three years in fear that something would happen to him. Little did she know handing him over to people I hardly knew was torture enough and I wanted him with me forever. The statement cut deep. I didn’t know what to say. I know. I always encourage other parents to talk openly about grief, this time cowarded away. “Yeah, maybe.” I replied. That answer got me off the hook. That was neither confirming nor denying that he has an older brother already. “Do you have any other children at the school?” Another minefield of how to answer. No. Again neither confirming nor denying. Have I betrayed Dexy by not screaming “HE HAS AN OLDER BROTHER WHO DIED NOW STOP ASKING ME” I thought about a badge? I should wear a badge. No too blunt. I am blunt. Okay, too outrageous.

From the time he started, the statements and questions less frequent. Still, the odd one of “do you have any others” my go-to is now “not at the school”. I mean… Isn’t a lie? Dexy doesn’t go to school.
I’m trying to say that my grief is still there. It’s still unimaginable to the outside world, the world where the thought of your child dying isn’t even comprehended. That would never happen to them.
It is still de-habilitating. Cuts chunks of my life away that are too painful, too raw to speak of or let in. Your child dying will never take time to recover from, no matter if you have more children, move house, push them back to your mind and try to forget. Choose to never have another child/ren. Everyone of us will be consumed with grief. It creeps, it creeps, pounces and then takes a hold. It drains you, it also shows the love that is there. Drowning in sorrow/grief or drowning in love and missing them. They are the same thing. You cannot grieve someone that never meant anything to you.

I wanted people to know that I am still here. I am still here for you to talk. To try and find your way with. I am here to learn from and ask from a friend, family or employer’s view. I am here. You may be looking now, reading what I have written. Wondering what on earth am I going on about. I just wanted you to know that I am still deep in grief. I am always going to be. You are not alone. One day, you will be four years on, I will still be here with you.

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