Almost as soon as we came home from the hospital without our boy, once our parents felt it was safe to leave and after my mum insisted I be given sedatives from the out of hours surgery, “just in case” (I didn’t use them) I hit the net. I wish I’d kept a record of the kind of phrases I was searching ” dead child – suicide +survival” “will I survive?” and all sorts of bizarre combinations to try to find out what the fuck people did when their child died. I found the Child Bereavement Charity pretty quickly but it was a site that didn’t seem to be used by many people. I also found The Compassionate Friends but I was initially put off by the registration process and lack of immediate answers. I’ve since found this group to be helpful but it’s still disheartening to find that people who have lost their child 20 years before still seem to be in such a dark place when you are at the start of your grief. It does make you wonder if it’s possible to survive. David reckons these forums aren’t representative. I guess his point is that if you want to share recipes you go on a cookery forum and if you want help with your grief you go on a bereavement thread and never the twain should meet. It made sense to me that nobody popped on these sites to share interior decorating tips but it didn’t mean that they only thought about their loss.
The place where I found most solace and the most realistic idea of where my grief might go were in blogs written by bereaved parents. The first one that I stumbled on was Susans. Here was someone much further on than me and clearly grieving for her gorgeous daughter but somehow there was humour and honesty (and sometimes brutal realism) but it really gave me hope that one day I’d be there. Today as I checked her blog I was immediately lifted by her plans for the future, not the plans per se but the fact she was making them. It means so much more than any counselling session. Thank you Susan.x
Something else that is giving me a bit of hope right now is the little baby that’s kicking the life out of me as I type. In three months time I should be holding Isla and Jude’s little brother or sister. I still say should because I’ve lifted the curtain and it’s damn near impossible to unsee what I’ve seen. But it still gives me hope.
It also terrifies me and raises a whole lot of new questions. This has happened so quickly and it means that I’ll have a two and half month old by the time Jude has only been gone a year. Maybe I should’ve waited the appropriate amount of time until I thought about having another child, apparently it’s between one and two years. Perhaps after that amount of time I’d be over my silly old grief and be better placed to make such a huge decision. I always wanted more kids, I loved being pregnant, having babies, toddlers, children and it was really the easiest and most rewarding job I’d ever done. But in the days before we knew you can’t micro manage life we felt we shouldn’t push our luck or stretch ourselves financially, after all those holidays, lunches out and expensive handbags don’t but themselves do they? And we already had two healthy children right? Now our priorities are back in some kind of order and having a baby was at the top of my list in terms of doing something positive and life affirming after such a devastating loss.
Here it is my little 26 week old baby who I hope will turn out to be a happy child just like its older brother and sister.