I love September. It’s a bit like my New Year. September is usually a lovely month weatherwise, I feel refreshed after the holidays and I’ve usually had a spring clean in readiness for the new school term.
But I’m deflated this year. Last year was different, odd. I was about three months pregnant and completely focused on that. The pregnancy hormones and tiredness kept me occupied.
This year, I have my healthy baby who brings laughter to our house daily. Yet this year my grief emotions are surfacing again for new reasons.
My second daughter left primary school in July and tomorrow will be her first day at secondary school, the same school Abi attended for just six months before she died.
I remember us taking photos of her. That ‘first day’ photo. I have to do this again, see my daughter dressed up ready to start this big new stage in her life, just as Abi was.
Abi was so excited about growing up. She was awake early every morning for school, had everything ready. She spent months choosing her school bag, and deciding how to wear her hair. My other daughter hasn’t gone near any of her school stuff. She’s not interested in her bag or how she will look. She’s not looking forward to it one bit. Abi headed off to meet her friends an hour early! My other daughter wants me to walk with her. While she’s very mature for her age, she’s emotionally more attached to home and me, and her anxiety holds her back. I believe, though, that secondary school will be the making of her.
My stomach will be in knots for her and for the loss of Abi for some time to come, as she walks the path that Abi took for just six months… and when that time is surpassed, perhaps it will get easier for me as the experiences will be ones that Abi never got to live… It’s just another mountain to climb on this journey through grief.