Celebration blues

I’ve not been blogging or networking much lately. I’ve been feeling run down, very low about Abi and generally snowed under with work and family life. I feel flat and pretty much overwhelmed as again we face more special occasions without our girl.

It’s particularly busy this weekend as it was my hubby’s 40th birthday yesterday and we are also having our children baptised… all three together … on Sunday. It should be a wonderful time of celebration and excitement, but when you’re living with loss, times like this turn into the bleakest of winter days.

The last event we organised was Abi’s funeral on 26th February last year and I have that very much on my mind. While what we’re doing is positive and cause for celebration, booking venues, buying flowers, arranging catering, getting together with all the family etc all take me back to the blur of those intense weeks after Abi died. Recalling having to arrange an event in the midst of grief and shock… I’m not sure how we did it (or without the help of our funeral directors and friends)!

I am looking forward to the baptism, it’s one of those things I’ve always wanted to do for our children and it brings immense comfort too. Abi was baptised on her death-bed, I don’t ever want to be in that position again. Knowing we have God’s blessing on them and us is so important to us. He gives me the strength to get through these difficult times.

Birthdays are horrible now. Just horrible. My hubby cares not a jot that he’s 40 and doesn’t want a fuss (men don’t do they), but I know he’ll be putting his brave face on and making out everything is great.

We used to spend ages choosing cards for each other. I still spent ages but for a different reason. When I saw all the cards, my mind went blank. I felt overwhelmed by choice and none of them expressed how I was feeling, so I chose something silly.

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My Mr Perfect – perfect husband and dad

We also usually write long, loving messages in them, usually about how happy we all are as a family, but I just can’t put the words down now.Β The message I really wanted to write in his card was I’m sorry your birthday is crap but I’m breaking up inside. But I wrote something simple again this year, as I just don’t know what to say, when I try to think of the words I feel my heart ache, and I can’t not write about our loss, so I don’t write anything.

So his birthday was pretty flat, I had no energy or motivation to do anything special for him and I felt bad about that. So selfish in my grief. We had chosen a special new watch for him together, but I couldn’t even make or buy him a cake – I can’t bring myself to sing happy birthday. I feel so sorry for him as I know he looks forward to his day, but I can’t help it.

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Life doesn’t begin at forty…

That’s the big difference in our grief as a couple. He wants to make things happy, for the children, but I want to run and hide. He wants to do things because of Abi, I don’t want to do things because of Abi. It can be hard to find a balance without one of us being upset.

I find the ‘pretence’ too much to bear at times and feel like I’m going crazy. I know it’s no good letting her death depress me, I know that it’s better for everyone if I’m happy, but it’s too much too soon. I miss her every minute. People think my rainbow baby should make it all OK, almost cancel my loss out! There’s no doubt he keeps me going and brings me new joy, but it so doesn’t change my grief. It so doesn’t.

I know too, I’ll be feeling anxious all through November as we prepare for what would be Abi’s 14th birthday – 14! I cannot believe she’s not here for this! And also Christmas, which I just can’t face thinking about at the moment. Yes, we did all these ‘firsts’ last year; yes, we should be feeling ‘better about it now’ (as someone only asked us yesterday) – but I don’t – it’s true, I’m sorry to say, but the second year is worse!

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12 thoughts on “Celebration blues

  1. I have no words to say other than I’m sorry everything is still so crap. It must be hard that you and your husband deal with your grief in different ways.
    I hope the baptism goes well for you all. X

  2. The second year IS worse; I think it’s the realisation that this is how it is now, that your loved one really is gone and is never coming back. And people seem to think you’re over it and they don’t want to hear that you’re not. It does get easier, I’m not sure exactly when but it does. Although that never stops you dreading it all. I both love and hate Christmas, it always makes me feel lonely and I feel guilty because I’m sad but I must be doing something right as my children still enjoy it all.
    I’m sorry things are tough at the moment. Sometimes life just feels shitty and there are no words of comfort. I can ideintify equally with your desire to run and hide and your husband’s to make things happy for the children. Both approaches are equally valid, both equally hard to sustain.
    Take each day at a time, hour by hour and don’t expect too much of yourself. You’re doing so well to keep going. Thinking of you and praying for you xx

  3. I have no idea what it must feel like being on your shoes but I must say I dread just reading your blogs. I can not imagine the pain. Even though time has passed I look at my children and think about how you must feel. I can see from your posts in FB that you want to be happy, with your children and husband, but maybe you just need more time? Not to move on, not to forget (never?), but just to be able to enjoy what you have even though missing what you don’t have. You are an inspiration for me Kelly, keep doing what you do, you are so perceptive to those little things in life, so sensitive, it makes me do the same with my own life. Keep going girl and enjoy the baptism. Bless you all. Iciar xx

    1. Thank you Iciar. I know you find it hard to read my posts, but I’m so grateful that you do. Your comments and support really help lift me. Time is needed. Perhaps I galloped ahead too fast and need to go back to baby steps for a while x

  4. I just want to say thank you for sharing. My very close friend lost her daughter in February. As hard as it is to hear that her journey through her grief will most likely only get harder, I think it is important for me to know that and remember that… Especially when it comes to celebrations.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, experiences, and Abi. ❀

    1. I’m so sorry for your friend’s loss and also too that your lives have been changed by this tragedy. I’m glad this has been helpful many people have contacted me, my own friends, as they are reminded how hard it is. There is a strong sense of I can’t ever feel ‘better’ because that means getting over ‘her’. Your friend is lucky to have your caring support x

  5. kelly you are just so honest and brilliant! I have read all your blogs and want to say I love reading them but that would seem insensitive. You write with such intelligence , dignity and love. I don’t know how you even breathe let alone do all the other things that need to be done on a daily basis! I can’t imagine that the utter devastation at losing a child will get better with any amount of time. You have a gorgeous family filled with such love and understanding and your baby boy is just edible! All I can say is that maybe you just need to take some time at just being sad. Thinking of you xxx

  6. Oh lovely I really don’t know what to say. Other than be kind to yourself. You’re allowed your grief, no-one will begrudge it. Least of all your hubby, he sounds fab. I’m glaf the baptism lifted your spirits xxx

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