When grief pushes away the few good things you have left.

SANDS Babies and children’s memorial garden

I wrote and published a piece of writing the other day. But I deleted it.

The thing is, I know how tiresome it is to read such darkness. I kept reading it back to myself and, as much as it came directly from my heart, which is where this blog is supposed to come from, I almost felt embarrassed to publish it. Ashamed for still struggling. A dark cloud on your day. “Sucking the joy from everyone” – words that came directly from my ex. Words he has said that, for once, I agree with. Words that I will remember forever.

19 months later and people around me have had enough. Quite rightly.

I’ve been told not to join in if I can’t behave how I’m expected to. I’m told that I’m selfish. That I’m unappreciative. It is all true. This is exactly what I think of myself every single day. Other people saying it just reinforces it.

I imagine I am my readers, my friends, and thinking “Come on!“. But it is so hard to be positive when you’ve not only lost your child, you’ve pushed those who used to love you, the  previous you, away.

Grief does that. You think everything is going to be fine. You start laughing again and even get a bit of the old self back. But bad days happen.

Now and again.

They just hit you.

But they don’t just hit you, they hit those closest around you too.

That particular bad day was a pretty normal bad day. Triggers seemed to be poking me all over. The baby showers, the pregnancy announcements, the pregnant woman on the train in front of me, stroking her tummy…. while I carry on wishing that was me.  Those triggers, pulling my hair, calling me names, stamping on my feet, pushing me to the ground, but I just kept going as much as I could.

By the time I got home I needed to be held. I needed to cry. But I was scared. Scared of making things worse. Scared of upsetting the man I love.

By the time he arrived through the door I was so relieved. I needed that contact so desperately. A cuddle , closeness, and that loving voice to tell me that it’s all ok.

I still smiled when he came through the door. I was so scared to ruin things.

We’d had the best few weeks. The best! We were both on really good form. Obviously the pain goes on, deep down, but life was going on and we were having a great time.

But, that night I made that same mistake I keep making. The mistake of not hiding my pain very well. The mistake of letting go.

“Hey…. are you down?”

I couldn’t hide it. I burst into tears.

He hugged me.

I wave of relief swept over me. I felt calm. It was going to be ok. I breathed him in and let the tears fall. I felt rescued.

But it wasn’t going to be ok.

That downward spiral jolted us yet again. I let my grief flow, stupidly. Very very stupidly. I felt safe to let it flow but I was wrong and it shoved us both into a hole. I had no choice but to pick myself up, I can’t rely on those I love anymore. I can’t have them catch me anymore. It is not fair on them. Stuart has been catching me, on and off, for 19 months and he can’t do it anymore.

He has ended relationships for much less in the past, so I am very lucky to have him still, and I know that more than anything. But grief continues to punish me. Grief is making those I love move further and further away from me. Grief is a nasty bully. Grief is a life destroyer. Grief is the hurt that keeps on hurting. Grief is taking everything I ever had that was good and destroying it.

Grief is my bully.

And the worst thing is, I have no control over it. I would stop all this in a millisecond if I did. I spend a lot of my time wondering when it will leave me in peace. Leave me to get on with my life, stop hounding me, and stop hurting those around me. Stop the tough days, so that I don’t push him away anymore. So that he wants to spend time with me again. The me he knows. The me I know.

I am now on the list for bereavement counselling through Cruse

Today I was alone. I remembered the SANDS babies and children’s memorial garden and felt an urge to drive down there.

When I arrived, there was no one else around, it was beautiful and calm. I just sat there. I don’t know for how long, but it felt good. I felt close to Emily. I only wish I’d brought something with me for her. I’ve decided to go there again on Emily’s birthday and just remember her and how amazing she made me feel. I will be alone, but I won’t be lonely.

My little girl will be with me, in my heart, in my DNA, in my soul.


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