Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Friday, 13 January 2012

My Family

Mummy, Daddy and Alexander
On his First Christmas 
On Christmas day we had this photograph taken; Mummy, Daddy and Alexander on his first Christmas. 

I've struggled to call it a family photo. I struggle with calling us a family because I never feel complete. This photo is not complete. Anabelle is missing. Always missing. 

Referring to our little unit as a family feels somehow not quite right. But this is my family now isn't it. Is it completely wrong to say I find it so depressing? Depressing that everything is touched by sadness. Why is everything so bittersweet? Why has it always got to be a bit like this? 

Will I ever reach a true acceptance of our situation? True acceptance that my daughter actually died. That something so horrifically awful actually happened; that this is forever real. 

Sometimes I think I go into a renewed shock. Back at square one and utter disbelief, my mind unable to comprehend something so huge as my daughter dying.  

Apparently there are seven stages of grief; stage one being shock and seven acceptance and hope. Along the way over these last almost 19 months I've always been sat somewhere on the grief spectrum, going around in circles. I think we've even touched hope. Alexander was and is my hope, but I'm not sure I've ever really found a proper acceptance. Of course I know that this happened, I accept that it is real, but I have not accepted it is fair. I have not accepted how unjust it is that my baby died. I touch on angry often, even now. Does that make sense? 

I think the spectrum is now some sort of forever journey; who knows which stage I'll be sat on at any one time. Even if I find some sort of warped acceptance will I find acceptance forever, or just for a time before cycling the grief process all over again? Maybe my experience of the stages of grief is something I can think about again. 

So we're a family. Alternative as it is from the inside, Jon says I need to focus on what is now, and not what is passed. I have to somehow make my peace with referring to us as a family, without feeling guilty that by doing so Anabelle is forgotten or unacknowledged.  I know she is part of my family too, but I guess from the outside we look like a normal little family of three. 

A family of three plus a memory of one. My family is four. 


Anonymous said...

Hi Caz, have you read about "complicated grief"? http://www.complicatedgrief.org/about/profile/katherine-shear-m.d/ This woman is the expert in it. She argues against the "stages of grief" for traumatic losses (which all bereaved mothers have experienced). It might be you could find some strength in her findings/writings that what you are experiencing is normal in your situation and maybe seek some ways of dealing with that/get appropriate support? I hope you find a way of experiencing increased happiness alongside your terrible loss xx

Caz said...

Thanks for the link Anonymous 22:47, I'm going to take a look now.

I don't mean for my posts to sound completely doom and gloom. We are definitely experiencing so much happiness with Xander, he is just wonderful and has filled us with lots of colour and joy. Its just all very, like you said, complicated alongside it. xx

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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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