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.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Grancha

Experiencing the death of your child alters everything; it fundamentally changes who you are. Sometimes I still don't quite know who I am any more. Who am I? I don't recognise me, and the bits I do recognise I don't always like. 

This is going to be a hard post to write. 

Sunday morning, 21st October 2012, my maternal grandfather died. 

He was 89 years old, had myleloma (a type of cancer of the blood), a huge aneurysm in his stomach and dementia. Over the last four years since being diagnosed with the myleloma he had had multiple infections and illnesses, and long hospital stays because of his impaired immune system. It wasn't the cancer or a burst aneurysm that killed him, that was threatening to kill him for so long, but a chest infection. He died at around 10.00am Sunday morning after surviving Doctors predictions and expectations time and again over the last four years. I wonder if he knew it was happening?

I am ashamed to say that although I am sad, especially for my Mum who has lost her remaining parent (my Nana, her mother, died twenty five years ago), I'm not feeling distraught. I'm sad, that is all. Shouldn't it be more? This is very different to how I felt when my paternal grandfather, Grandad, died very suddenly five years ago. 

Life was different then, I was different then. I knew little of death then. I know too much now. 

I'm ashamed that I hadn't seen Grancha for months, I should have gone more often. Although I am pleased that he had at least met Alexander. I know that hospital visit had been a boost for him and he'd enjoyed meeting his great-grandson.

I'm ashamed that I struggled with Grancha's illness since Anabelle died. I've struggled with what he has represented to me. Not him personally; but a world where sick old people stay alive while my baby daughter died. That isn't the way it is supposed to be. I struggle to accept our reality. And there is that bit of me I don't like; the hurting, horrible girl who resents other people. 

Another family death, planning another funeral, is making me relive that week of our lives. That week from Anabelle's birth until we said goodbye. Sitting there in my parents living room, talking with another funeral director, talking of coffins and flowers and services has brought it all back as if its happening again to me now. 

Isn't that incredibly selfish? Instead of being distraught for my grandfather I am grieving my baby girl and the injustice of it all. 

Today I've cried for Anabelle.   Cried for the life we don't have and the regrets that remain. I cried because I so desperately want to kiss her one more time and wish I had turned around one more time in the funeral home and held her in my arms. I cried because my arms ache for her, my baby girl. I cried because I didn't put socks on her to keep her feet warm. I cried because I didn't take a photo of her coffin and the inscription of her name on it. I cried because she was placed in that deep dark ground before I'd touched her coffin one last time. All the things I can't do or undo. I cried because she was taken away from me, from us, far too soon. 

I cried because my Grancha's death is impacting on me in all the wrong ways. 

Grancha; George Henry Needs 12th September 1923 - 21st October 2012

Me and Grancha on my wedding day, 1st August 2009. 

2 comments:

Waiting for Stanley and Lucy said...

(((caz))) I cried reading that. I love the picture at the bottom. Lots of love xxx

Anonymous said...

She was, and is, safe forever in your love. There is nothing wrong with the way you are feeling. Xxx

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Caz
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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