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.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Being A Duck

Do you ever feel like a duck? You know, floating serenely along on the surface whilst kicking furiously underneath. That's me. At least it feels like me a lot. 

I know, that for the most part I have this wonderful life with so much to be thankful for. The sort of life some people in this world would kill for, sell their right arm for, sell anything for; you get the picture. I know there are many people in this world who have it much harder than I do. 

I'm a duck floating around on top. I have a loving family, I have a wonderful loving husband, I have two precious incredible boys with me on earth, I have my home, (well soon, but in the meantime I still have a roof over my head,) my home is filled with love, joy and laughter. I have my job, with enough income to feel comfortable month to month. Materialistically, I don't want for much. 

But then there is this huge gulf, where I'm the duck kicking furiously underneath, where emotionally I want for a lot, maybe when I should be learning to handle it all differently. This one tiny person left such a void in her wake that is can't be filled and can't seem to be calmed. Anabelle's absense is so apparent in my everyday life, even when it isn't so apparent to everyone else. My heart continues to stab every day that she is not here with her brothers. 

Then I read this blog the other day. Living An Extraordinary Life After Loss. Inspiring. I wanted to relate to so much of it. I wanted to say I could get there too. 

But there is still so much I need to make peace with, but so much I'm not ready to make peace with either. So much I'm still not willing to accept. So much I still cannot let go of. So much I'm still not ready to explore, here on these pages. Sometimes I wonder if I've sentenced myself to feeling this hurt because part of me is stuck with her, in grief, in 2010. 

There seems to be two of myself. The myself that has such a happy life with what I have here, and the myself that hurts beyond hurt. Some days I feel guilty for hurting when I have so much joy. Some days I feel that I must be so ungrateful for not accepting what we have. Some days I feel guilty for all the joy despite all the hurt - how ridiculous does that sound on paper? And I do enjoy life, I enjoy every single thing I do with my boys, but sometimes I feel guilty for being happy 'without her'. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I don't have to feel grief all of the time that it is OK not to feel grief all of the time.  "I can still live an amazing life and love and miss him (her) at the same time." Thank you for affirming that Still Standing. 

This life after loss is exhausting. The waves keeps on crashing, the milestones keep on coming and I'm still learning to navigate. 

Next week Anabelle should have started school. That is a biggy. Starting school. 

This week I should be organising uniforms, buying last minute school shoes, socks and tights, matching bobbles and clips for her hair. I should be practising plaits and pigtails. We should be choosing new school bags and lunch boxes and fretting and being excited about my baby starting Reception. Instead I'm dreading a week of "My first day at school" photos on Facebook. Not because I begrudge anyone showing off their babies starting school, honestly, you all know me, and know I'll be right there with you on the photo front when the boys get there.  But because this time, this week my heart is heavy that my first-born isn't joining her should be friends at school, and I can't share her cute 'going to school in my new pinafore dress' photo too. 

There is still so much still to make peace with but I will have an extraordinary life.


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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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