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.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The Grief Life Puzzle

It has been so long since I have found the energy for blogging. For so long I've been ignoring the heavy parts of my heart, not really knowing what to say anymore, or if there is any point saying anything anymore. October was the last time I wrote about grief and before that August, before that her birthday. Lately this space has just been the boys updates with very little of our lives in between. It has become less of a life diary and more a quick record book. Writing used to help so much.  But I'm not sure if anyone wants to hear it anymore or if I can be as open or as brutally honest as I used to be; not without coming across as bitter or resentful or a number of other negative and unforgiving traits no-one wants to be labelled with. 

This post has been sitting on my shoulders for weeks but I haven't been able to bring myself to write it down. But today I'm home alone and unwell, so it seemed as good as time as any. 

So little changes, yet so much changes all the time. I still don't know how to manage myself at my worst most of the time. Sometimes I feel like I'm living two lives in one and they don't go together. I can't make the pieces fit properly together. 

Grief sits on one shoulder, life sits on the other, and they still don't really mix well.  Posting about one is never truly representative of the other. A happy life post doesn't mean everything is fixed, a painful post doesn't mean I'm not happy. 

Life. I have these beautiful beautiful boys and a long suffering loving husband, a beautiful new home and so much to look forward to in the next few months especially; turning 30 and a trip to Disney Paris for a start.  For the most part we're a happy home. I want our boys to remember a happy childhood and a happy family. Day to day our lives are more than good, we're happy more than we're sad. I adore those boys, I relish being busy with them, taking them here there and everywhere, planning trips and activities for them, creating memories giving them endless special times, just being with them. 

We have a good life, I know that; but I still don't know how to count my blessings (and I do count my blessings), but leave the pain to one side. I can dull it down for a while but it always comes back with a vengeance eventually. It is so intrinsically threaded through my being. I work so hard now to make my life matter more than my grief,  we've made our world revolve around the boys, every year I try harder to take the focus off an absent Anabelle and to the in my arms boys. 

But I don't know how to really make what we have enough. I miss her immensely. 

Over four and a half years and I still can't neatly sort this grief thing out into acceptance. I'm not really sure how I'm 'supposed' to be. But I feel an ever growing pressure to be 'better'.  Four and a half years and I know patience must wear thin. Sometimes I wish I could neatly package the Anabelle part of my life up and leave it there, and manage it better when it bites, but I still don't know how. So I carry on clumsily juggling. Maybe I'll always be juggling. 

Occasions are still the hardest to navigate. 

Yet again I ruined Christmas. It had started out so well. December has been the best yet, the build up to Christmas hadn't been painful. Every day I had done a Christmas advent counting down activity with the boys. I really thought that this Christmas was going to be a healing Christmas, I was going to get through it without tears and brokenness. I vowed Xander wasn't going to see me hurt at Christmas. (Just as I'm currently vowing he isn't going to see me hurt on Mother's Day.) I was even excited for Christmas! Christmas morning was good, and then the carpet was pulled from beneath my feet and the tears flowed for days. I let Alexander down. I let Zachary down. I let Jon down. 

I feel perpetually guilty for the pressure I put on my family when the broken part of me dominates once more, for the tears my three year old mops me up with his cuddles, patting my back and telling me 'Its all fine Mummy'.  But it isn't all fine is it. I fear what his first memory might be.  I hope it one when we were all really happy, somewhere special, or even something mundane and ordinary but magical through a child's eyes, but not when Mummy was breaking her heart, or cross. 

Am I allowed to grieve forever or does the definition change? Does grief become bouts of depression? Where do the lines blur? I know I've asked this question before. We're in a cycle of yearly highs and lows, and already I dread June this year. When does it become unacceptable to still hurt so much? I know for some that time has already been and passed. 

So that is where we are. Still trying to figure it all out, still sticking pieces back in the puzzle board and those rainbow boys being the glue that holds it altogether. 

This year I need to do some things better and make some more pieces fit. Goal one, a tear free Mother's Day. Any suggestions for a day trip? 

Apprehensive and excited about 2015 in equal measure. 

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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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