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.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Smile Tho' Your Heart is Aching

Smile tho' your heart is aching
Smile even tho' it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky
You'll get by

If you smile
Thro' your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shin-ing thro' for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide ev-'ry trace of sadness
Altho' a tear may be ever so near

That's the time
You must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying
You'll find that life is still worth-while

The last time I posted was Baby Loss Awareness Week. I was on the brink of my usual 'grief collapse'. It happens from time to time.  For the first time ever, I didn't participate in Wave of Light. We weren't home. Not for the first time, we were at the close of Xander's birthday celebrations (The Big Boy is 6 update to follow at some point soon!), travelling home. Not that that has made a difference in previous years; I've just joined in late when we have arrived home. But this year, the place I was in was becoming so dark I couldn't join in. I didn't want to light a candle. I didn't want to be a part of it.  

This year it was baby loss awareness week. World Mental Health day fell within it. As did day of the Girl. All of which felt poignant, and dark and overwhelming.  And well, when the day of the girl started and all the 'my wonderful daughter and what I want in this world for her' posts started I just wanted to file them under PISS OFF along with all those awful 'Daughter's Day' and 'If you have a daughter who' memes that pop up from time to time. All I wanted for my daughter was life. She didn't get that simple pleasure, neither did we. I've often debated where 'just grief' ends and where maybe 'depression' takes over. Although absurdly I've never considered myself classically depressed it is glaringly obvious I am damaged. I truly believe I have some elements of post-traumatic stress. I've posted about it before. 

A few weeks ago this was the song on Strictly. You know, on the Sunday night results show, an artist sings, the professionals twirl around them while they sing.  I don't know who was singing. It wasn't Nat King Cole, clearly. But it resonated with me instantly. Timing apt. 

Right there in the middle of grief consuming me and struggling to keep my head above the ever deepening water. 

Smile tho' your heart is aching, Smile even tho' its breaking. 

Hasn't this become the soundtrack to my life? 

And oh boy haven't I become the expert! Masterful at the game face. Carrying on. Always carrying on. So when in the midst of it, no-one, other than those in my closest circle could have any idea that I'm hurting.  Because that is what you're expected to do, isn't it? Especially so, the further and further we move on from 2010. 

Light up your face with gladness. Hide every trace of sadness. 

2010 was a long time ago wasn't it. Its been almost seven and a half years.  Goodness I know how tired people must be of me. Even in those closest circles. Maybe especially in those closest circles. I'm tired of myself. I'm tired of hurting. So tired of hurting. Every time there is a 'flare up' of grief and the rawness hits me all over again. These last weeks/months have been littered with dark thoughts. Intrusive and awful. Telling me things I know not to be sensible, or true. But they've been oh so loud. I've desperately wanted something else to hurt other than my insides. 

I've been up, and down, and up, and down. 

I think we're coming out the other side again now. Into another period of calm and restoration. Into another period where I'll work on healing. I've realised again it is almost like I need these extreme reactions to process and settle once again. Sometimes it needs to blow up to put me back together again. 

My best friend and my husband have categorically told me they think I need counselling, again. In seven years I've already been through that process twice. Is this going to be it? Every couple of years I need some professional insight again?  Previously I've seen a dedicated 'Pregnancy and Baby Loss' type counselling service. I don't think that is what I need anymore. That initial loss isn't my biggest problem anymore. More a 'Life after long-term loss' service maybe. Someone telling me how on earth I live the foreverness of it all intact. 

They'll be cross but I haven't done anything with it yet. I haven't had the time, or energy to fight for a 'routine' Doctor's appointment on a day and time that I can go. Or be bothered for the inevitable waiting list after a referral has been made. Right now, coming out the other side what is the point?  By the time I see anyone we'll be so far past the latest crisis point that will the conversation even be relevant. I don't know. 

Life continues to be a juxtaposition of the strikingly wonderful and happy life we have intermingled and parallel to the never-ending trauma that my only daughter died. Will I ever really truly be able to make a peace with it, even of sorts? I don't know. 


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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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