I decided to change my blog name to something more hopeful and settled for Chasing Dragonflies. So, what is it with all the dragonflies anyway?
While we were researching readings for Abi’s funeral, we came across the story ‘Water Bugs and Dragonflies’ (I’ve posted the full story here). As the story explained, we can never see what waits for us outside this world until we get there, but it is more beautiful than we can ever imagine. We are content, perfect and free…
Since resuming my blog, I’ve had an outpouring of writing (or rather overthinking!) and have realised I’ve posted around 20 new blogs in just two weeks! Yikes!
When I paused the blog some seven months or so ago, my mind had stopped knowing quite what to say. I’d managed to get Abi’s story down – that was essential to me – and that felt enough at the time (although I’ve since kept those detailed posts about her passing private). I needed to get on and live, and see how I managed. Now, my mind is chattering away to me with the many things that crop up. I recall thoughts and feelings clearly and the words just flow. Often one sentence in one post can lead to a whole new post.
I used hypnobirthing when I had my third child (due to PTSD following the second birth), in order to get through labour with my sanity in tact. I needed to regain control as I was terrified of the whole process. So, it was a home birth as a location and hypnobirthing as pain relief. I must say, due to the practice I put in, it worked very well indeed and was a positive experience. I recovered quickly and bonded immediately with my baby.
Some days I feel like grief has slapped me in the face so hard. This was one of them, about four months (in July) after Abi died. I wrote about this particular day as it was a full 24 hours of challenging thoughts and emotions…
At times in the past year, I’ve heard it suggested that at least we have our other children to keep us going. It’s never said to mean that Abi’s death was any less distressing, but as a way to comfort and reassure.
I’ve often thought this myself too. When I feel mournful, I consider how it’s my two children needing me that gets me out of bed, that stops me feeling too sorry for myself and gives me a reason to live on. But it’s a constant struggle between the despair of my loss and being ‘thankful for my lot’.
The death of a child, quite naturally, has a huge impact on an entire family and the aftershocks can be widespread and ongoing. In my case, my immediate family (husband and other two children) were emotionally torn, yet we had to find a way to continue to live our lives together, finding new routines and ways to be without pausing.
It’s without doubt that our relationships with one another have changed in some ways; thankfully, we are strong and this has bonded us further together, but it’s certainly no smooth path as each of us battles with our individual feelings, worries and fears.
In my blog, My grief observed, I wrote about death bringing the fragility of life to the forefront.
When you hear of someone dying it makes you consider, even briefly, your own mortality. When it happens directly to someone you love, it often forces you to focus on your own life/health much more intensely, that you’re perhaps only a heartbeat from death. (Of course, I’m relating this to my own experience and our society in general, people in war-torn countries will understandably have a vastly different perspective on this.)
For me, the impact death has had on me was influenced to a large degree by my age and my relationship with that person.
After Abi died, we kept people informed via Facebook, which was a great help to us as it saved having to contact lots of people at an impossibly difficult time and also prevented any misunderstanding about what had happened to her – many people who knew Abi were incredibly worried… Very soon, someone had set up a dedicated Facebook page in Abi’s memory, which rapidly spread and had around 700 likes.
Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus, as He had arrived too late to save him, before He then resurrected him. He shared in the unquestionable sorrow and pain that Lazarus’s death brought to those closest to him. He understood that death is a sad thing, but, most importantly, he made it okay to grieve. He mourned with the mourners. Belief in eternal life isn’t all glorious, Jesus knew we had to die in order to be with the Father and he felt the sorrow of parting just as we do.