As friends and family head off on half term holidays, I’m glad to have a relaxing week ahead with my children. But I feel a slight pang of envy, as I know we are in need of a proper holiday, but with the new baby I’d not had the strength to plan one.
Who needs strength to plan a holiday? It’s the highlight of the year right?
I’m sure every grieving parent struggles with making holiday plans. Holidays are the epitome of making happy memories… and we feel lost. We can’t shrug off our grief like most forget the stress of work. Our grief comes with us… in bucketfuls!
But, with my recent epiphany moment, I’ve come to a stage where I feel I might be ready to take our children to a beach. The thought was unbearable last year.
Yet it has its conditions; it has to be somewhere new and not too far from home, in case we can’t handle it.
There are hundreds of beautiful places to visit I know but, like many families (and living in Gloucestershire), we’d already found our favourite places. Places we can immediately relax. We love Devon and Cornwall particularly. My husband was taken to either Newquay or Isle of Wight every year when he was young. They became a home from home for him. And we’ve been back too a number of times on large extended family holidays.
But not now. Not ever again.
It is hard to accept that those familiar places are out of bounds to us now. The 40 years of happy holidays won’t continue, not for us anyway. We can’t go where we’re reminded that Abi isn’t here. Holidays should be fun and spontaneous but we now need to control the factors in order to help us relax and therefore give our children the chance to enjoy themselves without Mum and Dad being on edge.
This photo was taken on our last proper holiday before Abi died.
It was August 2012. The Needles, Isle of Wight. I expect the last time we’ll ever go there.
We had a wonderful week together. We have many keepsakes from that trip.
I only found this picture last weekend while I was downloading the photos on my husband’s phone. My other arm is cuddling my other daughter (who I don’t show pictures of on my blog). A photo of his girls.
I’d forgotten that he would have photos of me and Abi on his phone; each photo now is a lifetime of memories so we obsessively save them at least twice on computers and memory sticks.
When I saw it, my heart leapt and then my stomach lurched. I was thrown into a flashback of that very moment. What a special photo, a happy memory, but yet how painful to know I can’t hold her or enjoy her company again.
So, I suppose I should start thinking about a holiday. Something easy, quiet yet not isolated, and scenic. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!