I feel like I’ve been winded. My tummy feels tight.
I am crying. The tears started and didn’t stop. The happy feeling dissolved.
My heart hurts and I don’t know which way to turn. How to act for the best.
An argument with my 11-year-old daughter caused this. I have to write – I really have nothing else.
I’d said something fairly subtle about finding happiness again and she jumped down my throat.
Perhaps it was because I’d just told my six-year-old son that he looked a bit like Abi when he gave me a cheeky grin. It wasn’t to make him feel sad, it just slipped out. Is it bad to say things like that? I don’t know.
Last night, my son was getting ready for bed and was in his bedroom. He’d been quiet for a while and came into my room where I was feeding my baby son on my bed.
Today, I was interviewed by Anna King from BBC Radio Gloucestershire for her lunchtime show.
I was invited to be interviewed last year not long after Abi died, but I could only cope with contributing to articles in the paper then, it was too soon to speak of it without cracking. Now that my blog has grown, when I was approached recently by the production team, it felt right.
It was probably the easiest interview in my life, as of course I had the pleasure of talking about Abi and my blog. It is always hard to talk about her in the past tense, but I held it together and I’m really pleased with how it went.
I’m sharing the link on here (available until 29th May) as it might be nice to put a voice to the words. My interview starts at 14.15.
Would love to know what you think.
At the weekend, I had an epiphany.
As the weather was hot, we got out the paddling pool and spent time in the garden. The first time this year.
At first, the children were reluctant to join in (much to my hubbie’s annoyance as he’d spent the best part of the morning getting the pool up and filled). But it wasn’t long before the temptation of the cool water beckoned and they relaxed, got in and had a good splash around with dad.
For those minutes, I could hear nothing but squeals and laughter and, rather than hush them up, I wanted to turn it up! It was like music to my ears.
Today, my husband and I celebrate 15 years of wedded bliss. 15 years, wow!
I can still remember how I felt back then, 15th May 1999; how nervous I was on our wedding day, but how certain I was too.
We always mark our anniversaries. We think it’s our special day to remind ourselves where our love started and to celebrate all we’ve been through together – good and bad.
We give each other cards and sometimes gifts if it’s a special number. We write loving messages in our cards to say those things we don’t always find time to say (which now get a snigger from our children!). We’ve certainly had our challenges over the years, but even when we’ve been pushed to near breaking point we have kept tight the invisible thread that holds us together.
Some days I feel a heavy sense of confusion with my grief and the effort of trying to hold myself and my family together with some kind of normality. Yet, it’s often on days like this, when a sort of gloom has set in, that I receive an unexpected message of comfort.
It could be a school friend writing a note to Abi on her RIP page on Facebook, wishing her well in heaven, letting her know she’s not forgotten. A kind word from a friend, something I read, or a sign I see in the beauty of nature around me: a golden sunset, a bird building a nest in our garden, a forget-me-not…
At the weekend, I received a message from a friend who wanted to relay a story of how Abi had touched her family that week. With kind permission, she has allowed me to share this on my blog.
This tiny sock, apart from being utterly cute, revealed a lot to me about how my shopping habits have changed over the past 14 months.
Abi had not long turned 12 and, now that she was at secondary school, she had become more interested in fashion; New Look was a particular favourite shop of hers.
It was great shopping with her; typical mum/daughter time like I imagined when she was little. I loved our sprees and would happily spend money on clothes for her as it was a pleasure to see her growing up. She was great company. But then she died…
Oh the irony. Having just had a baby, I’ve finally got round to filling out the claim form for child benefit, the same day we receive our first correctly adjusted and reduced payment (for two children instead of three) following Abi’s death 14 months ago.
Dealing with the Child Benefit department at HM Revenue and Customs has perhaps been one of the most upsetting things we’ve had to do since Abi died.
Having received her death certificate (oh how hard that was!), there were a number of practical admin type things we had to change: direct debits to clubs, savings accounts… and child benefit.
We cleaned our cars at the weekend, not a common occurrence I’m ashamed to admit especially with a newborn keeping our tired arms occupied enough, but after the recent sandy rain we couldn’t put it off any longer.
However, there’s one spot in my car (the family estate) which I’ll never clean… the boot side window. The reason? An old blob of bubblegum.