[I didn’t post this blog about Halloween at the time, I suppose to avoid offending anyone or to put a damper on the fun, but reading back on it, it’s certainly worth sharing. It’s not a major worry for me now, and who knows how I’ll feel about it in the years to come, but it’s a classic example of how trauma and grief can distort things.]
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.
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…
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.
[Taken from notes written around July 2013]
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.
[This blog was taken from notes I’d written whilst sat with Abi at the cemetery around 10th June 2013.]
Four months on, is that right? Have I grieved? Have I even started…?
What is the point of all that crying if at the end I still feel such deep and painful sorrow? Crying usually releases a tension, helps me feel better. But these tears are different; they flow easily enough but the emotion changes from despair and hurt, to sadness and depression. I suppose, if I didn’t feel able to cry, rant, write or talk then I’d be in a very bad place by now. So, to grieve must be to let my emotions surface as I mourn my darling child, but it feels like that is all it is. There seems to be no benefit, no end to it. Yet, even still, I can see that recently I have been able to laugh sometimes, though not as sincerely as before; I can converse, can think, can function apparently normally.
We’ve been catching up with the comedy series, Rev.
If you’ve not seen it before, the BBC series revolves around a Church of England priest called Adam, played by the talented and watchable Tom Hollander, who becomes the vicar of an inner-city London church after leaving a small rural Suffolk parish.
Last night, we watched an episode where the local church school is up for religious inspection and the headteacher, Ellie, is confident that they will pass with flying colours, thanks to the inspiring new teacher Mr Feld. The only problem for Adam is… he’s an atheist (albeit an ‘angry’ but popular and cool one).
We came upon this story when preparing Abi’s funeral and the vicar read it out. We knew many people of all ages would be there and wanted a reading that everyone could understand and, hopefully, find comfort from.