In my morning sleep, the sleep before the day begins, I saw you
Clear, real, here
You were standing on the landing, in the doorway to our bedroom.
From my bed, I talked to you
Like I used to
You up and ready for the day
Me rousing from sleep
You looked a year or two older, taller too
Your hair still long and golden
Your face was beautiful
Luminous and radiant
Ever since I had children, I’ve been bagging up clothes and toys for either car boot sales or charity shops, although it always seems the more I ‘recycle’ the more ‘stuff’ comes back into the house!
It’s been a long time since we did a car boot… I say ‘we’ as normally Abi and I would get up at dawn to go and do one together, she really helped with setting up, tidying and selling – it was fun.
I’ve realised I’ve started buying grapes again, and not just buying them… eating them too!
Abi loved grapes. She’d come in from school and devour a bunch easily while watching TV.
Ever since she died, I’ve not been able to even look at grapes. I bought some once about a year ago, just to see if I could have them again. But I felt like gagging when I tried to eat one. The image of her happily munching away on them was all too recent. So I’ve avoided buying grapes… until the last few weeks.
It wasn’t a conscious decision, which is interesting. I just seem to be okay with it now.
It’s just fruit! Grief is funny like that.
Surviving my bereavement is not something I feel I’ve achieved by any means, yet, but I am beginning to see that in order to survive the loss of my child, I’ve needed to find and maintain a balance between grieving and living.
‘Surviving’ feels like an unusual word to use when I consider that it’s me who is still here with my life ahead of me, but the grief that I’ve seen and have felt has the potential to end that life – socially, mentally, physically or even literally. It’s a scary prospect that sorrow and despair – and, dare I say, an unavoidable self-pity – could easily eclipse everything and everyone that was once so important to me. Nobody knows just how grief will affect them until they are faced with it.
It is exactly a year ago today that Abi came downstairs looking pale and complained she felt really ill. Exactly a year since our world was turned upside down and inside out.
I never really imagined what this day would be like, despite people telling me ‘all the anniversaries will be hard’.
Anniversaries? Anniversaries are a time to celebrate or commemorate something. A time to think of only that person or event, which you can forget about the rest of the year.
It’s not an anniversary of a year without Abi, it’s an anniversary of the day our entire world was shattered by something so totally unpredictable and traumatic.
The note about what to write in a card to a grieving person in my last post seemed to strike a cord with some readers. Some recognised the uncertainty of what to do for the best, others realised they’d never considered how this simple gesture could be interpreted by the recipient, others recalled past occasions when they felt they should have perhaps done it differently. So, I wanted to focus a little more on this.