As the 2 & 1/2 year mark approaches I have been reflecting on my journey of grief. I’ve had more wobbles and tears in recent weeks than I’ve had in quiet a while. I suppose I’ve been on autopilot making myself so busy that the inevitable would eventually stop me in my tracks. Living a life which appears from the outside perfectly normal when really it’s only a screen where I pretend it’s all ok.
Living the pretence has gotten me through week after week until someone close to me said something and that was my trigger. What they said opened that suitcase I had packed away wanting to forget. Their words took me back almost 14 years to January 2005 when we lost Zac.
I remember the utter devastation I felt, the heartbreak and I thought I would never get through it. The endless days sitting and crying behind closed doors and sitting on a mound of muck in the rain in the cemetery where he was laid to rest for hours on end. I felt isolated as people in the outside world didn’t get it. Thankfully the one person who did get it was my mum, she supported me, held me up and let me grieve. All the while not letting others interfere with how I chose to cope with my loss.
With Patrick I didn’t have that protective motherly blanket. While pregnant with Patrick I watched my mother fade away to the clutches of Alzheimer’s disease. I had spent my pregnancy grieving for my mother who was lost but still with us. I had spent my pregnancy counselling my other children to deal with an illness that had stolen one of the most important people in their young lives.
Then WHAM…..the joy and excitement that new life was supposed to bring to our home was taken abruptly too.
Yes I cried, but all times I remained composed and dignified. I’d just be dealt the roughest cards life could deal and there was nothing I could do about. There was nothing I could change, I couldn’t bring Patrick back.
This person close to me who has made me reflect is someone who helped me deal with my loss after Zac and has been a huge support to my family since Patrick’s death. His words to me were “but you haven’t fallen apart you’ve put on the bravest face and kept going since Patrick but you haven’t fallen apart”
This made me think why I have given this impression and then I remembered. I couldn’t fall apart like I had in 2005 I didn’t have my mum to protect me. My own children needed their mother to protect them so I switched on my autopilot and kept going.
I am having daily flashbacks of the time we got to spend with Patrick in our home as family. Special moments drown in sadness but flooded with overwhelming love. I’ve also been able to replay the events surrounding our final goodbyes to Zac too. These are memories I haven’t been able to process for fear of becoming unhinged. The emotional numbness and detachment has led me to block these memories because of the anxiety they bring. Even after all this time the lasting trauma is still too much for me to bear.
I still have to be a mother to both my living children and my angel children. I have to be a mother without a mother. But I owe it to my mother for teaching me how to be the best mother I can.
Remember loss mothers are mothers too and mothers are one of the most precious gifts of this earth. My boys have left a gaping hole in my heart and my mum has too.