It’s now 16 months since the lady of the manor’s mum passed away, I’ve put off writing this post for quite a while, unsure exactly what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. But part of the reason I started this blog in the first place was to share the perspective of being a dad in a world where us dad’s don’t do a good job of talking about how we feel or what we are experiencing. At least when it comes to being a parent that is, men probably do too much talking when it comes to other topics not least politics. But today I’d like to talk about grief and preschoolers.
Grief is such a personal thing, how someone reacts to and feels about losing someone is specific to them and we all deal with it in a different way. It also has a habit of sneaking up on us when we’re least expecting it bringing all those feelings of pain and anger back to the surface. When you then add the complication of the person grieving being 3 or 4 years old it’s hard as a parent to know what you should do. I can remember that night vividly as I sat Matilda and Henry down to try and explain to them what had happened to their nanna and why mummy wasn’t going to be home for a few days. Even writing this now I’m having to hold back tears. How can I, their dad who loves and protects them, be the one to shatter their innocence and bring such heartache into their lives at such a young age? My beautiful, happy little children who have been robbed of the pleasure of growing up with their nanna in their lives.
This is the first time I’ve logged into my blog in almost 2 months let alone written anything, the first time I’ve had both the time and the head space to be able to get some thoughts down in a remotely articulate way. It’s been a busy time; work has been tough, a busy time of the year and I’ve been trying to secure a job change that I’ve been working towards for a while, family life with 3 children and the daily school run routine is always hectic and I’ve been trying to build up my running before my first race of 2016. Combine all that with the festive season and everything that it entails it’s probably no surprise blogging hasn’t been on my radar.
But I do want to take a moment to mark the passing from one year into the next, New Years day is such an arbitrary moment in time, not really different to any other day yet still feeling like a great big reinforced oak door has shut on the prior year consigning to history everything that happened. I don’t do resolutions but I do like to take the time to reflect and remember rather than just hurry into the next year on the conveyor belt of life.
Her eyes told me all I needed to know, no words were needed. We’ve been here before and I know what comes next, doesn’t make it any easier of course.
The thing that every parent-to-be knows is a risk but never expects to happen to them has happened. The thing that you soon realise has actually happened to most parents but is never talked about. A name never spoken unless in hushed tones.
But we should talk about it. Miscarriage is a bastard with a capital B. The darkest of days as a parent. Where once there was hope, expectation and excitement there is now nothing. A gaping hole where you expected your son or daughter to be but you’ll never know what they were like.
But it feels surreal, 3 weeks is only just enough time to start getting used to the idea of being a dad again, I don’t have that physical bond that the lady of the manor feels. I want to feel the loss and attachment, but it has to mostly come through her grieving and pain. If I can take the burden for some of that pain then I will in an instance of course but otherwise I feel a little lost.
You may have only been a few weeks old my teeny tiny boy (for the lady of the manor assures me you were a boy) but you were still ours and we shall live our lives wondering what might have been.