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.
Today we say goodbye to the lady of the manor’s mum, the children’s beloved Nanna, who was taken from us far too soon. Mum, Nanna, wife, sister, daughter and friend. When people die you often hear about the impact they had on the world, the things they invented or the lives they saved. Nanna may not have received a Nobel prize but the fact that we are expecting 200 people to the funeral tells you all you need to know about the impact she had on the people around her.
She touched the lives of so many people, she brought happiness and laughter, she was the most thoughtful person I know, always remembering anniversary’s or special milestones. Every time we saw her she’d have a little gift of some sort, something she’d spotted and bought ‘just because’. She was always willing to help someone in need and opened her house on many occasions for friends to stay, when I first met the Lady of the Manor they had 2 of their friends children staying with them while the parents found somewhere new to live.
I also know how much having grandchildren meant to her, her cancer was diagnosed just before Matilda was born and seeing them often gave her the boost she needed to get through another round of treatment. But I hate that they won’t have the chance to feel her love as they grow up, that she won’t be there to see them become adults and go on to achieve whatever it is they’ll do. We’ll do everything we can to make sure they know she loved them and thankfully due to the wonder of the smart phone have hundreds of photos and videos to show them as they grow up but would happily trade those to see her again.
No one expects to lose their mum at such a young age, no mum expects their daughter to pass away before them. But cancer is a bastard and it has left a big hole in our lives. One that is going to take a long time to heal and we will miss her every day. One that makes us want to rant and rave at the unfairness of it, to scream at the doctors for not being able to fix it and one that we wish we could protect our tiny children from having to deal with.
It is perhaps fitting that she passed away in spring time as Daffodils were her very favourite flowers and in our garden this week the first Daffodils have started to bloom. Just like a Daffodil hidden from sight in the earth during the winter we know she is there, with us all the time. The memories of her will light up our days just like the bright, yellow trumpets of the Daffodils do every spring.
Rest in peace Nanna, we’ll miss you.
February was a tough month, one of the toughest we’ve had as parents and March has started even harder which is why this post and my blog have been untouched for a week. On Monday last week the lady of the manors mum and the kids much loved Nanna passed away, something we knew was coming but had hoped it wouldn’t be quite so soon. Having to explain to 2 small children that they won’t see their Nanna again broke my heart, I’m not sure it’s really sunk in for them so no doubt we have many more questions coming. But I hate that they have to deal with something like this at such a young age and that Rupert won’t get to know his Nanna.
The children also spent two thirds of February sick with one bug or another, Henry went through 2 different lots of antibiotics and then we ended up with him in A&E one Friday night as he screamed the house down with stomach pain. We thought his appendix had gone but it turned out the virus he was fighting off had caused the glands in his stomach to swell up. Apparently very common in small children but a scary few hours as I fought to get him seen quickly and by an actual doctor.
All this meant that we didn’t really do a whole lot else last month other than just keep getting up each day. Rupert however being completely oblivious to everything going on decided that it was time to start eating some solid foods and hasn’t looked back since. He wolfs down 2 meals of the finest purees every day and seems to be a very contented little boy as a result, albeit one who still doesn’t sleep for more than 2 hours at a time.
With Mothers Day looming and the funeral in a week March is going to be a fairly bleak month with lots of cuddles needed to see us through.