Sunday, 30 December 2012

2012...the year of picking up the pieces

It's been a year since I posted my first blog entry.  I didn't know then that it would help me so much!  A reborn love of writing has bloomed in me, and I get some peace from this.  A small blessing, but one I'm grateful for.

2012.  The year that the anaesthetic wore off, and I had to start putting things back together.  I feel a bit like that chic at the end of a disaster movie who finally gets to sit down and rest; covered in blood, dirt and alien slime, and in need of someone to give her a big hug.  I have been trying really hard to pinpoint the moment when I started feeling like the battle was over and I was ready to start the rebuild.  But sometime over the past few weeks, I've started to find myself feeling braver.  Stronger.  Better.

Now, I am not saying I've regained all my sanity.  I am still likely to lose my shit over stupid things, swear more than I ever have, possibly break a few more plates (I have too many anyway...), but I feel like I have some semblance of control over things again.  Grief is a very weird thing, and it takes so much of you.  It's not just feeling sad.  Grief, real grief, consumes you.  I have found that I couldn't cope with anything going wrong.  I couldn't cope with changes in plans.  I couldn't manage situation where I might meet new people and they might ask questions I wouldn't know how to answer.  I felt like a bottle mostly filled with sand and even a small scoop of anything more was enough to push me over the edge.

I feel different now.  Something has changed in me; the dam broke and some of the sand in the bottle has slipped away.  I have things.  For life.  For love. 

The past year has been hard, and there have been times when I have wondered if I could survive it.  If my marriage and my friendships and my job could survive it.  But somehow, mostly through the patience of the wonderful people in my life, I withstood being swept away with the storm of my grief.  I faced losing my child and I have learnt to manage the pain.  I'm a bit astounded, actually.

As the year comes to an end, a year with so many ups and downs I wondered many times if I would permanently feel a bit seasick, I thought it would be a good time to take stock of all that's happened.  So here goes...

  • The feeling of being so alone and frightened, and wondering if I would ever feel part of the world again
  • The physical pain that went with losing Poppy, and the fear and anger that consumed me at times
  • Trying to help Xav through his own grief and understanding of death
  • Hamish (my gorgeous nephew) battling cancer, undergoing chemo and losing his leg
  • Nana Grace passing away
  • Wondering if I could ever do my job well again
  • Losing touch with some people who didn't know what to say to us
  • Being hurt by people who didn't know what to say to us
  • Feeling like a terrible wife, mother & friend
  • The people who reached out, who didn't stop calling, who didn't stop inviting me to things, knowing eventually I would start going again
  • Knowing that not everyone would forget Poppy, and she would mean something to many people
  • Learning that my family would stick by us though thick and thin, and I would always try to do the same
  • Hamish being cancer-free :)
  • Meeting many new friends who know and understand the grief of losing a child
  • Managing to work, and still do a good job
  • Finding I work in a great place with great people
  • Knowing I have real friends, who have been there for me
  • Using the time Poppy gave me to learn cake decorating
  • Beginning to try harder to be a better wife, mother and friend
  • Learning to stop stressing over the small stuff. 
  • Being less compassionate and more compassionate at the same time
  • Learning the things about myself that I don't like, but needing to know them so I can begin to be better at them
  • Wanting the joy of another baby, but being frightened of having one, or replacing Poppy
So, I don't know?  What do you think?  Good year or bad?  Maybe I should rename the year 2012 the "Year of Learning".  About myself, about others, about grief.  A year to begin healing my little family.  We're not done with that.  We still need a little longer, maybe we'll never be totally healed.  But I, for one, feel like I can start the process. 

On the eve of 2013, I make a new promise to myself.  To be well again.  To want to live again, and make the most of this little life I have.  I'm excited for 2013.  I hope we can make it a lucky one for all of us.  'Cause let's face it, we ought to be due for a good year.

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