I am sat here trying to the remember the last time I cried over the loss of Poppy. Like really let myself feel it and have a good cry? Perhaps it was a couple of months ago leading up to her birthday? I honestly don’t really know. Only that nowadays those crying moments are way less frequent. I have however had a lot of moments where the emotions rise up and I take a deep breath or stop talking. And then I have had those moments where a vivid scene from my pregnancy plays out in my memories and I have such strong feelings of anger and upset about it all again. But crying? rarely in recent months have I cried..or rather I would say let myself cry.
Whilst I am more of an emotional person now, with grief always under the surface, I also have developed a great skill in keeping a lid on it. Its something I feel quite proud of – I am no longer a blubbering mess and can function well in every day life. But as painful as it still is at time to feel, the further we move away from that time she was in our lives, the more and more awkward it seems to be or for people to go over again. We have another baby, we have a sparkle in our eyes. less grey clouds around us … what possibly could I be sad about still?
So no I haven’t cried, But I suppose I have needed to.
I needed to cry that day I laid with Alice looking at the trees and sunshine through the window. When the thought crossed my mind about Poppy’s syndrome and what having a disabled child would be like. Yes I needed to cry that I missed those moments of simplicity with her.
I needed to cry after my visit to Ikea when I excitedly picked out some gifts for Alice for Christmas and as I put them away at home I felt guilt that I had missed it with Poppy.
I needed to cry on Remembrance day with Poppy’s everywhere.
I needed to cry when I picked out a plaque for her grave instead of a gift for Christmas.
I needed to cry when I pretended I wasn’t insulted by a brash comment on her pregnancy.
Its no wonder then that I was caught off guard at this weeks SANDS meeting when out of nowhere I began talking about something and I suddenly realised how I felt about a lot of these other things. So the lid off so to speak and as I began sharing about a simple idea I’d had to preserve Poppy’s memory, my little jokes and banter I have at these meetings went out of the window and it hit me like a tonne of bricks how sad I have been feeling, and how very little I have from her.
I used to, and still do apologise when I am crying in front of people. I find it a bit embarrassing and I also think it probably has a lot to do with me seeing it as a weakness and that maybe I should be able to control my emotions? Sometimes its because I worry the person doesn’t want the responsibility of offering comfort, and other times it just stems from the amount of awkward moments around my loss where I have ended up feeling a need to reassure the other person when it is me that is suffering. And so I go through my life day to day, balancing my emotions so as not to feel awkward, all the time forgetting that there are people that know how I feel, or that want to hear, and couldn’t give 2 hoots if I was a snotty mess talking about the death of my baby all over again…And I think it was as I remembered I was with the latter, I sat there crying and whilst I needed no excuses I still apologised for doing so.
I haven’t cried for such a long time, but I let myself. With people that got it, again I let myself feel what I needed to and I cried for a bit.
I cried about the fact that I have no family pictures of us all together, but that I have a house full of stuff from each of my other kids. It felt so painful to think that all I have is a small box in the airing cupboard with her life in it and what if something happened to those precious items? The truth is there would be no trace of her life, no physical things to hold and look at from my baby. As each month of life passes I accumulate memories with my other kids. If a photo is damaged we can take another…they can draw me another picture, but with her things? There is no going back, there are no more tomorrows to get new ones, that box is her life, and that is an incredibly sad thought.
My life is very blessed but it is also very unfair, and sometimes I just need to allow myself to cry about it! Burying our emotions to appear strong and in control does no good….Sometimes, to move forward and open our hearts to the joys in life I know that we have to ride those waves and let it wash over us so we can see the beauties of life again.