The physical effects of grief

Some of my ordinary moments right now aren’t always the heart warming precious ones that I like to write about or even read about on other blogs. They’re not the ones that you’d necessarily look back on in life and remember with fondness, but they are Ordinary moments all the same and I share this one with you because life isn’t always plain sailing, and what you see on the surface is rarely the full picture. I am sure I will look back on these less joyful moments and see how I grew, how it changed me or taught me a lesson and for those reasons also I want to share this side of life. I want you to understand grief from the loss of a child from every level and angle and show you what Ordinary moments sometimes mean when you find yourself on this road.

One of my biggest mummy guilt triggers comes from illness. Of course when you are ill you are never on top form and you cant be the amazing mummy you want to. The house gets turned upside down, kids have more screen time than you would ever like, they blatantly get bored of being indoors and then because your ill you get irritable too..yeah mint mum right here! I always get super frustrated that I feel rough as anything and struggle through to try and feed them and entertain them, and it it would be okay if it was every so often, but it isn’t. This scenario has become a very ordinary moment in our lives.

If you read my blog regularly you will know that just shy of a year ago I lost my daughter at term after a very difficult pregnancy, unfortunately she has severe heart problems and Trisomy 18 and my pregnancy ended in a  Still birth. This experience has been the hardest thing for us to face and as much as I make the effort to get up, get dressed, get out, have fun and live life with my kids, as much as Nathan and I work together and talk about it all, I cannot avoid the natural ripples of loss and so some days I wake up in pain (physical) and spend the day looking like this:

The problem with grief and stress is that it makes you physically ill too. Its obvious that you would be sad and even feel so for a long time. I think that tears, sadness and perhaps even tiredness would be obvious visual signs of someone grieving and the results of a very difficult 15 months. I think that I expected all of this and even to want to isolate myself occasionally with it all, but not many realise how physically ill it makes you too. Over the last year I frequently find myself taken ill – exhausted, migraine, body aches stomach pains…the list goes on and there never seems to be a reason for it. Body aches, susceptible to everything, cold sores, sty’s.. I’ve had it all this past year since loosing my baby, and so whilst being poorly as a parent is never easy, being frequently poorly because life has run you into the ground is very hard to deal with and that makes me VERY frustrated.

The annoying thing is I go to the Drs, they try to help, but there seems to be no explanation to my pains and I know deep down or rather  I am realising that the physical pain and illnesses I experience is the results of constantly fighting in life for our happiness and to be able to live it and enjoy it. The other week I was even referred for an ultrasound on my abdomen and kidney’s because of the amount of pain I had been in – it was clear!

This week has been one of those weeks – An ordinary few days of mummy being ill, I do think it was a virus, who knows, but I had zero energy and felt very flu like with painful muscles, hot and cold etc. Whatever it was it has meant movies on the bed (thanks Netflix), piles of books to read and me feeling guilty as anything that we’re not out doing something fun and at the same time wishing I could rest better, trying not to snap at the kids, being grateful they are still for even an hour and dragging myself to the kitchen in pain to feed them.

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Nath never takes time off work no matter how ill I get…I always cry a little at the situation because I hate that no matter how well I look after myself I still continually get ill because my body, due to grief, is never on top form and I hate the lack of control I have to be a good mother to my children. I always say “i’ll be okay”, because usually after a day or 2 of resting and being a naff mother, I gain the strength to continue and I AM Okay.

Thankfully I did feel well again by the weekend as we had to rock up for our 3rd wedding this year! It was nice to be able to get up, get dressed, slap some make up on and enjoy the day with friends after I had felt so awful for the best part of the week. I hope these days become less frequent and I hope that soon it won’t be one of my ordinary moments. But I am grateful that the kids are learning the drill and rarely whine of the “boring” days in when mummy is ill, it certainly eases mummy guilt!


  1. August 16, 2015 / 3:46 pm

    Awww I hope you are feeling better soon. Feeling stressed definitely makes you feel worse and I can only imagine how hard you must be grieving for your daughter and I’m sure that doesn’t help at all. I wouldn’t be so hard on yourself though although I’m sure that is easier said that done. Your kids will just love spending that time with you and being beside you.

    • August 18, 2015 / 7:14 pm

      Laura thats a lovely thing to say and thank you. I hope whatever we are doing they are enjoying being with me, I did’nt think of it like that x

  2. mummydaddyme
    August 16, 2015 / 8:48 pm

    Oh Mary, this made me feel so sad and emotional. You have written it so honestly and so matter of factly that it just makes me feel pain for you even reading the words. I really hope you are feeling better soon, it must be so had to feel poorly a lot of the time, even when you are feeling like you are looking after yourself. I can’t imagine how hard it is for you all. xx

    • August 18, 2015 / 7:12 pm

      Thanks Katie – it is intense some days and I too hope it eases up! Glad people can feel a little bit through my words, it makes it worthwhile sharing it with the world x

  3. August 17, 2015 / 12:30 am

    Oh I am so sorry to hear this. It must be so difficult, having that emotional pain manifesting itself physically as well, as if the sorrow wasn’t enough. I hope you will feel better and healthier soon. Take care of yourself. x

    • August 18, 2015 / 7:13 pm

      Thank you so much, I appreciate you stopping by, reading and taking time to write some well wishes. I am still learning the art of saying “no” and looking after myself x

  4. August 18, 2015 / 12:41 am

    I am really sorry to hear about your pain. I can’t imagine your pain from the grief but I can understand the guilt that comes from being ill and being unable to be the mum you want to be. I was ill in all my pregnancies and me being ill was a part of daily life for my children. I really hope that these days become less ordinary and you are feeling better soon. You have a beautiful family, take care xx

    • August 18, 2015 / 7:10 pm

      Thank you Hannah! I don’t think many people would understand unless they had been through it, but I am grateful to know people understand about being ill with kids for a long period of time. I do hope it soon gets less frequent x

  5. August 18, 2015 / 5:44 pm

    Grief and stress do strange things to your immune system, digestive system and muscle tension. Just make sure you are eating well, keeping hydrated and taking time to relax and to yourself even when you are feeling well. Sometimes it’s easy to get in to a boom and bust cycle where you do loads when feeling good and then wreck yourself! Mummy guilt is hard to shake but definitely won’t help you when you’re already feeling rubbish! Take care x

    • August 18, 2015 / 7:08 pm

      Thanks Lana for understanding and for some great tips! I do need to make sure that my diet is a lot better and always drinking more x

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