Early stages of grief, a toddler and a blog.

I am writing this with tears spilling out of my eyes and a glass of red wine next to me. Molly is fast asleep and after holding my emotions in all day I can finally let them out – the dam has burst. I lost my dear, sweet Nanna last week very suddenly and in quite horrific circumstances. Time has stood still since then, we are all absolutely distraught. No one knows what to do or say. I wasn’t going to write a post about it, in fact at one point I was never going to write again. How can I trivialise my Nanna’s passing in a simple blog post? I could never write anything that would be good enough to convey the depth of despair we are all now consumed by.

grief

Grief is such a personal experience, and part of me didn’t want to share it with anyone, let alone strangers in the vast space of the internet. But the pressure has been building. I have tried to distract myself by cleaning the entire house (I even defrosted the freezer). I have exercised, drank green tea, meditated and cried in short bursts when Molly wasn’t looking, but it wasn’t enough. What I have come to realise is that, for me, there is nothing quite like pouring your soul out onto a white page and seeing it in big black letters. I can feel my stress subsiding already, it really is free therapy. Also my Nanna loved to write. We have written eachother so many letters over the years, and she had the most beautiful handwriting…so this is for you Nan.

We are an extremely close family. When I was born I lived in a house with my Mum, Nan, Grandad, 3 aunties and 3 uncles. We were a bit like the Irish Waltons! My earliest memory is of my Grandad singing and my Nanna playing the organ. Our house was filled with music, singing, laughter and most of all, love. Coming from war-torn Belfast in the 70’s my Nan and Grandad moved everyone over to Wales for safety (where I was born) but we all remained close when, years later, they moved back to Ireland. My Grandad passed away after a short battle with cancer 12 years ago, and while I remember being devastated, this time just seems so much worse. I think this is obviously because it was so sudden, and also now because I am a mother myself. Not only have I become so much more emotional since giving birth, but anything to do with death has caused major anxiety for me.

Physical Symptoms

This is still just so raw, and I am finding it hard to process what has happened, and that I will never see my lovely Nanna again. My family all rushed over to Belfast when the accident happened, so I have been on my own with Little M to look after. It has been quite intense at time, with the grief coming in waves. It manifested itself in physical symptoms for a few days…my shoulders and arms ached as if I had been lifting heavy weights. I felt cold and feverish as if I was coming down with the flu again. My head throbbed and my chest was tight. I was fully expecting to have a panic attack at one point, and have remained on edge since. Today I have had awful stomach aches and haven’t felt like eating at all. I just feel, well, just so sad. An overwhelming sadness that is heavy and black, while tears just come and go on their own.

Parenting

Through all of this I am still a mum to a 2 year old who is far too young to understand what is going on. As much as I have sheltered her from it by not showing my emotions in front of her, she still knows something’s up. She has been really clingy and has been waking up in the night again wanting to come into my bed. I have let her because it’s been so lovely to feel her close to me during those dark hours…I need her as much as she needs me. Having a toddler to run after all day has actually been a blessing in disguise. I can’t just hide under my duvet and cry (as much as I want to), and as tired as I am, I have to get up, get dressed, and get out of the house. We even went to a family rave on Sunday! I thought about cancelling but it just wasn’t fair on Molly. At first I felt guilty for smiling or laughing with her, “how can I smile when my Nanna has just died?” But soon realised that that was just ridiculous. As harsh as it sounds, life just carries on regardless, and my Nanna definitely wouldn’t want to see any of us this upset. This has been a real test of my strength as a mother, and it’s amazing how strong you can be when you have to.

There will be plenty of time to cry at the funeral on Thursday. I’m flying over to Ireland on my own as I just don’t want Molly around it all, so John will be looking after her for a couple of days. I need that time to be with my family and grieve. We’ll cry, we’ll laugh, we’ll sing, and we’ll talk into the night of days gone by and of how much we’ll miss her. I’ve also been asked to read a poem at the service, I just hope I do her justice. I’m sure I’ll be writing a few more posts as the weeks and months go by, grief takes on many stages so there will be a lot of emotions to feel and more tears to shed. That’s the good thing about the blogging community, there is always someone out there to offer support, advice or even a nice comment, which is why I decided to share it.

Sleep tight Nanna, I will miss you xxx

Mudpie Fridays

12 thoughts on “Early stages of grief, a toddler and a blog.

  1. I am so so sorry for your loss. You are so right grieve is a very personal journey. Your Nanna will be so proud of you for standing up and reading that poem and of course she would want you to keep on smiling despite all those tears. Sending virtual blogger hugs! x #BloggerClubUK

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First of, thank you for sharing and allowing us to be apart of this. It takes a lot. Also, I am deeply sorry for your loss, it sounds like it was an extra tough one. But IT’S OKAY TO FEEL SAD. ITS OKAY TO SMILE. IT’S OKAY TO CRY. IT’S GOOD TO FEEL. Whatever that may be. I’m a person who has been riddled with grief since the age of 7 when I lost my mum, I’m not going to go into everyone else along the way but I get it. I truly too. You are blessed to have precious memories, hold them close, no one can ever take them from you. You have an amazing daughter who though she might not be able to understand, is there for you everyday, she is supporting you, uplifting you. Don’t forget you need to take time to just be down, to just question why the world is a cruel place, because it’s healthy and natural and it’s all part of the process. You will do her extremely proud not only reading a poem, but every moment in your life. Because you are you, and that’s what she loved. Not your ability to stay strong, not your ability to hold things together, just you. Here for a chat, support and anything you may need.

    Lex
    #bloggerclubUK

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a lovely comment, thank you so much. I am sorry you have had to suffer so much grief in your life, and you’re absolutely right…it’s perfectly ok to just feel, whatever that may be. It will be a long process I’m sure, but as you said, my little one will keep me going. I am a bag of nerves as the funeral is tomorrow, but I really do need that time to grief with my family and say our final goodbye. Thanks again Lex xxx

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  3. I am so, so sorry for your loss. Going through grief is hard itself, but when you have to keep a positive face for a toddler, it’s likely twice as hard. Toddlers are ridiculously hard themselves- I also have a two year old who is running on 100 every minute he’s awake. Keep your chin up and it’ll get easier as the days go by. Hugs.

    On a happy note: I love your blog! It’s so real and I find myself relating to it a lot. I’ve also nominated you for a liebster award honoring new bloggers. Check out my link for the details!

    https://savvymamaj.wordpress.com/2016/10/13/liebster-award/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I arrived home from the funeral in Ireland late last night and awoke to her (at 5am) saying “I biss you baba ” (she can’t pronounce m’s yet)! It will be hard to rebuild now but we’ll get there.
      Thank you also for liking my blog!!! I just write from the heart and from my own experiences. It has, and is, extremely therapeutic, and it gives me an opportunity to use my brain!
      I can’t thank you enough for nominating me for an award…I am truly humbled x

      Like

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