Capture Your Grief 2015 Days 16-20

Day 16. Creative Grief – When you
lose a baby, especially one you didn’t get to keep for very long, you don’t
have many memories or tangible things to hold onto so you have to make your
own. We don’t have anything Aneurin wore and the things we had at home for him
didn’t quite feel like his yet. I do have a little hat we took to the hospital
which he didn’t end up wearing that I found in the bag a few weeks ago and
now keep in my bedside table. It sounds odd but just knowing it was in the same
room as him physically makes it more special than any other hat we had ready
for him.
We’ve had to get creative in ways to feel close to him. I have some lovely
jewellery and artwork and once I’m 6 months post birth I’ll be getting a tattoo
with him in mind. I think I’d like some sweet peas (we put a bunch from my
mother in law’s garden on his casket) but I’m not 100% sure yet.
For a while I was a bit concerned about being in danger of almost creating a
shrine for him. Doing that always seemed a bit unhealthy to me but now I
completely understand why it happens. At the moment I have a huge sense of
wanting a physical place to feel close to Aneurin but because he was cremated
we don’t have a grave to visit. We don’t have the luxury of having bits of his
spread across the house like we would if he was here and we don’t have as much
as we’d like so having his memory box, photo album and little bits and bobs in
one place is lovely. Sometimes it can feel a bit like all we want to do is
immerse ourselves in it and grasp at what little we have of him and for the
time being this is what we need to do. We need to write his name in the sand
and doodle it on bits of paper. We need to be able to touch a piece of
jewellery and feel like it connects us to him. We need to do whatever we can to
get five more minutes with our lovely little Pea. One thing I’m learning about
grief is that there’s no right or wrong and you have to do whatever you need to
do to go through it.
 Day 17. Secondary Losses – I have lost
so much more than my son. I’ve lost the future we had planned for, the
innocence I had surrounding pregnancy, my naivety in being a decent person and
so much more. I know things I don’t want to; babies get sick, they die and
there’s nothing anyone can do about it. I know that nobody is immune to tragedy
no matter how much of a good person you are or what you’ve already been
through. Anything can happen and you can’t control it.

The biggest secondary loss though is myself. I don’t know who I am or where I
fit anymore. I was pregnant me for 8 wonderful months and was so excited and
ready to be mummy me. Becoming a parent even if you lose your child changes you
on a soul level. I cannot go back to the person I was before Aneurin but I
don’t know who I am without him. Navigating your way through life after such a
loss is so tough because you’re forced to create an entirely new version of
normal for yourself. I very much feel as if I’m just wandering at the minute
with no direction at all and it’s terrifying.

Day 18. Seasons and Symbols – Summer will
always remind me of Aneurin. I think I spent most of June and July on the sofa
in my knickers with fans pointed at me! I always said I’d never want to be
heavily pregnant in the middle of summer but such is life!
This time of year weighs heavy on my mind because I was so looking forward to
going for crunchy leafed Autumn walks and conker picking in years to come. We
had also put so much focus on Christmas because we knew Aneurin would be out of
neonatal care and home by then so the next couple of months are going to be
As for symbols there are a few things that I associate with our little Pea.
Marmite because I had such a strong craving when I was pregnant and it’s all I
ate for weeks! Sweet peas because he was our sweet little pea. White feathers
because they’re meant to symbolise little angel wings. As I said in my creative
grief post you find meaning and comfort in anything you can when you lose your
child and that’s fine. It opens you up to a whole new world of meaning.
Day 19. Music – The most significant bit of music I
associate with Aneurin is Made Up Love Song #43 by Guillemots. I was at a
daycare appointment one day listening to my iPod when it came on and he would
not stop dancing around in my belly. If I stopped playing it he stopped and as
soon as I hit play he would start moving again! It was so wonderful, especially
when I listened to the words. It opens with ‘I love you through sparks and
shining dragons I do’ and there’s a line in it that says ‘the best things come
from nowhere’ and it made me well up because we didn’t expect Aneurin but he
was truly the greatest thing that ever happened to us. After he was born Haydn
got in bed with me whilst I was holding him and we played it and wept. It was
such a beautiful but bittersweet moment.
For days after the words ran round my head and I would wake up knowing I had
dreamt about the song. We haven’t been able to listen to it since but I hope I
can one day because it’s really lovely and plinky plinky.
 Day 20. Forgiveness & Humanity – We’ve been
quite lucky in that few people have said inappropriate or insensitive things to
us in regards to losing Aneurin. I try my very hardest to forgive people who
say upsetting things because it’s impossible to know what to say when someone’s
child has died and I know people don’t meant to be malicious.

What I am struggling to forgive though is people who have completely turned
their backs on us, especially family because Aneurin was their family too. Like
I said, I know it’s difficult to know what to say but I would much rather
someone said to me ‘I wanted to say something to you but I don’t know what’
than they just ignored me. Peoples reaction of wanting to brush something
difficult or unpleasant under the carpet and pretend it isn’t happening is one
of the worst parts of humanity for me. It alienates people and causes such deep
emotional damage. We are all human, we all feel and those feelings can be both
beautiful and hideous but we need to be allowed to feel them.
Aneurin is and will always be our first child. There’s no brushing that under
the carpet.

Mrs D x

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