Sacred space – Penarth Pier is a very special place to me. We’ve been
there at least twice a year every year since we met, always sitting on our
favourite bench looking out to sea. Three years to the day we first kissed my
husband proposed to me whilst we sat on our bench. He had planned to do it
during a fancy dinner later in the day but said it just felt more special to do
it then and it really was.
There are little memorial plaques that go up the pier and on our first wedding
anniversary we bought ourselves one. We are planning to get another one in
memory of Aneurin.
Being there makes me feel so peaceful and content and we had beautiful visions
of Aneurin running up and down the pier, begging us for ice cream, standing on
his tiptoes peering into the sea. We visited twice whilst I was pregnant and
I’m so, so glad he got to feel the peace that I feel being there.
over the last couple of months with this really strong sense of having dreamt
about Aneurin and with it comes such peace. They’re not clear dreams that I
remember but just a feeling of having been connected with him. We don’t really
have any rituals but I do have a photo of him by my bed and we look at it most
nights and give it a kiss.
Love letter – To my wonderful hairy husband,
I am so sorry this has happened to us. I wish so very much that I could take
your pain away. As painful as this is for me, I would feel it twice as hard if
it meant you didn’t have to.
9 years ago I fell in love with you so quickly and it just kept coming. I truly
thought our wedding day would be the peak of my love for you but it was only
the beginning. The same scary love I feel for our son, I feel for you too.
Knowing we made a whole new human together made up of both us is a feeling like
no other and seeing you gaze at our beautiful, sweet boy with equal parts
pride, awe and heartbreak is something I will never forget.
I was so fearful of what losing Aneurin would mean for us but I continue to be
amazed at our strength and unity. I look at you sometimes and feel so
overwhelmed with what I feel for you. Love just doesn’t cover it. Our souls are
bound together in a way I will never fully comprehend and I know we will get
through this and anything else life throws at us. As long as I have you by my
side to fast forward the bits when animals eat eachother in nature programs and
hold one of the cats in my face when I’m sad I know I’ll be just fine.
Choose Your Breath – Today’s prompt is inspired by the Choose Your Breath
workshop to think about whether grief and healing can co-exist.
My life hasn’t always been easy due to my mental health but despite that I am a
very hopeful and optimistic person. I don’t want to be a passenger in my own
life, I want to enjoy it and make it meaningful. It’s not always possible to do
that because depression especially can make it so difficult to get a grasp of
things and sometimes you’re incapable of doing anything but breathing but when
I can, I do.
A lot of the skills I’ve learnt over the years to manage my mental health I’ve
applied to my grief. I find myself practising mindfulness a lot, especially at
night when I’m often plagued with thoughts surrounding the trauma of losing
Aneurin. My brain goes to a horrible place and the only way I can control it is
by focussing myself on the here and now.
To me grief is all about healing. I’ve become the sort of person that talks
about ~journeys and paths~ because that is what grief is. It’s a long, complex
process and for the most part we are in control of it. I say for the most part
because there are times when grief completely takes the wheel and there’s
nothing to do but ride it out.
I feel like I have a responsibility to heal myself. To honour my son’s life by
making the most of mine, doing things I think he would be proud of and finding
meaning in my life. If I don’t and I use his death as an excuse to give in to
the part of me that is susceptible to scary ideas and deep depression that is
disrespectful to his little life and I can’t do that.
We are very hopeful that part of our healing will be becoming parents a second
time which is a terrifying prospect but hope is carrying me through. I will
never stop grieving because I will never stop loving Aneurin but I will also
never stop trying to find ways to heal both myself and my husband. For now our
grief is in control but I hope that one day we can control it.
Earth Remembrance – It was important to us that Aneurin was cremated rather
than buried but as a result of that we don’t have a physical place to visit him
which is hard. I know his physical body isn’t really him anymore and I can feel
him with us wherever we are but I do wish we had a specific place to go to to
feel close to him.
We are toying with the idea of planting a tree in a green burial site but
we’re planning on moving away from the area in the next year so don’t know
where to do it. I love the idea of new life being created in honour of his and
we both find being amongst nature very healing. I love going fishing with my
husband and just listening to the birds and the water, I love being near the
sea and writing his name in the sand and I love looking for messages from him
in the Earth.
We do have a plant though that is very special to us. It was given to us by my
dear friend, Kerry, who didn’t realise at the time that it was the same flower
my wedding bouquet was made up of and the exact same shade. That little bit of
serendipity make it all the more special. We’ve put it in a pot so when we move
we can take it with us. Whenever I look at it (even when it’s out of flower
like it is now) I think of the two most wonderful parts of my life; my marriage
and my son.