Days 16 and 17 of #mayweallheal (yes I did forget to post yesterday). Joy and On Coming Alive. After Rory died I honestly believed I would never ever find joy again, but like a flower opening in the spring sunshine I slowly started to bloom and found joy where I though there was none. A day that sticks out was Rory’s cremation, a day we were all dreading but my little family managed to have a happy joyful afternoon out in the sunshine. I remember standing there on the cliff top watching Toby and Matt run on ahead thinking ‘I should be really sad right now but I’m so happy I have them’. I surprised myself that afternoon and I do try to find joy where I can.
My discovery of joy after loss leads me onto On Coming Alive. Part of me died along with Rory but slowly I have rebuilt myself and feel like my post Rory life is a new one and I have accepted it. I am grateful and happy to be alive carrying Rory with me every day.
Day 15 of #mayweallheal, Insights.
If im honest I’m struggling with today’s word as the word conjures up two very different interpretations, I can’t choose so I’ll do both.
1. Insights – I’m a bit socially awkward and sometimes have no idea what to say, particularly when faced with someone upset. Since Rory left us I have a better insight into how people want to be treated if they are upset. I sort of know what to say and do now and can better judge situations. I also feel I can emphasise with those who had suffered a bereavement as before I simply couldn’t as I’d never lost anyone in my family since I was a child. So Rory has given me a better insight into grief, upset and trauma and I am better prepared to help others.
2. Insights – since Rory died I have had major and actually quite shocking insights at how people react to our situation and how little they value my feelings or position. I don’t need those people in my life and I’m thankful that they have been flagged up now rather than when I may need to call on them for help.
Day 14 of #mayweallheal, If Only.
If only, two words, six letters, nothing really but those two words are so loaded with guilt, wonder, worry and pain.
I have lost count of the times I have thought ‘if only’ since I got ill, since Rory died.
If only I’d gone to hospital sooner. If only I’d looked after myself better. If only I’d rested more. If only my body had held on longer. If only Rory was a week older. If only Rory was 100g heavier. If only we’d fought more for his little life. If only things were different. If only you were still here. If only, if only, if only.
In this journey I have never thought if only we’d never had Rory, never once, never ever. I am proud to be Rory’s mummy and I always will be.
Day 13 of #mayweallheal, Nature. If I’m honest I’m not that great with nature – a fear of spiders, ladybirds and anything with more legs than me isn’t conducive to long walks in the country.
However being outside brings me calm and peace and as I look through photos from the last year there are a lot taken outside. On the day of Rory’s cremation it was a bright sunny day and also my birthday so off we went to a local garden attraction followed by a trip to the new forest for amazing chips and a walk along the shore with my two boys.
Rory’s due date was also spent outside at the National Memorial Arboretum where there is a Sands garden.
Being outside just makes me feel better and more connected to the world and ultimately connected to Rory.
Day 12 (on time today) of #mayweallheal, Beauty.
Since becoming a mum, and then becoming an angel mum I have learned that beauty is all around us and in unlikely places. When you see the world through a child’s eyes it is beautiful and wonderous, Toby has a good eye for rainbows and rainbow patterns which is fitting as he is our rainbow after 5 cloud filled years of trying for a baby.
When Rory died I couldn’t see any colour or any beauty but slowly I began to appreciate life and life out of the fast lane of life gave me time to stop and look at the beauty of the world.
The world is beautiful (the picture is from one of my favourite beautiful places) and of course both of my boys are beautiful too!
I’m a day late with this one, oops! Day 11 of #mayweallheal, Keepsake.
We have lots of Rory related keepsakes, I’ve pretty much saved everything related to him, stuff that means something to me and reminds me of him or special days, things I’ve been given. We have so much stuff I had to buy a bigger box as our 4Louis memory box was full to bursting.
My most treasured keepsake is Rory’s green had that he appeared with after the doctor had looked at him following delivery. I must confess I bloody hated the bright green hairy wool hat but as it is in all of his photos and he wore it until he was dressed in his cremation outfit, the hat became a symbol of Rory and I absolutely love it.
Here is a picture of my beautiful baby boy in his hideous (but loved) hat.
Day 10 of #mayweallheal, Understanding.
I’m writing today’s post from the perspective of the support I have had from my employer and colleagues as an’on this day’ post reminded me I’ve been back at work for nearly a year since Rory died.
I had a few days of popping in at first which helped me remember that work was still there, still normal and it probably helped my colleagues see that I wasn’t a crazy person crying all over the place.
I was brave and attended the annual staff party a few weeks after Rory died, it felt weird to be out ‘having fun’, I wasn’t really but I pretended and was glad I went. I had a few random hugs and ‘good to see you’ comments from people I didn’t expect to care which meant a lot. I managed to keep it together until after I dropped my friend off and sobbed the rest of the way home. People being nice always sends me over the edge.
Then it was time to go back properly, first to a half day training session with my leadership team colleagues who treated me like a normal person rather than an outcast.
When I came back to my desk it felt OK, it was easier to keep myself to myself at first as I was worried people would ask how I am and I (still) never know how to answer. I asked my boss if I could have a picture of Rory on my desk, I told her it was one from when he was alive rather than dead as I didn’t want to scare people. Her reply was ‘of course, have what you want on your desk’. People have asked if that’s Rory and it makes me happy that they do ask as I’m proud to show him off just like I do with my pictures of Toby. The only difference being that Rory’s photo will never change.
A few weeks into being back at work all the other expected summer babies started being born, it was so very hard hearing hushed conversations about the new baby boys. My team were amazing and mopped up my tears in the toilet corridor and made sure I wasn’t copied into the round robin announcement emails.
A year on I can honestly say I have felt so supported by my team and colleagues and as I go through some other personal challenges at the moment, the colleagues who know have been true to their word and not discussed it with me (as I have asked).
So to finish, all there is left to say is a massive thank you to all of my amazing colleagues for understanding me!