I thought this week was going to be horrendous to be honest. We’d be home from our little break in the New Forest, the funeral was done and dusted, and Gerard was going back to work.
And then there was the looming date of Aurelia’s ‘official’ due date which is today.
But you know I’ve been ok this week, in fact, I’d call it a good week. It’s been filled with seeing friends, lovely long phone calls, walks with the dog and getting the house and garden straightened out. I’ve felt energised and productive and wanted to get out of bed in the morning and get on with things- something I didn’t predict for this week.
I remember Gerard said to me a few weeks ago, when I was pondering as to how awful it was going to be when he went back to work, was to not let those emotions become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’ll admit my first reaction was not a happy one to this- it felt a little cold and lacked the understanding that of course I’ll be on the floor with grief.
That’s not what he meant of course, and in fact he was right (yes Gerard I admit you’re right!).
Having reflected on what Gerard had said, last week I decided that I’d give myself plenty of structure whether it be seeing people or having a to do list to get through (and not just boring housework type things to do), whilst giving myself the grace that if I had a bad day, I’d go with it and allow myself a day in front of the telly or day in bed if that’s what I needed. Rather than predicting it was going to be awful, I changed my mindset to it might be awful, it might not and let’s just try and avoid things that might make it particularly awful (which for me is being on my own too much or not having structure in a day or at least a plan of things to do).
Because that’s the nature of grief, as I seem to be fast learning. It’s about riding through it, not trying to predict it…and I don’t know the best analogy for describing what you do because you can’t control grief, nor should you avoid it, and it’s ok to sometimes be overwhelmed by it. But, I suppose it’s about not letting it be a case of I’ve got to be miserable forever now, and doing things that help you cope with it. Whether that be ensuring you rest, eat, or avoid those things you know will pull you down too much.
And I suppose life’s ‘normality’ helped jolt me out of any chance to bring myself down into a low on Monday. Again I was dreading saying goodbye to Gerard on Monday morning as he went to work. But instead of having much chance to think about it, our darling Lab got far too excited, did a huge wee on her bed in the middle of the lounge, got her feet in it and trod it all round the living room. I then spent the next 45 minutes cleaning up which set the week off nicely!
So we come to Aurelia’s due date today. I’ve had some time and a reasonably clear head this week to reflect on this. Whilst of course for many parents this can be a really difficult day, I felt by Wednesday today was going to be ok. At the end of the day Aurelia entered the outside world when she was meant to, and that was always going to be the case.
Her due date is of course a reminder of ‘what ifs’ today- if she’d been ok what would we be doing? I’d probably be waddling around, moaning about my back, stressing about having everything ready. Gerard would be on tenterhooks with his phone off it’s normal silent mode worrying less about having everything ready and more about how he was going to cope with less stress. Whilst of course I’d give anything to be worrying about those things right now and not grieving our little girl, it does make me smile in some way thinking about how we might have been and thankful that when (hopefully) another mini Miles comes along those worries or stresses will be so much less important than we thought, and again, hopefully, we will enjoy those last days of anticipation and excitement so much more.