It is that time of year again. The bluebells are out. The sun is making more of an appearance. It is warmer. It is the time of year where I start to feel saddest. This time of year is always going to make me reminisce and feel sad. It is the anniversary of Eilys being very poorly and having her feeding tube fitted and that was really the start of her going downhill. I love having the daily reminders from Timehop but I know that over the next 2 months they are going to get sadder for me to look at. I am so grateful for the time we had and the memories we made but it doesn’t stop it from being utterly shitty. I love seeing Eilys’ beautiful face but I can see her decline, daily in a way that I didn’t admit to when she was here. It is hard. I don’t want May and June to be months that are dark and gloomy for me so I am trying to keep afloat but it is a struggle. I am excited about Evan crawling about on grass for the first time, first times in the paddling pool, picnics and outdoor adventures but still the clouds loom.
For me grief is a very windy path. Sometimes I feel like I am coping fine and that I am dealing with it and other times I am overwhelmed by it and feel like I am suffocating. It grabs me and pulls me under. As a family we help each other out and we talk about Eilys all the time. Grief has been popping up everywhere at the moment, often taking me by surprise and then going again. Like when I was driving round the hospital looking for a car parking space and I saw the tree we sat under while I was in labour with Eilys, the grief hit me like a bus. Or when we took the boys swimming a few weeks ago and the memory of having a baby on the red changing station totally overwhelmed me and brought me back to the last time we took Eilys swimming there (not a happy memory, it was harrowing). But my biggest struggle at the moment is grief guilt.
Evan is so full of life and is so busy that he has no time for staying still for a nappy change. As soon as he cottons on to the fact that I am trying to change his bum he is off, once the nappy is off he flips and bolts, after his bum has been wiped he escapes, after one side of his new nappy is on he shoots off… in short it is relentless. I am forever saying “please stay still” or “just stay still” and every time I do I mentally scald myself… I wish Eilys could have been so active… mentally it is tiring. Guilt. Evan is still waking up several times in the night. I feel guilty when I feel grumpy towards him being awake in the night and then I tell myself off, I would give anything to be up with Eilys in the night. Guilt. When Evan is happy at night he likes everyone to know about it, he babbles away and shouts a lot. I want to sleep and I get grumpy that his shouting (over the baby monitor and I can hear him all the way down the hall, he is that loud) but then the guilt kicks in… I wish that Eilys was able to be as vocal as that. She did make some awesome noises and babbles but they were limited. Guilt.
It is exhausting. I know that I need to be kinder to myself and that grief is bound to keep rearing it’s head. It is difficult because despite it being my voice in my head I seem to have no control over it! Does that make me sound utterly crazy?
With Evan crawling, cruising, standing, climbing and generally being everywhere all the time the differences between him and Eilys have become so stark. They are still quite similar, they have similar colouring and look alike at times but because she was always lying down or being held they have totally different looks. I am finding it really hard to look at photographs of Eilys at the moment (this is getting easier) because her disabilities are so apparent to me and they never were when she was alive. Watching Evan doing all these amazing and awesome things, seeing how strong he is makes me so happy but at the same time it makes me sad that she was unable to. It also makes it so clear how amazing Eilys was. Despite being so limited by her condition she didn’t get frustrated with what she couldn’t do, she was so happy and contented.
So as I head into May I am taking a huge in take of breath, I have pulled my big girl pants all the way up and I will tackle these next 2 months head on. I have something pretty cool planned in Eilys’ memory on her birthday (I think it is pretty cool, hopefully you will too). I am going to try something once Evan is awake from his nap and I’ll post it to insta and on here if it works (fingers crossed). I am so lucky that I have such an amazing network of family and friends in my life (real and online), so thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day.
Enjoy the sunshine