Babywearing with Jess

The big black cloud that follows me…

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There is a big black cloud that follows me along life in recent years… Like a storm front, it builds momentum and ramps up covering me in darkness sometimes, unable to see through it.

That sounds dramatic but its how it feels. Since my Dad died five years ago, the grief and loss I have been like the surf at the beach for me. The nature and extent of which I feel them changes, it isn’t just my Dad I have lost.. In the time I have been writing this blog alone my Nanna (Dad’s Mum) has passed away, I have had a miscarriage and lost three friends along the journey.

Like the surf, sometimes momentum builds. The waves crash and its like that cloud is over me again. Sometimes there is indicators and warnings, like anniversaries or events I know are going to trigger loss…

Other times there is no warning or reason at all. Like this morning.. I just woke up feeling sad… Before we had even had a morning coffee I was crying about something I wished I could tell Andy (a friend of ours we lost this year..)

While talking to the boys and changing Jai’s nappy, I started crying at the significance of their names and how I couldn’t tell my Nanna we put Percival in his name.. I know how special she thought it was that Josh’s middle name was Grahame, my Dad’s name.

And before I knew it I was screaming at James and the kids because no one could find the keys and because I felt pissed that the burden of responsibility of finding them was placed on me. I just wanted to send a few emails, I was just pissed off.

And now they aren’t here and I can’t remember who it even was I was meant to email. I just feel overwhelmed with sadness.

I guess sometimes I just feel like I need space to feel things without having someone there to feel like they are interrupting me…

I wrote this last week, not even realising what the date was or thinking about the fact I was probably feeling sensitive to things because of the looming anniversary.

Grief is an all consuming beast.  The death of someone close to you doesn’t ever really “heal”, I guess you just sometimes get better at coping with it, though sometimes you don’t… I guess sometimes you come to learn the warning signs and signals, like the date, but clearly, six years later, i still get that one wrong too…

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Launching paper boats for Dad with the boys..

I think we too often forget that grief doesn’t only come with death. I have grieved many processes, ideas and plans over the last few years not just people.. When we were landed smack bang into huge legal proceedings unexpectedly, I think all of us involved in that shit show grieved in some way or another. When after 18 months of blood, sweat and tears sunk into this fight, some of us grieved the end of it, it just fizzled out in the end.. we all had the “you won” call but it certainly didn’t feel like there was any winners…
Not that long later we were grieving one of our own who we lost along the way. Grief is complex and it’s messy and it’s difficult. It’s multilayered and multifaceted and sometimes it jumps up and surprises you.

I don’t think it really ever goes away.. Well that’s not my experience.. It just changes. And life happens. And further grief will happen… Its always hard, its always kind of raw…

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When our friend passed away, he left behind a four year old daughter and his partner.

Empathizing big time with these guys, I just wanted to do anything I could to help. I searched out resources and books people recommended in these cases once again, I had already been through the same process looking for books for my own kids that related to my dad and death in a way that might help them understand.

Skylight Trust is a great place for resources for the record and Old Huhu is a great book which is a favorite in this house. The first time I saw it was actually on a Playcentre visit when Josh brought it up to me to read and I turned into this sobbing mess of a random mother in the corner unable to control my emotions about how beautiful the book was.

But one of the things people said to me in this time again like the prior, that really doesn’t sit well with me, “your children will lift you up through your grief”…

I call bullshit.

Yes they give me a reason to try and battle through it. They give me a reason to try and get a more positive perspective on things. They give me a reason to keep sharing stories of my Dad, another reason to keep his memory alive. But they certainly don’t lift me up through it.

In fact, I feel like sometimes they pause me processing it.

When I had a miscarriage and the grief storm clouds really closed the horizon for a while there for me again, I had to hide from Josh to feel like I could process things. You can’t really be a blubbering mess in the corner the same way when you are caring for kids…

And yes, it is good not to get stuck in the blubbering mess stage but sometimes you need some of that. I feel like if I can feel it, like experience it, then it’s the first step to acknowledging it. To processing the emotions…

Well I am not a mental health expert but that is my take on it anyway…

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Beautiful sunset tonight ❤


Launching paper boats for Dad on the third anniversary of his death, conciding with Josh’s first birthday party…

Skylight Trust is national not for profit trust that enables children, young people, their family/whanau and friends to navigate through times of trauma, loss and grief – http://skylight.org.nz/

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/nov/01/grief-is-so-overpowering-it-consumes-you-readers-on-death-and-dying

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