Sometimes happy memories hurt the most

Very soon we will of breathed for 3650 days without our first born, our daughter Gracie Alice Rose.

As I’ve written previously she was too precious for this earth and so was given her wings early. We were blessed with several days with her and in that small amount of time created enough memories to get us through a life time without her…just. I remember every moment and each stage before we left the hospital with her car seat empty and our hearts in pieces.

At the time we were cocooned by the love of our family and friends, but also the ripples of love that travelled into our communities, work places and beyond. This experience has given me a masters in grief. It wasn’t a qualification that I was planning on taking, but I hope that my knowledge might make things a little easier when you find yourself in the shadows of grief.

People lie

Much like a pregnancy, in death people like to give advice. “It’ll be ok” “when my mum died..” it goes on. However, one wise Nanny told me “people will tell you it gets easier with time – they’re liars”. At the time it felt like Nanny had bluntly slapped me across the face, a different tone shall we say from the sympathy cards we’d received in their dozens. Alas, she was right and with this blunt truth and sudden adjustment to my thoughts, it somehow made it easier? I wasn’t waiting for the day I’d feel ‘me’ again, because ‘I’ was changed forever. With this comes several added delights, people are lying to you because they love you enough to want to make it better. to ease the brutal process. You are loved. Also, I don’t want to forget anything about that 5lb9 bundle of joy, so why would losing her get easier? Another truth is you do smile again, breathing gets a little easier and appreciation for what you had, even if like in our case it was only for days…becomes a blessing.

Break all the rules

If grief was a fairy, she would be naughty, mischievous and unpredictable – she would turn up when she liked, how she liked and make you feel how you didn’t expect to feel. Some people believe that there are steps to grief (google tells me there are seven), in reality there are actually as many as your grief fairy decides. You may think you’re through guilt and in to anger and then fairy grief side sweeps you back to stage one ‘shock’. It’s your journey and just because I’ve got my masters in grief doesn’t mean I know how you feel, what you need or how best to support you. My best advice would be to reach out to someone you trust and tell them. If they are a good friend, they’ll already know you’re crazy and love you for it, so to hear that one day your fine, the next your on top of the world and the third you’ve been wearing the same Pyjamas for a month and don’t remember where the shower is will come as no surprise. Talk to your tribe, be as honest as you can about your feelings and if you can’t put it into words, silence is best served with a friend by your side.

If none of the above resonates with you, remember ‘what do I know?’ and people are liars. However, if it made things a little easier then in our family we call that a ‘Gracie steps’, tiny steps to progress.

If you’ve been affected by any of the content in this post, please speak to a loved one, your GP or perhaps speak to the wonderful people at The Samaritans (UK) 116123.

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Owning less is better than organising more

Quote by Joshua Becker

This quote resonated with me as I have a dream. To live in a minamilist house with a few precious objects. White clean lines and quality rather than quantity…

The current reality is a three bedroom house full of plastic (seriously my child is a plastic magnet), dog hair and crap that I might need ‘one day’. I’m not a hoarder or collector and I’m not a fan of ornaments, I like objects to have purpose SO WHY DO I OWN SO MUCH STUFF? I don’t go shopping that often and over the last few years I have refused to shop in many high street shops swapping quantity for classic pieces that are better quality, I even have a charity bag on the go all the time….still we have stuff everywhere? 

My house is like some sort of Bermuda Triangle of stuff, it seeps in through the cracks and clutters the side boards and surfaces. I’m purposely using the word stuff as I’m not sure what we have… most of it is practical, used and loved and I’m even thinking of moving house as an excuse to chuck it all (the actual reality would be a million boxes I’d never get around to unpacking and probably the purchase of even more stuff)

So, for once I don’t have the answers, not even close. Instead I’m asking you for advice on how to minamilise before I suffocate in stuff and drown in a pile of a toys. My living room looks like Toys R Us and only the bathroom is clutter free; even then I have to keep an eye on the ratio of bath water to plastic toys in my sons baths. Work surfaces that I clean are filled in an instant, Paper flows through our letter box like the scene from Harry Potter – the irony is that only one local take away will actually deliver to our village, so why do I need 65 flyers of exotic food that I can’t order? Then, why do those flyers get stuck on sideboards around the home, poked in corners and laid on the bottom of our staircase for days, weeks and in some cases months. 

Sorry to rant, although I do feel better – they say writing is therapy after all? In this case any practical tips would be welcome in the comment section, because honestly owning less would be so much less organising… 

Love a Minimalist wannabe x