Last Friday, I, and Steven Guy, the co-ordinator for SandsNI, visited a Minister to talk about holding a Christmas Carol Service in Fermanagh. You have to get in early!! It was welcomed very positively, which is fantastic.
I know it is too early to be talking Christmas (although planning for a Christmas Carol Service next year is already underway!!), but, I cannot wait to attend a Christmas Carol Service. It will be special because it will be catered to parents who are missing a child; parents of children who are no longer here. And, not just parents. Grandparents, Aunties and Uncles, Godparents who never got the chance to step into the role, or other people in the community who want to come and lend support to people they know who have lost a child. But, of course, everybody is welcome.
I have looked over the order of service and I already know that I am going to shed more than one tear. The readings are emotional. And, I think that they are more emotional because of who they are about and aimed at. How am I going to 'hold it together'?
You know how? I am not. I cannot wait. I always think releasing all the pent up emotion is good for the soul. I think it is a huge relief to get it off the chest. And, I think that it is extremely beneficial, mentally and emotionally, to let the grief out. Just let it out. Sometimes we do not show emotions or let the tears out because we are worried about how other people will feel. Maybe they will be uncomfortable seeing me cry?
But, you know what, it is not about them. It is about you. It all comes back to you and your baby. It all comes back to me and my baby.
This Christmas Carol Service will be the icing on my year. I hope that other people will come and celebrate the babies that are no longer with us. Christmas is a special time of year, but it is also extremely emotional. The whole idea of Christmas does not really fit in with Patrick not being here - so much happiness and anticipation alongside grief and sadness and loss.
But, I can make happy memories around Patrick, even if he never got to celebrate a Christmas. This is what the Service is about. Patrick will finally be able to be apart of Christmas. A whole evening for him, and all the other babies that he is playing with.
Like I said, I cannot wait! Will you join me?
This is a first, I must say. I am feeling a lot of love at the moment. I think I have turned a corner somewhere - or maybe the sadness is on holiday for a while...?
No, I will choose to think that I am turning a corner. I do not know what I will see around this corner, but I need to turn it. I can never leave what is behind me, but I need to move forward. I need to turn down this road and acknowledge that it is totally different to where I have been for the past... I have actually just searched how many days it has been since April 21, 2015. It has been 868 days. Can you believe that? 868 days since I said 'hello' and 'goodbye' to my beautiful boy. That seems like such a long time. I have had a wee cry about that number... Who even knows what 868 days feels like? It is madness. That seems like such a long time.
Right, I have had a moment and now I need to carry on with this thought that I started. Now, do not slap me for this, but sometimes I think it is down to choice, it is for me anyway. You need to understand, that I could never have written these words after Patrick died, not even a year, or even two years, after he died. It is only now.
I was thinking about this blog and its future. And, I was thinking about my life, and the children, and what it was all going to be about now. And I came to the realisation that I am holding on to all this anger and 'why' questions and darkness because I feel bad for enjoying life when Patrick is not here. I feel like I will forget him if I do not hold onto the hurt and anger. I feel like people will forget him more if I choose to be happy and see the light and try to enjoy each and every day that I have.
I know that this is common among bereaved parents, but I honestly thought that I was living life and not holding on to any hurt, anger, resentment [insert negative emotion here]. But, I am not. I do not want to be angry and negative all the time. I do not want to be pessimistic about life. I do not want to only feel sadness when I think of Patrick. I know that I will be sad, I will not pretend that it is a switch that I can flick and never have any sad moments for the rest of my life, but I want his life to be positive. I want his impact to be good.
So, I am embarking on a new 'journey', if you will. I have written before about how I feel lost. And, 868 days is a long time to feel lost. But, I finally feel like I am finding myself again. It has taken a long time and some truly determined effort and soul searching on my part, but I need to take this other road; I need to turn the corner. I need to remember that I am not a bad mother for wanting to be happy.
I know that this may not be the cuppa that some want, but it is really tiring holding on to so much negativity. I know, I have been doing it for the last 868 days. Longer even. So, I choose happiness, and light, and sunshine. One day at a time...