Day 8. BEAUTIFUL MYSTERIES
Last night I dreamt about Lentil. I don’t remember a lot of it but I remember what he looked like, he was using a sippy cup and was making such a mess! I often wonder what he’d be like now; what he’d look like, how tall he would be, if I could still lift him, which balance bike we’d be buying him for Christmas, what he’d be wearing to special events. It’s hard not to wonder and daydream about him. I wonder how I’d be coping with a 4 month old and a 16 month old. When you’re pregnant you constantly think about your child, what they will be like as a baby, as a child, as an adolescent, as an adult. Lentil will always be a mystery but I can imagine. I can imagine that he’d like animals and want to ride a bike like his daddy. I can imagine that he’d be confident in the water and love going to the swimming pool and the beach. I can imagine that he’d be the most amazing brother to Juniper and that they’d be the best of friends. I imagine him to have blue eyes like his sister and to have kept the reddish tinge to his hair. I think he would have had freckles as he got older. I like to imagine that he would have been clever and funny, kind, mischievous. He will always be the missing piece in our family.
Day 9. SURRENDER + EMBRACE
I’ve spoken before about grief being like the sea, sometimes those waves are small but they beat against you and they wear you down. I try hard to keep my feelings in check but at times it’s all just too much. You can’t fight against the tide anymore you just have to give in, let it wash over you, you have to surrender to it. Sometimes I can feel it building and I just have to let go, I have to let the tears out and just allow myself to be sad, to wallow in self-pity, just for a few minutes. I have to give in to the sadness and frustration. I have to acknowledge the unfairness of the hand we’ve been dealt. Once I give in I feel so much better, I feel relief at not keeping it bottled up anymore, I feel cleansed. Allowing myself to be completely broken at times helps me to feel stronger afterwards.
Day 10. SYMBOLS + SIGNS
I was never really one for believing in signs and symbols before we lost Lentil but now I find them everywhere. Maybe it’s because I’m desperate for any kind of connection with my boy. I don’t know, but I do know they help. I’ve spoken before about rainbows, butterflies and the squirrel at the hospital. I had another run in with a squirrel the other day when we went to put flowers on Lentil’s grave. As we were leaving the burial ground I was having a good old blub, we’d just got back to the car and Paul was wrestling Juniper out of the Tula when something landed on the ground next to me and I heard a rustle above me. Several more items fell from above and I finally realised there was a squirrel right above me, throwing things in my general direction! Once I’d looked up he skipped along the branch and into the next tree. Maybe Lentil was telling me to pull myself together, maybe a squirrel was telling me to go home. I don’t know but it brought a smile to my face and got me through another sad patch. I find nature so comforting, Lentil lives on in other things, even if just on a molecular level. I hope that I will always see him all around me.
Day 11. CREATIVE HEARTWORK
We have lots of bits and pieces in memory of Lentil. Paul and I each have a necklace with Lentil’s hand and footprints on. I’ve had to take my necklace off for now as Juniper loves to grab it and I can’t then get her to let go! I felt so guilty taking it off, like it meant I loved him less because I’m not showing an outward sign of him but I’ve realised how stupid that is now. My necklace is just a piece of metal, Lentil is in my heart and will never be forgotten. Nothing will ever change the love I have for him. When Lentil was born one of my friends had a picture made with his name, date of birth and weight on. It was so lovely that she gave us a gift that acknowledged him. A gift that celebrated him. The sort of gift that we would have received had he lived. When Juniper was born another friend had this made.
Day 12. LEMONS + LEMONADE
Despite Lentil’s life being cut so unfairly short so much good has come from it. So far we have raised £16289.44 in memory of Lentil. It’s going towards the special unit at our local hospital that looks after parents when their child dies before, during or soon after birth. If you would like to donate to this fantastic cause you can do so here.
Every year on Lentil’s birthday and at Christmas we will do something special in memory of our beautiful boy. For his first birthday we donated toys to the children’s ward at our local hospital. We haven’t decided what we will do this Christmas yet but we will do something to help others in memory of him, his life will continue to affect others in a positive way.
Day 13. DEAR WORLD
Today I’m supposed to choose a particular part of my grief to talk about.
“What is on your heart that you want the world to know about your kind of grief? This is your day to choose your own topic. Some topic ideas are pregnancy or infertility after loss. Anxiety or PTSD. Forgiveness. Trust. What is it that you want to talk about?”
I have to admit that I don’t really know what to choose. I feel like I’ve covered all of these topics individually in previous blog posts and I don’t really have anything to add to them. Pregnancy after losing Lentil was emotionally and physically incredibly tough. I continue to struggle with anxiety and some level of PTSD, often reliving the horror of that day and constantly worrying about things going wrong now. Mistakes were made during Lentil’s birth and I learned to forgive people and to trust again, even myself to some extent.
Day 14. BELIEFS + SPIRITUALITY
It’s not surprising that in a world with so many different people there are so many different beliefs about death and an after life. People cling to the hope that there is more, personally I’ve always felt that this world is enough for me. What continues to surprise and shock me about beliefs and spirituality is the need for others to share their views, sometimes even openly telling me that what I believe is wrong. People are entitled to their own opinion but it’s so important to respect the opinions of others and to acknowledge that actually nobody knows. I find it hard to understand how people can be so sure of their own beliefs that they can try to inflict them on others, particularly just after the loss of a baby. I try to remain open minded and to stay objective and I would never have the audacity to tell someone that what they believe is wrong and that they should follow my beliefs instead. Religion and spirituality help some people enormously when they are struggling with grief but since losing Lentil I feel very strongly that beliefs belong to individuals and shouldn’t be forced on others.