Right Where I Am 2013: Fourteen Months and One Week

Back on 3rd August 2012, I participated for the first time in Angie’s Right Where I Am project. I wrote that post Four Months, One Week and One Day after Finley died.

Today at Fourteen Months and One Week it’s hard to look back on my words from that day in August last year. I was hurting so incredibly. I didn’t know whether I had anything left in me to offer. I doubted whether my friends or even my husband would want to stick around my misery.

My grief is changing – it’s kind of funny how that happens. People from further down the grief journey tell you that it will, but in the early days after you bury your child, it really is impossible to imagine how you could ever get your head above water for long enough to catch your breath. And yet here I am. My son has been dead for more than a year, and somehow I am still alive. I didn’t think I would survive it.

I still have days when my heart feels like it is going to break right out of my chest for the sheer pain of missing my boy. I still struggle sometimes to not let the small things get on top of me – sometimes when you’re busy dealing with the big things, the small things sneak up and can feel like the end of the world. But as always in this journey, I am learning to to adapt and to grow and to cope.

It’s hard to not become bogged down with every day mundane life. I try not to dwell too much on my alternate life with a toddler running around. But I’ve also learned that it is okay to let my mind go there sometimes. My mind will always want to go where my heart lives – and that is with my son. I’m not ashamed of it. In fact, sometimes I can imagine it with a smile on my face.

My mind will always want to go where my heart lives - and that is with my son - Lisa Sissons

My confidence and belief in myself are gradually coming back, though I do still sometimes wonder what people see in me. Because I can see the depths of my own mind, it’s too easy to feel a bit crazy and separated from those around me. For the most part people have stuck by me. And some who didn’t initially are coming back to me now. It’s a reassurance that I have handled things the best way I knew how, and that people generally don’t fault me for it. I also think I’m becoming fun again, whatever that means. I don’t find it as difficult to be in a social situation now without wanting to scream, “My son is dead – how can you sit here and talk about such inconsequential nonsense!?” Even some of the normal day to day trials seem somewhat important now, where as a year ago none of it mattered to me at all.

I am holding down a job that is allowing me to support the dreams of my family. I am coping with working long hours and doing well at my job.

I can look at babies and occasionally smile now. I can talk to my pregnant coworker (yes, another one) about pregnancy and birth and babies and not want to punch her in the face. I can speak openly about Finley and not worry or care about how others react to my story.

I guess, to summarize, I am in an entirely different place than I was 10 months ago. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss my son, and it doesn’t mean that I am any less affected by this journey that I was forced to take. I am learning to live with the grief – it is a part of me now just as much as my ski jump nose and my over-excitable personality – and I’m okay with it being my ever constant companion. It means Finley existed and mattered and that my life has changed because of him. I wouldn’t want it to be any other way.

28 thoughts on “Right Where I Am 2013: Fourteen Months and One Week

  1. Oh, yes, Finley mattered. It is hard early on to comprehend how things could change, even when you know they will. As some one further down the road, I’ll say it keeps changing.

    • Thanks for stopping by and offering up some encouragement. I wonder if the grief continues to evolve for as long as we live, or if at some point we make it into such a part of ourselves that we grow used to it.

  2. Em

    Stopped in from RWIA. Yes, Finley mattered. And he changed your life. As he should.

  3. I remember reading your post last year, and reading about your beautiful boy.In my earlier days I hated people telling me that grief would change, I felt connected to my daughter through that pain and despair, occasionally I still do, but at almost 4 years out, grief has changed and keeps on changing.I’m learning finally to live with that. x

    • The guilt that accompanies the changing grief is hard to deal with sometimes. I know that I still feel guilty for living my life without Finley here. But I know it is what he would have wanted for me xx

  4. The months pass and small changes happen here or there, and then you write something like this and realize how far you’ve come. Finely mattered, and he’s always remembered.

    • That’s what I love about RWIA and blogging in general. You can look back on your words and see just how far you’ve come. And reading back on your own thoughts can put you right back to where you were. I think that’s important :) Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Wow. This is an amazing post – it made me cry. I’m a mere 5 months on from neonatal loss and so much has become “different” along the way in that short time.

    • I’m sorry I made you cry! Five months is hardly any time at all. I’m so sorry you are going through this, and I Hope that this post and my previous one are able to show that the grief does change over time xx

  6. Great post Lisa, and for me 13 months on from losing Laura I can relate to you too. Your baby boy was here and mattered as much as any other child, but it’s good to let some of the pain go a little. We’ll never “get over” what happened to us (nor I suspect would many of us want to), but it is a testament to our strength that we are still here with (sometimes) smiles on our faces. Our babies would want it xx

    • I agree Claire, and I am coming to terms with that. It’s hard to carry on though when all we want is our babies isn’t it? xx

  7. Jen

    Such truth. I too let my mind wander where my heart lives a bit more often now…and I don’t have to cry about it, which is surely a sign of healing.

    This will always suck for us. Forever. But the fact that we can let go of some of the pain and find new happiness and let this just become part of who we are is reassuring, for sure.

    • Forever. Like you I’m glad that I can look back more now without always feeling sad, though there will always be that bittersweet feeling that comes along with the memories.

  8. Your post has given me hope – knowing that one day I will be ok. Its stories like yours where I can gain inspiration from mothers that have been through it and have come out of the darkness smiling. Thank you Lisa, I always look forward to reading your blog xx

    • You are okay now my sweet, but you just don’t realise it. I don’t know if it’s that we heal or we just grow strong enough to carry the pain with us, but in time it does change. I’m so glad that you’ve come and shared your story with me :) xx

  9. I’m 14 months out as well. We lost our daughter in March 2012. I can’t believe it’s been 14 months – it feels like yesterday, it feels like forever ago. I had the exact same reaction when I re-read my post from last year. The pain in it is palpable, and I was brought right back to those feelings, while at the same time realizing that I’ve grown in my grief since then. Remembering Finley with you. XO

    • Thank you. It’s hard to believe how much time has passed. Occasionally I feel like nothing has really changed at all. I feel like I’m still stuck. But to be able to look back and really see how far I’ve come helps to put it all into perspective. xx

  10. I love the sentence that you have picked out – ‘my mind will always want to go to where my heart lives – and is with my son.’ So beautiful and such an ache to those words. I am so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful son, Finley.

    I’m so glad that your confidence and self-belief are returning to you, It is a strange time, when those little trials start to matter a little once more. So much changes but not the missing and certainly not the love.

    • Definitely not the love. It is the one constant throughout this whole miserable journey. It wouldn’t be miserable if it weren’t for the love. Thanks for stopping by xx

  11. Jen

    It is so very hard to believe you will get through the scary and difficult place of the early days. I am glad you are in a Somewhat better place. So sorry for your loss xo

    • Thanks Jen. And it so is. It never really feels like you will come through the pain of it all, and then one day you look back and realise you did much better than you ever thought you could xx

  12. thank you for sharing… it is refreshing to see someone to pragmatic about the evolution of the grief. I posted today, for the first time, in the RWIA project and am reading everyone elses post. It is wonderful, especially for people early in their journey to be able to see that life DOES go on, even if we don’t want it to.

    26 years, 4 months 5 days. Yvonne

    • Especially if we don’t want it to. That’s the funniest thing about life I think – that it goes on regardless of anything.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  13. He sure did matter and he sure does matter. Always did and always will. thank you for sharing. xo

    • Thanks Caroline. And happy birthday to sweet Cale today xxx

  14. Finley mattered. Our babies were here and changed everything. Thank you for sharing.

  15. I wish that none of us had to live in a world without our child/children. Grief does change over time (or it has for me) but there is no getting “over it.” Sending hope and hugs to you and Finley.

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