No one ever explains how it’s really going to feel. How it’s really going to affect you. How it’s going to tear your insides apart. How surreal it’s going to feel. How heavy it is on your chest that you can’t catch your breath. But when it happens, you know. And no one else knows unless they have walked that same path.
On 7 December 2018, I lost my husband. And our little girl, who is 3 and a half years old at the time, lost her daddy. Our world was turned upside down and it felt like I just couldn’t breathe. How would I raise Quinn on my own? How will I get up again tomorrow? How will we come home every day to an empty house? How? Why? WHY???
Is it easy? Not by far. Do people understand? Not unless they have been there. Do you get judged? Absolutely. Does it come with a good dose of depression and a really large helping of anxiety? YES!! I smile and I laugh because I can’t focus on the pain and broken pieces I feel inside but I am aware that that makes people think I am fine and healed and have moved on. Grief isn’t something you just work through and move on from. You grow with grief, but it always stays. Grief is something you manage by glancing at it and then focusing on the present moment again. But it comes at you like a sneeze, without warning, out of the blue, it hits you and takes you down.
I have learnt to switch on my survival mode. Who knew there was a button for that. But as a mother, you can be damn sure that it’s there. I have learnt to give all of myself, not just when I want to or when I feel like it, but constantly, without end, to make sure my daughter lives a balanced, disciplined life with a good routine. Do I have a nanny or family that live close by and can pick up the slack when I’m tired or sick? No. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to show up for her.
Sometimes I am tired and I want to just give up. I don’t want to wash my hair, or do my make up or be strong for anyone. But I know that I have to be because I have a beautiful daughter, who didn’t ask to be here and she deserves nothing but the best.
This was and is my journey and road to walk and a life lesson that my soul has chosen to experience. I spend many nights asking myself HOW this is our life now, I cry, I get angry, I sob, I curse. But then I dry off my tears, I focus on our blessings, of which we have so many, and I get back up again and do the best that I can. For my daughter. For myself. And for our life, we are living now… as two instead of three.
I am not unbreakable. I’m scared and I’m brave, or somewhere in between. I’m beautifully strong and tragically confused. I am learning to love myself and to be kind to myself. And I know that one day…one day it will all be okay again.
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