Thursday, December 31, 2009

In 2009 I have learnt

• There is much sadness in this life
• There is much joy in this life
• The things that once mattered much – like holding on to me and who I think i am – mean nothing
• The vast majority of people’s opinions mean nothing
• A shared experience bonds people instantly
• I still like sleeping with a fluffy animal
• Internet/virtual friendships are very real and can greatly impact your life
• Verbalising my feelings is near impossible
• Writing my feelings is therapeutic
• Grief can tear apart a marriage – not because of blame as I once thought but because people get lost in their own journey
• Grief can weld a marriage together – if both people are brave enough to trust each other with their hearts
• I don’t want to let go of my grief
• Grief is not linear. Each day is not a little easier. Grief grows and mutates and reveals new sharp edges – more aspects of loss to be mourned as time passes. It shocks you when you least expect it. It is ever-present. Sometimes revered and sometimes reviled. A constant companion.
• People want to “solve” my grief. They want to fix it. Sometimes grief just needs to be experienced.
• There is no right thing to say – there is only acknowledging that it happened and expressing your sadness
• We are near powerless
• Life is fleeting
• Joy can be found in the simplest of things: a massage, a kitten, sunbirds
• Pregnant women are everywhere
• Holding your own child for the first time is one of the most beautiful moments of your life.... even if that child has already left this world.
• There are incredible people in this world
• People surprise you – in the best and worst ways
• I am stronger than I ever imagined
• A sarky sense of humour is me. Despite what happens, it is there. Some might think that’s irreverant. They’ll get over it.
• A kitten can bring an inordinate amount of joy
• Empathy trumps sympathy a thousand times over.
• People and time invested in them is what matters in this life. You can’t take your job, your car, your achievements with you
• For the first time I am so excited for heaven
• My husband is the finest man I know
• My dad is right up there too (:
• God is a God of second chances.

Friday, December 25, 2009

When you are those "other people"

I guess I've been bracing myself for Christmas. Dreading it. Considering how it was meant to be in comparison to how it would now be. But the pain is never in the obvious things. It's not sitting around the christmas tree opening gifts knowing that your most precious gift is not with you. It's not sleeping in the same room you always do when you are home and not in the one with the cot that you had envisioned sleeping in. It's not waking up on christmas morning knowing that the little red "my first christmas" bib is still sitting in the cupboard in Somerset West never to be worn by Sophia. These expected hurts are dull, present, but not sharp.

The pain is in the unexpected. Wondering if Sophia's name would feature (along with the other family member's names) on my folks' christmas tree and finding that in fact a delicate glass orb with an angel inside has pride of place on the tree, with Sophia's name and birthday inscribed on it. The walls of my parents' house are laden with photos of my neice - their only (living) grandchild. In the garage yesterday I saw the car seat my mom had bought to keep for when we visited with Sophia this holiday. These seemingly benign things rip and claw at my heart.

My brothers (one of which was married last week, another of which is engaged) and their significant others excitedly discuss the prospects of children. With some puffed up bravado they talk of the responsibility to have a boy to carry on the family name. Still, despite what has happened, so oblivious to how fragile, how uncertain childbearing is. It's as if the attitude remains "it'll never happen to me", that sort of thing only happens to other people. That was once my unconscious belief as well. Sometimes, though, you are the "other people".

Lately my grief has morphed into something which I suspect is more similar to the grief that The Band has experienced. In moments all the other side issues and complications are stripped away and the naked longing to hold my daughter is all that is left. It is like a hunger of the soul. A hunger that will remain insatiable this side of heaven.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

bah humbug

well I can't say I'm feeling all stoked for Christmas this year. Obviously there is the matter of What Happened, but just in general I am uninspired. It just feels stressful more than anything else.

There's the Christmas shopping which I have barely made a dent in. The chaos of all The Band's family currently staying at my house and for an Undetermined Period of Time.... ya!!! The chaos of all my family on Christmas day. The Christmas carols. The way It Was Meant To Be. The thing is that this month has been so chaotic - a drive around the perimeter of the country (practically), two weekends away, another coming up, my brother's wedding this past saturday (and all the build up to that), christmas in EL (hopefully*) and then back home to all the inlaws for like 2 weeks.

Really, if I could choose, I would probably just have stayed home, me and The Band no one staying at our house, no Boney M, just a good book and a few choice series. Just some down time.

But perhaps I am just feeling jaded because of these two little fun developments that have transpired just this morning:

1. I got an email from SARS saying that I was going to be refunded R3500. NICE! Jubilation! Merry Christmas to me! etc etc. I clicked on the confirmation link and where did it lead? A nasty porn website! I feel defiled!! So no income tax refunds coming my way. I checked online and they only owe my 11c.

2. *The Band called earlier to say that he had bad news. He had checked our flights to EL (to my family for Christmas) and discovered that he had somehow booked them for OCTOBER!!! So never mind the cost of new flights, there actually aren't any to EL! they are all booked. Lovely. So now we are flying into PE and hiring a car from there. What a mission. Costing an extra R4k! Ridiculous expense but my dad insists on paying for it. He wants us home for Christmas, doesn't care about the cost. I'm very very blessed to have a dad like that.

Anyway, truth be told I am a bit of a sucker for Christmas. Perhaps it will be better than I expect. 
Wishing you and yours a very special Christmas x

Friday, December 11, 2009

2.5 kids and a white picket fence

The Band and I still obviously want to have kids. Ah. I say that so calmly and rationally, actually, like those of you who've lost a child will know all to well, I am desperate to hold my own baby. I may avoid other babies like the plague, but to hold my own baby... I dream of that.

Everyone seems to have an opinion on the matter.

Plett Gynae said wait 3 months for your body to heal and 9 months for your heart to heal.
Antenatal Class Teacher said give it time, but not too much.
Shrink Lady (she of the no-lying-on-the-chaise-lounge!) said "I hope you aren't putting it off now!
And New Gynae (replacement of Unpopular Previous Gynae) suggested that physically I am healthy so we should just live and let live.

So who do you listen to? Considering that not one of these women have experienced this themselves... Well, you listen to yourself of course! :) In other words you choose the opinions you like and ignore those you don't. So instead of waiting to officially start trying at some distant point (and all the pressure that goes with that) in theory we are going with option D "live and let live". I say in theory because I have never been so conscious of my own cycle before.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Guv Bio

I mentioned a while ago that I would be doing a post about The Guv. When "everything happened" we decided to get a kitten. I'd wanted one for aaaages. It sounds simple, right? Actually it was really tough tracking down a kitten in September... apparently that's not "kitten season". Ya, who knew!? Anyway, eventually Tamara told me about Pets, a township pet rescue organisation. After filling in a 5 page adoption application form (which had to include references!!) and convincing them that I am, in fact, a rather eligible person to own a pet (hallo, I am a bunny hugging vegetarian who works for WWF!??!?), we got a little ball of fluff who we named The Guv.

Here he is about 5 weeks old only. So sweet. Looks so helpless and gentle...
Well that didn't last! The Guv is growing up fast and he has demonic tendencies! Like when The Band and I returned from our weekend away a couple of weeks ago and he punished us by unceasingly attacking our bright red burnt legs. He is a law unto himself and the poor dogs are being a terrorised now that he's a bit bigger. He chases them round the house and they flee in terror!

He takes up the whole bed. Really, we can't get a decent night's sleep coz he will be smack bang in the middle and you have to squish to the side so as to not inconvenience His Majesty.

You know how sometimes you make bunny ears behind someone's head in a photo?

He enjoys making a mess wherever he goes. Attacking packets, toilet paper, clothes, dogs and us is just one of the services he offers.

And most peculiar of all.....

He has a water fetish. I didn't even think DOGS drank out the toilet in real life but The Guv will do so at any opportunity! He has hopped in the shower and the bath before (the shower is his favourite though). Not normal, not by a long shot.

Here The Band displays The Guv's 6 pack.... at least someone in the house has one!!

Perhaps The Guv's most useful attribute is that he is an incredible Fly Slayer. It's unbelievable. He is a stealthy hunter. When there is a fly around he will start making squeaky little miaows. To the untrained ear they sound almost sweet, but to those in the know, it is time to fear! The hunt begins and he is ruthless. He will knock over lamps, climb the blinds and demolish any breakables until he catches it and he ALWAYS catches it (and eats it - eew) in the end.

Truth be told, we adore The Guv and he adores us. When we arrive home he meets us at the door and proceeds to follow us around the house as long as we're there. He hates to be ignored and if I am cooking, or brushing my teeth, or washing the dishes or whatever he will simply climb up my leg and sit on my shoulder. Cute and a little sore from a 5 week old kitten, frikken excrutiating from a 4 month old cat. EINA!