First of all I just want to explain why I am writing this, at first I wasn’t sure about writing about something so personal and emotional but I thought maybe for anyone who is or has been going through the same situation can relate and know you aren’t alone. Everybody deals with grief differently and everybody has different ways of coping.
I’ve searched the internet for ways of coping with grief and motherhood but there are minimal results, Ive joined groups online and downloaded apps to read other people stories about coping with loss but have never shared my own experience.
As I’m sure you are aware from my other posts I gave birth to my first baby Oscar-George on Thursday 8th February 2018, the best day of my entire life, I felt like my life was coming together the first moment I saw my beautiful little boy. I was overwhelmed, the emotions running through me were like nothing I’ve ever felt before. I was so excited for our families to meet our new little bundle of joy, I felt extremely lucky to have the families around us that we have.
Then my beloved grandad fell ill 2 weeks after Oscar was born and passed away when Oscar was 7 weeks old. To this day my heart aches every single day, my life had completely and utterly changed. Its hard to explain as its extremely bittersweet, I’d just gave birth to my beautiful little boy but at the same time we lost out wonderful grandad to cancer which everybody was completely unaware of. We’d often think how could something so evil happen to somebody so kind-hearted and selfless? Throughout his whole ordeal he stayed strong, Ive never, ever known anybody who had the strength like he did every single day.
It was a complete and utter bittersweet time, I felt like I should be so happy that I had my little bundle but at the same time I felt so sad and low knowing that my grandad and the family were going through this. For a while I felt the emotional and mental bond between me and Oscar wasn’t as strong as I hoped, sometimes i’d feel completely useless.
Trying to cope with grief and trying to adapt to motherhood at the same time has been difficult, I often thought how could I be a good supportive mum when I felt so low, upset and pained. My emotions have never been so up and down, one minute I can feel like the proudest mum in the world when Oscar’s goes round to his grandma & grandpa’s house and starts sitting up or his grandma starts making him laugh and I think it Grandad would be so chuffed with how he’s growing up. He really was a family man, he absolutely doted on his family. We’re a very close family, a large but close family, that’s one thing we’ve learnt over the years is family values and how important family are.
Often people tell me how much Oscar looks like grandad and how much his cheeky little smile looks like grandads, this bring a little comfort to me, people who’ve never met grandad would comment on how much he looks like him in his photos.
There have been times when we’ve put Oscar to bed and gone to bed ourselves and I just find myself lying there in bed crying, not knowing whats prompted it but the tears just don’t stop, mornings I’ve woke up and started singing some of his wonderful songs he wrote and it just hits you like a train, you come back to the realisation that he’s not here.
Driving past certain places, listening to certain music and even visiting his favourite places brings everything back, wishing that he was still here. It’s the pain that just doesn’t want to leave you, the pain of knowing he’s no longer here. People said after his funeral it would start to sink in, I arranged for Oscar’s nan to have him for the day as he was too young to understand what was happening. But the funeral passed and it still feels raw, it still doesn’t feel real. Even now writing this blog all the emotions come flooding back, how much I wished he was still here, how much i’d give to have him back sitting in his chair smiling. How much I miss his big long hugs and having him around.
I’ve found grief comes in waves, it feels like all that love building up that you cannot give, one moment you can be so happy and within a second you can have this wave of emotion come over you, you just start crying and your heart aches.You feel that lump in your throat and the tightening of your chest. I feel so thankful that I have a fantastic family around me and we all comfort each other. We talk about grandad a lot which I find helps, emotional but it helps, it keeps his memory alive.
I was told to put a scrapbook together for Oscar for when he’s older, like a memory book but I haven’t got round to doing it yet. I was told to always tell Oscar about his great-grandad and how wonderful, kind hearted and selfless he was. Tell him stories that I’ve heard and experienced with him, keep his memory alive. You don’t ever move on and you don’t ever forget, you just try and learn to cope. Im still learning, it’s still extremely hard but I’m slowly learning.
People say as time goes on it gets easier, I’ve found that it really doesn’t get any easier, you do just learn how to cope. I find talking to family about grandad really helps, we often share stories about him and things that he did that made us laugh. I also find keeping lots of photographs of him helps too, my nans house, my mums house, cousins and aunties house we all have photos of him spread around the house. It’s nice to see his wonderful smile light up the photo frame, his smile that would quite literally light up the entire room. I still find myself scrolling through my phone at all the photos of him and videos and my heart just breaks all over again.
My nan has a memory book at her house and we often sit and read some of the lovely things people have wrote about him, the lovely things they thought about him and it just brings comfort to know how much he was loved and cared for. I often thought, well actually feeling sad is okay, it’s normal to feel sad, i’m not a hopeless mum because sometimes I wake up crying or because I have really sad days thinking about how much I miss him. I’ve been told its completely normal, feeling completely numb by everything is also normal. As people have told me its all part of the grieving process, all we can do now is be there and comfort the rest of the family. Continue to keep grandads memory alive, i’ll never get over the fact grandad is no longer with us but i’m very slowly learning to cope. Although i’d rather not be writing this post and have him here with us instead, I know that’s not possible and it breaks my heart. It hasn’t completely sunk in what’s happened, I still find myself having these moments that don’t seem to get any easier, the pain is always there and hole in my heart will never be healed.
Mine and Oscar’s bond is a lot stronger, we take every day as it comes. Some mornings when my eye catches the photo of grandad on the side I start to cry but I just have a moment and start talking to Oscar about him, granted Oscar is too young to understand what i’m talking about but I’ve learnt everybody deals with it in their own ways and this is one of the ways I’m learning to cope.
The first of many things are coming up, but all I can do is continue to support the family, continue to talk about his memory, continue to nurture Oscar as I feel so blessed that grandad did get to meet him and he did get to spend time with him, and we have lots go photos to look back on. He will always, always hold a huge place in our hearts and we really do miss him dearly.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post,