Other mummy bloggers have started putting their New Year resolutions’ lists up already. And that got me thinking. (You know that book, “Little Owls” by Martin Waddell and the recurrent line in it, “all owls think a lot“? Yeah, that is me also, especially in the wee hours of the morning.)
So, I thought, what would a New Year’s resolutions list look for me, as a bereaved mummy?
Here is what I came up with. If you are a bereaved parent, please do feel free to add to this list whatever I may have left out.
1. Enjoy every moment, the best I can.
Some days that may mean acknowledging the fact that I am feeling wrecked emotionally and having pizza for dinner. Some other days, it may mean venturing out for a walk and enjoying the nice weather. Some other days, it may mean cuddling in bed after school and watching movies with Emma and giving my body permission to rest and heal. Emma is a great example to me in this, just like Georgie was. Children know instinctively how to savour every moment and if I am to continue to honour his memory and build him a legacy, I will do it in this way as well.
2. Make another gorgeous Papaconstantinou baby.
He or she will not be a replacement of Georgie, we very well know that. But he or she will be like a soothing balm for our aching hearts. Joy, comfort and the opportunity to overspill our love tanks, once again. A new beginning. Hope.
If I get pregnant again, I do hope I will be able to enjoy the pregnancy and the newborn days without obsessing incessantly over the new baby’s safety in the womb, safe arrival and health.
Is will be a very hard one for me, but if I don’t allow myself to enjoy it, I would rather not do it at all.
3. Continue to pursue my well being by attending counselling, continuing on antidepressants and taking any treats offered to me and meant to help my emotions and my body heal.
Last weekend was a wonderful reminder of what a retreat can do for one’s frail emotions and wrecked body.
We were offered a weekend away at the Daisy Lodge, the new and very modern Cancer Fund for Children’s retreat base. We were pampered by professional chefs, beauticians and masseurs. And you know what? I did really enjoyed it and I felt refreshed and rejuvenated by the attention and care.
We have gone through huge emotional trauma for three months. Then, we plunged back into “normality” and we tried to navigate it the best we could. No maps, no guidelines. And it has been a hell of a draining journey, in every single aspect: physical, emotional, spiritual.
But I have grown wise through it. I have learned that right now, I cannot give. The very difficult business of existing is draining. And I need plenty of refreshing along the way. I need to look after my body through mild exercise and the right diet. I need to look after my emotions by not keeping company with people who simply don’t get it. I need to distance myself from every single thing and person that has the potential to drain the little bit of daily energy I have to spend.
So, I will, without any guilt, book myself with Cancer Action for their six-week complementary beauty treatments for bereaved families.
I will accept any holidays that will allow us to relax as a family.
And any help with minding Emma, I do find it a struggle at times and I still need help with her. So if you are a friend and live nearby and have a child around her age, do offer to take her for a couple of hours and keep her entertained.
I had that yesterday, a dear friend took her to a birthday party and then kept her for dinner. You know what I did with myself? I slept. I recharged. I switched off and I was just myself, with myself and my memories.
4. Continue to build a legacy for Georgie
I don’t know what shape it will take but it will be most likely small things when and where they are needed.
A meal delivered to someone in need.
A question to the lonely and a chat.
I will try from the little I have to give in my boy’s name. In the name of my love for him. In his lovely and loving memory.
Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas.
Thank you to each and everybody who was there for us this year. With a hug. A shared shed tear. A meal. A meaningful present. A caring card. A helpful hand with the house or with Emma. For your love, at a time when I felt and acted like the most unlovable being on the planet. Your presence and help didn’t go unnoticed. Thank you!