We are approaching a second Christmas without our baby boy.
Well, actually, without our toddler, as Georgie should be nearly 2 now, a stroppy, funny and full of beans child and not only a memory on a shelf.
We have felt, once we have completed one year onto our loss journey, that the pressure has been mounting for us to start behaving “normally”.
My posts on bereavement have been getting less and less views and comments and the interaction on my Facebook page with bereavement posts is sometimes zero.
I get it, life moves on.
For us, it has had to move on too, mainly because we have Emma to look after and care for but also because we have started to dare imagining a future, and not only surviving on a day to day basis.
I think the turning point has been when we reached the point of what I call “no more questioning“.
Both Alex and myself have reached a point now when we don’t want to ask the “why?” questions anymore.
Not that we have found an answer to why our much loved son was chosen by random chance to suffer and die while so many children are born into abusive environments and with zero realistic chances of success or happiness, from the word go.
We still cannot merge the two very contradictory concepts of a God who is omnipotent and loving and caring but who stands back and does nothing when innocent children suffer.
We still cannot accept religion as an answer to anything anymore and cannot sit through not even one minute of preaching, as we now find the experience totally irrelevant and irreverent to our pain and loss.
We still, most of the time, don’t know how we will recover from the deep trauma and utter helplessness of seeing our child die.
BUT we are trying. And we have accepted several truths which we have chanted like mantras to each other, when the going gets rough:
- Shit happens. Most of the time, for no reason and to the best of people.
- God created the world. Full stop. After that, people took over and completely altered the image of who He is, to suit their life philosophy and doctrines, to the point of nonrecognition. I think that our view of God, in every single religion on this earth, is so messed up and so subjective, that God himself has given up on even trying to make us understand. We will only get Him when we get on the other side but I do have a very strong feeling that many will be shocked, disappointed or disillusioned as the reality will not suit their expectations at all.
- Churches are, even when huge in numbers, still a “small group, small people, small mentality.” I do not want to offend anyone but as long as poverty, loneliness, bereavement, religious and sexual inclusion are not acknowledged and accepted in church, there will be huge groups of people left out. This intrinsically makes the church what I said, a small group of people who have been lucky in not having had to face one of life’s devastating realities.
I sat last night, knowing that this post was in the pipeline, and asked myself how this year has been different and maybe better than the last.
And you know what I realised?
That I do not remember how bad last year was!
I recollect us saying in hindsight how horrid the first Christmas without Georgie was but I cannot recall the actual pain of it all.
The good old human brain has a wonderful way on ensuring survival, doesn’t it?
Has this year been better, do you ask?
In some ways, yes.
I have wanted this year to have a Christmas tree up, not only for Emma’s sake but for my own.
I have chosen not to dwell on past, I have removed myself from environments and company that drain the little energy I do have some days.
I have learned to accept that I cannot change people and things in life, only myself.
I have also become more tolerant with myself and know that when bad days come, they are waves of grief that I will have to ride, as well as I possibly can. I now try to diet and eat healthily but realistically, I know that there will be days when I will not give a toss and I do not put myself down when they come.
Is life easier now, as the second Christmas without our boy approaches?
But it is more manageable, as I have learned what makes me and what breaks me and I try to do more of the things that build me up and none of the ones that tear me down.
Do I miss my son less?
But I now know that Georgie would be happy if we decided to have another baby, as he knows it will not be to replace him, but to celebrate the sacredness of life.
I also hope that Georgie can remember all the love we showered on him and that those memories will replay in his mind, like happy music, again and again, and last him until we meet again.
And I do suspect, knowing what a happy child he was while he was with us, that he is spurring us on, from where he is now and he hopes for the days when there will be more smiles that tears on our faces.