The days of December after the funeral were some pretty dark times. I can’t remember clearly what we did, I think it was just a matter of going through the motions of the day and getting through the nights.
Our son was a huge factor in keeping us going. In one sense he was oblivious to what was going on, in that he didn’t question the fact that ‘the baby in the belly’ as we used to call her had never materialised. But on the other hand he did see his parents crying a lot, which made us feel terrible. For a long time he didn’t like it when Irishmam took her glasses off as he grew to expect that she was going to start to cry.
Still, the need to look after him got us up in the morning and the laughs he continued to provide brought much needed relief from the grim reality of life.
During those days Irishmam was crying so much it got to the point that I would know she was in another room upset but I would no longer go and comfort her. Not out of badness or lack of caring, just because it was happening so often that she said I didn’t have to come to her every time.
Being ever organised, Irishmam had bought Christmas presents for LittleBoy in advance so thankfully we didn’t have to brave the crowds and do any shopping. I know we went out once or twice to shop for food but we ended up walking around like zombies picking up a crazy mix of things to bring back home.
Another time I went to the supermarket only to meet some of Irishmam’s friends who started crying as soon as they saw me. Given that I didn’t want to have a roar in the shops myself I was happy enough not to stop for too long.
Christmas day itself was a day we just wanted to get behind us. It loomed over the preceding weeks because we had expected it to be so different. We had imagined ourselves tired and weary from the early weeks of looking after a new born baby, having a nice dinner and a couple of drinks with the child snoozing beside us, before retiring happy for the evening.
Instead we had a visit from my parents early in the day, and went to Irishmam’s parents late in the afternoon for dinner. This was something of a diversion that helped pass a few hours as we waited out the day.
Over this period I also went out twice with friends who were home from abroad over Christmas. Looking back now it’s hard to believe I was out socially only days and weeks after Littlegirl died, but I think at the time I was glad of an opportunity to attempt to be normal for a couple of hours and get away from the sadness of the days. In any case, each outing was only for a short time, and only with very limited numbers of people who I was comfortable with.