Here are a couple of factors that got me individually, and myself and Irishmam as a couple, through the early weeks and months after Littlegirl died.
- Our son – our Littleboy was and is the shining light in our lives. Practically speaking we had to look after him and feed him and do all the things that parents do. In addition his sense of humour and the happiness he brings us was a great lift in our darkest times. I don’t really know what we would have done with ourselves if we didn’t have this little fella in our lives. I suspect without the responsibility of looking after him it would have been easy drink to much etc. to pass the time. Someone on a forum here in Ireland recently said that they didn’t know what to do with all the free time they had now that their baby had died. They were going on holidays and going out socialising but really it was ‘time they had but didn’t want.’ I’ll always be grateful that we have our healthy Littleboy in our lives, and I’m very conscious that many people are not so forunate.
- Each other – I think we did a pretty good job of sticking together and providing each other with company and an understanding ear.
- Our families – our families were great support during the early days, between looking after Littleboy, or feeding us, cleaning the house and being available to listen to us talk about all the things that were going on.
- My work – from the moment things went wrong my work, and more specifically my boss, have been fantastically supportive. I was given as much time as I required before returning to work, and once I had done so was told I could disappear at short notice if required. I’ll write separately about returning to work, but will just say at the moment that the flexibility and understanding shown by my employers is very much appreciated and freed me up to worry about Irishmam and Littleboy…and grieving.
- ISANDS – again, I’ll write separately about our interactions with ISANDS and the meetings they organise where we have met with similarly bereaved parents. For the moment I’ll just say it was comforting to know that there were people out there who knew what we were going through and were willing to answer the phone at any time if we needed to speak with them.
- Friends – Many of my friends live abroad, but it was nice to speak with them on the phone occasionally about how things were going. Some of my buddies here in Ireland also made notable efforts to take me out for a beer or to watch a rugby match. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to spend time with me so I appreciate the opportunity they gave me to blow off some steam. (Note to self – tell them again that I appreciate their efforts.)