71. 2am musings

It’s funny sometimes isnt it, how you start something thinking it will go one way and then it changes and evolves into something else. Initially this blog was going to be a way for me to tell funny stories about random dates and trying to figure out what comes next, and maybe this evolution was always going to be like this; but now this blog is absolutely my therapy. It helps me to clear out my head in so many ways- and trust me, I absolutely need it!

I have been journaling every night since about a week or so after Claytie died. Sometimes three pages, sometimes two paragraphs. But every single night before I try to sleep, I write to him and tell him about my day and what is going on. It feels a bit like the phone calls that used to happen when he was working away… it’s pretending that we still have that connection, that he’s not really gone. It’s hanging onto tiny bits of my old life to make it all not feel quite so bad!… it doesn’t really work, nothing can… but I’m ok with the idea. Mostly it helps and I go to sleep ok, but staying asleep is another thing! This is being written at 2am on a Friday morning. I am awake and my brain won’t shut off!

I’m not entirely sure who reads all of this stuff – it doesn’t really matter, I do it for me. It has become a weekly round up of the thoughts that go on in my head through the week. It makes me focus and think and challenge myself to keep moving. I put it out there so that others can maybe either relate to some stuff, or maybe understand how hard this all is. I’m quite happy to share it… welcome to my F***ed up world!! But there are some people in my circle that I haven’t specifically invited to read it, not because I don’t want them to know – we all know I like to talk! It’s more that I haven’t wanted for them to be hurt by my ‘moving on’ (god I hate that phrase!) They know I write it, I have told them bits and pieces, but it hasn’t been specific. In a lot of ways it would probably have been easier to give them the choice at the beginning, because potentially by trying to protect them I have managed the opposite.

One of the hardest things for me since Claytie died has been the relationship changes with so many other people in our world. There are some that distanced themselves very early in the piece, i have talked about it plenty of times.. and mostly I have come to terms with that. There are others who took a bit longer and that has been much harder. The slow moving away is harder in sooo many ways because you don’t see it coming, and there are other people that completely blindside you with their moves. I’m not the same person that I was, that’s really hard too, but I thought that the people who were left would be there without question.

I don’t do particularly well (I’m not sure anyone does) when I’m in a situation of being blamed or targeted without an explanation. I’m not sure how to address or fix something when I haven’t been told what the problem is… it would be so much easier in so many ways if people just said what was on their mind instead of just not talking at all. A fight would be easier than constantly second guessing and over analysing peoples motivation. With a fight at least you would know where to put your feelings at the end. Silence is passive aggressive and nasty!

I can’t control how others behave, only how I respond to it, and that is really hard too! I’m not always rational and calm, and my anxiety goes through the roof (hence the 2am musings). It hard knowing how to process and work out the right way to behave. How long do you let something go before you confront it head on? … and will saying something help or make it worse? Do you walk away and not fight for things that been huge in your world, or do you just let it all go and say it’s their loss!? That’s the situation I’m facing at the moment. It’s really hard, and this essay probably doesn’t help anything much!… but I do need to get it out somehow… it’s been taking up a whole lot of space and energy that I don’t really have.

…and just for the record, I am fine – or working my way toward that! This is just another one of those bumps in the road that happen.

70. Boundaries

It has been another good week this week and I am grateful for it. It feels like I have definitely turned a corner away from the crash that christmas brought with. The situation is not quite done, but it is out of my hands so I need to let it go. The main thing that I have learned from my downturn has been to put some boundaries in place so that hopefully I don’t sink quite so low again.

The second half of last year was insanely busy for me. I joined a new Widow support group, which has been fabulous and I have made some incredible friends through it. It did make me feel like I wanted and needed to attend every social event that they had tho, on top of doing all of my regular things as well. It was absolutely a case of FOMO – I didn’t want to miss out on anything; and while I don’t regret any of it, it did lead to a kind of tiredness that I haven’t felt before. It also meant that I was just not physically (let alone emotionally) prepared for the chaos that Christmas brought to us. I almost completely shut down over the Christmas break (I know people were worried about how low I got), and that time in my own space has shown me that I need to give myself some time off every now and again just to sit and reflect.

People once again surprised me both positive and negative. It has made me realise that I need to change a whole lot of my expectations, both of myself and others and hopefully the disappointments won’t be so hard. I also need to speak up even more than I do to make sure I have my needs met. Self care has taken on another new meaning and I think needs to be a focus for me this year.

I am now really looking at the things that pop up on my calendar and evaluating whether I have the right amount of energy to be part of it or if I am better off sitting it out and just enjoying the stories that other people tell me about it. It feels good to give myself permission to say ‘no, I need to put myself first’. – Having said all of that, I am still quite busy and there are all kinds of things coming up that I am looking forward to!

At the moment I am not entirely sure what is happening with work. My current contract looks like it is finishing at the end of February, and while I can go back into my previous role I am currently exploring other options – maybe it is time to challenge myself again and try something new? I am not super stressing about it – kind of more seeing what the universe throws my way.

I have some concerts and shows coming up that I am looking forward to, and our German relatives are coming to visit again which will bring other fun things with it. I am hoping to travel in April when I have some time off, I just need someone who wants to tag along to make the cost – and the adventure more manageable (hit me up if you’re keen!). Mostly I am just going with the flow and seeing how things turn out.

I think for now I’m ok with how things are going. It feels good to let myself relax into my decisions and not feel like I have to put everyone else first, or worry about missing out on anything. Guess we will see how it turns out!

69. Things are looking brighter

Well, I am happy to say that this week has been much better for me. This dip in the ‘rollercoaster’ of craziness has been a bit full on and I will be delighted if things are heading back up. I am not entirely sure why this week has seen me feel so much been better, but I am absolutely not questioning it! The situation that was causing me such grief over Christmas has not really been resolved, and maybe it won’t/can’t be. Maybe the fact that I am coming to terms with that has helped the anxiety. I have also worked on the sleep situation and have found something that is working for now, which is a relief! It is amazing what a reasonable nights sleep can do to make you feel better.

I had another glorious day at the beach on Wednesday – this time with one of my girlfriends. The sun, sand, saltwater and girl talk were exactly what I needed. It was absolutely the most perfect day. The colours of the water were amazing and the water was crystal clear. I did end up with a bit of sunburn, but I was happy to pay that price! I am always amazed at how much better being by the water makes me feel, I am not sure exactly what it is or why it works… It seems like such a simple thing, but it makes all the difference! I now need to work on the retirement plan of getting myself a unit by the water – LOTTO Gods, I am looking at you!

The view from the Cabarita Headland

This week saw the 2 1/2 year anniversary of Claytie dying – I think subconsciously I knew it was coming up, and that has messed with my brain a little bit too. I can’t believe it has been that long already, in so many ways it feels just like yesterday! So many things have happened in my world since the 20th July 2020. Most days I don’t recognise the person I am now, but I am proud of myself and the boys for getting to where we have – not that we had much of a choice! Claytie is still very much part of everything that we do – he always will be, but we know now that we can survive this shit show and we are not doing too badly at it.

Friday night after work I went out with the fellow I have been seeing (I’m not sure what title to give him – boyfriend seems very ‘schoolyard’ and partner feels too formal yet!?). We went to a fabulous bar in Tenerife and met up with his eldest daughter and her partner. I have previously met all of his other kids at his home, so this kind of felt like a bigger deal, but I am pleased to say we had a really lovely night and I’m looking forward to doing it again sometime soon.

The other thing that I did this week was have a bunch of friends over for a BBQ at my place. This is kind of a first for me since Claytie died. I have had people over for wine time and open houses etc, but not really for a full meal. We would often do this kind of thing before Claytie died, I love being social, and it was always fun – although he would complain the entire time leading up to it and then be the life of the party! This one was all on me, and I think I did OK! The boys were also quite helpful and did the last minute things that Claytie would normally do for me without too many complaints, and I did outsource the actual grilling of meat to the men!

I’m hoping that I have turned a corner from my Christmas low, and I’m looking forward again with some enthusiasm to whatever comes next. I’m doing my best to survive and to live a life that brings with it some small happiness, and that I am comfortable with. It’s is 100% not the life I would have chosen for myself, but I have to make it fit. I think I’m doing ok! x

68. Zzzzz….

This week has again been fairly up and down. I am still not sleeping fantastically well – I haven’t for long time, but at the moment it is particularly bad, which then impacts pretty much everything else. I have tried all of the usual things to help, and while I have no trouble falling asleep – it is the staying asleep part that is eluding me. I have been waking up anywhere from midnight on, and once I am awake I just can’t seem to get back to sleep. It is incredibly frustrating, in part because there isn’t a whole lot I can be doing in the middle of the night without waking everyone else in the house!

It seems I have a bunch of stuff in my head that I need to process and put somewhere, but that is easier said than done. This has probably been one of the lowest points that I have got to since Claytie died and it has shaken my confidence across the board. I was feeling pretty cocky toward the end of last year, with things starting to feel kind of lighter, but this has knocked me back on my arse! There isn’t a whole lot anyone can do to help with my processing, it is what it is and I have to get on with it, but it has been hard. I’m finding myself evaluating all areas of my life, almost whether I want to or not, and it feels like I’m not sure of anything anymore. It is not the nicest way to be feeling, Some of it is just my usual chaotic brain stuff, but there are other things that involve other people and they are much harder to resolve – and waiting on others to do their part (whatever that looks like) is hard.

It hasn’t all been doom and gloom tho… I did have a fabulous day off midweek which went a very long way to cheering me up! Good friends of mine were lucky enough to have a holiday at the beach and I invited myself along for the day. It was absolutely the very best thing I could have done, and I am super grateful that they let me gate crash their holiday. A couple of hours in the ocean and sand went a very long way to easing my anxiety. I am now determined to spend as much time at the beach as I can this year, it just makes me feel so much better! – Wednesday might be my beach day for the next little while, unless I’m required for babysitting which is even better!

The other high point for me this week was catching up with my Uni girl friends. We try and catch up a couple of times a year, although we are not always successful at that… life gets busy! Every time we do get together tho it is like no time has passed. We worked out that we have known each other for 30years this year – yup, we are actually that old! – and it is so lovely to think that we have been friends for that long. Listening to their stories also reinforces for me that I made the right decision not to be a teacher… I do not have that kind of patience!

The goal for this week is to keep working on feeling better – there isn’t any other choice… I don’t much like myself when I’m feeling low!! Fake it til you make it is still the motto, and I’m working on not letting outside influences pull me down, which is something of a challenge. In lots of ways I’m back to ‘a day at a time’, and that’s ok… it’s all part of being kind to myself and getting on with things.

67. Seasonal Blues

I feel like for the last few weeks, starting just before Christmas, I have been quite emotionally fragile and anxious. Christmas is really hard now, and the situation that happened (see last weeks post) has really shaken me. I am still processing it and as part of that I have felt the need to withdraw and wallow a little bit. It’s not my first time feeling like this – a generalised kind of Meh feeling that comes and goes, and has done since Claytie died. Sometimes you know it’s coming, other times it’s an unwelcome guest – either way it is not particularly pleasant. In this case I guess it’s kind of a seasonal anxiety/ depression that got a bit of a bonus boost thrown in.

The last few months of last year felt incredibly busy and frantic, with very little time to stop and rest; and while I enjoyed it all at the time it has kind of all caught up with me. Mostly I am a social person, and usually that is how I get my energy, but every now and then I need some time out to recharge as well. I have actually spent a whole lot of time on my own over the last couple of weeks, which has felt really necessary. Anything that I have done has felt as though it has taken a huge amount of effort to push myself to do, and longer than normal to ‘recover’ from. Fake it til you make it takes a lot of work to pull off sometimes!

I’m living a life now that I didn’t (and would never) chose for myself. This is not how my world is supposed to look and that is something I have to readjust to every single day. I am trying to get my feet back under myself, but it feels a little bit like every time that starts to happen something comes along to shake me up. Sometimes it’s easy to brush stuff off, other times it’s much harder.

I’m feel like I am always checking and evaluating everything around me and that’s also a hard way to live. Constant second guessing and questioning is exhausting, and then throw some insomnia into the mix and you get to fragile. I hate feeling like this, like I am constantly complaining and also contradicting myself. I feel like I don’t always make a whole lot of sense – trust me it’s just as confusing for me…. I don’t want to be this whiny, needy person… I don’t much like her, but I feel like I need to give myself permission to sit here for a little bit and process – my version of self-care!?

I think one of the big things that keeps standing out for me, and I have commented on before, is how many people disappoint you. More often than not it is entirely unintentionally – thoughtless more than malicious, but it is absolutely there. Obviously when you’re feeling fragile you are more aware of this kind of stuff, a kind of hyper vigilance where the negative things seem to stand out and hurt more, but lip service and a lack of follow up are very real. Judgement is very real. Absence is very real. It’s a hard lesson on top of all of the other things that change, and it makes you very careful about who you let into your world. Not everyone has been so understanding of the need I have felt for this time out. I am incredibly grateful to the people in my world who have been there for me unconditionally, putting up with the highs and lows… it really really helps to have you here!

I know that I will come out of this slump soon enough, I have done it before, but my confidence took a hit and has left me a bit shaky. I know that people have been worried about or (in some cases) disappointed by my withdrawing but I need to look after my mental health and if that means some time out I will always take it. I am no good to anyone if I don’t look after myself.

On the upside, all of this home time has been good for my housekeeping. The garden has had a huge go-over this week and will be fabulous when I finish it in the next couple of days. Cupboards and the kitchen will be next on the list, and I’m happy to say that there are plenty of charity shops that will benefit from that too. It has helped me to feel a little bit more in control of my life. Going back to work this week has surprisingly also been a bit of a blessing. Much and all as I complain about it and wish for a lotto win every single day, the routine and predictability has helped switch my brain off for a few hours each day. My very favourite thing tho has been the baby cuddles that I have been lucky to get. There is something about holding a baby that just settles the anxiety and makes me feel better.

66. Judgement

Well, I have to say that this is not the post I thought I would be writing this week, but it feels like the one that needs to happen.

Somehow over the holiday period we had a blow up that feels like it has changed everything. I’m not going to go into all of it, that wouldn’t be fair to everyone involved, but suffice it to say that people have once again surprised me and not in a good way.

The person involved has seemingly had a grievance with me since about October 2021, that has grown and festered and been added to ever since with other things that have happened. Instead of addressing it and having a conversation at any point since then, it has just been bubbling away for them until it exploded over the holidays. There are several points that they were upset about, but one of the main ones comes back to me dating.

Everyone has said all of the right things about me dating and finding someone… they all ‘want me to be happy’, and I know that for the most part this is a genuine sentiment. But there are clearly some people that don’t like how that looks. They say they want me to be happy, but have a problem with how I am doing that. Be happy, but not with someone else.

Right now I am feeling extremely hurt and disappointed. I feel judged. It’s a horrible place to be and I am really not sure what I am supposed to do! Is the preferred option that I sit at home and stew in my misery? .. trust me, I already do plenty of that, along with second guessing and over thinking every thing that I do. I know that people are curious about the way I am trying to put my life back together, I’ve invited you along for the ride by writing it all down every week – but don’t you dare sit on some kind of high horse and judge me. Until this is your life (and I really really hope it never is!) you have no right!

I am doing the best that I can to try and live a life that isn’t the one I want. Every single day is a struggle, but what choice do I have!? No one will ever replace Claytie, they couldn’t possibly and that is not even remotely what I want! I am trying to find a person that I am comfortable with, that I can spend time with and maybe find some kind of happiness with. They are never going to be able to replicate what Claytie and I had and I know that, but I am allowed to have someone in my corner. Someone who sees me and is happy to be with me.

I am not just jumping into something without any thought about anyone else. I am constantly thinking about the boys and my family, people who are important in my world and how all of this affects them. These thoughts play a huge role in every decision that I make, probably way more that I should let them. I’m sure I will make mistakes. I am human, and emotional and that is what happens; and when those mistakes happen I will learn from them just like anyone else.

I don’t owe anyone an explanation or apology for trying to find something to hang on to that makes me happy. This situation has made me feel judged and I was not expecting that to happen. I’m sad, angry and mostly disappointed that a person who knows me, that I thought had some sort of understanding would turn the way that they have. I’m not sure that there is a way to repair that relationship and that also makes me really sad.

This is not at all the way I thought we would finish the year. We actually had a really nice Christmas for the most part. It was so nice having Baby here to love. It bought something happy back that has been missing for us. I am trying hard to move on from my hurt feelings, and not give them too much more power. The scars are here now tho for us and we need to figure out how to live around them. I hope that the new year brings with it peace and calm, love and graciousness. I’m looking forward to more time with the people that matter, and I am looking forward to continuing my journey – whatever that looks like x

65. Christmas

Well, here we are again, another year over and a new one just about to start. It is always crazy how fast the days go by – and that feels like an old lady thing to say! I feel like for this end-of-year blog I want to re-cap all of the things that have happened in our world, but most of you will know most of the things because thanks to my rambling each week, you have all been on the journey with us!

Obviously the highest of our highlights this year have been my oldest son’s wedding in May and the arrival of my first grandchild three weeks ago – and he is the squishiest, cutest, most delightful baby ever!

Benjamin Thomas

I went overseas to Malaysia and had a fabulous adventure, and I am looking forward to finding other new places for me to explore. I have changed my job and moved to a new hospital for work which has been both a very good thing and also a challenge for me – I will stay here at this stage until the end of April and then see what comes next. I have just bought an investment property and I know that Claytie would be really happy with it. Looking at real estate was something of a hobby for him, and we always talked about doing something like this. And on the romance front, I have been seeing a really, really nice fellow for the last couple of months and I am excited to see how that continues to go…..

In between all of the really big things are of course the usual day to day things that happen in my world. Trivia Tuesdays are still a thing – and the “Black Widows” have done very well all year! We seem to win often enough that we have had plenty of team dinners paid for with our stash. We are definitely the naughty table and spend a lot of time laughing and coming up with inappropriate answers. I really look forward to Tuesday nights and catching up with the team – it is definitely a high point each week. I have also still been going to Karaoke, although not as much in the last few weeks with the lead up to Christmas. It is also a high point each week and I really love the energy and people watching there. It is always fun to see who is there each week and what their song choices will be, I also love the friends that I catch up with when I go, it makes me stupidly happy!

This year I have also changed the Widow support group that I go to and have made a whole bunch of sensational new friends. There are at least two coffee catch ups each month that I go to, as well as other social events, and it has been the best kind of therapy for me. It keeps me busy, which I like, and these people understand me in a way that others can’t and I am so grateful to have made these connections. Grief is part of every single day for me in one way or another – I know it will be for the rest of my life. Claytie was and continues to be the biggest part of my world, but I am doing my very best to navigate this new space with out him. Its a bloody bumpy road, but I think the boys and I are doing OK for the most part.

As always tho, I have to say a huge thank you to all of you who are part of my world. It matters so much more than I could ever say to know that I have such amazing people around me that I can vent to, drink with, drag to Karaoke, and cry or laugh with. My world would be a much darker place without the light that you bring and I am so lucky to be able to call you my friends. I am amazed at how many of you follow this blog and the feedback that you give me. I never thought that this would be something that I would do, let alone enjoy and look forward to each week. It seems bizarre to me that people feel like they are learning all of this stuff along side of me – I hope you never need the lessons!

I hope that this Christmas and New Year period is filled with good food, great company, lots of laughs and happy memories for you. Spend time doing things with those that bring you joy. Be grateful for something every day – there are so many fabulous things to appreciate in our world. Enjoy the big exciting things, don’t sweat the small stuff and tell people that are important to you how much you love them. Life is short – live it big! Do all of the things that make you happy! xx R

64. One week to go

So after last weeks post, I decided that I needed to try and regain at least a little bit of control of my mental health and had a day off work. It’s amazing what a difference that has made for me! I wrote some lists and took myself Christmas shopping. I started on the cooking that I needed to do and I have a bunch of stuff in the freezer ready for this week. Presents have been bought and mostly wrapped and I feel a million times better. I would absolutely recommend a Mental Health day for anyone who is feeling the anxiety that the lead up to Christmas can bring – or any time throughout the rest of the year as well!

I have always been a fan of taking a day for myself every now and again. It is such a great way to reset your brain and your energy, and those things matter so much more than we give credit for. I’m lucky enough to only work 4 days per week and try to make the most of my day off. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and if I can manage it I will try and make some more time for myself this week… ideally a quick run to the beach to watch the sun come up on my mid-week day off!

I know that Christmas is a really hard time for a lot of people, and I know that a lot of my widowed friends are struggling at the moment too. There is a whole lot of anxiety leading up to the day, wondering how it will be this year, anticipating perhaps a first without their person, or knowing how tough it is having gone through it before. Christmas, and other family celebrations are really hard without your person. They are central to everything that you do or think about doing. There isn’t an hour that passes for me that I am not thinking about Claytie and how he would be feeling about everything… Even though he is gone, he is still a huge part of everything I think about and do, and he always will be.

This year I have a new anxiety to add to my list, and that involves the person I am seeing. He and I are in a really good place and we talk about everything all of the time. It is really reassuring that we are able to do that, it works wonders for my anxiety and he fully understands me and my craziness and I get him. It really helps that we were such good friends before we started dating, because we have seen the “real” version of who we both are. It means that there are no taboo subjects and that is a really nice feeling, especially when I am feeling so chaotic. 

I have had lots of questions from different people about our relationship in relation to Christmas – will we be spending it together? and how do the boys feel about it?… Two of my boys haven’t yet met him – they are not ready and I don’t want to push them, but I know that hurts him a bit. I know that the boys have been nervous about his family being part of our Christmas, and I have had to reassure them that that won’t be happening this year (he will be at our place for boxing day tho and they are all fine with that). I do want them to meet and get to know him and have asked them to make an effort with that! My in-laws have had some of the same concerns, and again, I would love for them to meet him, but I understand that its really hard for them and I don’t want to push. Other people seem to think that it is weird that we wont be spending the day together. It is a challenge to navigate and make sure everyone in the family is feeling heard and understood, and still do the things that are right for me.

There are so many “firsts” and new things that have happened in my world since Claytie died. Almost everyday there is something that challenges me. It kind of never occurred to me that there would be so many things that I would not be prepared for, but then again I never ever thought I would find myself in this position at all. In lots of ways I am proud of myself for putting one foot in front of the other and getting through each day, and then in others I think well, what else would I do?! Life keeps going regardless of how I feel about it and I have to make the best of what I have. My mum commented the other day that she is worried about my happiness, and I am too. I don’t know that I will ever as happy as I was, but I am doing the very best I can to find a new happiness and to live my life the best way I know how. 

63. Meh…

Don’t you hate how when one thing breaks, several others do as well, and all in the lead up to Christmas! I’m the last week I have had to replace the pool chlorinator and have someone come out to look at both the washing machine and the dryer – essentials in my house with all of the people that still live there! Hopefully that is all I need to have fixed and other things don’t break down too!

I am also in the process of purchasing an investment property. Last time I was involved with buying a house was 20 years ago and I had Claytie to do all of the complicated stuff for both of us… he would just tell me where to sign and I would do it. This time I’m mostly trying it on my own, although my oldest son has been a godsend. He has a much better understanding of all of the processes than I do, and luckily for me he has been incredibly patient.

In the middle of all of that, there is the build up to Christmas. I thought I was going to be ok this year… the tree went up by the first of December and that felt ok, but as we are getting closer to it, my anxiety is building up massively. I’m feeling anxious about everything and I know I’ve been moody with it. I don’t particularly like the role I am in at work at the moment which is adding to all of this. I have everything crossed that I’ll move into a different spot in the new year, but in the meantime it’s dragging me down. I have a million things to do for Christmas and feel like I don’t have the time, I also don’t have the energy or any ideas about what I’m doing. It all feels quite overwhelming. I’m procrastinating about everything and then complaining about not having time. It’s a vicious cycle and I’m not sure how to snap myself out of it.

Christmas last year was really, really hard and I’m worried that this year will be the same. I thought I had myself prepared for it, but it caught me well and truly by surprise. Rationally I know that it will be very different to last year with the things that are already planned, but my brain is not always rational. I feel like I am going through the motions in most areas of my life, and I am not really engaged with any of them. I’m avoiding things that I should be doing, and then freaking out about not having time. It’s a yucky feeling and I really dont like it. I am trying to go with the ‘fake it til you make it’ philosophy, but it doesn’t feel like I’m ‘making’ it.

On the brighter side in all of this, Granny Cuddles are the best! Mum, Dad and Bub are all doing very well and getting to know each other. Sleep, as you would expect, is a rare luxury, but no-one is really complaining. How could anyone complain when the face looking back at you is so very, very cute?!

62. He’s here

So on Wednesday this week, our whole world changed again. I was outside, early, hanging out some washing when my phone pinged on our family group chat to say we had a message. … it was a photo…. of a brand new baby laying on his mothers chest! Apparently I screamed and made a whole lot of noise and freaked the boys right out… but given I had no notice that it was happening, I stand by my reaction!!

After a reasonable lengthy labour – that I knew nothing about, and happening three weeks earlier than expected, my very first grandson made his way into the world. Benjamin Thomas arrived at 7.48am weighing 3.353kg and is perfectly divine! Mum, dad and baby are doing very well and getting used to each other. I am completely delighted to be Granny and his new uncles are besotted.

I do have to confess tho, that the day was also incredibly difficult. Ugly crying, sobbing happened pretty much the whole day. I know that Claytie would have given anything to be here with us, and the unfairness that he is not was pretty raw for me – and I know for the boys as well. I was really lucky to be able to have some time alone with my son and his baby not too long after he arrived and there were absolutely tears for both of us acknowledging the hugeness of the occasion and the magnitude of the loss. The other boys have also all shed a tear when meeting their new nephew. There is no way to not feel it.

I knew it was going to be hard, the whole process has been so bittersweet, but in lots of ways it was almost as hard as the day Claytie died. I’m not sure I was expecting that, but probably I should have. It’s these kind of firsts that make the grief surge right back to the front like a tidal wave. I know it will settle back down and that we will all get used to living around the massive hole in our lives.. that is life and what seems to happen, but every so often you’re swallowed whole and struggle to find your footing.

I absolutely love being Granny… it’s an amazing feeling, and I know Claytie would have made the best Grandad (or maybe Poppy?). I am going to enjoy every minute of it and be excited for this new bright future. Anything less feels like it would be doing Claytie a disservice. He’s not here so I’m doing it for both of us.