As I write this, we are approaching 8 weeks since we lost Elva. In one way, it doesn’t seem that long at all and in another, it feels like forever since I last held her.
I have to remind myself that even nearly 2 months on is still early days. I have days now where I feel more positive, I think about the future and I take Tadhg to the park and don’t cry. On these days, I think maybe I am getting there, things are getting easier and I will be able to cope after all.
Then, out of nowhere, I am right back at day 1. It might happen first thing in the morning and I just can’t force myself out of bed. Or it might happen once Tadhg has gone to sleep and holding it together for the whole day suddenly exhausts me and I just break down.
People talk about the stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I think I’ve gone through all of these – every day and in any order. The overwhelming feeling is sadness. I miss Elva so much and it makes me sad every minute of the day. I wish more than anything in the world I could have her back. I want to hold her and cuddle her and kiss her. I want to hear her laugh and cry. I want to smell her hair and hold her hands. I want to be her mummy again and look after her. I know I can’t ever have those things again and that makes me so, so sad.
In the weeks leading up to Elva’s funeral, I convinced myself that it was all a big mistake and I kept my phone by my side waiting for a phone call to say she was ok. Deep down, I knew this wouldn’t happen but the false hope was a positive I could cling to. After the funeral, that disappeared and I did reach a level of acceptance. But accepting it doesn’t make you ok.
I am lucky to have my son. He is my reason to keep going and I don’t want his life to be damaged by this. He deserves to be happy and have fun and as normal a childhood as he possibly can. I am so grateful to have him. Having another child also makes things hard. I can’t lie in bed crying all day no matter how much I want to. I don’t hide my grief from Tadhg but I do shield him from the most dark moments. It wouldn’t be fair on him at only 3 years old to see the full extent of the sadness.
The fact I have positive moments – and they are just moments for now – is a good sign, I suppose. I hope that the moments last longer and maybe even I will have entire days that feel positive. These won’t be days where I don’t think of Elva – that could never happen – but days where I don’t feel so desperately sad when I think of her. But then having positive moments mean it’s more of a shock when the devastation sweeps in again.
It’s a cliché but it’s true – it really is about taking each day at a time, each moment at a time. 2 months is no time at all. It’s hard not to think about the future – I’m a planner by nature so want to make plans. Plans that don’t feature Elva are hard though. Seriously hard. And that’s what I’m still learning to live with – a future without Elva.