In recent days I’ve been evaluating how I’ve been grieving and how it may be viewed by others. Disclaimer time – nobody has said anything unkind to me, or reported a photo I’ve posted, however a few events got me thinking and it’s good to think! It has been an emotional, reflective time for me and I’ve (rightly or wrongly) questioned why I do the things that I do… to quote a line from Wicked, ‘was I really seeking good or just seeking attention?’.
I talk about the boys a lot, on this blog, on Facebook, in real life, I tell their story, share photos, talk about how much I miss them. To me this is normal, they are mine and part of my life now but perhaps some people might see it as attention seeking or fishing for sympathy. In the early days, yes I probably was looking for sympathy and lots of it. My baby, my next baby died. That’s not normal and if I needed sympathy then I think I deserved it at the time. Now though I share my boys because they are mine and I’m proud of it. I’m proud of the person I am, the friends I’ve made and I want to say so.
Some people might think me talking about my babies means I’m living in the past, like I’m not moving on and always looking back. I’ve thought about this and I’d like to think that I am (carefully) moving forward and taking our boys with me. The term ‘moving on’ feels wrong, like they are forgotten about and left behind. However, moving forward feels more positive and I really am trying to be positive at the moment. There are of course times when I do look back, this is especially true at the moment as we approach Rory’s 2nd balloon day. I can’t help but look back and reflect on how life has changed.
Let’s be honest though, I don’t have any choice but to move forward as it’s quite hard to live in the past with a noisy 5 year old who is rapidly changing and developing during his first year at school. I’m not sure how up for moving forward is be without him but I’m grateful for his energy and presence.
For me, writing Rory and Henry’s names, sharing photos and talking about them is simply our way of weaving them into the tapestry of our lives as they are part of our life and nothing will ever change that (sorry not sorry!). I love seeing their names everywhere, I love having their pictures up, I especially love it when other people say their name, tell me they thought of them that day, include them in things, donate in their memory – it’s a joy and a comfort.
I wondered too if we were shoving things in people’s faces too much. But, I’m proud of my baby boys so I share their photos, memories of them and their stories just like I do with Toby. The only difference is that there are no new stories to tell, perhaps there are different angles or thoughts I want to share but essentially nothing is that different.
I wondered if I’d caused offence for sharing ‘unconventional’ photos or if I was weird for keeling Rory and Henry firmly at the centre of my life, but having carefully considered the situation I take the view that you can scroll on past their photos (I only show the nicer ones by the way), or choose not to read my ramblings or even better – unfriend me, I won’t be bothered. I’d rather have two friends who get it than ten who don’t.
I then worried if all of this was perhaps attention seeking and I’d been oblivious to it. I’ve really thought hard about this and no, it absolutely isn’t that. Yes, my babies died, and yes I do get sad and angry about it at times but you know what, I do not need or seek people’s pity, nor do I want to make people feel bombarded with stuff that makes them uncomfortable. Also, you know what, I really wish they’d lived, I wish I didn’t have to consider any of these questions.
What I do want is to educate, to raise awareness and to change things for other loss families. If I can help someone to be a better friend to a loss parent, or raise awareness of how it feels to lose a child, tell people about the impact of PTSD, encourage pregnant ladies to be aware of pre-eclampsia/HELLP, give comfort to loss families or just reach out give others a listening ear then it means I have a purpose, my babies had a purpose. They didn’t just die and became an unspoken echo of a memory.
So, am I seeking good or attention? I hope I’m on the whole trying to seek good and do good. Sometimes though there isn’t a good reason for anything and I might just share photos of Rory and Henry as I love them (again the same I’d do with Toby). If you really think I’m seeking attention then you know what to do.
These are my new favourite photos 🙂