It has been quite some time since I have written on my blog and probably for a mix of reasons. The last time I wrote was when we celebrated the twins second birthday and of course the following day we remembered Charlize on her second anniversary. Everyone who has lost someone very close to them has told me that the first year is the hardest, all the firsts that you should be doing with them are heart-wrenching. But in all honesty I think the second year is the hardest. It has been two long years since you’ve touched, talked, looked at your special loved one who has now left you.
Somewhere between the first and second anniversary I started grieving and it hit me so unexpectedly and rapidly that I felt like I was unravelling as a person. I found it very difficult to get up in the morning, to be happy, to talk with my friends, to be loving towards my husband, to find any sort of acceptance for losing our daughter. Instead I became bitter, terribly sad and angry. I wanted answers that would never come and I was on a mission to try and find them. Something had to change and I needed to find a way to move forward.
Fifteen months after my twins arrived I decided I was feeling well enough to return to work. I was able to start at a new job and look forward. I thought I could handle it and working part-time, three days a week was a fabulous balance for me and my family. After only three months in my new job I was head-hunted for a role that would be full time. I thought I could handle it. But just before starting my new-new job we launched our own business which rapidly grew. It saw me working five days in my “real” job and flying interstate most weekends for our business for functions.
We are a family lucky enough to have a live in Au-Pair. Although the children’s “needs” were met, mine were not. I missed them enormously and felt like I was missing out on vital parts of their lives. Something that had not previously concerned me now did.
You see, before losing Charlize, life was different, different worries, different priorities and a different life. Now we were living a life that was new. Simple things like reading the newspaper or watching the news on television would bring me to my knees at the terribly sad stories that happen to children and their families. I am now a person that rarely reads a paper or watches the news because living life is learning to live differently after Charlize.
The simplest things in life are the things I yearn for the most. I no longer worry about cleaning the house, folding the clothes, packing away the toys, cleaning my car because all those things will be there tomorrow and the next day and the day after but watching my little man receive a special award at assembly, watching our big girl perform in her first pre-school Christmas show and watching my littlest girl take her first steps are way more important.
Our family decided we needed to find a balance that works for us. One that will still cover our mortgage and expenses and allow us to spend more time with each other – because tomorrow everything can change in an instant.
So I resigned from my amazing “real” job that I love with all my heart. I work for a children’s toy company, a workplace that makes you smile every day because that’s what it does for children;
A workplace that has the most amazing group of people who have become beautiful friends;
A workplace that gives generously to children in our community who need it most;
A workplace and a boss who I was honoured to work alongside and I will miss dearly.
The year 2014 is a year for our family where I will focus my time on our growing business and our growing family. I am excited to do the school drop offs and preschool pick ups, to take the children to swimming lessons, to take the little miracle to all her physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and any other therapy she needs. To just be with my babies.
In addition to finding this balance I needed to find acceptance for our loss.
I am going to tell you about a personal experience that helped me move forward. One that I treasure and may not be for everyone, but one that worked for me.
Two weeks after Charlize’s anniversary I scheduled an appointment with a medium clairvoyant. I was nervous and scared and didn’t really know what to expect. The medium whose name is Alana was beautiful and nurturing. She held my hands and connected with Charlize.
One of the first things that Charlize told her to tell me was about the night we lost her. She told Alana that when I picked her up out of her humidicrib and placed her body against my beating heart – ‘she was never afraid’.
When I heard those words the tears welled in my eyes and my heart beat faster. One of my biggest concerns was that she was scared and in pain in her final hours and I was delighted to hear that she felt the love from her Mummy that would always keep her safe.
Alana and Charlize told me so many things that night that showed me that Charlize is in our house with our family helping us through life. She is looking after her big brother and sister and she is ever the protective big sister for Lucia.
She is watching, she is listening and she is teaching all of us.
Charlize told me that the reason I found it difficult to feel her presence was because I had too much going on, I needed to slow down my life and then I would see the signs of her around me. She is the biggest reason we have chosen to make so many life changes for next year.
Last weekend my wonderful husband and I had the privilege of delivering 30 handmade dolls for Christmas to all the NICU babies at the hospital our girls were born at. Me and my beautiful friends and family spent many a weekend hand sewing these gorgeous dolls in honour of Charlize.
Upon walking into the NICU we were greeted by the nurse that not only took delivery of Charlize at birth but also her final day with us before she became gravely ill. After we kissed and cuddled and shed some tears another nurse came out to greet us. She was the beautiful nurse who was with us the night we lost Charlize, she bathed and dressed Charlize after she passed and I will be forever thankful for her kind nature. I knew that Charlize was with us that day. My husband and I left the hospital with a full heart and a smile.
Later that day I decided to do the shopping at a different grocery store to what I normally would. When I was leaving the store I noticed a crate full of potted plants in full bloom and instantly I smiled. They were Lisianthus – the flower our family has as a symbol of Charlize. I purchased a white one for her forever innocence and a pink one because she’s a girl. It’s days like this that make me smile full of love and happiness.
Before Alana I had tried so many things to try and come to a point where the grief could move to the acceptance stage and I could see things in a more positive light but nothing seemed to work. Maybe I wasn’t ready, maybe I was too angry or maybe they just weren’t the right thing for me.
When Alana left my home that evening I felt at peace. I knew now that my baby girl wasn’t hurting anymore and although I could no longer physically feel her she was always with me, with us, with our family.
For the first time in two years I no longer felt a deep sadness that wouldn’t lift, but I felt the strength of a mothers love for her child that could never be broken and more than anything I feel blessed that she chose me to help her through the most difficult and terrifying stages of life. As she passed away in my arms I am blessed that she was never afraid and she felt loved and secure in my arms.
Now at peace, I will always feel blessed for having her in my life.
We now look forward as a family to a new 2014 with hope, happiness and love.
P.S. For all of you wonderful readers who have sent me messages suggesting I write a book – well guess what? I’ve started our story and hope to finish it next year. If we are lucky enough maybe we’ll even get published 🙂