Today sees my annual outpouring of grief post. This comes with all the usual trigger warnings for baby loss, infant loss, child loss and candid feelings of grief.
A week ago I was sat at the computer planning one of my other annual events…the angelversary candle lighting. I do this every year on 4th March which is the anniversary of Lily-Mae growing her wings. It is for people to light a candle, not just in memory of Lily-Mae, but in memory of anyone who is no longer with us.
As I’m now 8 years in I often think there is very little left that I’ve not already experienced. It is always when I feel like this that some majestic twist of the universe comes forth with the sole intention of proving me wrong.
I was creating the graphic for the Facebook post which contained just six words. “Lily-Mae’s 8th Angelversary Candle Lighting”. Nothing even remotely difficult about that task. Or so I fooled myself in to thinking. Only this year a relatively simple thing has turned into something that I can only imagine is close to what it feels like having a knife put through your heart. Instead of instantly dying you continue to live, with a knife in your heart as a constant reminder of pain.
I know you all will read this and most will probably think nothing of it but it is just another symbol of how multi faceted grief is and how the torture is constant and never ending. After that hugely prefaced build up you want to know what I did don’t you. Well for the briefest of moments (and by brief I mean literally nano seconds), I forgot how to spell my own daughters name. A name that is etched in to my very soul. A name I’ve written at least a thousand times. A name that is tattooed on my foot. A name we gave her. I couldn’t remember if it had a hyphen in or not. And I am devastated.
I know this name. I KNOW THIS NAME!!! I’ve cried. I feel sick. I feel stupid. I feel angry. I feel guilty. None of this is because of a hyphen. Rather it’s because yet again it is a very real and stark reminder of everything I’ve been robbed of. I’m not stupid, I know life goes on. I made a conscientious effort to scale back the activity of my FB page and Twitter feed. It’s because whether you like it or not you become the person that is always banging on about the same thing. The upshot of that is people stop paying attention to what you are saying because essentially its nothing they haven’t seen or heard before.
It’s not a conscious decision but it happens and like I’ve said before that’s perfectly natural and normal for others. Life moves on, my life moves on. But I do not forget a hyphen. I do not forget hearing her little voice call “Archie” because she wanted him to play with her. I do not forget hearing her call “Daaaadddddd” when he’d creep in from the night shift around 5am trying desperately not to wake her. I do not forget the way she smelt of vanilla or how she loved petit filous and Take That. I do not forget a single thing.
Just as time goes some of those memories take a little longer to recall from the “memory drawer” I created in my brain. The little compartment I put things in so they don’t always have to be so painful, but are there nevertheless. Reminding me of the almost two years I had the most beautiful little soul. My forever baby girl. And then she was gone. Now she has been gone four times longer than I had her. My heart is still broken. My heart still aches. Always.