A friend asked recently why I hadn't written in a while and I said it was because I'd been busy, but that was only part of the reason. At this time of year, at Lauren's anniversary, the feelings are just so raw that I don't want to face them.
However on the flip side I want to be honest, to bring understanding and hopefully some empathy to others in similar situations.
Although time, in terms of minutes and hours is a human construction, it feels brought to us by nature. We comment how it's hot/sunny/rainy for the time of year, we celebrate the same things every year and commiserate too. They are just another day or week, but the sentiment we put upon them makes it unrealistic to treat them as such.
At this time of year it is imposssible to not remember exactly what our family were all doing two years ago, the last times spent with Lauren leading on to the hospital and heartbreak.
First it starts with flashbacks. Images of times spent in the hospital, the time that seems like years even though it was only 5 days, every gesture, every room, all the machines, burnt into my memory, and all at the fore of my thoughts this time of year.
Scattinesss & lack of focus is also a symptom for me. Feeling unsettled and waking every day under a black cloud. Sleep becomes more problematic, like in the early days, and sleep time rituals become necessary (baths & magnesium & valerian, nothing bizarre)
This week, now we are here, is actually easier so far than the week before it. Like most thing in life that we dread, the anticipation is actually worse than the event. I was reminded of this fact recently by a good friend. She made sure I made plans for the week leading up to the "event" and not just put all my focus onto that day of dread.
The prescribed self care mode I morphed into this last week helped to preserve my mind. For me that is done by lots of lunches out with friends and family, nails done, hair done, more yoga, less alcohol, family trips out and today my Lauren tattoo.
Saturday will be the day for our Christmas decorations, Lauren's Death Day. We will watch her favourite film, eat her favourite food and laugh along with our memories of her.
The pain of Lauren's loss is always there, sometimes though it is rght there like a brick wall, unable to see around it or climb over it. For me having rituals help. It is not always easy to talk about how I feel, often I'll hide behind that wall of grief, but rituals get me to face things in an unobtrusive manner. Rituals help us to create order when our thoughts and feelings are muddled and unordered. They help us to find the time to sit with our feelings through repetition and order so we can find the love within them💙