Last night I discovered something that I probably should have probably been aware of some months ago. I realised that I was assigning all my anxieties to a fear of Covid. When thinking about meeting up with friends, especially if it was going to be for an extended period of time, I was putting my feelings of fear down to Covid, silently berating myself whilst trying to acknowledge that the risks relating to the activity were minimal.
What I failed to realise in these covidcentric times is that my anxiety had very little to do with Covid and actually a hell of a lot to do with Lauren. I have spent very little time away from the kids since Lauren died, especially not of my volition. The first lockdown came about early into our grief journey, so when the time came that I felt emotionally able to do more it was no longer possible due to restrictions. That means that I haven't had the chance to slowly get used to it.
It seems like it should be obvious that, after the sudden death of one child, I'd be anxious about any time apart from the others, but it wasn't. It has taken me 6 months to figure it out, which is somewhat shocking given that I literally write about my grief and how I'm feeling on a weekly basis
Once the actual reason for my anxiety was clear it was so much easier to confront. It doesn't mean I'm wanting to spend time apart from the kids any time soon, but I can be a bit kinder to myself regarding the reasons why.
Surely I can't be the only person blinded to the true cause of their anxieties, there must be other people in the same position. People who are putting the root of their mental distress on the wrong culprit. The problem is if we don't know the origin of the problem then there is no chance we can fix it.
Now I know I can at least accept and validate those feelings, even if I can't make them go away. So tonight I'll do what we always do, warm the mulled wine and the hot dogs (not in the same pan!!) light the fire and set off the fireworks with the children. It won't be the same, nothing ever can be, but it will be fun... and we'll remember our girl who loved to sparkle.