This past month has been too hard. It may be due in some part to the weeks of lockdown. But I also think it is linked to the birthdays this month. The first birthdays for Lauren's siblings without her there. The first time I've prepared for these milestones with any emotion other than happiness. Both of the birthdays being within two weeks is a tough emotional time, but it also gets them over and done with in one hit. Hopefully next year they won't just feel like something I need to get through.
Don't think we've not had fun; there's been sumo suits, bouncy castles, gladiatorial challenges and lots and lots of cake.
But behind the laughter, in the quiet moments, is a dark feeling at the pit of my stomach that won't shift, no matter how much I try.
Lauren's dance school held a Dancethon, on Zoom obviously, over half term to help raise money, in Lauren's name, for the amazing Alderhey Children's Hospital. It was so lovely to see all the dancers and I know that Lauren would have adored it. But seeing her name and knowing why they were doing it was just so heart wrenching. Needless to say I kept my camera off, no one needs to see a middle aged mum in floods of tears when they are trying to learn a routine.
I've discovered that crying is good. It's cathartic. Never tell someone to dry their tears. Crying is letting the sadness out, giving it a voice. It's worse when there are no tears, just a silent despair. In those moments I'd much prefer the rib shaking sobs, at least after that you feel better, in some way. Embrace the tears, they bring peace.