This time of year is a tough one. As the third anniversary of Jessica’s death draws nearer, the triggers for grief increase. Some of them are easier to anticipate than others. I know the memories of this time three years ago will become increasingly painful and I’m prepared for that. Those are the triggers I can control to some extent – for the times when I see grief as something I lock inside a box and open up when I feel ready to.
Other times, the box bursts open without warning. This week, hubby ordering us a new mattress was one of the unexpected triggers. It was something we needed to replace, but Jessica had snuggled up with us on our old mattress. It was part of her last moments – she collapsed in our bed. Silly really, it’s just a mattress – not really something I generally think of connecting us still to Jessica and part of my worst memories in any event – but still it was a trigger for the box to fly open and grief to hit without warning.
Friends and family are mostly very supportive when it comes to our grief but some well-meaning advice on what I should and shouldn’t be feeling was more hurtful than helpful. Another trigger – although blogging about it was somewhat cathartic!
Midway through the week, I came out in hives everywhere. Arms, legs, neck, chest, back – for 12 hours or so I was a walking mass of red, blotchy itchiness. Piriton and calamine lotion helped a little. I managed to get a telephone consultation with the GP for the next morning; when I woke up, it had all gone so I cancelled it. I’m not sure what triggered it but emotional stress apparently can be a trigger, so who knows?
What I’ve been grateful for this week:
- Day 78 – I am grateful for being able to order new glasses online to come in the post and for being able to see clearly again (my old pair were very scratched!)
- Day 79 – I am grateful for hubby putting up some more shelves in the study.
- Day 80 – I am grateful for bedtime stories, especially ones that make us all laugh.
- Day 81 – I am grateful for time to sit outside in the sunshine and paint the backgrounds for the next series of Playmobil Bible readings for church.
- Day 82 – I am grateful for hair dye.
- Day 83 – I am grateful for parents’ evening via video link and to hear that Sophie has settled back well at school and is doing well overall. So proud of how well this little girl has coped with all the challenges of the past year.
- Day 84 – I am grateful for forget-me-nots in the garden. They first appeared there on my first Mother’s Day without Jessica and always make me smile and think of her.
Other things that have made me smile this week:
- Sitting outside working in the garden and watching the children playing.
- The way Thomas and Sophie sitting snuggled close together watching something on the iPad reminds me of watching Jessica and Sophie doing the same.
- Thomas taking a spontaneous nap on his rocking elephant, looking like he’d fallen asleep saying his prayers. I did move him to a more comfortable position on the sofa after taking the photo!