I tried so hard to give a shit this year, but then I obviously failed miserably. I’m just glad we were invited to my brother-in-law’s place on Christmas eve, so at least I didn’t have to plan or organize anything myself. I had already decided that we wouldn’t be inviting anyone over anyway. So this kind of solved it perfectly. Now Gert wants to invite his parents over on New Year’s eve, and I’m just like “yeah, no.” I’m sorry, it’s nothing against them personally. I do enjoy their company. But I was just really REALLY looking forward to a nice cozy pyjama evening with lots of finger food in front of the TV.
I got to see everybody’s lovely family pictures with their children and babies in front of their Christmas tree plastered all over the internet. Just what I needed! 😒 Ever since Sam passed away, I just can’t deal with happy family portraits anymore. I guess that’s the cross I’m doomed to bear for the rest of my life now. The fact that our family portraits, no matter how many children we have in the future, will never be complete. There will always be a little boy missing by our side. And it doesn’t get easier with time. When I think of how big he would be right now, and how much fun he would have had playing with his new toys … It chokes me up so badly that I have to block those thoughts out of my head and quickly think of something else. Sometimes I manage, sometimes I don’t.
I put quite a lot of effort into Christmas and New Year’s celebrations last year. I guess I felt like I had to force it and fake it, just to get me through the pain of it all. Now that I’m in a less extreme survival mode, I basically just feel like not putting any energy into any of it. I hardly found any motivation to put a decent outfit together on Christmas Eve. My hair looked kinda shitty, my makeup was very basic. And my brother-in-law’s Christmas tree was all black with black Christmas ornaments and everything, which I found ironically appropriate for me that day.
So I basically have zero pictures of our Christmas this year. Maybe I will take some on New Year. After all, I am pretty fucking happy to see 2015 go! What a shitty year it was! Good riddance 2015. You were CRAP. 💩
Ok, I’ve been absent for sufficiently long now. I was so sick and miserable. Good grief! Even the dog got sick! It was one thing after the other. In the end I just melted down in tears, wondering if any of us would ever be healthy again. God, I can be so dramatic sometimes. I pestered the doctor about three times with all sorts of odd symptoms and even managed to get samples sent to the lab, just to be sure. All results were clear. And in the end, big words were thrown around like “anxiety disorder” and “mysophobia”, after going through an increasing rate of frantic cleaning and disinfection of our entire home. My hands still show signs of excessive washing. It’s not pretty.
I even got hold of a burner to sanitize the grass in the yard where the dog does his business …
This is getting embarrassing. I’m actually laughing about it now. But I wasn’t laughing last week!
Now that I’ve calmed down and given it some thought, I suppose this is my way of claiming control over things, after dealing with a traumatic situation I had zero control over. I’m okay though, no worries. I just need to learn to relax a bit now. And hey, let’s look at the bright side: the house is super clean now!
In other sad news: Gert’s cousin’s dog passed away a few days ago (on Friday the 13th – how unfortunate). There was a picture of him in my Christmas post 3 months ago. And here’s an old one from 5 years ago:
Luca decided to go quietly of old age while his masters were abroad on holiday. I can’t imagine how painful it must be to return home without him, and not having been able to be there at the very end to say goodbye. I sent them a card this morning and I hope my words will bring some comfort. I know how important he was to them.
That’s about it for now. So much for the “fun new updates” I was talking about in my previous post, right?
I can’t believe the unfortunate coincidence after my post three days ago. A couple we know (distant relatives on Gert’s side of the family) just lost their baby, 5 months into the pregnancy. We got married a few months apart and she became pregnant while I was six months pregnant; all pure coincidence. And then this … I now feel extra connected to them. It pains me so much that they are going through the same loss. I know all too well what it feels like and so I felt the urge to send them a card with a long letter inside. Unfortunately, I know that nothing I will say or write will ease the pain. It’s something we have to come to terms with at our own individual pace.
It’s an emotional day here at home. Exactly one year ago, I had my positive pregnancy test and couldn’t wait for Gert to come home so I could tell him the good news. So many memories flashing through my mind today. I had already decided that I would spend this day tidying up the nursery, and putting away the rest of Sam’s stuff so we would have a clean room, free of anything related to Sam and ready to welcome another baby in the future (hopefully).
I went through the box filled with mourning cards and support messages from friends, family, neighbors, people we hardly even know. It doesn’t look like that much in the picture above, but there are many; three big piles that fill an entire box. I didn’t get to thank everyone individually. I think people felt like they couldn’t really help us feel better, and like a small mourning card wouldn’t make any difference to us, but they were wrong. All those messages helped us so much. Even just a few kind words helped us feel surrounded and supported by absolutely everybody we know. And I really want to stress this in case any of my readers are ever confronted with friends or family who are suffering a loss: send them a card. Even if you don’t know what to write, and even if you feel like your card will be a meaningless drop in the ocean; don’t feel that way and just send one. You have no idea how much it is appreciated during difficult times. We never expected anyone to come up with wise words or anything psychologically deep. But just to know that they were thinking about us and shared a bit of our sadness, was more than enough and so greatly appreciated.
We also received several gifts. Some had been purchased or even handcrafted while I was still happily pregnant. Others were purchased after the tragedy. I don’t know if maybe some people held back on some gifts and decided not to mention it to us after it all went wrong. But for those who did offer them to us, I gladly accepted them and put them all together with Sam’s stuff. I think many people didn’t quite know how to bring it up to us. I realize it’s a delicate situation and people don’t like to be confronted with tears. That’s alright. I understand and it’s no big deal. For those who did find the courage to bring us toys and little keepsakes, whether purchased before or after his passing, I want to say a big thank you. They will be cherished forever and kept neatly in a dedicated box.
There are a few things I still want to frame and hang on the wall. Like a cross stitched birth announcement, and the star registered under Sam’s name, both received from family and friends. I hadn’t had the courage to do it until now. I definitely want to get those done within the next few weeks. I will hang them in the nursery for a while. And then maybe on the long run I will move them upstairs in my office. We’ll see.
The past few days have been so crappy. We started Christmas shopping and it’s hitting me hard, now that we’re bumping into all sorts of baby items and toys. I haven’t even made our Christmas cards yet. I’m just so uninspired about it right now. Last year was supposed to be our last Christmas portrait as a childless couple, and we would have started seeing our little family grow as of this year. Now it’s so screwed up all around. I honestly can’t wait for January, because Christmas and New Year are bound to bring more tears.
We were walking around at the mall yesterday and I randomly suggested to Gert that if we ever have a little boy again, we should use the same names as for Sam, but backwards. So it would be Louis Alexander Sam, instead of Sam Alexander Louis. He didn’t seem too keen. I honestly don’t know why the hell I said it, because I don’t think I really meant it anyway.
Right now, I’m desperately trying to cheer myself up any way I can think of. I learned during my first year at university that being physically active is the most effective way to fight sadness. Something about certain chemicals being released in the brain … or something. I wasn’t really paying attention. But I’ve been working out with cheerful music blasting through the house and it has been my best remedy so far.
Meanwhile, I’m still going back and forth a lot about adopting a new dog. Life has been so boring since Jack passed away. And while I obviously care about the cat, it’s just not the same kind of bond. Gert wants to go check out the breeder either next week or the week after that. So I guess we’ll take it from there.