Living with Grief
I lost my son.
Many people struggle when they hear that my son was still born, they panic, they don’t know what to say, they might say the wrong thing and so on and so forth. However, I never hide that I had him, and I am proud to call myself his mum.
Oliver Andrew Malcolm Hutton was born on 30th November 2020 at 23:15 weighing a tiny 392 grams and he was a stunner. I had found out that I was in labour less than 9 hours earlier which being 15 weeks early was quite a shock and although I wasn’t prepared for this to happen, I would relive this moment over and over for the chance to hold my beautiful little boy in my arms again.
People say, that must have been so difficult and that they are sorry, yet I believe that living with my grief is much harder and more difficult than it was giving birth to Oliver. I had to give birth, it was going to happen but the constant what ifs and whys that crowd my mind from the moment I wake to the moment I go to sleep are exhausting.
There are daily questions that are normal within the English language upon meeting someone and beginning a conversation, one of which is “How are you?” and I get asked this question a lot. I never want to lie, however with my experience of the human race, any answer other than a positive one has the questioner running for the hills or wishing that they had never asked the question. The usual response would be “I’m good, and you?” yet I am not good, I am nowhere near good and so I will only ever respond with “I’m okay.” Saying this is me being as honest as I can be, it is me trying to have a conversation knowing that I am far from okay because I am walking round with a hole in my heart that will never be filled.
I take each day as it comes and sadly live with the pain of grief day in day out. My pain is now a part of who I am, but I know that when I am struggling more than usual, being kind to myself and practicing wellness will enable me to take that next step so that maybe one day I’ll be able to answer that “how are you” question with an “I’m good” answer.
However, if I am feeling overwhelmed by my grief, I do specific things that make me feel like I can continue without being consumed by it.
I take a break from the business of life and spend time looking after myself.
I allow myself to sleep. If my mind and body are struggling, then sleeping allows me to relax.
I spend time on my own doing something that I enjoy, something as simple as taking bubble bath to ensure I am relaxed and not tense.
I burn smelling oils, my favourite being lavender, then I sit and meditate or reflect on the past day’s events.
I talk about Oliver to those close to me, to the people who know how much he means to me and those who will spend that time listening to what my hopes and dreams were for him.
I visit Oliver and talk to him about what is happening in my day-to-day life. He is buried in our local cemetery and so there is always a specific place I can go to when I need that break.
I avoid drama. I want life to be as nice and simple as possible, I don’t need to be caught up in any drama therefore I switch my phone off and avoid it all.
Grief is different for all and for me is a long process, especially as it hasn’t even been a year since we lost Oliver and it happened so fast, I am yet to process it. But I am here, and I am taking things a day at a time, and I am proud of myself for this.